Cow Sacrifice (9 of 9)

Photo credit: Chris Gordon

As you might have heard, the Caps have lost a few games recently. No one really has good answer for why that’s happened. George McPhee wants the team to take fewer penalties. Jay Beagle wants to sacrifice a cow. Well, Caps fans can only take action on the latter. And they did. In the parking lot of Kettler Capitals Iceplex following the club’s morning skate before Saturday’s game against the Panthers, rubber cows and goats had their noggins chopped off for a good cause. In the vein of a similar (and successful) plea to the heavens when the Nationals were in the dumps, Jenn Rubenstein of Arlington, Virginia led the ceremonial hacking while the Nats’ rubber chicken man Hugh Kaufman, who spearheaded the baseball version, joined in.

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Jay Beagle Wants to Sacrifice a Cow

Run cow, run!

The Caps are playing so bad, sacrificing a goat isn’t even a strong enough metaphor anymore.

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Last week, Ted Leonsis spread his wings by launching Monumental Network, a site  to aggregate all the Caps, Wizards, Mystics, and Verizon Center coverage his company produces. They’ve got original reporting and a network of blogs to cover the living heck out of each team.

Earlier this week, Casey Phillips, Monumental’s digital correspondent crowded in on RMNB’s beat with a story that we should have had. After Cosmopolitan Magazine named Mike Green the sexiest player in the NHL, the Monumental crew asked the team who they thought was truly the most handsome guy around.

The answers will amaze you. Or maybe they won’t. I mean, you know they’re gonna say Brooks, right?

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Alex Ovechkin (2 of 2)

Adam Oates talks to Ovi during practice on Saturday. (Photos by Chris Gordon)

Alex Ovechkin has become a one-dimensional player. Once the league’s most creative and premier scorer, Ovi has been stymied by his apparent unwillingness to change — at least so far. His struggles at right wing in the first three games this season demonstrated that much. After just eight periods, the exercise ended. Ovi was back at left wing.

Ovi’s switch has been the story of the season so far for the Caps. But not everybody thinks it should be.

“Are we talking about Ovi again? That’s bulls—t,” forward Troy Brouwer told me when asked about Ovechkin’s play this season.

“It shouldn’t be difficult,” Brouwer said. “He’s a right handed shot, he should be able to play right wing. It should be hard to play your off wing.”

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BestLineEver

Exclusive RMNB photo.

When the Capitals came out for warm-ups against New Jersey Friday, head coach Adam Oates had a surprise for us. Alex Ovechkin was skating on a line with Jay Beagle and Joey Crabb.

The Great Eight has struggled in the first three games this season, with no goals, 11 shots, and two checks on his own teammates. So Friday night he was back on left wing with Beagle (seven career NHL goals) as the pivot and Crabb (19 career NHL goals) on the right wing. I didn’t expect this trio to remain intact for very long, but despite taking some shifts with different teammates throughout the night, the line stayed together until the end.

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Ovechkin speaks to the media

Miss the media? “Not really,” says Ovechkin. (Photo credit: @SWhyno)

This morning, a bunch of Washington Capitals players jumped back on the ice for an informal practice. Those who skated include Alex Ovechkin, Braden Holtby, Mike Green, Mike Ribeiro, John Carlson, Michal Neuvirth, Matt Hendricks, Jason Chimera, Jay Beagle, Jack Hillen, and John Erskine.

At 11am, Caps general manager George McPhee then spoke to the press for the first time since dinosaurs roamed the earth. GMGM revealed that injured defenseman Dmitry Orlov is “improving” but questionable for opening night (but you already knew that), and side-stepped questions on Nicklas Backstrom’s health, acknowledging that the team can’t examine him until a new CBA is ratified. Hershey Bears defense prospect Cameron Schilling will also be given a shot to make the team out of training camp. McPhee’s full comments are below.

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On Saturday, several Washington Capitals players rented out Kettler Capitals IcePlex to scrimmage against local college kids. Two readers who attended, Lexi Martinez and Kate Hudson, share their experience below. Lexi did the write-up, and Kate snapped the photos. Enjoy!

Caps fans got a surprise Thursday night, when John Carlson took to Twitter to announce that he’d be joining a few teammates back on the ice at Kettler the following morning for something special. Along with Brooks Laich, Jason Chimera, Jay Beagle, Jeff Halpern, and former Capital Peter Bondra, John would be scrimmaging a team of college players from around the area. It was thrown together late and all for fun, but for me, it meant a little taste of the Caps hockey we’ve all been missing so much. Naturally, I was freaking out.

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Beagle’s secret negotiation weapon: big sad eyes.

The Capitals had three restricted free agents eligible for arbitration this year — Mike Green, Mathieu Perreault, and new fan favorite Jay Beagle. The team extended qualifying offers to all three players earlier during the offseason, and Thursday the club announced that they had signed two out of the three.

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2011-12 Year-End Review: Jay Beagle


Photo credit: Clydeorama

Brave and reckless fight. Concussion. Broken bones. Meteoric rise. We would watch a movie based on Jay Beagle‘s season, there was a lot of plot packed into just eighty-two games.

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There were a few common themes to the Capitals’ last postseason interviews, before they went their separate ways for summer. The first question posed was always about Dale Hunter, who has made the decision to return to the London Knights franchise in Ontario rather than stay on to coach the Caps. The team expressed universal admiration and gratitude for what he brought to the Capitals in his short tenure, often focusing less on his system than on the character and sense of accountability he was able to instill.

There was clear disappointment at the early ending to the season, but a different tone to the team’s assessment of their year than the year before — many of the Caps mentioned that they thought they were able to go out in a way that they feel better about this year, though of course they’d all still rather be playing hockey.

Read on for the details of Jay Beagle‘s injury, Brooks Laich standing outside Hunter’s window holding a boombox, and Hunter’s odd career model for Alexander Ovechkin.

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