Mike Ribeiro’s wife Tamara ‘pissed beyond belief’ he is not returning to Capitals

Mike-Ribeiro-CapitalsVeteran NHL center Mike Ribeiro racked up 49 points in 48 games with the Washington Capitals last season, but it doesn’t sound like keeping him around is a top priority for the team. Ribeiro is expected to become an unrestricted free agent on July 5.

According to Puck Daddy, the 33-year-old was seeking a five-year deal from Washington. He said after the season that he wants to retire in DC and keep his children there, but the two sides are apparently too far apart to make anything happen. On Monday, Ribeiro’s wife Tamara took to Twitter to vent about the situation.

On Tuesday afternoon, presumably after seeing her tweets making the rounds on the internet, Tamara emphasized that her frustration has to do with the couple’s children.

That’s understandable. It’s hard to explain to kids that they have to move to a new city after they got used to their new life and made new friends, but such is life for a professional athlete. The reason people don’t feel badly for the Ribeiro family is that Mike will find a job elsewhere making plenty of money, and children bounce back quickly.

As this MLB player’s wife could tell you, spouses speaking out against teams rarely receives a warm reception.

Washington Capitals’ Analyst Craig Laughlin Swears on the Air (Video)

It looks like analysts and announcers have gone crazy.  At least when Howie Rose trashed the Islanders and Bob Lamey ripped Peyton Manning they both thought they were off the air.  Washington Capitals color analyst Craig Laughlin has taken it to the next level.  There’s no way Laughlin can claim he thought he was off the air when he referred to a Panthers’ goal against the Capitals as a straight up “sh***y goal.”  Still, we’re glad he did because it’s absolutely hilarious.  Check out the video of Craig Laughlin swearing on the air, courtesy of SI Hot Clicks:


Washington D.C. Sports Teams Have Lots of Reasons for Optimism

Even though only one major sports team in Washington is still playing right now, things are already looking up for the rest of them. The Washington Nationals are sucking less than usual this year and are currently at .500 with a 22-22 record. (Maybe Obama throwing out the first pitch had something to do with it). The Nats are expected to call up their new ace, number one pick Stephen Strasburg which will only improve their pitching. But their good news doesn’t end there. The Nationals also have the number one pick for this year’s draft, and most people anticipate the team will select Sports Illustrated stud Bryce Harper. The Nats aren’t the only team with a bright future in D.C. — there’s plenty of reasons for optimism with all the teams in our nation’s capital.

First off, the Wizards won the 2010 NBA Lottery despite only having a 10.3% chance of doing so.  Now the Wizards just have to use their number one pick wisely. This will most likely mean drafting John Wall and hopefully getting rid of gun baring Gilbert Arenas. Doing so will potentially free up a large amount of money on the payroll and bring a true point guard to the team.

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Caps Make Long-Term and Expensive Investment in Nicklas Backstrom

Even though the Washington Capitals were eliminated in the first round of the 2010 NHL Playoffs they have still given us something to talk about. The Caps announced Monday that they would be making another long-term investment by signing center Nicklas Backstrom to a 10-year, $67 million contact.

Hockey salaries rarely make the list for being pricey, but the Caps are already carrying Alexander Ovechkin’s salary of $124 million over 13 years, so what’s another $67 mil to them? The Caps are locking up one of the players who led them to their amazing regular season (maybe next year they won’t lose to an eight seed).

This is a good investment for the Caps. Backstrom and Ovechkin are now guaranteed to play together for a long time, which I’m sure makes other teams around the NHL cringe. Backstrom had a great year for the Caps with 100 points — 33 goals and 68 assists on the season. He also had an impressive seven multi-goal games in 2010. Another perk about Backstrom is that he has never missed a game.  Hopefully saying that won’t jinx his perfect attendance. Overall, the Caps are making a great investment in this young player that will prove to pay off in the long-term.

Caps Signs Nicklas Backstrom to 10-year, $67 M Deal [Washington Post]

Caps Choked Talk Will now Commence

I’m no longer a betting man, but if I were I know I would have put money on the Capitals winning Game 7 against the Canadiens in D.C. I couldn’t have been more wrong. With a 2-1 win in Game 7, the Habs became the first 8th seeded team to come back from down 3-1 in a seven game series to beat the top seeded team. Yes, the Caps blew a 3-1 series lead becoming the third Presidents’ Trophy winning team to lose in the first-round of the Stanley Cup playoffs since ’06. Even more befuddling is that they were the best home team in the regular season yet they lost three home games to the Canadiens. Go figure. Without a doubt, all the “Caps choked” and “Alex Ovechkin is not a winner” talk will begin. I definitely disagree with the latter statement.

The reality with this series is that Jaroslav Halak got hot and took over for Montreal. Halak stopped 131 of 134 shots he faced over the last three games. I don’t know which numbers is more ridiculous: the Caps taking 134 shots in three games or Halak stopping all but three of them. Even though the Caps had three chances to close out the series, I put the Game 1 loss partially on coach Bruce Boudreau for starting Jose Theodore in goal instead of Semyon Varlamov who became their man the rest of the series. At the same time, the Habs gave the Caps a break starting Carey Price in net for Game 4.

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CBC Pre-Game Shots of Capitals’ Dressing Room Crosses the Line

You may have read my complaints about in-game player/coach interviews before. To summarize, I can’t stand them because they take away from the real-life dramatic feel of the events and make it seem more like a scripted television production. Sometimes it’s nice to have extra graphics and camera angles, but many times it invades the sanctity of the game. Take for instance what CBC did with the Capitals prior to Game 4 of their second round series against the Penguins. Cameras were allowed inside the dressing room to put together a piece on Alex Ovechkin’s pre-game preparation. While the practice seemed innocent enough and like it would provide great access for the fans, CBC and Versus crossed the line when they went over the Caps’ keys to the game that were written on a board. If they were granted special access for a particular project, then they were breaching their agreement by broadcasting and analyzing something they weren’t supposed to. Like would it be cool for these cameras to send footage of the players dressing/undressing to Playgirl just because they have it? No, that’s not what they’re there for. Same thing with this. It should have been ignored.

DC Sports Bog has the details on all the info scribbled on the board.

Alexander Ovechkin Is a MAN!

It’s not too often that I get overwhelmed by an athlete’s performance on the field. Last night would be one of them, though it wasn’t on a field. I talked recently about the Caps dishing out a 13-year $124 million contract to sign stud Alexander Ovechkin. Now we have all the proof we ever needed to know why they made the investment. Thursday night Alexander Ovechkin scored four goals and had five points in the Caps’5-4 overtime win in DC against the Canadiens. Yes, that’s a great night no matter what, but it’s not what makes the story special. Get ready for the kicker. Ovechkin did it all with a nose he broke getting checked into the boards, stitches in his lip after getting hit by a puck, and a cut below his eye from a high stick two nights prior.

“Today was a special day,” Ovechkin said with a smile. “I broke my nose, have stitches (and) score four goals. Everything (went) to my face.”

Oh my goodness. That’s one heck of a night. Can you believe it? Maybe figure that’s like Philip Rivers throwing five TD passes and leading the Chargers to a win over the Patriots on his peg leg. Or LT running for another 200 yards and four TDs after hurting his knee in the game. Yes, they play through injuries in hockey, but how many guys are good enough to score four goals and be in on all their team’s goals in a game where they get so banged up? Man, I have a lot of respect for Ovechkin — he’s awesome.