nicklas-backstrom-andre-burakovsky

Photo: Geoff Burke

On Friday, the Washington Capitals got back to business, holding a practice at Calgary’s old Olympic stomping grounds. After the hour-long session was concluded, Nicklas Backstrom spoke to the media and was asked about Caps rookie Andre Burakovsky.

Through six games this season, the Burracuda is a point-per-game player, tallying six points and scoring two big goals. When Backstrom first began his North American career with the Caps, he tallied four points – all assists – in six games as a 19-year-old.

Nicky was asked about how he would compare himself to Andre at that age and it’s great stuff.

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wilson-latta-fight

Tom Wilson‘s broken ankle has finally heeled (get it? boo). Tonight he will play in his first game of the 2014-15 season… with the Hershey Bears. Wilson was re-assigned to the AHL earlier this week.

It’s unknown how Wilson will play in Barry Trotz’s new system, but there’s one thing I’m confident of: he still knows how to face-punch good.

Proof: Last week, RMNB’s Amanda Bowen caught John Stamos’s brother-from-another-mother participating in a fake scrap with Michael Latta.

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Breaking Down Jeff Schultz’s Plus-50 Season

Editor’s note: Pat Holden has written about Caps hockey over at Brooks Laichyear since 2012. We’ve asked him to pitch in here at RMNB to smarten us up a bit. Please give Pat a warm welcome. Follow him on Twitter.

This isn’t a post about plus-minus or debating its merits. I don’t like it and neither should you, but that’s not my purpose here. You can love plus-minus and still read this post without becoming enraged. Probably.

Jeff Schultz‘s plus-50 in 2009-10 was the highest rating we’ve seen since Peter Forsberg in 2003. When Caps fans or hockey fans in general make fun of plus-minus, Schultz’s name is almost always invoked. Even Ovechkin did it.

But we don’t often look too closely at Schultz’s 2009-10 season. It was uncommon and– most importantly– really, really lucky. Below is a player usage chart for the Caps defense from that season that will serve as the foundation for examining Schultz’s season.

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capitals-weagle-prototype-jersey

Photo: Icethetics

On June 22, 2007, Ted Leonsis unveiled new uniforms for the Washington Capitals. The team dumped their five-starred eagle and Capitol Dome logos and returned to their original red, white, and blue color scheme.

During that faithful day, the team also unveiled two new marks, including a secondary logo which would be nicknamed by Capitals fans as the Weagle (an eagle that had a W shape with a subtractive silhouette of the Capitol Dome on the bottom).

On Thursday night, Icethetics noticed an interesting jersey up for auction on eBay. The user manonthemoon12345 described the sweater as a “rare authentic” Washington Capitals prototype jersey. On the tag, it’s dated November 16, 2005 and there is a note that this is a second of six versions of the jersey.

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ovechkin-pants-curling

RIP (Photo: @WashCaps)

Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz might have given his players the day off Thursday, but everyone ended up on the ice anyways. The Caps held what I can only describe as an “intense team building event” at the Calgary Curling Club and I’m sad to report there was one casualty: Alex Ovechkin‘s pants. Let us have a moment of silence for #OviPants.

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holtby-lavender-goalie-mask

Photo: Washington Capitals

This Wednesday against the Detroit Red Wings, the Washington Capitals will be holding Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night. Caps players will wear purple jerseys during warm-ups while both goaltenders, Braden Holtby and Justin Peters, will be wearing lavender-colored masks throughout the game. How cool is that?

The jerseys will then be autographed and auctioned on the main concourse during the game. Also notable and adorable, eleven-year-old Ryan Darby from Make-A-Wish will participate in a ceremonial puck drop. Hopefully, he throws Henrik Zetterberg out of the dot like Braden Nienaber did with Steve Ott last year.

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ovi-through-legs

Four minutes into the third period, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin nearly tied the game with a brilliant individual effort. After getting a perfect pass from Troy Brouwer, Ovechkin churned his legs and went solo against Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz.

Schultz had plenty of space and read Ovi perfectly– at least at first. But when you reach with your stick against one of the greats instead of taking the body, you might get burned.

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Oilers beat Caps 3-2, First Regulation Loss, No Big

carlson-horns

Photo: Andy Devlin

It’s too early in the season for late-night hockey, but okay, Thursday’s productivity be damned, let’s do this.

The Washington Capitals went into Edmonton with hopes of starting a perfect road trip, but a couple mistakes marred an otherwise solid game.

Justin Schultz scored about seven minutes in, directing Teddy Purcell’s clever shot behind Braden Holtby. The Caps tied it up with John Carlson’s power-play one-timer.

Mike Green scored a gorgeous one early in the second period, but a whiff by Ovechkin set Ryan Nugent-Hopkins loose to tie it up just twenty second later. With Jason Chimera in the box, Nikita Nikitin got one past a screened Braden Holtby to give the Oilers the lead.

The Caps fired furiously in the third, but couldn’t beat Ben Scrivens.

Oilers beat Caps 3-2. That’s the Caps’ first regulation loss.

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ovechkin-celebrates

We always hear criticism about Alex Ovechkin‘s leadership, which is why I bring your attention to this post. Early in the second period, Caps defenseman Mike Green scored a goal on a beauty of a wrist shot, his third goal in five games.

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