Photo: @andreburakovsky

A few days ago, when he was still in Hershey, Andre Burakovsky took a photo with the  Easter Bunny and teammate Liam O’Brien.

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An early 21st century GIF

It seems like everyone and their mom is sharing stats today about how great Alex Ovechkin is. (This was my personal favorite.) Instead, I’d like to focus on one of Ovechkin’s quirks that makes him similar to another generational athlete: Michael Jordan.

You see, like Mike, Ovechkin is inarguably one of the greatest scorers of his sport. And, like Mike, Ovi routinely sticks out his tongue before big moments in his career.

For instance, Ovechkin wagged his tongue last night before becoming the Capitals’ all-time goal-scoring king. I bet you didn’t even know that! As the Russian machine cut to the middle of the ice, evading a facing-the-wrong-direction PK Subban, he stuck his tongue out. Then he fired and scored, ripping a shot past Carey Price that made Price shake his head like, ‘What in the hell even was that?

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Via Reddit Hockey

The Buffalo Sabres are the worst team in the league by a country mile, managing only 45 standings points in 69 games. But that doesn’t even begin to articulate just how stinky their eye-watering stank is.

Let’s use Alex Ovechkin as a comparison. He is one (1) hockey player. Before last night, the Russian machine, in some categories, had better offensive stats than the entire Buffalo Sabres line-up put together. That’s 18 hockey players, and our crazy, gray-haired Russian is better than all of them.

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Every game, Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz jots his notes onto a notecard he keeps in his suit coat. As the Caps and Rangers left the ice for the first intermission on Wednesday, NBCSN showed a close-up shot of Trotz looking all philosophical-like, holding his top secret notes for all the world to see.

Let’s enhance!

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Evgeny Kuznetsov’s Eventful Game Against Buffalo


Photo: Elsa

In Saturday’s 6-1 trouncing of the Sabres, Evgeny Kuznetsov caught my eye on a couple of goals. On the lone Sabres tally, Kuzy seemed confused on where he should be. On one Caps goal, Kuzy was instrumental in helping to end Brooks Laich’s long goal-less streak.

Before taking a look at the two plays, I’d caution against reaching grand conclusions on Kuznetsov’s game based off of any two plays, including these. But, Kuznetsov has been criticized for inconsistent play this season, and performances like the one detailed below are an example of what draws that criticism.

Here’s what Barry Trotz had to say about the rookie’s development this morning:

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Photo: Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey

Saturday night, the Hershey Bears and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (the New York Islanders affiliate) played one of the most entertaining and violent American Hockey League games of the season. The Bears and Sound Tigers combined to score seven goals and earn nearly 200 penalty minutes. The game featured a chaotic line-brawl, a goalie fight, eight ejections, and 12 misconducts.

By now, you’ve probably already seen the video (taken by RMNB alumnus Kyle Mace) of Caps prospects Steve Oleksy, Connor Carrick, Chris Brown, Liam O’Brien, and the Bears’ goalie combatant, Pheonix Copley. By Sunday night, the video had amassed over 130,000 views.

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The Washington Capitals arrived in Philadelphia on Saturday ahead of their Sunday matinee with the Flyers. As of 11:30 PM, things in the team’s hotel were going fine.

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What Barry Trotz Doesn’t Want When the Caps Have a Lead

Patrick McDermott

Photo: Patrick McDermott

There’s been a lot written about the Caps’ play with a lead lately both here and elsewhere. And then there were Barry Trotz’s postgame comments following the loss to the Oilers last week that left some people scratching their heads. It’s a popular topic for good reason. The Caps are fourth in the league in possession when trailing and ninth when tied, but they fall to 17th when they have a lead.

Trotz recently expanded on his thoughts on the team’s play with a lead to Alex Prewitt of The Washington Post.

“A good example of that was end of the second period. There’s 20 seconds left, just make a good play or get it out and don’t try to be too fine. That’s to me managing the game and managing the situation.”

Psssssst. Hey, Marcus Johansson. Your head coach is talking about you.

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How Will The KHL Get Through Russia’s Economic Crisis?


Sochi’s Olympic boss Dmitry Chernyshenko will face the hardest challenge in the KHL’s history in his first year as president. (Photo: Sergey Kuznetsov / RIA Novosti)

Russia’s financial crisis is in full throttle as the ruble fell below 65 to one dollar (as opposed to 33 one year ago), while Russia’s main export, oil, has fallen below 60 dollars per barrel for the first time since May 2009.

The changes in the economy will affect Russian hockey.

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On Tuesday night, as EPIX’s The Road To The Winter Classic began, the Caps began what became the longest shootout in NHL history. The scheduling conflict forced fans to make a difficult decision: reality TV or live hockey. For those who stuck with the live hockey, they got a shootout that went a record twenty rounds, five more than the previous record, which also belonged to the Caps. Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin actually shot twice in the losing effort.

Karl Alzner, Michael Latta, Nate Schmidt, Brooks Orpik, John Carlson, and Tom Wilson all got their first career shootout attempts in the same game.

With all the wackiness on the ice and the game determined not to end, the Caps turned to a late-game baseball tradition to influence the outcome: rally helmets.

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