Last week, Alex Ovechkin tallied 1,000 points. Our most-read post of that day was not the one detailing Ovi’s milestone. Instead it was our article entitled Why the Penguins didn’t salute Alex Ovechkin for his 1,000th point.
The post pointed out that the Penguins ignored the milestone, choosing not to stick-tap or acknowledge the hockey legend in any way. The next day, ESPN’s Around The Horn picked up our post and discussed it on national TV.
Many of you have reached out to us see the full segment. ESPN was kind enough to send us the full video.
Although the Caps won 5-0 against the Flyers in a matinee on Sunday, John Carlson had every reason to be bummed after the nationally-televised game. He suffered a lower-body injury and left after the first period, missing all of the goals that his teammates scored in quick succession.
Despite this, I’m sure he had the biggest smile on his face after this adorable greeting from his son Lucca in the belly of Verizon Center.
But I would be remiss if I didn’t reflect on RMNB’s past year. Two and a half million people visited our hockey site during the calendar year, registering 12 million pageviews. We exclusively released Alex Ovechkin’s Papa John’s commercial, raising a good deal of cash in the process for Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic. And through our first ever hockey tournament, RMNB raised nearly $9,000 to get Caps fan Ryan Ellis into the XFINITY race at Dover. RMNB was the primary sponsor of a NASCAR. This is crazy stuff I could have never dreamed of accomplishing as a kid.
RMNB also threw parties. We redesigned RMNB and our merch store, making both responsive. (That was important because 61% of our traffic is now mobile.) We recommitted ourselves to our Instagram page, adding nearly 10 thousand users over the past year. Our Twitter account is now approaching 30 thousand followers and our Facebook page has 26 thousand.
I figured the best way to say thank you is to let you inside the hood of the site. Here are our 16 most-read articles of the year.
The Capitals billed their December 23 matchup as a holiday party. Man, was it a fun one. John Carlson got on the board 55 seconds into the game only to net another goal 15 minutes later. In the second, Alex Ovechkin put on his fancy pants and scored his 15th goal of the season and the 540th goal of his career. Marcus Johansson continued his great season with another breakaway tally in the third. Great times. Caps blank Bolts, 4-0.
Saturday night’s game between the Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals was billed as a sparkling goaltending matchup, featuring Vezina Trophy winner Carey Price for the Habs and Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby for the Caps. Unfortunately for Washington, Price sat idle in his net for large stretches of the game. The Capitals managed just 21 shots on goal in 60 minutes of play, losing 2-1 in regulation.
“We were close enough to get a point, but not good enough to win a hockey game,” head coach Barry Trotz told reporters after the game. The loss ended Washington’s six-game winning streak. The Capitals had scored at least three goals in each of those wins.
On Saturday morning, as the roads piled up with cars driven by Washingtonians befuddled by winter, the Capitals jumbled their roster, calling up Zach Sanford from the AHL.
Sanford started the season with the Caps, playing 19 games. After only registering one point in NHL, he was sent down to the minors at the end of November. In just six games with the Bears, Sanford scored four goals (including his first professional marker) and had three assists, earning his call up back to the Caps.
“It was good for me,” Sanford said of his time in Hershey, which was his first experience in the AHL after signing with Washington out of college. “I thought I went in with a good mindset. I was going to work as hard as I could and not be pissed off about anything. It turned out well for me.”
From new shirts to our limited edition ugly sweater, there are a lot of RMNB items that would be make great Christmas presents this holiday season. But the greatest stocking stuffer may very well be what I show you next.
The NHL has up for sale not one, but two (!!) Alex Ovechkin signed pucks. But here’s the twist. Ovechkin has included an inscription of RMNB (Russian Machine Never Breaks).
Columbus head coach and NHL person most likely to self-describe as “deplorable” John Tortorella is in the news today.
First, he completely and instantly rehabilitated his gruff public image through a Q&A session with Kristina Rutherford of Sportsnet. Here’s how the interview ends:
JT This is the last question for you, Kristina. Out of the game, I’m private. So we’re done.
KR We’re done?
JT We’re done.
KR All right, well I’ve really enjoyed talking to you.
JT I’m not trying to be rude but I have to catch a plane.
Boom. Problem solved.
Then the consensus greatest coach in the league owned all you effete, latte-swilling, stat-loving nerds.
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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