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After the Capitals were defeated by the Sharks, head coach Barry Trotz switched up his forward lines for Thursday night. Eric Fehr, the one true love of hockey bloggers, was moved off the first line and reunited with forever linemates Jason Chimera and Joel Ward. It paid off with a 6-2 win. The new third trio was Washington’s best all night.

It looked as if they weren’t going to come away with anything to show for it against the Devils, but that’s when Cory Schineder capped off his awful night with a gift.

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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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In what will hopefully be a never-ending series, CSN Washington’s Jill Sorenson interviewed third-line amigos Joel Ward and Jason Chimera in a segment aptly called Wardo and Chimmer. In the video, the friends, who filmed one of the funniest videos of last year, explained when was the exact moment they fell in love.

“I don’t know if it was love at first sight,” Ward explained.

“Sometimes love takes a long time to build,” Chimera countered.

I don’t know; you just have to see this.

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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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Joel Ward Shatters Pane of Glass at Kettler

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Photo: @WashCaps

Washington Capitals forward Joel Ward muscled up and scored a career-high 24 goals last season. Now everybody’s favorite Prince Edward Island University graduate is breaking panes of glass at Kettler with his shot.

What a guy.

A few more photos from our readers below.

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Photo: Chris Gordon.

Day two of Capitals training camp was Saturday, and the team continued the tough pace set by Barry Trotz on Friday. Each of the three group of players spent about an hour and the half on the ice, focusing on drills designed to simulate game situations and learn the system. With the first preseason game just hours away, three groups of Caps battled along the boards for loose pucks and charged at the net. Unlike previous regimes, Trotz is throwing the players into the fire quickly.

“This is the one day we had to prepare to play tomorrow,” the coach told reporters. “We tried to get a lot of stuff in that was situational.”

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Once we get past the Alex Ovechkins of the world, we’re left with another tier of Ice Bucket Challenges acceptance videos, where B-list athletes we’re not nearly as excited about post vertically oriented videos. But that’s okay because in this third round of Ice Bucket Challenges (see Post 1 and Post 2 here), we’ve got toilet water, a four-minute short-film, and Nate Schmidt shirtless.

Enjoy.

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Photo: @tcmorrison

RMNB’s been busy working on a special project, so we missed the Inova Blood Drive at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Every few months, Inova holds a blood drive at the Caps practice rink and gives away bobbleheads and shirseys of certain Caps players. This past Saturday it was Joel Ward.

Unfortunately, the Wardo bobble heads got stuck in customs, but donators wound up getting a more special gift: meeting The Big Cheese himself. Ward signed autographs, took photos, and complimented people on their t-shirts.

And, of course, he donated blood.

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Photos via @CapitalsPR

In a month and a half, we’ll officially be in the hockey dead zone. There’ll be a new Stanley Cup Champion (either Jeff Schultz or Henrik Lundqvist). The draft will be over, as will development camp. Most free agents will have found their new teams.

But right smack dab in the middle of the most boring part of the year, Inova Blood Services will be hosting a blood drive at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Saturday, July 26th from 7am to 5pm. For those who schedule an appointment and donate blood (do it here), you’ll receive a bobblehead and a Capitals t-shirt.

This is no ordinary bobblehead. This is The Big Cheese himself, Joel Ward. And it may very well be the most impeccably made ceramic figurine I have ever seen (please forgive me, Joel Rechlicz Bobblefist).

Just take a look at these pics.

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Joel Ward: 2013-14 Season Review

Deep breaths, everybody. Just let the puns wash over you.

For a man who once got stuck in a bathroom, Joel Ward‘s season was anything but poop. Ward somehow managed to wash away the crap that made other Caps stink this season. What we got from Wardo instead was an unlikely career-best season, and I’m not just polishing a you-kn0w-what here.

(Okay, I’m done. That was awful. I am sorry.)

By the Numbers

82 Games played
15.7 Average time on ice per game
24 Goals
25 Assists
47.4% Shot attempt percentage during 5v5
54.5% Goal percentage during 5v5
10.3% On-ice shooting percentage during 5v5
92.4% On-ice saving percentage during 5v5

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