The Washington Capitals destroyed the New Jersey Devils 6-2 on Thursday, and they owe half of those goals to a country “where the moose is king, Pippi Longstocking is a hero and innovation rules.” ALL THREE SWEDES SCOARED. That’s worth a fancy photoshop and some fancy GIFs, amirite?
Photo: Nick Wass
When the Washington Capitals walked into the locker room for the first intermission, they trailed the San Jose Sharks 3-0. Seven short minutes into the second period, the Capitals had scored three of the next four goals, pulling within one.
Two quick goals from Mike Green and Alex Ovechkin 34 seconds apart, helped make that all possible.
If you’re like me, October can only mean two things: Halloween is coming, and HOCKEY IS BACK!!!
To celebrate the return of the Caps, I did what I do best: Illustrate! Here we have Jason Chimera as the Ice Cheetah, John Carlson as Captain America, Nicklas Backstrom as Thor, Braden Holtby as the Holtbeast, and of course, Alex Ovechkin as the namesake, the Russian Machine. Our hockey superheroes in Red are ready to soar into DC again, prepared to thwart whatever stands in their way.
(The quote comes from an anime I watched summer, Kill La Kill. I thought it was pretty fitting, since y’know…. eagles/weagles.)
Hockey is here, so you know I’ll be in the stands, unleashing a little fury to do my part for the thwarting.
LET’S DO THIS.
Visual approximation of metaphor
On Tuesday, the Washington Capitals hosted some kind of media luncheon thing and made available literally everyone in the Caps organization. That list included owner Ted Leonsis, who dropped what I initially thought was a bombshell during his press conference.
I heard him say something about Nicklas Backstrom having a new “beautiful baby boy.”
Upon closer inspection of District Sports Page’s Katie Brown tweets, however, I learned that Backstrom did not have a new child over the summer. Leonsis was just talking about how Nicklas Backstrom refers to a new addition to the Washington Capitals.
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.
Photo: Aly D.
On Friday, the Washington Capitals took a break from the norm and traveled up to Navy’s Annapolis campus for a team-building event. The Caps got a tour of the Naval Academy from the university’s hockey team, ate lunch in the dining hall with midshipmen, and even held an open practice at McMullen Ice Arena.
Reader Aly D., a hockey player herself, had the chance to attend practice and see her favorite team skate. After the players left the ice, she met basically the entire team, taking selfies with Mike Green, Braden Holtby, and Michael Latta.
Photos: Amanda Bowen
On a bright, sunny Tuesday at Nats Park, the Washington Capitals held their grand Winter Classic jersey reveal in front of a bunch of media and select Caps season ticket holders. Not only did Caps Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Braden Holtby model the new sweaters on stage (oh man, I love those ties), a bunch of other news and details about the event were released too. We learned that we will actually be able to see the all-access Winter Classic show produced by EPIX, the Russian machine’s fashion sense is still one of a kind, and the history behind the new Caps classic logo is pretty darn cool.
But the most interesting part of the day was having some of the biggest NHL personalities on the same podium modeling all this cool new stuff. Amanda Bowen, who’s had quite a busy first week with RMNB, has your photos from the event.
(Please someone get me one of those toques.)
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.”
At around 5:45 pm, Nicklas Backstrom‘s Twitter account @Backstrom19 started tweeting incomprehensible links to its 90k followers at the speed of light. Take a look.
Led by Corey Masisak, a team of NHL.com writers have published their ranking of the league’s top 14 centers. Washington Capitals center Nick Backstrom is not on that list.
Nathan MacKinnon, Claude Giroux, Joe Thornton, and Henrik Sedin all ranked above Backstrom. Only one writer, Dan Rosen, included Backstrom in the top 14.
I’m not outraged. I can kind of see why they did it, and it all depends on how we define our terms.