I’m not going to dedicate this week’s Awesome Index to Jay “top-line” Beagle, though his pass to set up Alex Ovechkin’s goal during Tuesday’s game against the Blooj was irrefutably awesome.

But a successful Capitals season depends on Alex Ovechkin spending almost 60 percent of his time on attack. Last night he spent just 30 percent of his time on attack. Top-line Beagle isn’t awesome in the long term, which is one of the principal lessons we should have learned from the last guy to stand behind the Caps bench, whose name I don’t want to mention in the Awesome Index, lest it be sullied.

But there’s plenty of other awesome stuff. The Caps have won three in a row, which is absolutely awesome. And while the ways in which they’ve won those games haven’t been particularly awesome, what with the noted lack of SCOAR MOAR GOALS once they get a lead, maybe I’m just thinking about it wrong.

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Eric Fehr Just Wants to Find a Good Home

EricFehr

Photo Credit: Patrick McDermott

Last year, Eric Fehr bounced around the lineup as Adam Oates struggled to find a spot for him. Some nights, Fehr would play center, not his natural position, on the third line. Other nights he would find himself in the press box, despite being one of the team’s top possession players. What he never got a chance to do was be a scoring-line winger, which the Capitals drafted him to be and a spot in which he’s shown promise in the past. Under Bruce Boudreau, Fehr also struggled to fit in, eventually forcing the Caps to ship him to Winnipeg for a fourth rounder and an irrelevant minor leaguer. With Barry Trotz, it looked like things might change, with Fehr starting the season on the top line.

“I just want to have a spot and consistently play, just not be moving around every night,” Fehr said in September.

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

During Thursday morning’s practice, Barry Trotz debuted new lines (again). According to The Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt, these are the new combos.

Ovechkin – Backstrom – Wilson
Johansson – Burakovsky – Brouwer
Chimera – Laich – Ward
O’Brien – Latta – Beagle

And the extra forwards:

Kuznetsov – Fehr – Volpatti (IR)

With Brooks Laich’s shoulder finally healed, the lines had to be juggled. It appears Caps rookie Evgeny Kuznetsov will be scratched for the first time in his career against Chicago on Friday. Eric Fehr will join him in the press box, scratched for the second straight game.

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Rob Carr

I love the dude in the back here. (Photo: Rob Carr)

You’re like, “No way. No way Peter can find awesome things right now. The Caps have lost like seventy games straight. Except for stupid fancystats, he can’t name anything awesome about this team at all.”

Challenge accepted, holmes. The Capitals are awesome. I think I’ve found one spot where they can increase awesomeness in particular. Plus: did you even see the top line last night? They were awesome!

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liam-mchugh

In case you missed NBCSN’s pregame coverage of the Caps game, NBCSN anchor Liam McHugh used plus-minus as a way to discredit Alex Ovechkin‘s 51 goals last year. Clearly Mr. McHugh can’t be bothered with knowing that plus-minus is a silly way to measure a player’s effectiveness. He’s probably also a really big Jeff Schultz fan.

Mr. McHugh’s use of plus-minus didn’t go unnoticed by Caps fans on Twitter.

But know this, Mr. McHugh sees you Caps fans. He sees you and he’s bringing the sass.

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Broken up.

“But, Peter,” you might say, “what could be awesome about the Caps losing two out of three games on that road trip?”

A good question, hypothetical reader into whose mouth I have put words. While the Caps played awesome in western Canada, the results were not uniformly awesome. We’re gonna have to dig deep this week to find the coolest stuff in the Caps’ world.

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mike-green-on-top-of-the-world

It’s Mike Green’s world and we’re all just living in it.

On Tuesday morning, Hockey Night In Canada’s Elliotte Friedman published his latest 30 Thoughts column. The article mostly focused on Randy Carlyle’s hairy situation in Toronto, but it also featured six juicy tidbits of information on the Capitals.

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ovechkin-blocks-shot-with-wrist

Alex Ovechkin earns almost 9.5 million dollars against the salary cap each season, more than 13 percent of the Washington Capitals’ player budget. That’s why it’s a little worrying when Ovi risks injury– even more so when he does it blocking an inconsequential shot.

So…

On Saturday night in Calgary, Alex Ovechkin risked injury by blocking an inconsequential shot.

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capitals-weagle-prototype-jersey

Photo: Icethetics

On June 22, 2007, Ted Leonsis unveiled new uniforms for the Washington Capitals. The team dumped their five-starred eagle and Capitol Dome logos and returned to their original red, white, and blue color scheme.

During that faithful day, the team also unveiled two new marks, including a secondary logo which would be nicknamed by Capitals fans as the Weagle (an eagle that had a W shape with a subtractive silhouette of the Capitol Dome on the bottom).

On Thursday night, Icethetics noticed an interesting jersey up for auction on eBay. The user manonthemoon12345 described the sweater as a “rare authentic” Washington Capitals prototype jersey. On the tag, it’s dated November 16, 2005 and there is a note that this is a second of six versions of the jersey.

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All puppy pics by Amanda Bowen

You’re back already for some more Awesome Index? Good, because I’ve got heaping helping of hella awesome stuff all plated up for you.

Not a lot of Caps hockey since the last time I left you a dope beat to step to, but that doesn’t mean the world of the Capitals was quiet. Indeed, there was all kinds of stuff happening this week, and some if it was– and I hope you’re sitting down for this– awesome.

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