orlov-kuznetsov-soccer

Photo: @avv91

RMNB reader and mega Caps fan Max attended Tuesday’s exhibition game at FedEx Field between Inter Milan and Manchester United. Because, like I said, Max is a mega Caps fan, he donned his Caps hat instead of the traditional soccer kit or scarf or something. (I barely watch soccer, my bad.) That decision worked out well for young Max.

Sitting in his same section were Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov. The Russian Caps spotted Max in his Weagle hat and — get this — asked Max to come over.

Selfies ensued.

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joel-ward-donates-blood

Photo: @tcmorrison

RMNB’s been busy working on a special project, so we missed the Inova Blood Drive at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Every few months, Inova holds a blood drive at the Caps practice rink and gives away bobbleheads and shirseys of certain Caps players. This past Saturday it was Joel Ward.

Unfortunately, the Wardo bobble heads got stuck in customs, but donators wound up getting a more special gift: meeting The Big Cheese himself. Ward signed autographs, took photos, and complimented people on their t-shirts.

And, of course, he donated blood.

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Photo: DaveArt.com

A lot has changed in Washington D.C. since last season, including the goalie situation. On the first day of free agency, new Caps GM Brian MacLellan signed veteran goalie Justin Peters to be Braden Holtby‘s back-up. That means goaltending prospect Philipp Grubauer, who shined in a one-month stint with the team last December, will likely be relegated to the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears for most of next season.

I bring that up because, um, well, this is awkward. Grubauer’s new mask from Swedish airbrush artist David Gunnarsson is 100% Caps-flavored.

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ovechkin-vacation

This weekend, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin flew to France to enjoy the lovely beaches of St. Tropez. On what he described as his vacation, Ovechkin hung out with former KHL player (CSKA) Ruben Begunts and Brooklyn Nets small forward Andrei Kirilenko (Maria’s cousin).

And for the first time ever, I saw Ovechkin dive.

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madison-bowey

Photo from our Instagram, which you should totally already be following.

The Capitals’ NHL blue line is the deepest it has been in years, and the farm is starting to get stacked with defensive prospects as well. Nate Schmidt, Patrick Wey, and Connor Carrick have each shown that they will soon be ready to take the next step. Also developing rapidly: 2013 second-round pick Madison Bowey.

During last week’s Development Camp, the 19-year-old was one of the most mature prospects out on the ice. He dominated Saturday’s scrimmage, creating a number of chances on the rush.

Bowey’s most creative effort came early, a ridiculous no-look pass that led to Nathan Walker’s goal.

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andre-burakovsky-nats-game-george

During last week’s Development Camp, the Washington Capitals took the prospects to a Washington Nationals game. Unfortunately, the game got rained out (so the Nats were spared a beatdown from the Orioles). Before the game was called, Caps 2013 first round pick, Andre Burakovsky wandered from the group and took a photo with George Washington, one of the Nats’ five racing presidents. I cannot tell a lie: this photo is majestic.

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Alex Ovechkin’s 800th Point Plaque

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On March 1st, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin hit another milestone. In the team’s 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins, Ovechkin registered his 800th point, a one-timer goal off a pass from Marcus Johansson.

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Photo: Chris Gordon

I attended Fanfest at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Saturday, and it was adorbs as usual. After Team White won 7-4, the prospects headed to the locker room. Hearing his name called by the fans amassing at the railing nearby, first-round pick Jakub Vrana broke from the pack to sign autographs. Nearby, and not needing an invitation of his own, the six-foot, six-inch behemoth Eliot Antonietti walked off the ice and made a bee line to his people.

After being one of the most talked about prospects during the week (due to his massive beard and massive height), The Swiss Chara gave his game-used sticks to fans– including one to a teeny tiny Caps fan.

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Caps Fanfest Final Scrimmage (17 of 26)

Photos by Chris Gordon.

On Saturday, the Washington Capitals held their annual Fanfest at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Hundreds of Caps fans packed into the practice rink to see Riley Barber’s Team White defeat Andre Burakovsky’s Team Red 7-4. Before the action, Ted Leonsis presented a $105,000 check to TAPS, a non-profit organization that provides comfort and care for people who are grieving the loss of a loved one who died while serving in the military. There also was the equipment sale (okay, who grabbed all of the Kuznetsov sticks?) and autograph signings with Barry Trotz and all of the prospects. New Caps defenseman Matt Niskanen also met with the media for the first time.

All in all, it was a fun day — like have you seen our Twitter pics? Below, check out my photos from the day, and in the comments let us know what your favorite moment was. (Also, please, someone give Ian one of the Kuznetsov sticks.)

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Caps Fanfest Scrimmage (7 of 8)

Photos by Chris Gordon.

Barry Trotz wants to turn Caps Development Camp into a more polished affair, with NHL players coming in as mentors and a focus on improving little aspects each player’s game. On Saturday, the team concluded the annual camp. In addition to the final scrimmage of week, the Caps also their annual fanfest in a packed Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

Though Team Red was stocked with first round picks Andre Burakovsky and Jakob Vrana, the White Team took hold of the game in the third period, scoring third goals on the route to a 7-4 win. After the game, Caps owner Ted Leonsis presented prospect Madison Bowey with the winner’s trophy, before the team held a bit of mock Stanley Cup celebration. Check out my photos below.

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