Glorious human being. (Photo credit: Alex Brandon)

On January 1, 2011, Eric Fehr blasted into the offensive zone, along with the puck. He unleashed bullet of a wrist shot off the slushy Heinz Field ice. It was his second goal of the game, the 2011 Winter Classic, cementing him in Capitals history.

On Saturday, Fehr scored twice against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a redux of sorts of his 2011 outdoor game performance. Well, according to everyone but him.

“Not really,” Fehr said when asked by Alex Prewitt if that game brought back any memories. “Different kind of goals and obviously different building.”

Today, however, his goal was close as you could get to 2011: breakaway, unassisted, outdoors, and happy times at the end. Nevertheless, Fehr stuck to his talking points, giving nearly the same answer he provided the media Saturday.

“Not really,” Fehr said when asked, once again, if it brought back any memories. “It was a little bit different.”

Still, he was happy.

“It always feels good to score goals, I won’t lie to you,” Fehr, who attributed his play to “some good fresh air,” told me. “The ones in the Winter Classic feel extra special.”

Capitals owner Ted Leonsis saw it coming.

“I walked in today and saw Eric and said ‘You’re our x-factor,” Leonsis told me.

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The Winter Classic Will Start on Time


Take that, Sun Monster! The NHL has announced the Winter Classic will start on time as scheduled.

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Here’s the Capitals’ Winter Classic Team Photo

2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - Practice Day

Photo via Monumental Network.

The Winter Classic is almost here. On Wednesday, the Capitals skated on the Nationals Park ice for the first time, practicing for almost an hour before taking to the ice with their friends and families. During the midday practice, they encountered shadows and glare, with some players resorting to unusual measures. But before all that, they gathered together at center ice to take the official Winter Classic team photo, decked out in their full game day attire. It looks splendid.

Here are a couple more shots from the shoot.

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NationalsParkWinterClassic (12 of 13)

(Photos by Chris Gordon)

I rolled out of bed yesterday and headed to Nationals Park. The NHL was letting media members in for one final sneak peek before the Winter Classic festivities get underway on Tuesday. The ice crew finished painting the ice and placing the logos, but what really captured my interest was the crew of men attempting to erect a mini Capitol dome in center field, near where the teams will enter. After showing a few butt cracks and spending 45 minutes, the team finally got the top of the dome placed. It was joyous. It also appears a thing that vaguely looks like the White House will stand alongside the dome, which, it must be noted, does not figure the corrected scaffolding and white sheets surrounding it.

Below, take a look at my photos.

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Barack Obama Will Not Be at the Winter Classic


Back in 2010, we — okay, Ian & Peter — created a campaign to get Barack Obama to a Caps game. It seemed like the type of thing a newly-elected president and rising young team would want to get in on. The White House press secretary at the time, Robert Gibbs, responded to RMNB’s pleas. But as we enter 2015, Washington’s Stanley Cup hopes and Obama approval ratings are low. So are the chances we get to see a presidential hockey game. While Obama has attended Wizards, Nationals, Mystics, and college games, he has heretofore ignored hockey in office. RMNB registered these concerns to the highest levels of government.

“I don’t know what the deal is,” Secretary of State John Kerry told RMNB earlier this year.

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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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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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Photo: Amanda Bowen

For the past year, Washington Capitals season ticket reps have been pushing guaranteed Winter Classic tickets as a main selling point of full- and partial-season plans. Last night, the team has released more information on how exactly that’s going to work.

Plan holders have been offered assigned seats, which they can take or leave. They are not able to pick their own location as has been done in previous Winter Classics. Prices range from $79 to $349 per ticket, plus $19 in fees ($9 for a service and administrative fee and $10 shipping and handling).

Here is the seating chart:

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