I spent my Saturday at Nationals Park — well, until NHL PR literally chased me out. The stadium is nearly in its full party dress with fake domes, banners, and a sheet of ice with logos on.
But alas, there were still more games on the calendar before New Year’s Day. Tonight the Caps visited Pittsburgh. A bunch of the Penguins have mumps. Crosby had mumps. Mumps makes your face big. Okay, we got that out of the way.
Back in 2010, we — okay, Ian & Peter — created a campaign to get Barack Obama to a Caps game. It seemed like the type of thing a newly-elected president and rising young team would want to get in on. The White House press secretary at the time, Robert Gibbs, responded to RMNB’s pleas. But as we enter 2015, Washington’s Stanley Cup hopes and Obama approval ratings are low. So are the chances we get to see a presidential hockey game. While Obama has attended Wizards, Nationals, Mystics, and college games, he has heretofore ignored hockey in office. RMNB registered these concerns to the highest levels of government.
“I don’t know what the deal is,” Secretary of State John Kerry told RMNB earlier this year.
Fehr watches the puck go in from his knees.
Mike Green was a hockey Istari all Thursday night, but never more than he was in overtime.
In the first shift after rego, Mike Green piloted yet another controlled entry into the Columbus zone. Green’s fake shot forced Jack Johnson to revert to his initial form– the NHL’s version of Magikarp. Then Green sailed below the goal line, earning enough space to give Eric Fehr a gorgeous layup.
On Tuesday night, as EPIX’s The Road To The Winter Classic began, the Caps began what became the longest shootout in NHL history. The scheduling conflict forced fans to make a difficult decision: reality TV or live hockey. For those who stuck with the live hockey, they got a shootout that went a record twenty rounds, five more than the previous record, which also belonged to the Caps. Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin actually shot twice in the losing effort.
Karl Alzner, Michael Latta, Nate Schmidt, Brooks Orpik, John Carlson, and Tom Wilson all got their first career shootout attempts in the same game.
With all the wackiness on the ice and the game determined not to end, the Caps turned to a late-game baseball tradition to influence the outcome: rally helmets.
Whose goal? (Photo: Rob Carr)
The Washington Capitals dominated the Columbus Blue Jackets in the game’s opening minutes before coming up short in overtime. The Caps authored 12 of the game’s first 13 shots, including a sweet Eric Fehr deflection goal on the power play.
Except I kinda think Alex Ovechkin touched it last.
Recently, Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz broke up the highly-successful “twins” duo of Joel Ward and Jason Chimera. Now, Ward is playing on the third line with Brooks Laich and Eric Fehr. Building good chemistry takes a lot of practice on the ice. But off of it, it appears Trotz is taking team building literally.
After practice, Ward, Laich, and Fehr were stacked on a cart like Lincoln logs and pushed back to the locker room.
Yey! (Photo: Mark J. Rebilas)
The Capitals have been a chore to watch lately. They lost both games of a back-to-back over the weekend, managing to score just one goal in the efforts. Through 180 minutes (through the end of rego on Tuesday), the Caps had scored just two goals in three games. Boring.
Three minutes into overtime agains the Coyotes, Brooks Orpik and Eric Fehr combined to end our suffering. That two-game losing streak is over and, yay, three goals in three games. I can smile again.
The Washington Capitals are out in Phoenix ahead of their game with the Coyotes on Tuesday. And our mustachioed heroes have made the most of their off day. Alex Ovechkin put on his favorite Vladimir Putin t-shirt and took a selfie with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov. I’m pretty sure that shirt is honoring Putin and making him look like a action movie star, which, uh, yeah.
Other Caps players actually made it out of the hotel rooms.
Photo Credit: Patrick McDermott
Last year, Eric Fehr bounced around the lineup as Adam Oates struggled to find a spot for him. Some nights, Fehr would play center, not his natural position, on the third line. Other nights he would find himself in the press box, despite being one of the team’s top possession players. What he never got a chance to do was be a scoring-line winger, which the Capitals drafted him to be and a spot in which he’s shown promise in the past. Under Bruce Boudreau, Fehr also struggled to fit in, eventually forcing the Caps to ship him to Winnipeg for a fourth rounder and an irrelevant minor leaguer. With Barry Trotz, it looked like things might change, with Fehr starting the season on the top line.
“I just want to have a spot and consistently play, just not be moving around every night,” Fehr said in September.
Something about Eric Fehr rubs Barry Trotz the wrong way. Scratched for the last few games, Fehr returned to the Caps lineup on Saturday and quickly made his presence known.
Fehr drew a penalty in the game’s opening minutes, resulting in a Capitals goal on the power play. But that was just setting the stage for his own brilliant goal in the waning moments of the second period.
Trailing Jason Chimera in the offensive zone, Fehr scooped up the loose puck, weaved around the Canes, and reached to put the puck behind Anton Khudobin on the weak side.
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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