“What is this doing here?”

Halfway through the first period of Tuesday’s Capitals-Islanders game, Matt Moulson sent a shot towards Michal Neuvirth‘s net. Neuvy got his blocker on it — sending the puck flying into the glass.

That should’ve been the end of that, but the puck bounced back over the net, as if being guided by Satan himself, and deflected off Neuvirth’s erogenous zone before going in the net.

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New York Islanders Pregame: They’re Still Horrible

Here’s Doug Johnson with your pregame report. Read PuckBuddys and then follow ‘em on Twitter.

“What Wha?” There are some things that just aren’t said aloud.

  • Example #1: Oprah is a Fraud. Yeah, she could buy the Nepalese army to storm my house, or hot-wire the RMNB site for combustion, just ’cause I said it. Yet it’s true. Oprah Winfrey is, as we speak, today and into the future, a total fraud.
  • Example #2: Our Politics are a Farce. Do we really need to gut this beast further to illustrate that point? Anyone who thinks our civic culture is robust, please hold your head underwater for five minutes. Questions?
  • Example #3: Caps…Leading the Southeast?! Eighth in the Eastern? And *shudder* five points behind Ottawa? I’m not sure when we signed up to write fiction, but apparently that is now.

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Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

It was an unlikely game. The Capitals dominated the Islanders for most of the hour, but were without a goal until Troy Brouwer finally beat Nabokov in the waning minutes of the third. Brouwer pulled through again in the final minute of regulation, and then we were treated to a sight we haven’t seen enough of lately.

Alex Ovechkin, who extended his Washington Capitals OTGWG franchise record to 11, carried the puck across neutral, skated to the center lane, used New York’s Travis Hamonic as a screen, and scored the game-winner through Nabokov’s five-hole. Video is below the jump.

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New York Islanders Pregame: Five Past Serious O’Clock

Photo credit: Mitchell Layton

The Pregame: Strap in, ladies, because here we go. Good news and bad news. And you know which doesn’t come with fancy French nibbles. Radishes for you.

Life Post-Deadline

Ugh, here’s the bad. Over the next five+ weeks, 20 nights, every one of you will be simmered into a jersey jelly of slimy aspic. Demi-glacé, oui? You get it: a trebling, molten slop of hope and desire and fear and torment, exactly as smelly as that sounds, and with no escape possible, all watching on the stovetop that is the Capitals’ next 20 games. Stupid French chefs.

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Editor’s note: Neil Greenberg is not currently affiliated with RMNB and was not consulted for this article.

During Saturday’s game between the New York Islanders and the Carolina Hurricanes, play-by-play announcer Howie Rose criticized Neil Greenberg’s list of the top 25 players under 25 for ESPN.com (paywall, but it’s worth it). That list does not include NYI’s John Tavares, who has a team-best 46 points in his third year in the NHL.

During the discussion, Rose calls Neil a “housebound agraphobe.” We can assume he means agoraphobe, since agraphobe is a made-up word that would mean “fear of farmland” or something. Rose runs standard operating procedure for character assassination of a blogger. Four-time Stanley Cup winner Butch Goring joins the routine and accuses Neil of being a provocateur. It’s a comprehensive ad hominem screed, except that they do not mention Neil by name at any point during the two-minute, telecast-padding exercise:

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Video: Troy Brouwer’s Big Hit on Mark Streit

Troy Brouwer’s hit on Mark Streit was the only good thing from the Caps 3-0 loss to the Islanders.

Thanks to Peter Robbio, a scholar and a gentleman, for the video. Go read Chirps from the Ledge.

Flatlining Caps Get Shutout By Islanders, 3-0

Stop showing off, Nabokov. (Photo credit: Nick Wass)

Ed. Note: In our continuing quest to bring you the least crappy product possible, we’d like to welcome Ana Hansen of the blog Hockey Yelling to the RMNB team. Ana, a 22-year-old English major at William & Mary, is witty, creative, and mentally unstable. So uhh you better give her a warm welcome in the comments below or else. You can follow her on Twitter here.

Hello Caps world! In the place of your regularly scheduled coverage you’ve got me tonight. My condolences, but not too many of them, because a hockey game happened, and that’s more important than anything else.

We lost this game, which I hope does not mean that I’m bad luck. I will be carefully monitoring this issue from here on out.

To the game, somewhat reluctantly I guess. We were supposed to win this one. The Islanders are not a particularly lethal team, but when they’re given this much space, even they can stumble into a few goals.

Tavares opened the scoring with a redirection on the PP, and the first person to mention his scoring streak gets a punch in the kisser. Parenteau made it 2-0 on a joint effort from Carlzner, Alzner with the giveaway and Carlson screening his own goalie. You’re welcome, Pareteau. Parenteau converted on the PP for his second of the night but luckily by that point, you were probably too numb to feel it. Caps lose, 3-0. Gross.

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Tomas Vokoun’s Five-Hole Sinks Caps, 5-3

Photo credit: Mike Stobe

After ripping up Carolina like (forgive us) a hurricane, the Caps hopped on plane and flew on up to the Island to take on Tavares & co. The Isles were looking to break a six game losing streak and it didn’t start well for them — it ended differently.

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Editor’s note:  Puck Buddys. @PuckBuddys. Read.

The Pre Game: So my doctor says I need to relax more. He suggests writing: it’s solitary, quiet, and engages the “more refined aspects” of our minds, he says. Which is funny, considering that the more I think about Long Island, the harder I find it is to type with clenched fists.

The Puck Drop: It’s difficult to know what to say about the 516 that is refined. Or funny. A better word is sad. It’s a place where ‘ugg’ boots aren’t a brand so much as a reaction to the Designer Shoe Outlet knock-off sleds that women strap on to their feet. A place where professional people dress like it’s Halloween every day. Like I said, sad, really. That such an idyllic spot could be inhabited by so many groaners perhaps argues that God indeed really did die, or at least go on extended vacation, thus leaving Creation in the hands of people who consider Billy Joel relevant. But enough theology.

As far as the Islanders, they haven’t been a role model for decades. Save, maybe, for people who suffer from Imposter Syndrome for good reason. Heck, just insert any “X” into the X > Tebow meme, and replace Tebow with the Islanders, and you get the idea. “Godfathers Pizza > Islanders.” Gold.

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Overtime = OV Time: Caps Shock Islanders, 2-1 (OT)

It feels so good! Alex Ovechkin's OTGWG Against the Islanders

Your new desktop background. Click to enlarge. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)

The new-look Washington Capitals featuring Jason Arnott, Marco Sturm and Dennis Wideman took to the ice Tuesday night. After 61 minutes and 55 seconds of hockey, they had done exactly what the old team did only three days ago: came from behind and squeaked out a win against the New York Islanders, though it certainly it wasn’t how they originally expected to do it.

The Capitals controlled play early on, outshooting the Islanders 10-1 midway through first frame. Washington had a numerous quality chances in the period but Nathan Lawson — who came into the game with a record of 1-4-1 and a GAA of 4.56 — shut the door, and the game was scoreless after one period of play.

The second stanza was even more lopsided than the first for the Caps in terms of shots on goal — but not on the scoreboard. Just after the 10 minute mark of the period, the Islanders’ Matt Moulson finally netted the game’s first tally, scoring on a two-on-one odd man rush. But that would be all Washington netminder Michal Neuvirth would allow as he became impenetrable for the rest of the contest.

The third period looked grim for Caps fans as nothing seemed to be able to get past Lawson — that is, until the final minute of play. With just 48 seconds remaining and Neuvirth pulled, new Cap Arnott delivered a perfect pass to Brooks Laich in the crease. He chipped in the puck and just Laich that (See what I did there? It’s awful, I know.) we had ourselves a whole new ballgame.

In overtime, well, this happened:

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