Alex Ovechkin holds Alex Semin's Niece

After Caps practice concluded today, players and team members were treated to a free skate in which they could bring their friends and family onto the ice. The one person who seemed to have the most fun was none other than Alex Ovechkin, who celebrated the Russian New Year on the Winter Classic ice at 4pm.

Ovi began the free skate by pulling his non-hockey-playing brother Mikhail along with a stick. Next, he set his sights for Alex Semin’s young niece and gave her a trek across the ice on top of his shoulders. After noticing a few kids throwing a football around, Ovechkin got into the action and threw the ball to the kids the entire length of the ice. Several times the bouncing football almost hit one of the NHL Network’s reporters on live TV. Finally, Ovechkin concluded his skate by giving George McPhee’s son, Graham, a wedgie we’re sure he’ll remember for life.

Since we figured you’d want to actually see all of this, the photos and video are below the jump. Enjoy.

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Sasha Minor talks about the conditions of the ice, how to stay focused, and who came to Pittsburgh to support him with the NHL Network’s Alyonka Larianov.

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Mike Green‘s friends from Calgary got engaged at center ice after the Capitals concluded their Winter Classic practice. Above Jeff Leachman and his future wife Lindsey, tell the story.

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Washington Capitals Winter Classic Team Photo

Your new desktop background: The entire Caps’ roster smiles for the camera ahead of the Winter Classic. Click to enlarge. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Above, are highlights from the Caps Pens Alumni Game where the two-period exhibition ended in a 5-5 tie. One of my favorite All-Time Capitals, Peter Bondra, tied the game in the final few minutes with a wicked slap shot from the middle of the circles. In Bonzai’s post-game scrum with the media, he revealed that the scrimmage actually got quite intense.

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The Machinist: December 31, 2010

Oh dear. It’s the final Machinist of the year. And what a year it has been: Caps won a lot, got first-rounded by the Canadiens, Ovi danced in a nightclub, Belanger got dropped and so did Corvo and the Morrisonnii, Caps lost a lot, Lil Ovi and Lil Backy, and DJ Pauly D. Whew.

Traffic is down 8 percent this week. Some might say it’s because the holiday, but I think you readers aren’t pulling your weight. Ray Shero and Dan Bylsma put you at a 3 for the week.

Must-see post of the week? Definitely Rachel’s Ovi-Santa.

Let’s dance.

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