The Washington Capitals revealed Braden Holtby‘s new mask for the Winter Classic and it is awesome. Adorned with the classic Caps logo, the new bucket features an illustration of Uncle Sam that once was on a vintage Olie Kolzig mask.

In his own words, Holtby coyly states that the design is “a little tribute to a pretty good Capitals goalie from the past.”

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Photo: @WashCaps

This morning, Washington Capitals skaters practiced in their blue Winter Classic pants, red helmets, and red socks. That’s cool, but take a closer look at Braden Holtby. The Holtbeast wore his custom catching glove, blocker, and pads for the Classic and they are awesome. Also, his new helmet.

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A few weeks ago, I did a feature on Frederick native Amelia Segal, one of NBC 4’s star meteorologists. We learned about her love of hockey and her relationship with the Caps. We learned that she’s a big nerd (I mean this in a loving way).

Now, with the blessings of NBC 4, Ameila will be providing Winter Classic forecasts for us like she’s RMNB’s own Jim Cantore.

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On Wednesday afternoon, ESPN’s Scott Burnside wrote about the “distinct lack of buzz” surrounding this year’s Winter Classic. One contributing factor, at least for me, is the lack of an alumni game. I was really looking forward to watching former enforcer Alan May crush everyone because he’s the only one still in shape.

Last week, Chris Gordon tried to divine the reasons behind the decision. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly has said the late deal between the Nationals and the NHL was a contributing factor. Commissioner Gary Bettman disagreed and gave RMNB something of a non-answer.

Burnside painted a clearer picture. According to him, the Nationals wanted to “minimize the repairs needed to get the field back in baseball shape.”

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In episode one of The Road To The Winter Classic, EPIX brought us into the luxury apartment of Caps forwards Tom Wilson and Michael Latta. It was the best segment of the night– probably because their apartment wasn’t so luxurious as we might have thought.

Not-Liev Schreiber described the design of Wilson and Latta’s bachelor pad as somewhere between “minimalist and utilitarian.” If your ping pong table is also your dinner table, that’s pretty accurate.

“I roast him on it a lot,” Wilson joked.

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You’ve been missed, Ovechkin back tattoos.

Did you guys watch the first episode of Road to the Winter Classic? We did! (If you didn’t, here’s how you can watch it now.)

A lot went down. Teows went to the quiet room, Trotz got in a spat with Devorski, Ovi’s back tattoos came back, and the Caps wiseguys stole the show. Come relive the memories with me and Ian, who almost agree about it.

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The first episode of Epix Presents the Road to the Winter Classic is below.

Hit play and let’s chat in the comments. It’ll be a blast.

Go Caps.

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The Road to the Winter Classic debuts tonight at 10 PM ET on a network called EPIX. You almost certainly don’t have EPIX, so you may have some anxiety about how to watch.

Let us help you.

Because the channel isn’t everywhere (read: anywhere), you can catch free online using a whole bunch of sources. We’re going to try to embed the episode right here on RMNB. But if you want to watch it time-shifted/on demand/whenevs, you’re gonna need a free trial subscription. You should probably do that now.

Now, here’s the skinny.

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With Caps Convention being cancelled this year, a bunch of you have asked about the Capitals’ plans for a fan festival before the Winter Classic. Fifteen days out, we’ve finally learned the details: a fun day outside Nats Park (at the Fairgrounds), packed full of all the brands you’re been clamoring to engage with.

All your favorites will be there. Bridgestone, Geico, Reebok, Honda, MillerCoors, Upper Deck. And completely without irony: the freaking Oscar Mayer Weinermobile will be there!

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NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis during an event last week in Southeast DC. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)

It’s been 40 years since the Capitals first took the ice in the 1974-75 season. The team has been celebrating the occasion incessantly, honoring the franchise’s best players with video tributes that air every night at Verizon Center and when CSN+ doesn’t have anyone in studio for the late game.

Despite the trumpeting of their former players, the Capitals will not be hosting an alumni game prior to the 2015 Winter Classic, which heretofore had been a tradition. According to the NHL, this was a decision made by the Caps. Speaking to Capitals season ticket holders last week, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly suggested one possible reason for the move: the League didn’t agree to a deal with Nationals Park until September.

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