This t-shirt can be bought here. (Illustration by Rachel Cohen)

Wednesday night was supposed to be the Pittsburgh Penguins’ first visit to Verizon Center this season. Because of the NHL lockout, we won’t get to see Matt Cooke trolling or Sidney Crosby caterwauling plaintively at the refs. We’ll just have to settle for candy instead.

Hating Pittsburgh sports is coded into my DNA. I’m physically sick over this. Gary Bettman is depriving me of my regular Sidney Crosby hate, and now I am indescribably sad.

To cheer myself up, I have compiled these GIFs from the Alex Ovechkin “Sorry, Penguin” commercial. And now I share them with you. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll wave $15 goodbye.

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GIF by forsse90.

We almost broke the internets when we published video of Caps first-round pick Filip Forsberg dancing to PSY’s “Gangnam Style” after a 6-0 blowout by Leksands IF. It appeared to be a once-in-a-blue-moon type of celebration – something I assumed the shy Forsberg would never do again.

But since then, Leksands IF has scored six goals in three straight games, including a 6-1 mollywhopping of Anton Gustafsson’s Asplövenon on Friday. The win returned Leksands IF to the top of the Swedish Allsvenskan League.

And it brought Forsberg and teammate Martin Janolhs back to the dance floor for an encore performance.

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Nicklas Backstrom’s New KHL Number is 69

Graphic by Ian Oland.

Sad news, you guys. Nicklas Backstrom has decided to change his Dynamo Moscow jersey number to 69.

Magnus Nystrom of expressen.se, first to detail the news, explains that Backstrom never wanted Gretzky’s holy number to begin with and had to work hard to change it.

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Off the shaft of Nicky’s stick and in. (GIF by cadetsandkings)

On Monday, Nicklas Backstrom scored his first KHL goal. Utilizing the shaft of his stick, Backstrom deflected a waist-high shot into the back of the net. It was a brilliant play. Surely it would be the most magical moment of the day I thought.

Well, it was until Backstrom was interviewed by the press after the game.

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Paralyzed high-school hockey player Jack Jablonski drops the puck for a ceremonial faceoff between Parise and Hendricks. (Photo via Defending the Blueline)

When George McPhee traded for Mike Ribeiro and signed Wojek Wolski, he formed perhaps the greatest shootout line-up in the history of hockey. That duo is rounded out by Matt Hendricks, who went 5 for 6 and embarrassed some of the best goalies in the game last season. The Capitals don’t even need Alex Ovechkin or Nicklas Backstrom for the gimmick anymore.

But temper that confidence. On Sunday, NHL players including Zach Parise, new Caps defenseman Jack Hillen, and Hendricks, took the ice for a charity game benefiting Defending the Blue Line. The game brought 3,000 hockey-starved fans out to the University of Minnesota and raised an estimated $50,000 for the children of military parents. It was great, until Hendricks’ shootout attempt at the end of the game.

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Photo credit: dynamo.ru

With leading scorer Alex Ovechkin out sick with bronchitis, Dynamo Moscow needed someone to pick up the slack against rival Dinamo Riga on Monday. That person was Nicklas Backstrom.

With three seconds left in the first period, Backstrom scored his first career KHL goal, deflecting Filip Novak’s shot past Dinamo goaltender Mikael Tellqvist while on the power play.

Video below.

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“No hand shakes. My germs would kill normal man.” (Photo credit: dynamo.ru)

Alex Ovechkin sat out Dynamo Moscow’s home game on Monday against Dinamo Riga due to a bad case of bronchitis and a high temperature. Instead of staying in bed, Ovi journeyed to the Luzhniki arena to support his teammates and sign autographs for fans during the second period. The autograph session was immensely popular, as a large chunk of the 5,209 in attendance on Monday clogged the mezzanine area to try and meet Ovechkin.

Line to meet Ovi > line at the grocery store, just barely.

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Photo: Siri Doesn’t Understand the NHL Lockout

With Hurricane Sandy fast approaching, Clyde Caplan of the indispensable photo site Clydeorama had a simple question for Siri: how bad is this frigging hurricane going to be? Instead of linking to The Weather Channel or providing a list of school closings, Siri reminded Clyde that the Hurricanes/Rangers game was cancelled. Awkward.

Everybody stay safe as the frankenstorm passes through.

Thanks, @clydeorama

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Alex Ovechkin Meets the Cutest Child in Nizhny Novgorod

After Alex Ovechkin warmed up before his game against Alex Semin and Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod on Wednesday, arena worker Natalya Pakhomova brought over a special someone to meet him. Matvey, an three-year-old child that Natalya is teaching how to skate, got to take a picture with Ovi. Check your adorability threshold alarm, as your insides may be turning to goo right now.

Photos by @stasy1976. Thanks to the Ovetjkin blog for first posting.

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hahahahaha)))make party in moscow!!!! (Photo credit: kelo.ru)

Last season, The Washington Post published a 4,000 word feature titled, “What’s Wrong With Alex Ovechkin?” The story asked why, as Ovechkin gets older, he seems to spend less time with his teammates. In it, writer Tarik El-Bashir said,”whatever the case, the so-called ‘Young Guns’ aren’t as close as they once were.”

We’ve got some evidence to the contrary.

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