On January 3rd, Rene Bourque — then of the Calgary Flames — elbowed Nicklas Backstrom in the jaw. The reckless play resulted in both a concussion for Backstrom and a Shanaban for Bourque. Capitals players thought the elbow was a cheap shot, but they failed to exact retribution. Sigh.
“It’s one of those things where it kind of sucks because we’re not able to play (the Calgary Flames) again this year,” Troy Brouwer told reporters after the game.
Troy is in luck. Bourque was traded Montreal last week. And look at that! The Caps play the Habs… tonight!
DING! DING! DING!
Inspired by my favorite NES video game of all-time — Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out — here’s how we think tonight will play out for Bourque.
[Ed. note: for coverage of Rene Bourque, uhhh... check out RMNB on Wednesday morning.]
The Pregame: Fun game! Everyone from a malfunctioning family, raise your hand. Or, if you’re in a public place, just give a little squee inside. Yeah, we thought so. Show me the person who says their family is perfectly normal and I’ll show you a glue-sniffing, trick-turning, psychopathic cat hoarder. You know: like [fill in hated politician here] Oh, biting wit!
And speaking of glue-sniffing (bet you thought it’d be sociopathy), we come to Wednesday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. Les Habitants. You know: the Baldwin family of contemporary hockey. Or should that be the Donner Party? Either way, they eat their own to the amusement of all.
Oh you bet, we’ve all had a hearty laugh – a long, hard laugh – at the goonish antics of our Quebecois neighbors of late. Like watching the Spuckler family argument spill out onto the un-mowed back lawn, hurling rotting plastic chairs at one another as they jockey for “superiority” amid the weeds and used Timmy Hos coffee cups. Too much back bacon, eh?
Marco Sturm seems, let's just say, pleased with his goal. (Photo credit: Graham Hughes)
Less than 24 hours after being shutout at the hands of the Ottawa Senators, the Washington Capitals turned the tables against the Montreal Canadiens on Holtby — err — Hockey Night in Canada. The 21 year-old stonewalled the Habs on the way to his tenth victory this season.
The Capitals dominated the play during the first period of play, outshooting the Canadiens 12 to three and scoring the only tally of the frame. The goal came just 84 seconds into the contest when Marco Sturm knocked in a rebound off a Nicklas Backstrom wrist shot.
Washington continued their strong play in the second stanza, outshooting the Habs once again while Braden Holtby held the fort in net.
In the third both teams managed good opportunities, but it would be the Caps who would convert. After, guess who, Marco Sturm poke-checked the puck away at center-ice, Backstrom started a three-on-one break before Alexander Semin finished the play off by flicking the Swede’s pass past Montreal goalie Carey Price. SHUTOUT FOR BRADEN! Caps stonewall Habs, 2-0.
A game-changing fight? Matt Bradley fights Paul Mara immediately after Travis Moen's fluky goal. (Photo credit: Richard Wolowic)
#Winning (Photo credit: Richard Wolowicz)
Returning to the Bell Center for the first time since the ill-fated 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Washington Capitals got a little bit of revenge Tuesday night, extending their winning streak to nine games in the process.
The game got off to a positively wild start with two goals and a fight in the first 1:48 of play. After Tomas Plekanec was called for a hooking penalty the Caps headed to an early power play. With a lot help from the end boards, Marcus Johansson put the Caps up 1-nil as the dump-in from Dennis Wideman bounced right in front to the waiting Swede. Just 26 seconds later, however, Travis Moen tied things up on another odd play behind the net. Washington netminder Braden Holtby attempted to rim the puck along the boards but instead passed it right to Moen in the corner who fired the biscuit into the wide open net. Just over 20 seconds later the action continued with Matt Bradley and Paul Mara dropping the gloves right off the face-off in a bout that ended in a draw. At 13:23, Brooks Laich put the Caps on top 2-1 after picking up the perfect outlet pass from Karl Alzner, who was on the ice for nine more scoring chances and just one against. Whew. Another calm night in Montreal, I see.
Andrei Kostitsyn continued the back-and-forth play 3:28 into the second period, firing a wicked wrist-shot pass Holtby’s catching glove. Washington put forth a fury of shots in the remainder of the frame, racking up 19 for the period. It would be to no avail, however, and the teams would head to the third knotted up.
Johansson would strike once again at 6:43 in the final period, putting home a perfect backhand pass from Alex Ovechkin to give the Caps the lead. Just over ten minutes later, Mike Knuble would seal the deal converting on a two-on-one with Marco Sturm after Sturm delivered a perfect pass to the veteran winger. Take that, Frenchies. Caps top Habs, 4-2.
On February 1, 2011, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Aww (Photo credit: our own Chris Gordon)
The quintessential 2010-2011 Washington Capitals game includes a worthless first period, so the opening frame of tonight’s date with the Montreal Canadiens was surprisingly invigorating. If only the rest of the game could have followed suit.
Mathieu Perreault capped off an extended shift in the offensive zone with a takeaway and five-hole goal on Carey Price. On the powerplay, Mike Knuble filed some paperwork in his office to give the Caps an early and pleasant 2-0 lead. In the second period, Brian Gionta launched a rocket on a 2-on-1 breakaway to put the Habs on the board. Then John Carlson’s failed drop pass led to another breakaway and another goal for Gionta. OT was exciting but scoreless, and we found our way to that old standby: the shootout.
Nick Backstrom led off, beating Carey Price but ringing iron. Brian Gionta, the bastard, scored top-shelf on Varlamov. Matt Hendricks pulled that same darn move again, but Price saw it coming. James Wisniewski’s attempt was covered by Varly. Alex Ovechkin, in a must-score situation, didn’t. Game over. Habs beat Caps 3-2 (SO).
On December 28, 2010, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo credit: Mitchell Layton
The Washington Capitals finally met their playoff pals, the Montreal Canadiens, for the first time since that awful, awful night. Recently de-Halak‘d, the Habs remain a formidable team and one that the Caps had no trouble getting amped up to face.
Hershey import Jay Beagle got on the big board first with a stunning no-look, behind-the-back, knick-knack, paddywack shot over Carey Price’s shoulder. Mike Green took a freight train into a timing play to make it 2-0 off a Nicky Backstrom pass. The score was unchanged until Price abdicated his throne, which is like chumming the water to a shark like Alex Ovechkin. His empty netter finalized the score. Caps beat Habs 3-0.
On September 3, 2010, In Andrew Gordon, By Russian Machine Never Breaks
In part two of our Q/A with Andrew Gordon (part one can be read here), Gordo discusses his favorite NHL players and teams as a kid, if he reads blogs or newspaper articles about himself and what he did on his day with the Calder Cup this year. Mixed in is also a question submitted from a 9 year old reader, Cody, who asks Gordo what he thinks it would take for him to make it to the NHL someday.
In conclusion, all of us here at RMNB hope that you have enjoyed Andrew’s insightful responses to your questions over the past two days and his blogging throughout the Calder Cup Finals. Please join us in wishing him good luck for the upcoming season and a successful training camp. With that said, let’s get started with our first question.
Bill C. asks, “Andrew, who was your favorite player as a kid growing up and why?”
Thanks for the question, Bill. As a kid growing up I had all kinds of guys I really looked up to. When I became old enough to really follow hockey and understand the game, it was the 1992-93 season and I was 8 years old. This may have been the year that hockey took over my life, as my favorite team (brace yourself people…and I apologize in advance) the Montreal Canadians won the Stanley Cup and Teemu Selanne scored 76 goals on his way to a record-setting rookie season. Seeing as my father grew up in Winnipeg, the Jets were the other team I followed closely. So Teemu became my instant favorite. My father and I actually went to see a game in Winnipeg that season where the Jets faced Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings. Although I don’t remember all the details of the game (aside from Seleane getting two goals), I remember being amazed by the stadium and the fact that the guys on the ice were real live NHL players! In the same room as me! It was a day I hope I never forget.
Tonight if you were like us, you sat in front of your TV, ate smoked salmon with a fork and laughed at Pittsburgh’s unlikely demise to the Habs. Sure, it totally sucked when the Capitals lost in the first round to this rag-tag group of “team players” from North of the Border. But after seeing Sid the Kid fail the ultimate test tonight (boarding penalty 10 seconds in which led to Habs first goal of the game, 0 points, -2), maybe – just maybe – this talk that Sidney Crosby is by far and away the best player in the game can die down a bit.
Tonight during Montreal’s huuuge 3-2 victory over the Penguins, Versus blessed us with this shot of the crowd after Montreal netted the go ahead goal.
Ouch. En Francais, I think this means Crosby needs a shower.
With the Habs tying up the series 2-2 tonight, could a second upset be in the works? I don’t know. But one thing’s for sure: Though I hate the Canadiens, they are clearly the better of two evils here. Let’s go Nads!
If you need a close-up of the sign, click below! Also, special thanks to James W. for the photos.