I call it: The Ovechdance. That one’s for you, William!
I call it: The Ovechdance. That one’s for you, William!
During a lightly attended optional practice today, the Washington Capitals allowed William Shannon, a five-year-old boy from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, to take the ice with some of his favorite childhood heroes.
Watch as the talented youngster is given a chance to score on a breakaway against Semyon Varlamov.
Wideman grimaces in pain after being laid out by Tuomo Ruutu. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon!)
After an extended 10 day break to rest an undisclosed injury, the Capitals welcomed their kapitan back to the lineup Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes. During the three game stretch in which Ovechkin sat out, the Caps went 2-1-0, their most dominant win coming Saturday night in Montreal when Braden Holtby shutout the Canadiens.
Alex Semin’s Canadian Ice Dad, Jason Arnott, also returned from injury, forcing Jason Chimera to the press box. Pre-game, head coach Bruce Boudreau told CSN that while it was great that two of his top six forwards were returning, he also had a fear that there would be a letdown. “You know, the guys have been working so hard while [Ovechkin and Arnott] have been out. I’m scared they’ll look at them returning and go ‘they should carry the load now.'”
In the first period, however, Boudreau would have nothing to worry about. Led by a determined Russian Machine, the Capitals as a team hit everything that moved and rifled 16 shots at Cam Ward, feeding off the energy of a Verizon Center crowd they hadn’t played in front of for sixteen long days. The Caps would not see their hard work be rewarded, and the game would remain scoreless until early on in the second period. After Nick Backstrom took a tripping penalty at 1:06, Joe Corvo brilliantly found Jussi Jokinen wide-open in the slot for a one-timer. Jokinen converted and the Hurricanes would take a 1-0 lead.
Videoclip via the Hershey Bears YouTube page
It was a milestone night in Hershey on Saturday. Keith Aucoin registered his 700th career AHL point, Brian Willsie scored his career-high 30th goal of the season and Dmitry Orlov tallied his first career goal at Giant Center. The Bears went on to defeat the Albany Devils 7-4 in front of a sold-out crowd. With the win, Hershey clinched a playoff spot and earned the right to defend their back-to-back Calder Cup Championships.
The most fascinating part of the evening, however, was the line-brawl that was ignited after Brian Willsie scored against the Devils’ fourth line. As the five Bears on the ice went to congratulate each other, Albany tough-guy Chris Murray gave Mathieu Perreault a shove. The feisty, 174 lb. Perreault responded with a flurry of punches and Hershey’s entire line engaged Murray. Pierre-Luc Leblond — yes, the same guy who was suspended earlier in the year for jumping Marcus Johansson — then came to his teammate’s aid, charging towards the pile of Bears as if he were a bowling ball looking for a strike. Mayhem ensued thereafter, as everyone on the ice squared off except for the goalies.
All in all, 34 penalty minutes were doled-out between the two teams, including 14 PIM’s to Leblond and 12 PIM’s to Louis Robitaille. The Bears swept the contentious and brutal season series with Albany, 6-0-0. Below the jump, Sweetest Hockey On Earth‘s Kyle M. has shared his photos of the brawl.
Late in the third period of Ottawa’s 2-0 blanking of the Capitals, Matt Bradley cleaned Senators defenseman Patrick Wiercioch out with what looked to be a legal, open-ice bodycheck. Zach Smith disagreed strongly however, and Bradley was forced to engage the disgruntled center. The two combatants traded multiple punches until Brads lost his balance and Smith wrestled him down to the ice. At some point during the tussle, however, the “paper-thinned” one was cut open and – surprise, surprise – bled all over the ice. As Bradley made his way to the lockerroom, CSN cameras caught a glimpse of him as blood poured down the side of his face. Since we know you guys love grotesque stuff like that, the video is above.
While we have you, we did want to ask what you guys thought of that two minute boarding call Bradley was assessed. As Down Goes Brown author Sean McIndoe correctly observed, Bradley had both of his skates inside the faceoff circle when he delivered the check. It was shoulder to chest. Is there something we’re missing?
Update: Nick Kypreos of Rogers Sportsnet reports that Matt Cooke has been suspended by the NHL for the rest of regular season and the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
During Sunday’s Penguins vs. Rangers game, Matt Cooke was up to his old tricks. The 32 year-old former Capital delivered an elbow to the head of a defenseless Ryan McDonagh. The Ranger player went down like a sack of potatoes but fortunately was uninjured. Cooke received a five minute major for elbowing on the play and a game misconduct. As Daniel Tolensky points out, Cooke has played in 881 NHL games yet has only been suspended a total of ten matches in his career. The League obviously deserves some of the blame for allowing Cooke’s dirty play to continue without significant consequences for his actions.
A month ago, Pens owner Mario Lemieux criticized the NHL for being too soft on the Islanders’ players that participated in the mega-brawl between New York and Pittsburgh. Just a week ago, Sidney Crosby said the NHL needed to fight deliberate head-shots. But now their own player, Matt Cooke, is once again under Colin Campbell’s review. Below, we’ve chronicled Cookie’s dirty deeds throughout the years.
If there was one photo to sum up the night, this would be it.
On Saturday night, we hosted our second RMNB par-taaaaay at The Front Page in Arlington, Virginia. The event was all for charity, raising an astounding $2,500.08 for the Brian and Emily St. Louis Family Fund. We held a silent auction featuring some lovely pieces of Caps memorabilia and held a raffle for those of you who couldn’t drop the big bucks. As promised, some quasi-famous people showed up including Caps P.A. announcer Wes Johnson, CSN anchor Michael Jenkins, Caps beat reporter for 106.7 The FAN Sky Kerstein, Japers’ Rink blogger J.P., Mike Vogel of the Capitals, Brian Murphy of Hail! Magazine and Homer McFanboy, the Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg plus super-fans Goat and The Horn Guy! Teen heartthrob Fedor Fedin was also there, though he didn’t seem to move much. All things considered, it was a pretty awesome night. But hey, you already knew that! If you want to relive the party (or for some reason need convincing on why you should come to our next one which is tentatively titled RMNB Party 3: Let’s All Drink Out Of This Big Silver Cup Thingee) check out the pictures from the night below!
When I was a kid, I always loved it when it was St. Patrick’s Day. We’d get those chocolate gold-foil coins from our teachers, my classmates and I would all talk like drunk Irishmen, and we’d all wear green from head to toe — or face the consequences of a painful pinch from 20 classmates. Plus, I was always the only one in my class named Ian and I’m actually 15% Irish. That always got a lot of attention from the girls… for one day at least. Now, things are totally different. Everyday, I go into work. I have the same routine. And I never really know what the date is unless I go to the bank at lunch. How depressing is that?
So this year, in an effort to reconnect with my inner-youth, I unilaterally decided that RMNB would have a St. Patrick’s Day post. And what better way to celebrate than by
drinking until you turn green watching this video produced by the NHL, featuring a special cameo by — you guessed it — Alex O’Vechkin. Enjoy!
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