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From the Capitals Instagram

It was a normal Saturday afternoon until Caps beat writer and pun master Adam Vingan shattered our worlds:

The Bulliest Dozer, self-published by author Pamela Edwards with Fehr listed as a contributor, is an actual thing with a kids book pedigree. Edwards is the author of some 40 children’s books. Fehr scored twice at the 2011 Winter Classic. We’re all gonna read it.

Update: Monumental has posted video of Fehr discussing the book. We’d embed it, but they no longer seem to allow embedding video. Interesting.

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Destined to be the NHL’s all-time leading outdoor scorer.

Ever since Mike Knuble left the Caps– and possibly even before– hockey geeks have wanted one name above all others on the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Nick Backstrom. Eric Fehr, the 29-year-old country music fan from Winkler, Manitoba, seems to have finally gotten the nod.

Fehr is expected to play right wing on the Capitals’ top line to start the season. Your boy Chuck Gormley reported it first.

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You knew it was coming. Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has taken up the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and he has done it in true Ovi fashion.

Wearing only tight black shorts and a gold necklace, Ovechkin– whose head is cut off in the video– introduces the video from a shower before dumping ice water on his head.

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Eric Fehr: 2013-14 Season Review

I want people to see him walk down the street and say ‘there goes Eric Fehr, the best outdoor scorer there ever was’ (Photo: Jamie Sabau)

Eric Fehr is the best. He makes everything better. He’s like bacon. He’s the bacon of hockey players. If you don’t like bacon or Eric Fehr, you must have some kind of moral stance against awesome. That’s fine. It’s your call and I respect that, but you’re missing out. Bacon and Eric Fehr are awesome.

By the Numbers

73 Games played
14.4 Average time on ice per game
13 Goals
18 Assists
49.0% Shot attempt percentage during 5v5
48.6% Goal percentage during 5v5
7.9% On-ice shooting percentage during 5v5
92.3% On-ice saving percentage during 5v5

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The Micromanager: Adam Oates’s Downfall

Breakdown Day (12 of 12)

Gone. (Photo: Chris Gordon)

Adam Oates is a smart man. After going undrafted out of college, he turned into a Hall of Fame player. It wasn’t his skill that made him an NHL success, but his elite ability to notice things other people didn’t. Oates had a coaching mind in a player’s body.

“If Adam notices something in a game, he adjusts right away,” Ron Wilson, then the Caps coach, told SI in 2001. “Even if it’s only how somebody is holding his stick. He takes the information, processes it, and puts it to use. The thing about Adam is that he assimilates a lot of stuff at once. Most guys might see one or two things, and the rest is a blur.”

However, years later, when Oates became head coach of the Capitals, that obsession with improving individual players would undermine the team as a whole.

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I Got the Jersey Off Eric Fehr’s Back

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Every year I’ve enjoyed watching the Jerseys off Our Backs ceremony. It was always fun watching fans and players interacting in that fashion. And every year, afterwards I would turn to my mother and say, “Someday that’s gonna be me.”

Last Tuesday I came home from work to the surprise of a lifetime from my mother.

“So, I just got off the phone with our new ticket rep… She just called to say ‘hello’ and chat…. Oh, and by the way we’re doing Jerseys Off Our Back on Sunday.”

I almost cried when I heard those words. Our family had never won ANY prizes through the Season Ticket Holder contests, so this was a gigantic surprise.  For the next few days, it was all I had on my mind: Who would I get?? Someone I adore?? Will I be able to retain composure, or would I be overcome by teh feels and crumple to the ice in a teary ball?

Sunday came around, and two periods of hockey later, I was leaving 104 for the last time this season to check in for the event. I ended up being early, so I caught the first half of the third period from the top of the steps. But soon, we all had envelopes in our hands and were making our way downstairs to wait for the end of the game. Overtime and the shootout was spent in a hallway by the visiting locker room, so we had no TV to watch the end of the game on. Thankfully, the guy in front of me got CSN on his smartphone so we were able to see the (unfortunate) end of the game. Once the Lightning had made their way to the locker room, we all headed out onto the ice!

My hands were shaking. I was gonna be third to go, which was better than first, but I still had the jitters. Soon enough the spotlight was on me and I was told to open my envelope. I was overjoyed by the number inside: 16.

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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.

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Photo: Alex Brandon

With 42 seconds left in the Capitals’ 4-0 win over Chicago, Jay Beagle skated to the bench looking for a change. He had been on the ice for three shifts in the last four minutes. His teammates, however, were adamant that he stay on the ice. But finally, after Beagle crawled over the bench wall, Eric Fehr stepped on for the final shift.

“I felt bad for him because I knew how tired he was,” Fehr told me. “I could see it in his eyes. He doesn’t get that look very often. He was begging to come off. I took a second and evaluated it and figured I better go.”

Said Beagle of his reaction: “I said “’I’m not! I’m not staying on. I can’t even move my legs anymore!”

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The Achilles Heel of the Capitals Power Play

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Photo: Patrick Smith

The Caps are bad at defense and give up a lot of odd-man breaks. Even when they win, Washington can’t hide that flaw. One aspect of that is particularly troubling: the amount of rushes they allow on their own power play.

The Capitals man-advantage has kept them afloat all year, generating about a third of their offense. However, against the Stars their PP could barely get going. Dallas had two breakaways on Washington’s opening power play, which was quickly negated by a John Carlson slash.

“Usually odd-man rushes are our breakdowns, not necessarily great plays by them,” Carlson said after the game. “We can’t let that happen. We’re too good of players.”

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Eric Fehr: Whew.

Midway through the second period of the Washington Capitals game against the Anaheim Ducks, Caps defenseman John Carlson had an oopsy. As Captain America attempted to clear down the ice, he nailed Eric Fehr right in the side of the head with the puck.

Not good. Commence freaking out.

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