mike-babcock

After the Capitals’ 4-2 loss to the Red Wings Wednesday, Pierre McGuire spoke to Detroit head coach Mike Babcock during NBCSN’s post-game show. There was one response from the Stanley Cup-winning bench boss that was particularly interesting to me. Babcock was asked about his long history with Barry Trotz in the Western Conference and if that gave him any insight into the game.

Babcock, considered to be one of the best coaches in the league, instead went out of his way to praise how good of a coach he thinks Trotz is.

He also briefly gushed about Andre Burakovsky, once Pierre told him what his name was.

This seemed really genuine to me, so I had to share.

Continue Reading

mike-green-on-top-of-the-world

It’s Mike Green’s world and we’re all just living in it.

On Tuesday morning, Hockey Night In Canada’s Elliotte Friedman published his latest 30 Thoughts column. The article mostly focused on Randy Carlyle’s hairy situation in Toronto, but it also featured six juicy tidbits of information on the Capitals.

Continue Reading

Photo: Amanda Bowen

This morning at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, Barry Trotz took a hammer to the lines that have been so successful in the early part of the season. Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom have been split up. The team’s second line, consisting of Marcus Johansson, Andre Burakovsky, and Troy Brouwer, has been blown to smithereens as well.

The Capitals also made a roster move this morning, recalling Tom Wilson from AHL Hershey and demoting Chris Brown. Brooks Laich, who suffered what appeared to be a shoulder injury last week, did not skate with the team and will not play Wednesday. Trotz believes Laich may practice later in the week. Come on, baked goods, I thought you had magical healing powers!

Continue Reading

Photo: Amanda Bowen

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.

During the preseason, Barry Trotz said that he prefers to keep forwards in pairs when shuffling lines. So far, that has proven to be the case. The Caps’ four persistent pairs through the first five games have been Ovechkin-Backstrom, Burakovsky-Johansson, Ward-Chimera, and Kuznetsov-O’Brien.

There’s a lot of noise in the numbers this early in the season, but with that disclaimer, a look at Trotz’s deployment so far shows many things we’d expect and some things we wouldn’t. But the biggest story is that the Caps fourth line is struggling, and Barry Trotz clearly doesn’t trust them.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

CapsPractice_02

Photos: Amanda Bowen

The Washington Capitals are 3-0-2 and are tied for first in the dumbly-named Metropolitan Division. It’s a good time to be a Capitals fan, which is why now is a good time to share these photos Amanda Bowen took at Wednesday’s practice.

Ovi: keep listening to Barry; he knows what’s up.

Continue Reading

barry-trotz-brouwer-rangers

Photo: @BrouwerRangers

We are told they did indeed get a high-five though!

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

mike-green-goal

Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green missed opening night, still healing up from an upper-body injury. Green made his debut in Boston on Saturday and scored on a beautiful one-timer from the point.

The goal was made possible by Russian rookie Evgeny Kuznetsov, playing in Nicklas Backstrom’s spot on the second power play unit, who found Green with a perfect pass from across the ice.

Look at this.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

Head Coach Barry Trotz is Actually the Devil (Photo)

barry-trotz-devil

Photo: @frankgindc

After the Capitals lost 2-1 in the shootout to the Montreal Canadiens, head coach Barry Trotz spoke to the media about– GAH!!!

Not satisfied with being bench boss, Barry has become the actual devil, evidenced by this photo and Kuznetsov’s ice time. Now begins a long, 82-game journey to h-e-double hockey sticks.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

CapsTrainingCampDay2 (2 of 10)

Photo: Chris Gordon

Recent years in Caps-land have been chaotic, but there’s always been something you can rely on: everybody having a different opinion on how Alex Ovechkin can improve. You’d think the sixth fastest player to 400 goals is maybe doing alright, but for the media and the revolving door of Caps coaches, “fixing” Ovechkin is always all the rage.

Dale Hunter wanted Ovechkin to sacrifice his body and block shots, Adam Oates wanted The Great Eight to play with fourth-liners, and Bruce Boudreau wanted Ovi to push the pace and look for odd-man breaks.

Now it’s Barry Trotz’s turn.

When asked if he’s noticed “subtle” changes in Ovi’s play during the preseason, the new Caps coach spoke about what he’s wanted the Russian machine to improve on: defense.

Here’s the key quote: “His stick was up around his shoulders at the start of camp and now it’s below the waist. We’ll get it right on the ice before too long.”

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

Six Capitals Predictions to Warm Your Heart

The Caps last played meaningful hockey on April 13th. Here’s what I wrote in that game recap:

…this is the end of this. Whatever’s next, it won’t ever feel like this again. The roster, the coaches, the front office– the sword of Damocles looms above them all. A shining new era is tip-toeing nearer.

And then everything changed. New coach, new system, new GM, new defense, new forwards, and I think I saw a few new gray hairs on Ovi’s head. The tumult of the last six months has been discomforting for some, but I’m excited.

I bet I can get you excited too. Lemme try.

Continue Reading

Tagged with: