Photo: Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey
Saturday night, the Hershey Bears and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (the New York Islanders affiliate) played one of the most entertaining and violent American Hockey League games of the season. The Bears and Sound Tigers combined to score seven goals and earn nearly 200 penalty minutes. The game featured a chaotic line-brawl, a goalie fight, eight ejections, and 12 misconducts.
By now, you’ve probably already seen the video (taken by RMNB alumnus Kyle Mace) of Caps prospects Steve Oleksy, Connor Carrick, Chris Brown, Liam O’Brien, and the Bears’ goalie combatant, Pheonix Copley. By Sunday night, the video had amassed over 130,000 views.
Much like Jay Beagle, I discarded my dearest flipper this season and traded it in for an iPhone 6. On Saturday, I went to the Hershey Bears game and went crazy with its video settings and some attachable camera lenses I bought. The results were incredible.
From my glass side seats I captured Mike Moore‘s overtime game-winning goal and the Bears subsequent celebration. Like they celebrated freaking inches from me. While I didn’t notice it live, former Caps enforcer Liam O’Brien kissed Moore on the noggin. Also, I’ve never seen Philipp Grubauer so excited in my life.
No matter if it was Steve Oleksy doing a double skate stop in front of the net or Connor Carrick flipping the puck to himself skating up the ice, there are so many amazing things we miss in hockey at full speed. So I slowed them down.
Here are the Hershey Bears in slow-motion.
I want to start by saying I genuinely like Barry Trotz. I think he’s a good man and a good coach. He’s brought with him to Washington some of the brightest minds in hockey, he’s reversed a decline in the organization, and he’s helped Alex Ovechkin become a more complete player. I don’t think Trotz has gotten enough credit for that. He is exactly what fans wanted last summer: an experienced head coach.
But now that we’re more than halfway through the season, I see some worrying trends in this organization that reach all the way down to the AHL level.
After the NHL All-Star Game wrapped up, the AHL held their own all-star skills competition in Utica, New York. The Caps-affiliated Hershey Bears were well-represented at the event with Philipp Grubauer, Connor Carrick, and veteran Tim Kennedy competing for the Eastern Conference.
According to The Patriot-News’ Tim Leone, Grubauer won the AHL’s top goaltender award after stopping 16 of 19 shots. That’s cool. Then there’s Carrick.
The 20-year-old defenseman, who spent a large chunk of last year in Washington, unleashed a 98 MPH slapshot during the Hardest Shot competition, which is kind of surprising. His three scores, according to Chocolate Hockey, were 93 MPH, 98 MPH, and 93.2 MPH.
Andre Burakovsky is the best Caps prospect yet to play a game with the big club (Photo: Elsa/Getty Images).
With rookie camp upon us, RMNB presents the new edition of its semiannual prospect rankings.
Prospect rankings factor in a player’s potential, his probability to reach his ceiling (including an assessment of that player’s adaptation to NHL’s style of play), and physical and mental maturity.
The Caps prospect pool is considered top-heavy, with four Caps prospects ranked in top-50 league-wide by both Corey Pronman and NHL.com. However, there’s believed to be a significant drop-off in talent after that. While Capitals management has tried to make their prospect pool deeper, they’ve still got work to do. The Caps are considered thin at center in particular, underlined by auditioning their two top wingers for a center slot.
Photo: Allison Stancil
On Saturday, a bunch of you came out to Ft. Dupont Ice Arena, and helped raise more than $2,800 for charity in just two short hours. Because you guys were so frigging cool, I had to get even cooler at the end of the party.
With “help” from Troy Brouwer, the Brouwer Rangers, Connor Carrick, and Wes Johnson, I completed the Ice Bucket Challenge in front of 100 crazed lunatics at center ice. I’m told it was a balmy 25 degrees at ice level.
Check it out yourself below.
The Brouwers with all three Brouwer Rangers. (Photo: Sheena D.)
9/8 Update: With post-event bake sale money and online donations included, the total raised actually comes to $2,800!
Thanks to everyone who braved the wicked traffic to come out to PARTYZORD: The Brouwer Rangers/RMNB ‘Legends of Ice Dancing’ Tour de Pouwer (to Support Fort Dupont Ice Arena)™ on Saturday morning. In just two short hours, we raised more than $2,100 for Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena! Can you believe it?!
That includes money contributed through the raffle, bake sale and silent auction, and surpasses the total donation we made along with the Brouwers last year! Even better is that the real total is probably even higher than that, thanks to folks who couldn’t make it out to the party but still donated online. (If you’d like to do that now, head over to FDIA’s donation page.)
We think Emily put it best:
— Emily Wright (@EmilyCello) September 6, 2014
I’ve never played golf before, but I’m pretty sure I know a terrible golf swing when I see one. On Friday night, Washington Capitals defenseman Connor Carrick went to a Chicago golf course with some friends and– this is just an educated guess— played golf for the very first time.
Happy Gilmore was a natural in his transition from hockey to golf (putting aside). Carrick, not so much.
Photo: Chris Gordon, defaced by me
Of all the new defensemen the Caps suited up the season, Connor Carrick lasted the longest. The rookie had a bit of a rollercoaster season– one of those rollercoasters where you almost fall out or get hit in the face by a swan or something.
|15.7||Average time on ice per game|
|43.9%||Shot attempt percentage during 5v5|
|38.9%||Goal percentage during 5v5|
|7.4%||On-ice shooting percentage during 5v5|
|92.1%||On-ice saving percentage during 5v5|
Photo: Chris Gordon
On Monday, the Washington Capitals held Breakdown Day at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. For two hours, Caps players filed out of the locker room and conducted exit interviews with the media. Because of the whole no playoffs thing, there were a lot of long faces.
There’s about three hours of interview video to surf though on Monumental Network. Because I hate myself and care only about you, dear reader, I’ve transcribed all the key quotes. And because this is RMNB, I also pointed out the fashion choices. Sadly, there was no crazy hair this year.
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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