jakub-vrana

Back in early July, Washington Capitals first round pick Jakub Vrana displayed his sick hands during Development Camp. The 18-year-old Czech had the most talked about play of the week, scoring during a scrimmage with a wild shootout move. In an interview with RMNB after camp concluded, Vrana said that the move was spur of the moment, something he thought of as he skated in towards the goalie.

On Thursday, Vrana, playing with the Czech Republic as part of the National Junior Team Summer Development Camp, tried again to get super creative against Canada. After taking a pass behind the net, Vrana attempted to scoop the puck up with his stick blade and score like a lacrosse player.

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grabo

The “Ice Bucket Challenge” was started by ALS patients Pete Frates and Pat Quinn to raise money and awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). It goes like this: you post a video of you dumping ice water over your head, then you challenge three of your friends to do the same. The promotion has led to a surge of money to fight the disease. Recently, guy that I totally hate but not in this instance, Sidney Crosby, completed the challenge.

Sunday evening, New York Islanders teammates and total besties, Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski, took the Ice Bucket challenge. It was the funniest one I’ve seen so far.

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caps-shorthanded-goal

Photo: Patrick Smith

The Washington Capitals had one of the best power plays in the league last season. They scored 68 goals on 278 opportunities for a 23.4 percent conversion rate, just behind Pittsburgh. They fired 85.8 unblocked shot attempts per 60 minutes on the PP, just behind San Jose. The Caps power play was deadly, but it was not perfect.

The Caps allowed ten shorthanded goals, the fourth highest total in the league. Alex Ovechkin, who played 93.2 percent of the Caps power play, fittingly, was on ice for 9 of those 10– sending his plus-minus, which is dumb and so is your face, down even further.

When we talk about things we want for the 2014-15 Capitals, ‘continued success on the power play’ is always part of it. But the Capitals should also look into what went wrong while playing a man up. Because it’s summer, and because I was worried that story about optimism might have made you unacceptably chipper, here’s a dour collection of 2013-14′s shorthanded goals and an assessment of who was to blame for each. Let’s party.

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evgeny-kuznetsov-semyon-varlamov

Photo: @kuzy092

Saturday night, Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov drove up to Atlantic City to watch the WBO light heavyweight champion of the world, Sergey “The Krusher” Kovalev, box Blake Caparello. Kovalev hails from Chelyabinsk, Russia, Kuznetsov’s hometown, and won via a vicious TKO in round two.

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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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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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Jakub Vrana Scores Sick Shootout Goal (GIF)

He’s good. He knows it. (Photo: Chris Gordon)

When the Washington Capitals drafted Jakub Vrana with the 13th overall pick, many wondered if the Caps were reaching. Vrana, the U18 World Championship’s best scorer, was called selfish by some scouts. Others said his play away from the puck could use some work.

After tonight, we know one thing for sure: the Czech has a sick pair of hands.

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elliot-antonetti-autograph-the-beard

Photo: @ajkais13

Earlier this week, Fedor wrote an article on Caps Development Camp invitee Eliot Antonietti. We highlighted the fact that Antonietti is a defenseman, Swiss, and really, really tall. Pretty tame stuff if you ask me.

The post instantly became one of our most read articles of the entire offseason, linked on both Puck Daddy and Reddit. Some are now calling Antonietti The Swiss Chara because of his massive height, while others, such as RMNB reader AJ Kaiser, are more fascinated with his majestic beard.

On Tuesday, Kaiser went to Development Camp and something special happened.

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Vrana (5 of 5)

Photos by Chris Gordon

At last year’s development camp, Andre Burakovsky was the resident adorable European, talking about eating “cinnamon rollers” and Tom Wilson making him peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. This year’s first-round pick, Jakub Vrana, has high expectations to live up to. He’s doing well so far.

“Okay, let’s get this out of the way: Is it Jakub or Jacob?” CSN’s Chuck Gormley asked as Varna stepped to the podium, trying to rectify the duel names Vrana is known by. “What do you prefer?”

“You can choose,” Vrana responded sheepishly. “Your choice. … Call me whatever you want.”

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ovi-judge-miss-moscow

Photo: ITAR-TASS

On Thursday night, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin returned to the spotlight for the first time since he accepted his fourth Rocket Richard Trophy in Las Vegas. The re-emergence was for good reason.

Ovechkin was the head judge of Miss Moscow 2014. (Hall of famer Pavel Bure was on the panel too.)

“In my opinion everything went very well, very lovely,” Ovechkin said to TV reporter Ivan Obydenkov. “For us, the judges on the panel, it was one hundred percent clear who the winner was.”

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