My friend Steven Frietas did some cool stuff at the preseason game against the Flyers the other night. By now you’ve already seen Amanda Bowen’s beautiful photos, but now please check out some of that same action in slow motion.
My favorite spot is Niskanen, without a stick, smushing R.J. Umberger (I think) into the glass.
Enjoy, and please follow Steven on the Twitters; he’s hilarious.
Reader Brian took his five-year-old son Ethan to the Caps Flyers preseason game on Thursday. After the Caps won in the shootout, Brian and Ethan spotted a man on the concourse with a giant Ovechkin head. Brian asked if his son could take a photo with said Ovechkin head. This is what happened.
Photo: Geoff Burke
The Capitals got shellacked 6-1 by the Buffalo Sabres at Niagara Center on Wednesday, but one Caps player continued to make a case to be on the opening night roster: Swedish prospect Andre Burakovsky.
Burakovsky, who set a Swedish OHL record with the Erie Otters last season by tallying 87 points (41 goals, 46 assists) in 57 games, appears — at least to this writer’s eyes — to be the front-runner for the Caps’ second-line center opening.
The 19-year-old first-round pick led all skaters on Wednesday with five shots on net. He also hit the post on a breakaway in the first period. Through three games this preaseason Burakovsky has a goal and an assist. During Sunday’s game against Montreal, he forced a turnover by Canadians defenseman PK Subban along the boards and set up Joel Ward for the game-winning goal. In the Caps first preseason game of the year, he scored the game-winning goal.
Wednesday, Burakovsky centered Troy Brouwer and Brooks Laich on the team’s de facto second line.
Last season, Washington Capitals defense prospect Nate Schmidt had his year ended early after suffering a knee injury on a low-bridge hit by Norfolk Admirals defenseman Garnet Exelby.
Playing Montreal on Sunday, Schmidt narrowly missed a head injury after getting elbowed in the noggin by Jarred Tinordi, son of former Capital, Mark Tinordi.
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his first goal of the preseason. It is literally exactly how you’d imagine it.
Powerplay goal? Check.
At or near the left circle? Check.
The goalie knew it was coming and still couldn’t stop it? Check.
Look at this ish.
Photo: @Estebomb via @ajkais13
Comcast SportsNet is cheap, so we have been subjected to the Philadelphia Flyers’ broadcast of the Capitals preseason game tonight, plus Craig Laughlin. So not only have we been listening to the remedial hockey analysis of Keith Jones, but we’ve also been subjected to trivia like the brain teaser above.
Duhhhh. No idea, CSN Philly. Can you give us a hint?
The more difficult question would have been: who is that guy who is not Aaron Volpatti?
The NHL regular season begins tomorrow, and yet, for some people, the real action won’t begin until February. For the second time in our bloggity life, the NHL season will be interrupted for the Olympic hockey tournament.
Olympic hockey is great. The ice is big and weird, the rules confuse me, and the final games are like the All Star game except not absolutely unbearably awful like the All Star Game, which sucks. It’s Crosby and Team Canada vs Ovechkin and Team Russia vs Someone and Team USA vs Someone Else and Team Other Country Probably Sweden.
Here at RMNB, we are going all-out for the Olympics. We should — no wait, I just decided– we WILL send one of our writers to Russia for the event. Just picking at random… Fedor. There. Done. I’m a decision-maker. Fedor, if you’re reading this, please contact Ian for your traveling expenses.
Some people say Olympic gold is even better than winning a Stanley Cup. These people are called Europeans. For Europeans and European-sympathizing North Americans, the NHL season is going to be one big prelude to the Olympics. As rosters are finalized and the ice is laid down in Sochi and Evgeny Kuznetsov rehabs, our attentions might be momentarily swayed from Caps hockey. Please forgive us if that offends you. We feel duty-bound to cover it all and root for our preferred players’ quest for Olympic gold.
But we won’t ever forget that Stanley Silver is more valuable.
I don’t like preseason hockey. I love hockey, sure, but preseason hockey is a weird animal. The player talent is all over the place. Marginal players are eager to make a statement by spilling buckets of blood (theirs or others’), good players look superhuman because they’re matched up against scrubs, and stat people don’t seem to care much for the inscrutable details like who actually scored the goals. Plus, I’m naturally skeptical about prospect players, who are often overhyped and rarely turn out to be viable NHL players. The whole exercise is wearying.
That said, we got a lot out of this (heavily televised) preseason: the rise of Connor Carrick, the rise of Nathan Walker, Recker vs Looch, some fancy Ovi stickwork, a crab on the ice, Joel Rechlicz winning a game using actual hockey, and Ovi looking tough.
But it’s over now. Saturday’s night game against the Cup-defending Chicago Blackhawks is the final exhibition game of the year. After that: real games for real points. Real net-crashing. Real line-up controversy. Real Caps hockey.
Bring it on.
Mikhail Grabovski has had a sterling preseason. After resolving his visa issues, Grabo wasted no time establishing himself as a Belarusian assist machine, endearing himself to his teammates and Caps fans in the process.
Enter Zac Rinaldo, notorious Philly antagonist (317 PIMs in 98 games). The Flyer goon zeroed in on Grabo in the corner behind Neuvirth’s net. Rinaldo’s elbow hit Grabovski’s head, dropping the Caps center to the ice. Grabovski skated back to the bench under his own power and continued playing in the game. Rinaldo, on the other hand, received a five-minute major and game misconduct.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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