Pavel Datsyuk seemed tired, but satisfied, following Russia’s dominant 6-2 win over the Finnish national team. He did not score in the game, but with the victory, Russia will now have the opportunity to win its first World Championship gold medal since 2009.
His good mood did not mean, however, that he wanted microphones in his grill. “Don’t too close,” he said, watching the microphones. “It’s not ice cream, guys.”
This is probably not a week that you want to remember in great detail, things didn’t go, uh — exactly as planned, but don’t worry, we’ll whip right through this quickly and painlessly and move along, there’s another game tonight, so there’s no time for moping. The Caps went 1-3-0 this week with losses against the Lightning, the Canes, and the Sens. Sad trombone. And just because a TSN commentator chose to utter the words “How could things get worse for the Washington Capitals?”, Alex Ovechkin also suffered a lower-body injury, didn’t participate in multiple team skates, and missed the game in Ottawa. Despite all this, the week did end on a good note when Ovechkin caught the Brooks Laich fever and unexpectedly declared himself ready to go, and then promptly scored against Montreal in a game that the Caps won. It’s a huge relief that it ended well, but I think most of us are just glad this week is over.
Elsewhere in the NHL, lots of other people were having bad weeks too. The day after it was revealed that his “upper-body injury” was probably a concussion, Jonathan Toews crashed his car into a pole, Pavel Datsyuk had knee surgery that will put him out for two to three weeks, Vincent Lecavalier is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury, and the Maple Leafs goalie tandem is testing their franchise’s patience, Jeff Carter, on the other hand, had probably about the best week that he’s had in nine months as he was traded out of Columbus to the LA Kings, which is good news for him because it’s probably exhausting to keep up a sulk for that long.
In case you were wondering the most important question, though — how does everything in the world apply to the Washington Capitals? — we’ll break it down for you after the jump.
Screengrab via @CarrottBazooka
Since Alex Ovechkin has opted out of the All-Star Weekend (and has better things to do anyway), Dennis Wideman is now Washington’s lone representative in Ottawa. While Wideman is perhaps slightly less likely to don a hat and sunglasses and do trick shots, he’s a Capital, so we love him all the same. We’ll be covering Wideman’s foray into the glamorous life of an All-Star, so check back for updates, because let’s face it, you’re already bored without hockey.
Dennis Wideman was picked in the 15th round with the second-to-last pick that could be used on a defenseman, before only Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler. This means that we can get hipster now if we want and call him underrated. We knew Dennis Wideman when he wasn’t cool. Logan Couture was picked last overall and won a brand new caaaaarrrrr! Somehow it just wasn’t the same without Ovechkin there laughing and taking pictures.
After long negotiations, the Russian National Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) has secured the rights to broadcast the NHL on their sports channels (free SD Russia 2 and cable HD Sport 1).
Back when RMNB was in its infancy, I described what it was like to be a fan of the Washington Capitals in Moscow. Staying up until 6am and searching the internet for feeds of Caps games (where there’s no guarantee I will hear Joe B. and Locker), is neither convenient or healthy.
Understanding this shortfall, the NHL started offering a Russian version of their website this season, and they allowed Europeans to watch games on NHL GameCenter Live. The VGTRK deal — which was completed in November — is another step towards globalizing the NHL.
We pretend to hate everyone who isn’t us, but we’re actually sorta chummy with hockey fans across this great land (not including Canada). Through Puck Buddys, we hooked up with The Production Line, a charming operation out of Detroit that runs an entertaining podcast I cannot recommend enough. We’re trying to get to know each other better, so we’re doing something called 5-on-5— a rapid-fire Q&A designed to reveal dark secrets and rankle egos. Our answers are already up over on their site, so go feast your eyes on that action.
Below, check out how Robert Discher of The Production Line handles questions about the nature of winning, Steve Yzerman’s legacy, Pavel Datsyuk’s reliability, and cavemen.
It looks like six more years of high-fives and tire changes are on tap. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)
As all of you Brooks Laich fans kept hitting refresh instead of working Tuesday morning, the Capitals announced that the soon to be unrestricted free agent had re-signed with the team to the tune of six years and $27 million.
“There was never a serious consideration to go anywhere else,” Laich said. “The main core of this team is very young and if you can keep that together, you’re looking at a chance to win a championship for potently the next 10 years, rather than just a window of two to three years. That was a great motivator to get me re-signed.”
Today, the World Junior Championships are set to begin in Buffalo, New York, and RMNB’s Igor Kleyner has translated a fantastic one-on-one interview between Sport Express’s Yuriy Golyshak and Capitals 2010 First Round Pick Evgeny Kuznetsov. Warning: it’s another long one.
In the article translated below, we learn even more crucial information about Kuz including his nagging shoulder injury, his thoughts on the slash Braden Holtby delivered to him during Caps Development Camp, and his experience being drafted by Washington. On top of that, we also learn about Kuznetsov’s half a year of driving without a license, his love for McDonald’s food, and his embarrassment on never seeing Alex Ovechkin play live. Check out all of that and more below the jump.
An unimpressed Pat Sajak looks on as Ilya Kovlachuk & Mike Green fight. (Photo credit: Heather Mabb)
Now look, last night we took a few shots (a har har) at Mike Green for fighting Ilya Kovalchuk. See here, here, and here. But really it was all in good fun, and we were reacting to something we saw after one take.
Today, after video of the fight made its way to the masses, it seems as if other people jumped at a chance to make it personal with Green Life. Let’s take a look at the comments on hockeyfights.com shall we?
“Is it October yet?” takes a back seat to “Is it Draft Day yet?” for us Fantasy Hockey poolies. We eagerly wait to draft Ovechkin or any other Capitals our forwards, defensemen and goaltenders and trash talk our way to victory! However, one player’s value seems to be fairly uncertain: Alexander Semin. ESPN has him ranked as the 8th best player overall for your fantasy team, while Yahoo’s Puck Daddy ranks him 33rd. We here at RMNB try to answer the most important question facing you on draft day: What is Semin worth in fantasy hockey?
Here are some reflections of the Canada and Russia game in the words of players, coaches and famous analysts back home in Russia. All quotes were translated by Fedor Fedin and pulled from interviews by “Soviet Sport,” “Sport-Express,” & “Sports Day By Day.”
Vyacheslav Bykov, Russian Head Coach:
“You can’t “order” the result. It’s a sport. We were in a situation where we met one of the best teams in the world in the quarterfinal and couldn’t win. What will be the consequence? I don’t know. I think, our successors will give a balanced grade for this. I don’t think that the decision to start Nabokov was a mistake. All the players of the Canadian team put very big pressure on us and we had to get out together. With Zhenya. [Ed. Note – Zhenya – short form of Evgeny]. […]
All teams had the same conditions and I think that now it doesn’t make any sense if we blame tournament system. It’s hard to say, did additional game against Germany help the Canadian team? Anyways, I have never seen a team who ran 60 minutes without a break. Everyone wanted to see the Crosby / Ovechkin duel. Everyone made a hullabaloo about it, but the match is the game between teams. We tried different lines but the pressure by the four Canadian lines were much higher than ours”.
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