fehr-second-goal

Ovi tackles his teammates after Mike Knuble's second period goal.

Ovi tackles his teammates after Mike Knuble's second period goal. (Photo credit: Dave Sandford)

Photo credit: Gregory Shamus

After a year of build-up and three glorious episodes of HBO’s 24/7, the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins finally met at Heinz Field in front of 68,111 loud, screaming fans to compete in the 2011 Winter Classic. Much like the 39 games before and the 42 games to follow, this game counted the exact same amount in the standings: two points.

But both you and I know it meant waaaaaay more than that. You could see it in how the Caps played, celebrated and spoke after the game. This was the biggest game they had ever played in their NHL careers. And it showed.

At 8:17pm the first puck dropped. It would then take over twenty-two compelling game minutes to see the 2011 Classic’s first goal. In the second period, Marc-Andre Fleury made a routine stick save along the ice on Alex Ovechkin. Kris Letang then took the rebound and alertly flung the puck up ice where he found a streaking Evgeny Malkin. The Capitals’ defense, caught on a bad change, allowed Malkin to go in all alone on Semyon Varlamov. Malkin went five-hole and the the Penguins took a 1-0 lead.

Continue Reading

The 2011 Winter Classic in Photos

semin-ovi-soccer

Ovi and Semin play soccer pre-game.

Continue Reading

green-so-close

We swear the puck went in.

We really want to talk to the person who gave their tickets to these guys. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)

We really want to talk to the person who gave their tickets to these guys. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)

There was certainly a special buzz in the air today. With most schools shutdown and most work-places deserted for the upcoming Christmas holiday, Caps fans traveled in droves to Kettler Capitals Iceplex to cheer on their hometown team during their pre-game skate. Why? Because the Pittsburgh Penguins were in town.

The energy the Caps felt in the morning certainly translated to the game as one minute in, Alex Ovechkin laid out frenemy, Evgeny Malkin, with one of his biggest hits of the season. The crowd went wild. The Penguins lost their composure. And seconds later, as Evgeny Malkin looked for retribution, he took a two minute interference call. The Capitals get a powerplay!

Unfortunately for our heroes, there was too much standing around, and there wasn’t enough crashing of the net in their ensuing man advantage. The Penguins savvily killed off the powerplay and seized back momentum immediately on a beautiful deflection goal by Sidney Crosby at 3:21.

Thirty-one game minutes later, the Capitals tied it up at the tail end of a 5-on-3 powerplay. Mike Green, who had pinched-in to the top of the face-off circle, riffled a slapshot to the top corner of the net. The game stayed tied 1-1, until the beginning of the third, when Sidney Crosby challenged three Capitals players, flicked the puck towards the net, and found Chris Kunitz who backhanded a shot home.

Things looked dicey until team leader Mike Knuble converted on a crazy 2-on-1 goal while the Caps were shorthanded. The two teams then went to Overtime. Despite what looked to be another goal by Mike Green, the extra five minutes of 4-on-4 hockey could not decide a victor. After an exciting shootout, Pascal Dupuis scored at the bottom of the 7th round. Pens beat Caps 3-2 (SO).

Continue Reading

Pens Will Host Caps in 2011 Winter Classic. Time For Payback!

When his queue frees up and motivation strikes, award-winning Carroll County Times’ Features Writer Brandon Oland does columns for RMNB. After today’s announcement of the 2011 Winter Classic, Brandon just had something he had to get off his chest.

Gary got his wish: Sidney Crosby and his Pittsburgh's idiotic fanbase will host the 2011 Winter Classic.

Gary got his wish: Sidney Crosby and his weeny terrible towel will be hosting the 2011 Winter Classic.

The Washington Capitals will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the latest edition of the hockey classic at an outdoor arena.

The two teams will play on New Year’s Day 2011 at Heinz Field, home to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

This is an annoying development, of course, for the possibility that the Penguins fans will want to wave Terrible Towels at the hockey game. Terrible Towels are puny hand towels that Steelers fans wave with fury at home games.

So I have a suggestion for any Capital fans planning to make the trip to Pittsburgh. Capitals fans should come up with their own version of Terrible Towels that will mock and irk intellectually inferior Penguins fans to no end.

I propose every Capitals fan who travels to Pittsburgh should bring the biggest red beach towels they can find and wave them at tailgate parties. It would be a symbol of Washington’s financial superiority to rundown Pittsburgh. After all, beach towels are bigger and more expensive than hand towels.

If Penguins fans ask what you are doing, simply point out that you thought everyone was supposed to wave towels inside Heinz Field. Then wad up your towel and beat the Penguins fan over the head with it. What are they going to do? Strike back with a Terrible Towel?

pens-fans-bummin

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.

Really, SI?

Moving forward, please consider Alex Ovechkin’s Game 7 performance against the Canadiens in comparison: 10 shots, 1 assist and a clutch GTG that was uhhh questionably disallowed.

Sometimes another man’s pain is another man’s pleasure. And tonight that pain felt by Pens fans was the perfect tonic for this man’s broken heart.

Great Moments in Signage History

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.

Sidney Crosby is a Douche.
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.

Continue Reading

The Sweep! Caps Beat Pens 6-3!

Caps Sweep The Pens (Image by Jack Reickel)

Thanks, Jack Reickel, for the amazing picture!

It seems the Caps of old are back. The last few weeks, really ever since the Olympic break, the team has lacked its luster. But in this fourth and final game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Washington Capitals brought a ton of heart and their signature roll-call scoring with them.

Thanks to goals from Alex Semin, Mike Knuble, Tomas Fleischmann, Matt Bradley, and then two more from some other guy, the Caps emerged victorious. Maybe it’s the Penguins are flagging late in the season, or maybe the Caps really are the better team. Watching the despondent faces of Pens fans trickling out of Mellon Arena, it doesn’t matter much to me; I’m just happy.

Continue Reading

Caps vs. Pens: The Fix Is In?

gary-loves-sidney

Complaining about officiating is an unmistakable sign of a poor sport. Only a terrible sportsman blames the referees, but let’s get real: the Caps are getting screwed on penalties against the Pittsburgh Penguins. I’m not here to spread conspiracy theories or accuse officials of malpractice; I’ve just got some cold, hard facts that may blow your mind.

Continue Reading

Braden Holtby Portrait

Last Tuesday, RMNB profiled Braden Holtby and introduced everyone to his oh-so-eccentric “Holtbyisms.” A few thousand hits later, our post now floats in the top ten Google hits for “Braden Holtby.” Alright!

Follow-up time!

Continue Reading

An Albatross Around the Capitals’ Neck

The-Rime-of-The-Ancient-M-0

What have we done to earn the ire of the hockey fates?

Here’s a sobering thought: I’ve never seen the Caps win in person. Not against the Flyers in 1996. Not against the Kings at the home opener in ’00. Not when they lost in round 1 of the playoffs to the Penguins in ’01. Never.

It’s a fact: Russian Machine Never Breaks is bad luck for the Washington Capitals.   We’ve tortured ourselves over whether to disclose these sad facts to you, but in light of our attending tonight’s game with the Ottawa Senators, we feel we must let you know: We are cursed.

Continue Reading