After Half a Season, Nate Schmidt Looks Real Good


If I were to tell you that the Caps have a new young defensemen whose first half season compares very respectably relative to the first half a season of Mike Green, John Carlson and Karl Alzner, you’d probably be excited, right?

Okay, be excited.

Tuesday’s game against the Flames was Nate Schmidt‘s 41st in the NHL. Regular readers of the site know that Peter is a huge Nate Schmidt fan. While I haven’t written much about Schmidt here on RMNB, I’ve written about him elsewhere and think the Caps made a great decision in keeping him in Washington this season.

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

Last week we looked at the Caps forward deployment thus far under Barry Trotz. This week, I’m going to take a look at the defense. In doing so, we’ll find the Caps have a shutdown pair fairing questionably, a steadying pair that may be better suited to shutdown than our current shutdown pair, and then a pair of possession monsters who are owning the minutes they are being given.

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Karl Alzner Messes With the Penalty-Box Cam (GIF)


Karl Alzner was whistled for interference late in the second period, which was the exact moment the wheels fell off for the Caps. At least for a 1:47 of game action, during which the Canucks scored three times.

But first: watch Alzner mess with the penalty-box camera.

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RIP (Photo: @WashCaps)

Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz might have given his players the day off Thursday, but everyone ended up on the ice anyways. The Caps held what I can only describe as an “intense team building event” at the Calgary Curling Club and I’m sad to report there was one casualty: Alex Ovechkin‘s pants. Let us have a moment of silence for #OviPants.

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On Friday, the Washington Capitals held a photoshoot for their annual dog calendar, benefitting Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. While we posted everything that was put up on social media that day by the Caps, we didn’t tell you that our very own Amanda Bowen went to the event and got her own photos.

And oh man, they are incredible.

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

In preseason action on Thursday, the Washington Capitals defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in the shootout. A who’s who of Capitals players took the ice. A separate who’s who of Capitals sat on the club level, watching the game in suits. Some even interacted with fans.

RMNB Photographer Extraordinaire, Amanda Bowen, captured all of this and more. The pics are stunning, so you pretty much need to see them.

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Karl Alzner Is Almost Back to DC (Photo)


Let us rejoice. Karl Alzner‘s long journey from Canada is almost over. Only 39 days until Caps hockey begins again!

Photo: @KarlAlzner

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You knew it was coming. Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has taken up the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and he has done it in true Ovi fashion.

Wearing only tight black shorts and a gold necklace, Ovechkin– whose head is cut off in the video– introduces the video from a shower before dumping ice water on his head.

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Karl Alzner: 2013-14 Season Review

Photo: Patrick McDermott

One half of the fabled Carlzner defensive pairing, Karl Alzner was sent to shut down the Caps’ toughest opponents all year. Plus: puppies and the best bench celebrations you’ve seen since that other guy.

By the Numbers

82 Games played
20.1 Average time on ice per game
2 Goals
16 Assists
47.0% Shot attempt percentage during 5v5
44.6% Goal percentage during 5v5
7.1% On-ice shooting percentage during 5v5
92.3% On-ice saving percentage during 5v5

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Despite not making the playoffs, a lot of Washington Capitals players still have some hockey left to play. Last week, Caps captain Alex Ovechkin announced that Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, and he will be representing Team Russia in the 2014 World Championships happening in Minsk, Belarus.

But what of the Caps’ Swedes? After winning a silver medal in Sochi, Marcus Johansson will likely not represent his home country due to a broken arm. On Thursday, Pär Mårts, Sweden’s national team coach, told Svenska Dagbladet that Nicklas Backstrom has turned down an invitation to play in the tournament this year.

When asked why, Mårts said Backstrom won’t be playing “for family reasons.”

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