Photo: Amanda Bowen

Editor’s note: Pat Holden has written about Caps hockey over at Brooks Laichyear since 2012. We’ve asked him to pitch in here at RMNB to smarten us up a bit. Please give Pat a warm welcome. Follow him on Twitter.

During the preseason, Barry Trotz said that he prefers to keep forwards in pairs when shuffling lines. So far, that has proven to be the case. The Caps’ four persistent pairs through the first five games have been Ovechkin-Backstrom, Burakovsky-Johansson, Ward-Chimera, and Kuznetsov-O’Brien.

There’s a lot of noise in the numbers this early in the season, but with that disclaimer, a look at Trotz’s deployment so far shows many things we’d expect and some things we wouldn’t. But the biggest story is that the Caps fourth line is struggling, and Barry Trotz clearly doesn’t trust them.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

Ask Not the Sparrow How the Eagle Soars, Hockey’s Back!

CapsGroupOpeningNight_web

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.

Destined to be the NHL’s all-time leading outdoor scorer.

Ever since Mike Knuble left the Caps– and possibly even before– hockey geeks have wanted one name above all others on the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Nick Backstrom. Eric Fehr, the 29-year-old country music fan from Winkler, Manitoba, seems to have finally gotten the nod.

Fehr is expected to play right wing on the Capitals’ top line to start the season. Your boy Chuck Gormley reported it first.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

ovechkin-winter-classic-promo

On Wednesday morning, the NHL released a two-minute long video promoting the upcoming Winter Classic in Washington DC. The gravely narrator gets us excited for the Capitals match-up with the Blackhawks on January 1.

Enjoy!

Continue Reading

winterclassic-logo-dc

The jersey’s got stripes! (Photo: Monumental Network)

At noon on Tuesday, the Washington Capitals will debut their new Winter Classic jerseys. All the big wigs are in attendance: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA Don Fehr, and Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis. Also scheduled to attend are Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Braden Holtby, who will be modeling the new sweaters.

There will be a lot of information to cover today: plans for the game, a 24/7-like documentary series leading up to the game, the Caps new WC logo, the NHL’s logo, whatever the Hawks are doing, rink placement inside the stadium, views from the seats, and probably even more.

We’ll update this post as information comes in so keep refreshing. Have a blast in the comments. Also, we’ll have some awesome photos from Amanda Bowen, who is photographing the event for us, later.

Continue Reading

Caps Implement Hogwarts System For Training Camp

tom-wilson-hogwarts

The Washington Capitals have announced their roster and schedule for training camp. It’s basically “blah blah blah,” 66 players, “blah blah blah,” a buncha scrimmages, but I wanna point out the part that struck me.

The Capitals have organized training camp into groups, each named for a different Caps legend.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

Photo: Neil Greenberg

The Washington Capitals announced Wednesday that they will unveil their new Winter Classic jerseys at the finally-agreed-upon-venue, Nats Park, on September 23rd.

“The Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® has made New Year’s Day a highlight of the season for NHL fans everywhere,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said according to the Capitals’ press release. “Nationals Park provides an ideal setting for all the excitement, entertainment and fun as the Blackhawks and Capitals bring our outdoor tradition to historic Washington, D.C.”

“We are thrilled the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will be played at Nationals Park as we welcome the Chicago Blackhawks and their fans to our nation’s capital,” Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis said. “We are delighted the D.C. area and our great fan base will have an opportunity to experience the Winter Classic, and we know that Nationals Park will provide an incredible backdrop for the game.”

Commissioner Bettman, Caps owner Ted Leonsis, general manager Brian MacLellan, captain Alex Ovechkin, center Nicklas Backstrom, and goaltender Braden Holtby are all scheduled to attend the event.

Continue Reading

Capitals Announce Rookie Camp and Training Camp Dates

training-camp-caps-begins

Photo: Greg Fiume

Ah, autumn. The air is cooling. The leaves are changing. The kids are back at school, getting yolo with their baes, lest they feel fomo, or so I’m told.

And the Capitals are gearing up for actual hockey! On Wednesday the Caps shared their schedule for rookie camp. For five days, promising young players will have their mettle tested by saturnine men in red jackets. Andre Burakovsky and Jakub Vrana will be there.  Many will enter, few will win.

The best of the best from rookie camp will stick around for training camp, which will begin on Friday, September 19.

All practices are open to the public, so get yourself to Kettler Capitals Iceplex and save Chris Gordon a seat.

Schedule and deets below.

Continue Reading

barry-trotz-caps

Photo: Rich Lam

As first reported by the the Winnipeg Free Press’s Gary Lawless, the Washington Capitals are close to hiring former Predators head coach Barry Trotz. Trotz, who spent 16 years in Nashville, interviewed with Caps brass on Tuesday.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

bosch-bylsma

The home team led their lower-seeded opponent three games to one. Then the goalie got hot.

In those final games, the opposing goalie put up a brick wall and his defense kept shots to the outside. Despite a massive advantage in possession, the home team– a favorite to win the Cup– lost game seven.

Despair reigned. The team’s star, an exemplar of offense, failed to score when it counted most. The team’s goalie looked manifestly flawed.

So the team looked inward. Where did we go wrong? Is this the wrong way to play? Who do we blame?

All the eyes turned to the coach.

Continue Reading