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Photo: Amanda Bowen

On Thursday night, the Washington Capitals opened the regular season with a shootout loss, falling to the Montreal Canadiens 2-1. RMNB’s Amanda Bowen caught a bunch from opening night, including the Brouwer Rangers’ new sign, Liam O’Brien’s fight, and the ceremonial face-off, which included Rod Langway, Peter, Bondra, Sylvain Cote, and Craig Laughlin.

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Photo: @WashCaps

The always-stylish and always-awesome Eric Fehr took over the Washington Capitals Twitter account on Wednesday. It went about as well as you could imagine. The first-line right wing/children’s book author unveiled an odd nickname the players have for Tom Wilson, discussed the Baltimore Orioles (heated rivals of his beloved Toronto Blue Jays), and talked a heck of a lot about country music.

Minus him rooting for Lemieux as a kid (which we’ll give him a pass on), this was perfect.

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

The Washington Capitals concluded their preseason on Sunday by dismissing the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 at Verizon Center. That five spot led to a bunch of high-fiving on the bench, which our Amanda Bowen dutifully captured.

Check out below for details of Alex Ovechkin’s new gloves, Barry Trotz’s poker face, and a whole lot of smiling Caps.

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

With the final preseason game in the books for the Capitals, the team’s opening night line-up is shaping up: Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Eric Fehr will be on the top line. Marcus Johansson, Andre Burakovsky, and Troy Brouwer will man the second. Jason Chimera, Brooks Laich, and Joel Ward will be on the third. The fourth line looks set, though scrappy free-agree invitee Liam O’Brien looks to have earned his way into a contract with Hershey or a two-way deal. Michael Latta, though, appears ready to play alongside Evgeny Kuznetsov and Chris Brown on the fourth line. That might change when Jay Beagle comes back from injury.

“That would be a question for Mac[Lellan],” Trotz said of O’Brien. “He’s been as good as anybody especially in that role.”

“He’s a player that demanded to be noticed,” the coach added.

19-year-old rookie Andre Burakovsky appears to have also made the team, beating top prospect Kuznetsov to center the team’s second line. At least initially.

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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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