mikhail-grabovski

Over the summer, general manager George McPhee and head coach Adam Oates worked together to land arguably the most talented player on the free-agent market, Mikhail Grabovski.

Grabo, who was bought out by the Toronto Maple Leafs because they don’t understand teh corsis, signed a short, cap-friendly deal with Washington: one year for three million dollars. He did so, presumably, to maximize his value as a free agent heading into the 2014-15 season.

We knew all that coming in. Let me repeat: we knew this already. But, like finding a lost puppy in the woods and feeding him, it’s now hard to think of parting company from him. We want to keep Grabo forever and ever and dress him up in cute outfits.

Washington Capitals’ senior writer Mike Vogel broached the whole re-signing thing to Grabovski on Sunday. The Belarusian’s answer was telling.

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Just like Washington’s last visit to Philly, Tuesday’s Caps-Flyers game was ugly. While the matchup on November 1st took a turn for the worst after some Flyers shenanigans, this time it was all on the Caps — specifically Tom Wilson and his charge on Brayden Schenn in the second period. Wilson got a five-minute major and a game misconduct for his troubles. While I think the hit was unnecessary, Wilson never left his feet. If the hit occurred at open ice, it likely would have gone uncalled. Nevertheless, it didn’t. Wilson will be receiving a call from Brendan Shanahan and will probably be sent to the press box for a few games.

There’s a lot of condemnation for Wilson going around, but Adam Oates is having none of it. He’s sticking up for his player.

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Every Saturday night, Hockey Night In Canada’s Ron MacLean does his best to steer crazy old man Don Cherry though Coach’s Corner without incident. While MacLean doesn’t have much time to share his opinions during those segments, he had a whole bunch of time on Thursday when speaking to Rob Pizzo and Cassie Campbell on HNIC Radio.

MacLean spent most of his fourteen minutes talking about the firing of Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster, but with Alex Ovechkin‘s magical four-goal game in the recent past, MacLean had to share his feelings about the reigning MVP. Maybe you’d think with Ovechkin scoring 26 goals in 29 games, changing positions, and completely reinvigorating his game, MacLean would appreciate Ovechkin’s progress as a player.

You would be wrong.

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Cooper’s got a bad case of teh sadz. (Photo credit: Geoff Burke)

It has be frustrating as an NHL head coach to watch your team self-destruct as an opponent, one of the best players in the world, scores goals seemingly at will.

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper was in that position on Tuesday– on the other side of one of Alex Ovechkin‘s very best games.

With a calm demeanor, Cooper stood in the bowels of Verizon Center afterwards and explained to the media what his players did wrong.

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Mikhail Grabovski Explains His Shootout Goal

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Photo credit: John Minchillo

Late in the second period of Sunday’s game, Washington Capitals center Mikhail Grabovski earned a penalty shot after getting hooked by Ryan McDonagh on a breakaway. Instead of getting fancy with New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, Grabo raised up his stick towards the Madison Square Garden roof and fired a slap shot into the top corner of the net.

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don-cherry

Canadian icon/rambling old guy Don Cherry is in the news again and he hasn’t had the best week. Rogers bought the NHL’s Canadian television rights and journalists are speculating that Cherry’s role on TV could be limited in the future.

But the show must go on. Saturday night, Cherry taped another Coach’s Corner segment with Ron MacLean. Cherry addressed the Rogers situation while also spending 48 seconds oohing and ahhing about how Alex Ovechkin tapes up sticks. Yes, seriously. He wants Canadian kids to tape up their sticks just like Russian-born, three-time MVP. Did we mention Russian-born? Someone please check if Don is okay.

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alzner and neuvy - Patrick McDermott

Photo: Patrick McDermott

Capitals defender and everyone’s imaginary best friend forever Karl Alzner appeared on the Marek vs Wyshysnki podcast on Thursday to talk about all sorts of inane and fun things. He was his typical charming self and RMNB got name-dropped, so obviously we’re all over this.

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Photo credit: Derek Leung

The Washington Capitals gave up three goals to the Calgary Flames in the first period on Saturday night. With his team on the verge of a total collapse, head coach Adam Oates pulled Braden Holtby from net, looking to change the game’s momentum. We thought at the time that the Holtbeast did not handle it well.

Holtby skated over, lifted up his mask, and began hurling profanities towards the bench. Later, when we saw a second angle on CBC’s After Hours, Caps defense coach Calle Johansson seemed very interested in what Holtby was saying.

Wednesday, on DC101′s Elliot In the Morning, Caps forward Jason Chimera was asked about the blow-up during an interview with the popular radio host.

In an honest response, The Ice Cheetah explained that Holtby was trying to fire up the team. Chimera even intimated some of what Holtby said when he came to the bench.

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adam-oates

Washington Capitals head coach Adam Oates had a long, insightful interview with CBC’s After Hours’ Scott Oake and Kelly Hrudey following the Caps’ 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames. Oates could have been a big curmudgeon after his team’s embarrassing loss on Hockey Night In Canada. Instead, he was open, honest, and he gave insight into his long playing career and the way he coaches his players.

If I had unlimited time with Capitals players, this is exactly the type of interview I’d want to conduct. Maybe with a few more jokes.

Oates talks in detail about Ovechkin’s renaissance under his tutelage. He defends Braden Holtby‘s angry shouting at the bench after being pulled. He defends his comments about Tomas Hertl‘s “disrespectful” between-the-legs goal. He shares a humorous story from his Caps playing days about he and Calle Johansson‘s beef at practices. He even gets asked about his resemblance to actor Ray Liotta.

It’s an amazing interview. Since I have no regard to my own health or actually sleeping, I transcribed this whole mamma jamma for you. Check it out below and buy a t-shirt or something to repay me.

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Brouwer not happy.

Washington Capitals forward Troy Brouwer was disgusted after the team’s 5-1 shellacking to the Colorado Avalanche. The Capitals have lost four of their first five games and if you ask Brouwer, the losing has nothing to do with the team’s talent level. Brouwer thinks it has everything to do with the team not working hard enough.

“We’re going to be be hard-pressed to make the playoffs if we continue on the path we’re on now,” a calm but frustrated Brouwer said to Monumental Network. “I think playoffs should be the furthest thing from our minds as of right now.”

Below are his full comments to the press.

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