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For decades, the ugly Christmas sweater has been a fashion faux pas, an ugly, handstiched gift from grandma that you felt obligated to wear on the one day out of the year you actually see her. The colors are often a garish red and green, featuring designs of reindeer, snowmen, holly, and a waving Santa sewn on it. It looks terrible. You look terrible.

The NHL is attempting to out-ugly nana this year by selling their own version of the ugly Christmas sweater. They are so hideous that they are kind of beautiful. You must own one. There is a design for most NHL teams. Three players are immortalized in wool: Jonathan Quick, Patrick Kane, and our own Alex Ovechkin.

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Photo: Caps Instagram

After Wednesday’s practice concluded, Braden Holtby took his son Ben out on the ice for a father/son skate. Much like Cale Chimera’s cameo Monday, it was adorable.

Tiny Ben, who is like ten million times cuter than this horrifying photoshop we once made, took the ice for the very first time with a tiny stick and a gigantic bicycle helmet.

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jason-chimera-cale-chimera

On Monday, Washington Capitals players got a special treat at practice. Cale Chimera, Jason Chimera’s adorable six-year-old son, came to the rink and hung out with the team.

Or at least I thought it was something the players would enjoy.

“I stay away from him,” Karl Alzner said to NBC Washington, terror in his voice. “He has too much energy for me. If he’s anything like his dad, he’ll be able to go for days.”

During practice, as Caps captain Alex Ovechkin left the ice, he met Cale at the bench. Ovi went for a wrestling move. It ended up being a poor decision on Ovi’s part.

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38-year-old astronaut Reid Wiseman returned to solid ground Sunday, after spending a crazy 166 days in Earth’s orbit on the International Space Station. We’re a fan of Wiseman’s because he’s a home-grown kid. He graduated from Dulaney High School, got his master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, loves the Orioles, and grew up in Timonium, Marlyand, a suburb of Baltimore. The dude even likes hockey.

Wiseman tweeted many beautiful photos and videos of earth from space. They’re so amazing that I felt inclined to post them on our very own hockey blog. Check out what Maryland, DC, lightning, aurora borealis (northern lights), the Hoover Dam, hurricanes, and Italy look like from above.

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This Phil Kessel Penalty Box Selfie Is Not Awkward At All

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Kessel, like a curious squirrel, looks on in confusion. (Photo: Andre Ringuette)

Look: I know this has nothing to do with the Capitals and these photos will be shared ad nauseam everywhere, but I have to do it.

On Sunday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre. During the third period, Phil Kessel served a Leafs bench minor for too many men on the ice. While sitting in the box, Kessel, who looks more like a creepy gym teacher or your company’s disgruntled IT guy, noticed a Leafs fan who wanted a photo. Or maybe he was just confused.

This was the result.

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RussianBros

Photo credit: Chris Gordon

Alexander Semin is having a rough time in Carolina. He has no goals this season and has been a healthy scratch. Saturday, though, Sasha Minor spirits perked up. Playing against his former team, Semin had seven shots attempts in a 3-2 loss. After the game, he caught up with his old Russian pals Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov. Ovi, in fact, eluded reporters postgame just so he wouldn’t miss his old friend.

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Photo: Bill Smith

Late in the first period on Friday night, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin checked Niklas Hjalmarsson in open ice. I didn’t think the hit was worth even minor penalty, but the referees saw something I didn’t. They declared it an illegal check to the head.

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“Stay tuned” is what the Capitals told us when we asked when and how fans could buy the team’s nifty new Winter Classic toques. We are too impatient for that.

Based on a scorching hot tip from reader @Maggles330, we sent Ian Oland out on assignment. He hit the road during the first intermission of Friday’s game and headed to Dick’s Sporting Goods, now open on Buckeystown Pike in Frederick. The good people at Dick’s even agreed to take a photo holding the toques.

Boom.

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locker-joeb

Photo: @SergeyKocharov

The Washington Capitals-designed Winter Classic toque is everywhere tonight. Players were wearing it after practice and on the ice during warm-ups. Hell, even Joe B and Craig Laughlin were rocking them during the telecast.

Unfortunately, these toques are not currently for sale to the public (at least I don’t see them anywhere online). But I’m sure they will be available some day in the future at which point I will be buy 30.

Photos!

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Jason Chimera Terrorizes Tom Wilson Interview (GIFs)

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Before the Caps flew out to Chicago on Thursday, John Walton interviewed new first-line forward Tom Wilson. I’d tell you what Wilson said, but I was too busy cracking up at Jason Chimera.

The Caps are on a soul-crushing five-game losing streak, but Chimera still knows how to have fun.

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