[Editor’s note: We are proud to welcome writers Craig Brownstein and Doug Johnson to the Russian Machine! You might already know Craig and Doug from their gay-focused hockey blog, Puck Buddys. You are hereby required to follow them on Twitter: @PuckBuddys. Puck Buddys is increasing its scope from Caps-centric coverage to the whole NHL, so you’ll see C+D here a lot, especially for game previews. Please give them a very warm welcome and let us know if they break anything expensive.]

And now, a new season kicks off with an ominous sign of the Hockpocalypse – teh gays are now writing about the Caps for RMNB: a risky collaboration between the established Russian royalty (or oligarchy), and the gauche, nouveau riche upstarts.  The cheeky bastards of the hockey world will occasionally share insightful analysis, anatomy lessons, and keen fashion sense with a wider cross-section of the Caps fanbase. The questions on everyone’s lips?  1) Who’s going to embarrass the other first?  Answer: We’re demonstrating that right now. 2) How did RMNB end up with us? Answer: Dave Nichols of District Sports Page already grabbed all the talented free agents.

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RMNB’s Fedor Fedin: Living Through A Hot Summer In Moscow

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2010 has been a tough year for Russia. See here, here and here. 2010 has also been tough for Fedor. See here, here and here. Sadly this summer, Mother Nature decided to pile on. Below, Fedor describes what it’s been like to live through the heat and wildfires surrounding Moscow.

Hey guys! While you were out enjoying the #rmnbparty a few weeks ago, I was sweating profusely in front of my PC in Moscow.  Suffice to say, it’s been sweltering in my home city and it’s driving people crazy.  For example on Twitter,  some of the “trending topics” in Central Russia are heat and wildfire. Why all the hubbub?  This Boston Globe report summarizes it well:

Last month, Russia endured the hottest July ever recorded since records began 130 years ago. The intense heat and drought affecting central Russia has been drying out trees and peat marshes, which have been catching fire recently, burning forests, fields and houses across a massive region. Some 500 new fires have been reported in the last 24 hours alone, and a mobilization of hundreds of thousands of emergency workers is underway to combat them. President Dmitry Medvedev has now declared a state of emergency in seven regions. To date, over 1,500 homes have been destroyed and 40 lives have been lost as wildfires continue across over 300,000 acres.

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#beardpact Days 3 and 4: Not Unlike a Wool Sweater

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Whew!  How ’bout that game last night?  The Washington Capitals beat the Montreal Canadiens in a plum zinger of a hockey game.  John Carlson and Nick Backstrom summoned some playoff heroics for us, but there’s a problem: they’re both clean-shaven.  Do they know something we don’t?

Just between you and me, RMNB might have taken the celebration too far.  The word hangover seems understated; it’s more like an aftermath.  Compounding the problem, Caps Nation is looking increasingly more haggard.  Scanning the #beardpact channel, I’m seeing a broad spectrum of growth.  Before we get to the parade of stubble, let’s check in with the Russian Machinists.

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