Ever since Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby entered the league in 2005-06, they have been saddled with comparisons. The Crosby/Ovechkin rivalry is somewhat an NHL invention, eagerly marketed though the players have been friendly off the ice. It seems every few months, one player is asked about the other.
On Wednesday, CSN Washington’s Chuck Gormley had a simple question for Ovechkin: who’s better right now? Ovechkin’s answer is literal fire.
Halfway through Tuesday’s game, the Caps were deep in a two-goal hole plus one and they looked pitiful. To the rescue came Dmitry Orlov, aided by Jay Beagle, who screened San Jose Sharks netminder Martin Jones.
That should have been Orlov’s first goal since the spring of 2014, but San Jose coach Pete DeBoer is a cranky-ass party pooper. Issuing the first coach’s challenge we’ve seen so far, DeBoer forced referee Tim Peel and company to review the play, which they did by looking at what looked like a Wii U remote.
Like some other NHL teams, the Washington Capitals had their very own red carpet event today ahead of their home opener against the New Jersey Devils. I’m not sure I love the idea of treating hockey players like movie stars, as the sport’s most marketable quality is just how down-to-earth and approachable these athletes are, but, hey, it’s a limited-time deal. So I can deal.
The first person to make his way down the carpet this afternoon was The Ice Cheetah himself, Jason Chimera. After him came a lot of new suits and a lot of new looks. For instance, John Carlson debuted a man bun, as captured by our own Chris Gordon. The sweetest moment of the ceremony was when Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was walked down the carpet by perfect human being Ann Schaab and RMNB reader Priscilla.
But, Ian, who was the best and worst dressed? Who had the most ridiculous hair? I’m glad you asked.
On October 10, 2015, In Opinion, By Patrick Holden
Photo: Amanda Bowen
The start of the Caps 2015-16 season is upon us. Having loaded up over the offseason, the Caps are considered by many to be a serious Cup contender. While I think this is the most complete roster the team has had in the Ovechkin era, I won’t be offering up any predictions here for how the season goes.
Instead, here’s a look at reasons for optimism and worry throughout the roster.
We’re thrilled to have Catherine Silverman aboard for this guest post. Cat writes for Today’s Slapshot and The Leafs Nation. She knows her goalies and was kind enough to write some words about Braden Holtby, his beard, and what makes him a great goalie. Be sure to give her a follow on Twitter. Take it away, Catherine!
I’ll make a confession: I’m an unabashed Braden Holtby apologist, and I absolutely adore just about everything about him.
He’s got that majestic beard. He flips his hair like he’s Henrik Lundqvist, but somehow also manages to always look like he’s hair-flipping in slow-mo during some sort of theatrical trailer for a surfing movie. He’s delightfully aggressive when skaters try to push him around, and he once refused to let the linesmen help him fish a puck out of his pads (despite the fact that it probably would have sped up the game a bit). Braden Holtby, in my eyes, is really a hero.
Outside of these more lighthearted reasons to appreciate Holtby, though, I’ve got a serious love for the way he plays the game — and if you’re a Capitals fan, you’re in for a serious treat yet again this year.
Alex Ovechin turned 30 last month, and that is scary. It is scary mostly because age is a dauntless demon who will one day lay waste to all the fun stuff about living like jumping jacks, erections, and hearing above 16 kilohertz, but it is scary also because scoring goals in hockey becomes rarer as players get older.
A sampling of TSN hockey experts and NHL GMs were recently polled to rank the top 50 players in the league. Alex Ovechkin (5th), Nick Backstrom (22nd) and Braden Holtby (49th) were the three Caps to make the list. The rankings for Ovechkin and Backstrom seem reasonable (Backstrom might be a little high), but Holtby did not get due respect here.
There were five goalies in the top 50: Carey Price (3rd), Henrik Lundqvist(25th), Pekka Rinne (29th), Jonathan Quick (35th), and Holtby (49th).
Holtby is a better goalie than both Rinne and Quick.
On September 29, 2015, In Opinion, By Patrick Holden
Analytics pioneer Rob Vollman is back with the 2015 edition of Hockey Abstract. If you’re not familiar with Vollman’s work, well, you should be. His cheerful, unassuming, and informative writing style makes his annual release an indispensable read for hockey fans of all kinds.
Early in Monday’s preseason game, CSN analyst Craig Laughlin dropped a casual prediction: TJ Oshie could hit 30 goals this season.
Some people scoffed. Some people said heck yeah brah. Over at RMNB, Pat and Peter made a friendly wager. Now it’s our first bet of the season. There is poetry and beer-league hockey on the line now, so read on.