Photo: @HockeyHallFame

On Saturday, the Hockey Hall Of Fame got a whole lot gr8er as they announced on Twitter that Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has donated his 500 goal gloves to the Toronto museum. You’ll notice that the Bauer APX2 Pro gloves have Sergei Ovechkin’s name stitched on the thumb as well as two eyes. It’s a tribute to Alex’s older brother.

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Photo: Bruce Bennett

Friday, Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien spoke to the media and talked about his uncertain future in Winnipeg.

The 30-year-old all-star defenseman is in the final season of a five-year, $26 million contract. Byfuglien is considered by Elliotte Friedman as a potential target of the Washington Capitals.

When asked if his preference was to stay in Winnipeg, Byfuglien was not convincing that he wanted to stay in the park-less city.

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After Thursday’s game, the Washington Capitals announced that Alex Ovechkin would sit out this year’s All-Star Game due to a nagging lower-body injury. Barry Trotz said Ovechkin had been dealing with the issue since mid-November. Ovechkin joked that he aggravated the injury while clearing snow from his house.

If Ovechkin had been dealing with an injury, Ovechkin’s father Mikhail never knew about it.

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Photo: NHL

At media day for the NHL All-Star Game in Nashville, stylish Evgeny Kuznetsov was like a kid in a candy store. After eavesdropping on Nicklas Backstrom’s press conference, Kuznetsov adopted the role of a journalist and asked Backstrom a question.

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Photo: @tom_wilso

Everyone’s favorite Caps roommates, Tom Wilson and Michael Latta, and former roommate and forever brobean Andre Burakovsky, are spending the All-Star break soaking up the sun in the Bahamas.

By the looks of this photo Wilson posted on Instagram today, they’re enjoying some (virgin, no doubt) piña coladas, ab crunches and getting behind on their chest shaving schedules. Wilson captioned the post, “Good vibes good friends ☀️ #bahamatings

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Photo: @WashCaps

With Alex Ovechkin sitting out due to injury, Ovi’s Russian BFF Evgeny Kuznetsov was named to his first NHL All-Star Game. And judging by Kuzy’s suit for media day, the Chelyabinsk native has brought it to Nashville.

And by it, I mean style and class. Kuznetsov wore a desaturated plaid jacket with matching suit pants to the podium. Kuznetsov does not look like a hockey player. No, no.

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This photo is my everything. (Photo: Patrick Smith)

Caps first-line center Nicklas Backstrom is set to play in his first All-Star Game after years of being an NHL afterthought. The shy Swede has spent the last nine years in the shadow of his more outgoing, future Hall Of Fame line-mate, Alex Ovechkin. Backstrom does not crave the media attention or accolades that comes with being a NHL star even though it’s universally agreed he is one.

Sunday, Backstrom will be introduced on a national stage, taking the ice along with two of his teammates and the rest of the league’s best players. But if anyone thinks Backstrom will change who he is because of the experience, they’d be wrong.

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Sports Illustrated has published Alex Prewitt’s special, behind-the-scenes story on the Capitals. Though, I have to warn you, the article sounds more like it’s describing life at a science lab or a hospital than a hockey team.

We learn about Caps trainers giving players dissolvable tablets of magnesium to improve their brain function and packs of powdered Pedialyte to replenish their electrolytes. There’s mentions of Jay Beagle drinking coconut water, Nate Schmidt eating pears, and Braden Holtby drinking 17 liters of fluid before a game, which includes salt water and a pink electrolyte concoction. Then there’s future Hall of Famer Alex Ovechkin, whose winning formula involves drinking three cans of Coke by game time. Perhaps he was inspired by Dale Hunter’s preferred sports drink?

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Photo: Drew Hallowell

TSN’s Bob McKenzie did his annual coach’s poll and I’m now paralyzed by superstitious, jinx-y feelings.

27 of 30 NHL coaches voted in McKenzie’s poll. A staggering 25 of 27 coaches picked the Capitals to come out of the Eastern Conference and play in the Stanley Cup Finals. Two lost souls have Jagr Fever, picking the Florida Panthers to play in a championship series I would refuse to watch.

Meanwhile, the Capitals were heavily favored by coaches to win the Stanley Cup. Washington received 16 votes while Chicago (nine), Los Angeles (one), and Tampa Bay (one) also received consideration.

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Photo: Patrick Smith

Thursday morning, the NHL announced one-game suspensions for Alex Ovechkin and Jonathan Toews for withdrawing from this year’s All-Star Game in Nashville. Ovechkin, who played the entirety of last night’s game against the Flyers, says he is suffering from a nagging lower-body injury that he suffered in mid-November. Meanwhile, Toews suffered an illness against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday and did not finish the game.

Via Wikipedia, it’s Ovechkin’s fourth suspension of his career. In 2009, Ovechkin was suspended for two games after a knee-on-knee hit to Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Tim Gleason. Later that season, Ovechkin was suspended for another two games after a dangerous hit to Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell in March. On January 23, 2012, Ovechkin also received a three-game suspension for a hit on Zbyněk Michálek of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The following day, Ovechkin announced he would skip the 2012 NHL All-Star Game due to the suspension.

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