We at the Machine love dedicated fans who make stuff. Andrew Bowser, Michael Eller, Pedro Gonzalez & Pat Wood have created this fantastic video to bear tribute to what-we-consider-D.C.’s-only-remaining sports team.
Name-dropping galore and some great cameos by GMGM, Brooks, Matt, Nicky, and Mike! I personally think some time should have been spent discussing Chris Simon and the mortal-freaking-terror he evoked during his couple of seasons with the Caps. Either way, ain’t nothing wrong with trashing the Penguins in verse, especially since they’re currently beating our team 5-3 (in consecutive losses). Congrats to the filmmakers for terrific work.
Happy Monday, Caps fans!
For the elitist few of you who have the NHL Network (the Russian Machine hates you and your fancy Cable options), you’ve had the opportunity to watch the WJC, or the World Junior Hockey Championships. It’s basically an annual event organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) which showcases some of the best under-20 players from around the world.
Our beloved Washington Capitals are lucky enough to have 4 players representing them in the tournament this year. The prestigious list includes awesome 2008 First Round Draft Pick John Carlson (USA), 2008 7th Round Draft Pick and Japers Rink favorite Stefan Della Rovere (Canada), 2009 First Round Pick Marcus Johannson (Sweeden), and this post’s namesake 2009 Second Round Draft Pick Dmitri Orlov.
Despite the fact our dear Ruskies were upset in OT by Switzerland 3-2 in the Quarter-Finals Saturday afternoon and were eliminated, we figured it was as good a time as any to ask our resident Translator & Moscow native Fedor Fedin to dig up some information on the relatively unknown 18 year old Orlov. Here’s what he found out:
The Russian Machine doesn’t have much to say about the Capitals 2-1 loss the Los Angeles Kings today. It was crap. In fact, we felt this photo of Mike Green pretty much summed it up.
The Caps once again, came out in the first period with absolutely no push. To that effect, they’ve been out scored 6-0 in their past three first periods and out-shot 35-11. (Thanks Capitals Insider)
We want to take the easy road and say “Man, with Chris Clark and Milan Jurcina gone, this team is in absolute disarray. They’ve lost three straight games.” But you’ve got to look deeper than that. If you go by that logic, then the Hershey Bears are 10-1 in their last 11 because they brought Chris Bourque back . The problem is the secondary scoring for this team has been absolutely nonexistent lately and the team has not been playing a full 60 minutes at their level. The lack of intensity from anyone other than the Young Guns is troubling. And honestly, Jason Chimera seems to still be trying to find himself in Bruce Boudreau’s system.
The Capitals look like they’re a step slow. They’re losing battles. And with this being one of the NHL’s most skilled teams, we figure this is a tall-tale sign of either a team losing its focus or is in general tired. Someone needs to start banging into some bodies and create some space for others.
We hope with two home games on the slate this week, the Caps will bear down and play better in front of their own fans. And The Russian Machine Will Even Offer A Bold Prediction: We will be excited to see who will be named Captain in the coming days (Alex Ovechkin For Kapitan!!!) and receive the instant gratification of refocusing the team after soundly defeating the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday Night. Okay guys, make it happen!
If you were like me today, you spent your New Year’s the only way you know how, by watching hockey and drinking like you were 18 again. Yes, the NHL’s Third Annual Winter Classic was showcased today by our friends at NBC (we never forget Milbury), this time at Boston’s Legendary Fenway Park. The Philadelphia Flyers (and their
fat and overweight dirty cheese-steak eating fans) made the trip up I-95 to play the Boston Bruins in a game for the ages that maybe had 8 good minutes of hockey.
What was the best part of the Winter Classic you ask? Well, beyond James Taylor’s stunning rendition of the National Anthem, it was definitely the debut of two commercials featuring prominent Capitals players. Mike Green made his acting debut and appeared in the Geico Commericial shown above (via gfcaps fan on japers), and Alex Ovechkin, Niklas Backstrom and cleverly edited extras wearing the #52 and #21 were in a Verizon Wireless Commercial shown here. Awesome.
I asked Peter, one of our lead writers, which commericial he liked best:
“The Washington Capitals’ invitation to the Winter Classic might have been lost in the mail, but the boys crashed it anyway. There’s the elegiac Verizon Wireless commercial that most everyone fawned over, but I really prefer Mike Green’s GEICO spot.
See, this commercial has everything I love. For starters, there’s Canada’s best defenseman, Mike Green. Plus those stupid cavemen get that institutional racism played out against them once more. Hijinx! Granted, I think GreenLife52 could benefit from a bit of the Stanislavsky method, but I still love this. NBC says we can’t be on a national hockey game? Listen up, Costas. Money talks.”
But see, I think he – like many other Capitals fans – were just wildly excited to see our players in commercials in general. And yeah, man. That’s sweet. I’m pumped too. We’re finally getting the recognition we deserve. But if you really watch the Geico Commercial and are looking at it from a fresh perspective, you notice that the Mike Green shown in this clip has about as much personality as a bag of potatoes. Okay, okay, I’m being too hard on him. He had as much personality as that creepy stack of money with the googley eyes.
Though, to be fair, his acting was 180 times better than whoever played the Geico Caveman.
But what do you guys think? Was Greener’s first commercial a huge success or a total letdown? Let us know and vote below:
[Editor’s note: Brandon Oland is currently the Features Writer at the Carroll County Times. He has worked for the Frederick News Post’s Sports Section, Interned at the USA Today & has written for The UMD’s Diamondback]
During my freshman year at the University of Maryland, I shared a dorm room with Corey Masisak.
Turns out we had a lot in common. We wanted to be sports journalists. We wanted to work at the college newspaper. While many of our freshman cohorts were partying it up, Corey and I made it a priority to get the attention of editors at The Diamondback, the daily newspaper on campus.
Corey was a success from day one. He served as The Diamondback’s sports editor and football and basketball beat writer. He earned the respect of many and landed a job at The Washington Times after he graduated. He worked his way up to Capitals beat writer and did a tremendous job covering the team.
He tirelessly wrote stories for the print product. He kept up a useful blog I checked several times a week. He did everything asked of him, yet it wasn’t enough.
The Washington Times announced mass layoffs Thursday. I’m assuming Corey was one of them. SportsJournalists.com is reporting the entire sports staff got axed as The Washington Times tries to reinvent itself without a sports section.
The demise of The Washington Times sports section is not a surprise. After Monday night’s game, Bruce Boudreau addressed Corey’s fate at the end of his press conference:
“Corey, if this is your last game, I’d like to thank you for everything you’ve done in the covering of our team for the last couple of years,” Boudreau said, according to The Washington Post.
I’m absolutely devastated for Corey. He loves sports journalism. He is passionate about hockey. I’ve seen far too many former coworkers and classmates lose their jobs in the last 18 months as the contracting print journalism industry sheds incredibly talented people.
Best of luck to Corey and all those affected.
The late start (10pm) of tonight’s west-coast game may preclude any recap before today becomes tomorrow, so the boys and I decided to lower your expectations in advance.
The Caps got smacked pretty good by the Hurricanes on Monday night. The boys looked lazy and disjointed. It’s been a tumultuous week on and off the ice, so we’re going to rattle off a bunch of excuses in case the team somehow manages to lose to the best team in the NHL, the San Jose Sharks.
Goalie drama. Tarik El-Bashir, Washington’s only remaining hockey-beat reporter, assures us that Little Mikey Neuvirth will start in goal this evening. His backup, Jose Theodore, is 10 years his senior. Theodore racked up a career-best 41 saves just two months ago, but has since been uneven in goal. Bruce Boudreau may now lack confidence in the netminder. I’d be dubious, too, as the guy was once hooking up with Paris Hilton. It doesn’t help that Semyon Varlamov has recovered from some early season miscues and revealed himself as an Olympic-level keeper. Once Varly returns from Hershey and his bout with crotch rot, we may have one of those classic sitcom scenarios on our hands.
Today we learned that Mike Green was not selected for Canada’s Olympic hockey team. This is only the latest in a long line of poor decisions for Canada (giving Alanis Morissette a microphone, slicing bacon too thick, letting Michael J. Fox leave the country), and one they will likely regret. The guy is the number-one scoring defenseman in the league right now. I mean– what else could Team Canada possibly want in a defender other than goal-scoring? Russian Machine worries for Greenie’s bruised ego, and has begun a Twitter campaign to make him feel better and also invade Canada.
Boyd Gordon isn’t playing tonight. Stop the f$#&ing presses.
Jason Chimera will be joining the Caps lineup this evening. The left winger from Columbus is expected to join the second line, perhaps taking (Olympian) Tomas Fleischman’s spot as he moves to center. Will the lineup and personnel shake-ups bring chaos to the team tonight? Will Chimera be welcomed into the team with open arms? Will Al Koken pronounce his name wrong? We can guarantee only that one of the questions will be answered, “yes.”
Alexander Semin left the ice mid-shift on Monday complaining of an injury. He later returned to the ice, but not before raising some questions about his wellbeing. Russian Machine has a vested interest in the Siberian kicking ass. We were willing to let it slide that he refuses to learn the language, but only so long as he plays games and handles the puck he’s freaking Legolas out there. If Alexander has re-injured his wrist, Russian Machine will demand he refund a portion his 6-million dollar contract extension — paid to us. We will accept payment in Green Turtle pub fries.
Lastly, the Caps are playing a team with a five-game winning streak. For contrast, the boys are on a zero-game winning streak. We lost — badly I might add — to the Carolina Hurricanes. That’s not quite as bad as the Harlem Globetrotters losing to the Atlantic City Seagulls, but it’s still pretty bad. If the Sharks manage to outscore the Caps tonight, blame it on momentum.
We’re now three hours out from tonight’s first puck drop. You have the option of bucking up, quixotically rooting for a win; or you can be like me and dispense with that pollyanna nonse: drink yourself into the last, glorious stupor of 2009 whilst the Caps get the Caps beat out of ’em.
The Washington Capitals made a trade this week, picking up Jason Chimera from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Chris Clark and Milan Jurcina. Given that I spent all weekend putting together a spreadsheet trying to approximate the Goals Versus Threshold that Puck Prospectus uses to give an idea of a player’s contributions, I thought it would be a good time to put it to use. I wasn’t able to match their GVT exactly, but I got close enough to make the thing potentially viable.
First, on what GVT is:
“To explain in terms already familiar to sports statisticians, GVT is very similar to VORP in baseball: it is the value of a player, in goals, above what a replacement player would have contributed. The fact that GVT is measured in goals is crucial: statistics that divide up “Win Shares”, so that the ratings of a team’s players sum to that team’s number of wins, are very erratic and non-linear, since wins don’t increase or decrease linearly with team caliber. While hockey is ultimately about winning or losing, players’ contributions always come down to scoring goals and preventing them. A player cannot “win” a game, even though he may be put in a situation where scoring a goal or making a key save would create or conserve a win. Each player’s role, no matter his position, is to try and increase the goal differential in favor of his team. An offensive player who scores a hat trick only to see his teammates allow 4 goals against has nevertheless done his job; a goaltender who stops 39 of 40 shots only to lose 1-0 has likewise performed well. Using this standard, all players can be compared by the same yardstick: how much did they help (or harm) their team’s goal differential?…
GVT does not measure a player’s talent. The statistic measures a player’s contribution to his team’s goal differential. A goaltender that faces zero shots will have a value of zero, regardless of whether he is Patrick Roy or Andrew Raycroft. Likewise, a player that is injured or gets little ice time will see his GVT reduced accordingly. It also does not take into account environment: a player will score more with better linemates, and I make no attempt to adjust for that…
GVT does not measure intangibles. Things like leadership do exist in hockey, and they do help to make your teammates better. However, there is no way to measure this through statistics, and any attempt to quantify it is futile. In effect, we are not trying to see what information is “hidden” in the statistics; we are simply trying to better characterize the information that is at hand”
Alright, on to the trade!
Week two of The Frost King’s Webhits – out of 156* – has links looking at how well the Capitals’ goalies perform on the penalty kill, the diversified scoring of Washington’s forwards, which players excelled at scoring in the past decade, whether defense still wins championships, and a discussion about reforming the shootout system. Enjoy!
* My contract apparently goes through the end of time, which latest info says will be December 21st, 2012. Plan to start (and finish) your Christmas shopping a little early that year!
Gah! On pixel this looked like an easy match up. The Caps, second in the NHL and well atop the Southeast, should be able to lay down the smack on the last-place Canes for the third time this season. That sure as hell did not happen– as the Canes bested the Caps 6-3 and handed the home team their first loss inside the division all season. You could blame it on the distractions from today’s trade, a consistently incompetent defensive squad, or Jose Theodore’s top-heavy prettiness:goalstopping ratio; but the Caps got beat all around the phone booth tonight.
In a somber mood and somewhat nauseated from hot wings, let’s break it down:
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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