Twenty sixteen was a mess. It was swirling chaos in which the things we depend on vanished and in their place came a grim mockery of fairness and equanimity. Appropriate then that the final Caps game of 2016 was refereed by Marc Joannette. The zebraman of the apocalypse tooted his evil whistle early and often, intending to make this the game of his will. The Capitals did not comply.
Andre Burakovsky sent a perfect pass to Brett Connolly to open up scoring, but scoring paused there once John Moore was injured by Tom Wilson. Later, Jay Beagle tapped in a point shot by Brooks Orpik to set a tone of eschatological ruin.
The second period was lousy with penalties. A three-on-three and an errant pass from Kyznetsov gave Kyle Palmieri a chance to score that he did not miss. But then the Caps erupted with three goals in six minutes: Oshie, Ovechkin, and Williams all struck before the second intermission.
Beau Bennett scored for the Devils in the third, but Marcus Johansson responded immediately.
Caps beats Devils 6-2!
RMNB reader and patron Ray B. has proposed the best topic for an essay, so everyone else can take a seat and shut up now.
Ok, so I finally figured out what I want you to write about– Bailamos! I wanna know how this started, why it is important to the Caps, and the importance of Enrique to the Russian Machine.
Tonight we dance. The story of Bailamos is the story of the Capitals’ crisis of confidence, and if you’re wondering if I’m going to take this too seriously, yes, you’re right.
“Red rover, Red rover, send Niskanen over!” (Photo: Rob Carr)
The Washington Capitals looked terrible for the first ten minutes of their home game against the New York Islanders, and no, I won’t blame the turkey. But instead of a lackluster affair, the Caps woke up and played a competitive game against one of the league’s best– a reward for the 18 thousand fans in attendance and the return of my personal Caps anthem below the jump.
The Capitals’ second power-play unit took the ice in the first period thirty seconds before Matt Niskanen unloaded his cannon through traffic to make it 1-0. A glorious snap shot from Marcus Johansson gave the Caps their first 5v5 goal in forever and made it 2-0, but hold on a sec. In the next 66 seconds, the Capitals’ bottom six allowed two goals– one from John Tavares and one from Anders Lee, to neutralize the two-goal lead before the first intermission.
Tom Wilson absorbed a bunch of Isles defenders to open up a seam for Alex Ovechkin to score halfway through the second period.
In the third, Evgeny Kuznetsov feasted upon his second-line spot, scoring at the tail-end of an offensive-zone shift, sliding into the high slot and ripping the puck top shelf. Joel Ward got the empty-netter and there was much rejoicing.
Caps beat Isles 5-2! Bailamos!
News straight out of Arlington: Adam Oates and George McPhee will not return next season.
Oates’ final record with the team: 65 wins, 48 losses, and 17 overtime losses. George McPhee’s Caps advanced past the second round of the playoffs just once, in his first year.
No word on replacements yet. We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, we’ve recorded a video to say goodbye to Oates. It’s worth your time.
In case you weren’t following closely over the summer, we’ve made this short video to get you up to speed on everything you missed. We’ve got comings (Grabo) and goings (Hendricks), changes to the rulebook, realignment, coaching staff changes, an engagement, a baby got Backstrom, and a little bit of Bailamos.
Puck drop is soon, so get ready.
“Bailamos” is about to begin its third season as our official goal celebration song. Let the ruythtyrhthnmn take you over. First person to put this video in the comments of each winning game recap is an extra special person.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.