On Wednesday, the Washington Capitals announced the signing of veteran center Mike Richards to a one-year deal. While Richards is a two-time Stanley Cup champion, the circumstances behind his move to Washington come out of sadness. In June, Richards was arrested at the Canadian border for transporting the opioid OxyCodone without a prescription. Shortly after, the Kings terminated his contract due to a “material breach.” He’s been out of a hockey since.
Friday, Richards practiced with the Capitals for the first time and was welcomed by Caps captain Alex Ovechkin in the most Ovi way possible. According to the Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan, the Russian machine crashed Richards’ press conference. Ovechkin stuck his phone into the scrum of reporters as if he was recording the interview.
Alex Ovechkin has so much joy when he plays hockey. It’s one reason why people root for him. Every time he scores, he celebrates like it’s his first NHL goal. Every time the Caps win, there’s no one happier on the bench or on the ice.
Over the last few years though, Ovechkin has found even more joy celebrating his teammates’ accomplishments. On Wednesday, Ovechkin interrupted Nicklas Backstrom’s press conference to make a special announcement.
You know how when kids are young and cute their parents tell them to “make your mean face” and they scrunch up their little noses and furrow their little brows and everyone goes “aww, how adorable”? Yeah, the Caps made a commercial out of that concept. If you’ve watched them play on CSN Washington this season, you’ve probably seen it.
The commercial begins quietly, with the likes of Andre Burakovsky, John Carlson, and TJ Oshie trying to look serious and intimidating (but mostly appearing as though they’re trying to stifle a laugh). All’s quiet until, as if from the depths of Khazad-dûm, the steady doom-doom of war drums begins. Then the players make their mean faces. In total silence.
Until now. RMNB put its crack investigative team on the case and uncovered the original and totally unaltered cut of the commercial with the full audio intact. Enjoy.
When we first met Nate Schmidt back in 2013, we knew he was weird in a good way. With a GoPro affixed to his head at development camp, Schmidt uttered Minnesotan bon mots like “if you find a turtle on a fence post, you know someone put it there” and “a hundred pounds of dough makes a big biscuit, boys.” I still have no idea what any of that means.
With a regular spot in the line-up this season, Schmidt is getting even more comfortable. And to our benefit, he’s letting out his inner weird more.
Sportsnet recently released a well-produced five-minute video on the Washington Capitals, focusing on how the team has changed under head coach Barry Trotz. In the video, Trotz and star players talk about the broken and fragmented atmosphere left behind by (current Sportsnet analyst) Adam Oates two seasons ago.
“I think it was a big wake up call for a lot of guys who had been here before that we needed to change something in here,” Braden Holtby said. “The happy-go-lucky Caps weren’t going to cut it anymore.”
“[New management] came at the perfect time for us,” continued Holtby. “We had our ultimate lows as an organization.”
Recently the Caps PA announcer was asked to narrate “Twas The Night Before Christmas” for a holiday CD that is being shipped to friends, family, and anyone battling cancer. Johnson donated his time, and the result is brilliant.