Photo credit: Evan Vucci

Does Alex Semin Care? That was the dominant headline before training camp. On August 17th, former Cap Matt Bradley spoke candidly to an Ottawa radio station and questioned the Russian winger’s commitment to hockey and the team. “When you’ve got a guy like that, you need him to be your best player, or one of your best players, and when he doesn’t show up, you almost get the sense that he wants to be back in Russia.”

With a minute left in the third period of Thursday’s game and the Caps up only a goal, Alex Semin showed how much he loved DC by putting the Capitals back in the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season with a dazzling individual play. As two Florida Panther defenders shadowed Brooks Laich along the boards, Sasha Minor — unguarded in the corner — took a pass, went strong to the net, and lifted a backhanded shot over Jose Theodore.

Video is below the jump.

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Playoffs, Here We Come! Caps beat Panthers 4-2

Photo credit: Evan Vucci

This is it. The Caps nipping at the heels of the division-leading Panthers, playing to deny them the clinch and maybe snatch their crown.

Jay Beagle scored early, trapping a Troy Brouwer shot with his rump and firing from the sweet spot. Alex Ovechkin got on the board in the second, crashing the net and converting Marcus Johansson’s rebound. Brooks Laich piled on with a sniper shot from the high slot after a long session in the offensive zone. Mikael Samuelsson was all alone in the Caps zone, breaking the shutout with a high wrister. The Cats made it a one-goal game via Ed Jovanovski’s deflect goal early in the third. Alex Semin made it a four-goal night with a minute left. Caps beat Panthers 4-2. We’re playoff-bound, baby!

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Cale Chimera Practiced with the Caps Again

Photo credit: David S.

At this moment, the tensest of the Capitals’ season, the team still knows how to have fun. Going by these pictures from David and Deanna, Jason Chimera’s son Cale practiced with the team again on Wednesday and it was all smiles. We saw the feisty little dude on the ice back in January, and here he is again– doing conditioning with Mathieu Perreault, besting Brooks Laich in a smile contest, and giving pointers to his dad on how to score his 21st of the season.

We already know how grumpy attitudes and dourness can affect this team’s play, so this is an encouraging sign for tonight’s big game with the Panthers. Or maybe this is confirmation that the Caps have completely depleted the Hershey roster and are desperate for new blood. Eh, let’s go with the first one. Many more pics behind the jump.

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Peter Talks Caps Hockey on Baltimore Sports Hockey Podcast

Peter was on the Baltimore Sports Hockey podcast last night to chat about the Capitals and the playoffs. Peter tried his best to mask his pessimism, and much merriment was had on topics such as:

  • Brooks Laich’s “guarantee” and the Caps’ playoff chances
  • What’s wrong with Alex Ovechkin?
  • What kind of offseason changes do we want to see?
  • Are there any Washington Capitals fans in Baltimore?
  • Peter’s favorite Joe Beninati suit
  • Predictions for the playoffs and the Pittsburgh Penguins

Peter’s segment starts around 15 minutes in, but the BSR guys are funny throughout the show.  The only problem is Georgia the bulldog snoring audibly in the background. Check it out and Go Orioles!

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Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

Concussions have become the topic du jour around the NHL in the last few years, and for very good reason. Nearly a hundred cases of head trauma have been recorded just this season, and with Caps star Nicklas Backstrom missing forty games with concussion the issue has now hit DC  fans closer to home. Despite his highly physical style of play, Alex Ovechkin has managed to avoid concussion so far in his career. Still, he hasn’t been ignoring the epidemic, and for several months Ovechkin has been testing Bauer’s new trauma-preventative RE-AKT helmet. It’s now being worn by several other Bauer-sponsored NHL stars, but Ovechkin was the first to agree to test the RE-AKT — even before Backstrom’s incident with Rene Bourque.

We spoke to C.J. Ficek, Bauer’s Product Manager for Helmets to find out more about the helmet and Ovi’s decision to wear it.

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