You stay classy, Pittsburgh! Thanks to Neil for capturing this.
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!
After spending the last few days discussing if the Capitals are coasting to the playoffs or not, one thing was certain: Washington needed a win in a bad kind of way tonight. With three straight losses under it’s belt and a Capitals Blogosphere filling with doubt for the first time all year, somebody had to step up and yell “Пора взять быка за рога” (It’s time to take the bull by the horns) . And lucky for the Caps,
Alex Ovechkin Matt Bradley was equal to the task. Caps THRASH Atlanta 2-1.
Me so punny:
Two Sundays ago, I went to the Hershey Bears/Adirondack Phantoms game where the Bears’ AHL Record Home winning streak ended at 24. There’ll be more on RMNB’s collective bad luck later. But one thing I learned that night is that Braden Holtby is a wildly popular man. Beyond Bruce Boudreau, there is no more popular guy in Hershey. Need examples? Well, while the Bears PA guy announced the starting line-up before the game, there was a smattering of applause for the starting 5. When the PA guy announced Holtby in goal, everyone in the arena rose to their feet and gave him a roaring standing ovation. I turned to my friends in complete shock and asked “Did that really just happen??”
Oh, it most certainly did. And really, there’s a lot to love about the guy (beyond his superb fashion sense and his excellent communication skills with the bewildering Alexander Semin). Holtby has put up incredible numbers in his first professional season in the Capitals’ minor league system. Braden started the year with the South Carolina Stingrays going 7-2-3 with a .911 Save Percentage. He then rode the pine as an injury replacement player in Washington for two games before getting his first shot to stick in Hershey. And stick he did. Since receiving that promotion, Holtby has gone 23-6-2 with 2 Shutouts for the AHL’s most winningest team. His sparkling 2.36 GAA and above average .917 Save Percentage are among AHL Leaders. And really, what has the Chocolate and White fans talking is the fact that Holtby has single-handedly won games this year by himself – even with the incredible roster around him. That has many in Hershey thinking he could eventually push his way into the discussion of who deserves to be the goalie of the future in Washington between Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth.
But if you’re looking for a statistical dissertation of who’s better among those three (SEMYON VARLAMOV), you’ve come to the wrong place my friends. Instead, RMNB has found another reason to fall in love with the twenty year old from Saskatoon: His eccentric “Holtbyisms.”
Don’t know what we’re talking about? We’ll let Bears regular Kathryn Hedrick explain:
We here at RMNB are creative. Peter Hassett is an incredibly gifted musician (here’s one of my favorite songs), Fedor stays up and watches Caps Games live in Moscow at 3am even when he has school a few hours later, Neil is a master of the English language, Stevie K. has a weird fascination with numbers and I’m marginally unterrible at what I do. The point being we love, love, love creativity.
So naturally, when Taylor P. sent us an email with all of her beautiful Capital Player artwork attached, we had to put it up. Check out the rest of her work below the jump and make sure to let her know what you think in the comments. Here, we’ll start you off: “Wow, Taylor you’re awesome.”
The last thing I heard as I was leaving my girlfriend’s apartment today was: “You owe me big time, tomorrow.” Why? Because I made Ashley go with me to attend Muscle Milk’s Mike Green Autograph Signing at a Giant Food Store in the dredges of Columbia, Maryland. Did everything go smoothly? SIGH. No. Does it ever when you’re dealing with professional athletes?? Don’t worry, I’ll explain.
“But it looked so pretty from the window”
At 9:45AM this morning, Ashley’s
futuristic horns of hell alarm went off and we slowly started the process of waking up. One of the first things we noticed was all of the light that was escaping out of her bedside window. What followed was cute. Ashley curiously got up out of bed, stumbled over, slowly pushed the curtain aside, and then gently pressed down on one of the blinds. After several seconds of what seemed like intense observation, she turned to me excitedly and exclaimed “Ian! It’s such a beautiful day outside!!”
I appreciated the enthusiasm. All week, I had been so excited about actually having a Capitals player up near Baltimore. Ever since the Capitals built their beautiful practice facility in Ballston, Virginia, I’ve rarely been able to find the time to go to player appearances or events held by the club. Commuting an hour and a half on weekdays in psycho Virginia traffic is not my vision of fun. And when there are actually weekend practices at Kettler, it’s a total madhouse. Thanks but no thanks, you know?
So when I heard that Muscle Milk was doing the unthinkable and bringing the NHL’s Best Defenseman, Mike Green, up to a Giant 10 minutes away from where I live, my attendance was totally mandatory.
As we both readied ourselves to leave, I quickly started checking my email on Ashley’s computer. While I did so, my tag-team-partner-of-love innocently asked me to check weather.com and tell her how warm it was outside. When the page loaded, I gulped in terror. “Honey, it says it’s 35 degrees outside.”
I’ll be honest, I’ve never been more bored by a drubbing than tonight’s 7-3 Caps victory over the Florida Panthers. Maybe it was because Japers Rink’s FREE ALEX signs got more facetime than the Russian Machine did. Maybe it was because the hundreds of people who WERE in attendance at BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida, were practically comatose during the entire game. Or maybe it was because Florida’s team defense was so bad that every member of it could have been replaced by a lawn chair and no one would have noticed a difference.
Oh well! A win’s a win, right?
At around 2:00pm, after Alex Ovechkin was tossed and Chicago was starting the third period with a 3-0 lead, I got a call from RMNB lead writer Peter Hassett who’s currently spending his last day in California for a weekend wedding. He said and I quote:
“I thought the Tampa Bay Game was the disaster game of the season. I guess it’s this one now.”
I reminded him that there was still 1 full period of play left- which is a lot of time for the Capitals even without Ovechkin – and that Chicago blew a similar 3-0 lead to the Flyers the day before. Undeterred, Peter replied “Dude, It’s Over.”
So of course, the Capitals were victorious and won in Overtime over a stunned Chicago Blackhawks team, 4-3. SORRY PETER. We’re just going to warn you now, we’re not in the mood for happy bullets.
We’ve already gotten a few outstanding entries for our Barack The Red call for Artwork. But the first entry I thought was worth sharing comes above from Nathan Burchfiel who has created The Barackstronaut. YES! LOOK AT HIM GROOVE!!
Anyways Caps Fans, from now until the end of the regular season, if you’ve got a clever and humorous way of artistically showing Barack Obama as a Capitals Fan, please shoot it our way. We’ll put it up on our Petition Page (please join if you haven’t yet) and you’ll be entered to to win our grand prize – a free t-shirt from our store. If you place in the top 5, your work goes on the Barack The Red website. Keep the artwork coming!
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