evgeny-kuznetsov-23rd-birthday

Photo: @designoabe

Unlike fellow Russian teammate Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov has remained in DC since the season ended. On Tuesday, Kuznetsov celebrated his 23rd birthday with friends at Mari Vanna, a Russian restaurant on Connecticut Avenue. As per Russian tradition (I guess), there were terrifyingly large sparklers (how the building didn’t burn down, I don’t know) and a birthday cake. Also clapping. Lots of clapping.

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ovechkin-sad

Photo: championat.com

Alex Ovechkin‘s 2014-15 season came to an end Sunday as Team Russia got crushed by Team Canada 6-1 in the World Championship gold-medal game. Yes, that’s two crushing defeats for the Russian Machine in five days.

Ovechkin left DC for the Czech Republic Thursday afternoon approximately 15 hours after the Caps lost to the Rangers in game seven. Ovi scored a goal and tallied an assist in Russia’s 4-0 semifinal win against the United States Saturday.

On Sunday, however, Ovechkin managed only two shots on goal in 15:57 of ice time. Russia’s roster, filled with mostly KHL players (and Evgeni Malkin), could not overcome Canada’s team full of NHL all-stars (plus Cody Eakin).

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crosby-falls-over

Sidney Crosby and Team Canada destroyed Alex Ovechkin and Team Russia 6-1 today in the World Championship gold medal game. Since I’m sad that Ovi lost, here’s Crosby going for a line-change in the third period.

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mike-emrick

Wednesday night, the Caps and Rangers played another brilliant hockey game, which came in a series full of brilliant hockey games. Every game in the series was close, so it was appropriate that game seven would be decided in overtime.

10:18 into the extra period, there was a faceoff in the Rangers zone. Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike Emrick decided that this was his moment to say something poignant– something to capture the moment– the tension of the game, the drama of the sport, and the anxiety of its nervous fans.

Instead, this is what he said.

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putin-champagne-shot4

The Caps are done, so– like the swallows to Capistrano– Alex Ovechkin is going to the IIHF World Championships, held this year in Prague.

According to Sov Sport, Ovechkin agreed to join Team Russia by phone as soon as the Caps landed in Washington at 2 AM. Ovechkin took a flight out of Dulles this afternoon and will arrive in Prague Friday at 11:40 AM. RMNB reader @Super_Dad_Esq snapped a photo of him at the terminal.

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angry-chimera

The Caps have lost in seven games after leading the series 3-1. Some players found this frustrating. One of those players was Jason Chimera.

As he walked to the locker room, the Ice Cheetah slammed his stick against the wall. Evgeny Kuznetsov was nearly hit in the head.

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orpik

And this is why they signed him. Late in the third period, Brooks Orpik started trying to rail people at the blue line. Basically it’d go like this: a Cap forward would angle a Rangers player near the boards. Then Batya would finish them.

First, he tried to destroy former MVP Martin St. Louis and just barely missed.

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holtby-save

The Caps’ power play is aggressive. They use only one defenseman on the ice, which makes them dangerous but also susceptible to shorthanded chances. A few minutes after Alex Ovechkin scored, the Caps went to a power play, but instead of scoring, they let Rick Nash race in all alone on Braden Holtby.

The Great Wall Of Chinatown made a big save, though at first it looked pedestrian.

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Alex Ovechkin Scores in Game Seven (GIF)

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All series, baby. Maybe he meant it like a book-end. After four games without a goal, Alex Ovechkin has struck again.

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Welcome Back, Eric Fehr (GIF)

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After missing the last ten playoff games due to an upper-body injury, Corsi King Eric Fehr is back in the Caps lineup, and he’s looking great on the team’s fourth line.

Skating with Tom Wilson and Brooks Laich, Frank nearly helped author a goal after forcing a turnover in the Rangers defensive zone.

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