EricFehr

Who's this guy? (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)

Who’s this guy? (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)

Fehrsie looking resplendent at right wing. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)

Martin Erat and Eric Fehr have both spent significant time this season stuck on the fourth line, a misuse of their considerable talent. But with Alex Ovechkin missing his second game due to an upper-body injury, both wingers now find themselves on Washington’s top trio, skating 20 minutes a night. In 120 minutes of play, the new first line of Erat, Nicklas Backstrom, and Fehr has been fantastic, registering three goals and nine points. For Nick, three of his five goals this year have come in the last two days.

So what’s the key to Nick’s newfound goal scoring ability, and the line’s success as a whole? Well, Ovechkin has generated the vast majority of the first line’s shots this season. Though they are improving, Johansson and Backstrom had the maddening tendency to pass, pass, pass early in the year. Without Ovi, has Backstrom been forced shoot the puck more, always an important factor in scoring goals? In short, no. When I asked him about it, Backstrom insisted that he wasn’t directing any more pucks toward the net than usual. A little late-night research backs him up. Nick has attempted three shots in each of the two games without Ovechkin, roughly in line with his normal pace. So, some nice shots and a bit of luck.

“Yeah, that’s just a coincidence,” Backstrom said with some sass.

Nevertheless, the temporary first line has been impressive. Erat and Fehr deserve credit for holding their own in a new and challenging position, each playing on their third different line this year. Fehr, especially, made a large jump, playing two total polar opposite roles in one week. Monday in Vancouver, he played 12 minutes as the gritty fourth line center. Saturday, he played almost twenty minutes as the first line right wing.

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Disaster Game: Avs beat Caps By a Lot

Patrick Smith

Photo: Patrick Smith

Disaster game. The Capitals had just one win going into Saturday’s thing with Colorado, a shootout win over a reliable bottom-5 team. Despite that and the team’s myriad weaknesses, we had good feelings going into this one.

Nope.

John Carlson started the game off with an own-goal, tipping in a centering pass from Alex Tanguay past Michal Neuvirth. Matt Duchene made it 2-0 for the Avs a few minutes later, roofing the puck after a duel with Karl Alzner.

Human baby Nate McKinnon scored his first NHL goal while the Caps were being penalized for being too manly.

Tanguay got a shorty early in the third period as the game descended into burn-the-tape territory, but soon after that Eric Fehr finally beat Varlamov with a quick shot set up by Jason Chimera. The glimmer of hope lasted all of 20 seconds before Jamie McGinn made it 5-1 for Colorado. That’s how it ended.

Avs beat Caps 5-1.

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Caps Players Signed One of Those Awful Toasters

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Photo credit: Amanda H.

[Editor's note: When Washington Capitals fan Amanda H. went to the Caps Season Ticket Holder party at Six Flags last year, she had Martin Erat sign a photo of Filip Forsberg. This year, she one-upped herself. We'll let her explain.]

Martin Erat signs the toaster (Photo credit: Amanda H.)

Martin Erat signs the toaster (Photo credit: @Komissarov95)

I had debated for a few days what I should get signed at the season ticket holder party. I have a ton of Caps stuff, but nothing really stood out to me, until about twenty minutes before I had to leave. Long forgotten due to the poor toast it makes (No, seriously it’s very bad toast, I have yet to find a setting that toasts most of the bread without burning the other half), my Capitals toaster sat on a shelf, not having been used in months.

Images of walking around an amusement park carrying a toaster danced in my head. It was too amusing to turn down. I have a suspicion those events might be slightly tedious so I felt like this might spice things up. At the very least it’d give me something to say to the players instead of just awkwardly standing in silence. I cleaned it up a little and tested to make sure the sharpie would actually stick. It did!

When my friend Alyssa and I arrived in the parking lot, I had a moment of doubt. Am I really going to go get a toaster signed? Why didn’t I clean it thoroughly beforehand? I figured that either way, this would be a great story and probably worth the effort. I went through security and the bag check. The guy checking my bag thought my toaster was pretty cool.

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The Best Caps-Themed Selfie Ever Taken

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Washington Capitals fan/RMNB reader Sami took the photo of the night at Tuesday’s annual Caps’ season-ticket holder party at Six Flags America. You probably have already seen it. Eric Fehr tweeted it out, and both Tom Wilson and Connor Carrick retweeted it.

Sami, holding up her iPhone 4, took a front-facing photo of her three friends: Brenna (front row to the left), Zoe (second row to the left), and Danielle (second row to the right) as they rode the Superman rollercoaster. In the background, Caps players make silly faces. Braden Holtby looks apprehensive, Eric Fehr shows off his pearly whites, Tom Wilson gives an enthusiastic thumbs up, and little old Connor Carrick (who I trust was tall enough to ride this ride) manages to lean his head just above Fehr’s.

Study this photo. Look at it carefully. It has more layers than one of my website comp PSD’s (and no, I didn’t name the layers).

Danielle, who emailed us the group’s photos and kindly gave us permission to publish, was really excited. “It was really cool to see what happened to Sami’s photo,” Danielle wrote. “Because later on when we were visiting the players autograph tables, they knew exactly who we were from the roller coaster and mentioned that they saw the picture on Twitter.”

Tuesday was Zoe’s birthday. (Happy belated birthday, Zoe!) Danielle tells us that many players made a big deal about it.

The girls got autographs from Mike Green, Aaron Volpatti, Connor Carrick, John Carlson, Eric Fehr, Joel Ward, Marcus Johansson, and hahaha best Ovechkin.

Below are the rest of their photos from the night. Looks like a great time.

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Eric Fehr Defense

#defense (Photo credit: Bruce Bennett)

The Frank J. Selke Trophy is given to the best defensive forward in hockey, as voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. It was won this year by Jonathan Toews, who narrowly beat out Patrice Bergeron. We don’t care about that though, because the results get hilarious further down. This is why I’ve never trusted democracy.

A notable example: 45th place finisher Eric Fehr, who received one fifth place vote, though that was probably just Greg Wyshynski screwing with all of us. Perhaps this RMNB post made an indelible impact.

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Sad Caps (Photos)

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Photo was touched up to remove the NHL executive handshake-passing the ref a 100-dollar bill. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)

With their 5-0 loss to the New York Rangers in game seven, the Washington Capitals have been ungently booted from the postseason again. A period of healing and reconciliation now begins (also probably some suntans), but first we need to take a look at the sadness. The infinite, infinite sadness.

Let’s just take it all in, mope around for the next day or two like red-rocking Eeyores, and wallow in the wah wah wah (that’s what a sad trombone sounds like). It’s not fun; no, but we need to give the grieving process time to do its thing.

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EricFehrWarmups

Photo credit: Chris Gordon

The Washington Capitals’ 27th-ranked penalty kill was one reason the team could have missed the playoffs. Now it’s the reason they’re up 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

In a tight battle against the New York Rangers in game 2 on Saturday, the PK turned chances for crushing goals into momentum for themselves — especially while killing off Steve Oleksy’s delay of game early in overtime. Four minutes later, Mike Green literally shook Verizon Center.

During the game-saving work a man down, no player contributed more than Eric Fehr.

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Patrick McDermott

Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

Woohoo! Final game of the season. A month and a half ago, I thought this would be the last one I’d cover before the summer, but then Ovechkin happened. Now, the Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals game was just a meaningless little preamble to the real dance, which starts next week.

Let’s do a loose recap. Looch got a lucky one off Alzner’s skates, then he screened Holtby on Ference’s goal. Then, Mike Green 2009 warged into Mike Green 2013 and scored back-to-back power play goals. The Caps killed some late-game penalties and forced overtime, where Eric Fehr finished off the regular season with a little goal so greasy you could lubricate your engine with it if that’s a thing you knew how to do.

Caps beat Bruins 3-2 (Overtime).

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Capitals Sign Eric Fehr to Two-Year, $3 Million Deal

eric-fehr-re-signs

Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

Eric Fehr has been the Washington Capitals’ big comeback story. Fehr left Washington for Winnipeg in 2011 after a few injury-riddled seasons, but returned to DC this offseason and has since become one of the team’s most reliable forwards. Fehr drives play more decisively than any other forward and has put up 8 goals and 8 assists in a shortened season against tough competition.

Fehr’s new contract will keep him in Caps red through 2015 and will earn him an average of $1.5 million a year.

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Game Over Green: Caps Edge Bolts 6-5 (OT)

caps-beat-lightning

Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

Thursday night against the Hurricanes, the Washington Capitals continued their march up the Eastern Conference standings with some Ovi scoring and Brouwer yelling (what else is new) as they defeated the Carolina Hurricanes. Tonight, they looked to extend their six-game winning streak against another flailing Southeast Division team from more humid parts, the Tampa Bay Lightning. They did. It was fun ’cause the Caps scored a lot of goals, until Tampa did that too.

It started with a Brouwitzer, then a Hillen blast (just kidding), and then some Russian dude with a missing tooth. In the second it was JASON FREAKING CHIMERA, Panik for Tampa, Panik puns for people on Twitter, and a Fehr tap in. The third, as usual, was where the Caps screwed things up, with two St. Louis goals, another for Panik, and one for Purcell. However…

OVERTIME = GAME OVER GREEN.

In the end, there were wings for the people in the stands and two points for the people on the ice. Caps edge Bolts 6-5 (OT).

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