Philadelphia Flyers Pregame: Who Got Game?

Ed. note: Here comes your Puck Buddys pregame! Check out their lovely website and delightful twitter thing.

This is a test. This website is conducting a test of the Emergency Capitals Broadcasting System. This is only a test. 

The Pregame: Crazy… you know crazy? Not like “dingo ate my baby” crazy, or “I love Dan Snyder” crazy, but like, Groundhog Day crazy? As in: not only have I seen all this before, but I recall the precise taste of last week’s warm beer and bitter defeat? And why am I tasting it again? Am I at the Mystery Spot?

You have good reason. Here we are, thinking back to Friday’s collapsing defeat on the tail of a hot performance or two (or three), wondering what went wrong, how it could have happened, and what encouragement we might have to offer. Alan May: help us!

And suddenly we’re seized with deja vu; worse, even – not that we think we’ve sorta kinda been here before, but that we’ve been exactly completely here before, several times, right down to Alan May tossing us the lifeline of straight talk, to have it fall on plugged ears.

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Trade: Pavel Kubina to Philadelphia


Photo credit: Elsa Allen

According to TSN, Pavel Kubina has been traded from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Philadelpha Flyers for a second and a fourth-round draft pick. The club has made it no secret that he was on the block, keeping veteran defenseman Kubina off the ice this week for multiple games, including the game played against the Capitals tonight while they looked for a buyer.

Kubina has a cap hit of $3,850,000 and was likely acquired to shore up Philadelphia’s defense with key player Chris Pronger out of the lineup long-term with a concussion. Philadelphia has already acquired defenseman Nicklas Grossman from the Dallas Stars this week but that didn’t seem to stop them from making a bid for Kubina; we assume this is because your average defenseman is worth about one half of a Chris Pronger.

Video: 2012 Winter Classic Time Lapse

Late on Monday, the NHL released a pretty sweet time lapse video of the Winter Classic ice rink being built at Citizens Bank Park and concludes with 46,967 people filing out of the stands at the end of yesterday’s game, a thrilling 3-2 Rangers’ victory. Now just imagine this in 2014– maybe at FedEx Field or Nationals Park (or even Camden Yards!).

Lessons in Humility: Flyers beat Caps 5-1

Greg Fiume

Photo credit: Greg Fiume

One morning during high school, I dressed up like the Devil for Halloween and then got roughed up by a tough guy. I remember cowering on the floor of the hallway, dressed up like an idiot. With our site all decked out in Jaromir Jagr flamebait, I feel the same way.

The Philadelphia Flyers taught the Washington Capitals humility and shame in a 5-1 mauling. All that bravado and confidence from two wins in a row? Evaporated. Flyers beat Caps 5-1.

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Warm Tidings to the Honourable Gentleman, Jaromir Jagr

Tuesday night is a big deal. For the first time since February 10, 2008, Jaromir Jagr will play hockey at Verizon Center. Since he is perhaps the most reviled person in Washington Capitals history, there’s no way this doesn’t get ugly.

As a Pittsburgh Penguin, Jaromir Jagr finished eight seasons with more than 90 points, ran flak for Mario Lemieux, and beat the hell out of the Caps in five of six playoff series. Then something even worse happened: he became a Washington Capital.

Fans can have honest disagreement about what the dark days of the Washington Capitals actually were. No wait; they can’t. That first season going a pathetic 8-67-5 doesn’t come close to unbridled misery of the Jaromir Jagr era (October 6, 2001 – January 21, 2004). It began like this: Acquired from a broke Pittsburgh team, Jagr would earn eleven million dollars a  year as a Capital.

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Philadelphia Flyers Pregame: Cheesesteak Losers

Doug Johnson of the Puck Buddys delivers your pregame report. @PuckBuddys.

The Puck Drop: So, class, pencils down. What have we learned this weekend, hmm? Anyone? Anyone?

Well one of the things we’ve learned is that Coach Dale Hunter really isn’t like Coach Bruce Boudreau. As a player or as a coach. Yes, do we remember that? Do we also remember how Dennis Wideman got gipped out of a hat trick by some fusty clock-watchers in Toronto? Recall that? And… and another lesson; do we all remember how confusing it is to watch the Capitals play game to game? That roller-coaster – yeah, remember that? Awake one night, asleep the next? Hmmm?

It’s AH (Anno Hunteramus) 1, and so far we’re breaking even with genuinely mixed performances. A few months back, before “The Troubles“, we spanked the Flyers 5-2 in their own barn, with Hamrlik (remember when he was hot?) knocking in the GWG and Vokoun in the net. And here we are today. It’s cold, but Hamrlik is sorta hot again – or at least not cold cabbage – and Raccoon is once again starting to show a little of his elite-ness.

So, class, this Tuesday, which Capitals team do you think will show up? Hmm? Bueller?

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Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

The Washington Capitals game with the Philadelphia Flyers should’ve been the clash of the titans: Alex Ovechkin and Jaromir Jagr. Only one of ‘em showed up.

Claude Giroux deked wide to score on a breakaway made possible by Alex Semin’s giveaway. Mathieu Perreault required the rest of the fourth line to screen in his tying marker. Late in the first, someone told Alex Ovechkin that he was tied in goals with ex-Cap Dave Steckel, so Ovi promptly scored on a rebound.

Nothing happened in the second period, but get ready for this. Roman Hamrlik ripped one from way out that deflected in, then Alex Ovechkin found an open spot on open ice and chipped it in, then Joel Ward got a flukey deflection to make it 5-1. All that happened in 150 seconds. Late goal by someone and who cares. Caps beat Flyers 5-2.

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(Photo credit: Andre Ringuette)

True story. Guy walks into a bar. He immediately pulls down his pants, starts cursing a blue streak, and vomits on the floor before stumbling out the door. Bartender says: “Hey, I didn’t know there was a Flyers game today!”

The Low Down: There’s no question Philadelphia is cursed with the worst sports fans in the history of everdom, and that includes the Flyers. Their arena smells, their colors look like butt, and those are the nice things we have to say.

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Winter is Coming in One Day

Alex Ovechkin

Photo credit: Toni L. Sandys of the Washington Post

Editor’s note: To get you properly revved up for the season, each member of the RMNB crew will take a longing look back at some of our favorite goals from days gone by. You can call it nostalgia or cheap summer content, but it’s really a reminder: WINTER IS COMING.

Seeing a Steve Konowalchuk hat trick live with my dad and brother made me fall in love with hockey. Joe Juneau’s jamshot past Dominik Hasek made me wildly jump up and down as a teenager. But Alex Ovechkin’s first career playoff tally is my all-time favorite NHL goal.

Here’s why.

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Varlamonster

Photo credit: RMNB’s Chris Gordon

After the Capitals dramatic 5-4 (SO) victory against the Flyers Tuesday, Soviet Sport correspondent N. Bragilevskaya caught up with Caps goalie Semyon Varlamov. Varly, who is now healthy and awaiting word of his next start in net, spoke extensively to Bragilevskaya about his struggles with injury, what’s plaguing Alex Ovechkin — if anything — and what the coaches have told him about who will be the starting netminder in the playoffs.

Below the jump, RMNB’s Igor Kleyner has your translation.

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