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Photo: @plysenkovRUS

If you’ve ever wanted to see the Russian machine play with actual Russian machines, today is a good day for you. On Thursday, Alex Ovechkin and the rest of the Russian National Team did just that, visiting an armored fort near Minsk, which is a part of the Stalin Line.

The Stalin Line.

The line, created in the 1920s to protect the USSR against attacks from the west, consists of concrete bunkers and gun emplacements. It’s basically a less elaborate Maginot Line, which may mean something to approximately 2% of you.

On their off day, Ovechkin and his comrades visited a remaining part of the line, close to where the World Championships are taking place in Belarus. Just like that shirtless soccer game a few years ago, team officials probably hoped the event would bring the team closer together.

Maybe that happened, maybe it didn’t. For sure, it became a giant photo op and no one took it seriously.

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chara

Zdeno sad. (Photo: Jared Wickerham)

The Montreal Canadiens pulled off an improbable comeback tonight, defeating the Boston Bruins 3-1 in game seven.

(Actually, I think I wrote that wrong. Let me try again.)

The universe decided it hated Zdeno Chara, so Montreal got ANOTHER fluky game seven win over a team way better than them.

(Okay, that’s better.)

Not kidding. Chara was bad. The 6’9” Norris trophy winner scored an own goal, committed two penalties, slipped on multiple invisible bananas, and had one particularly weird incident involving Brendan Gallagher and a temporary suspension of the rules of physics.

Let’s take a gander.

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Connor Carrick’s Golf Stance (Photo)

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Photo: @RealConorWierus

I’ve never played golf before, but I’m pretty sure I know a terrible golf swing when I see one. On Friday night, Washington Capitals defenseman Connor Carrick went to a Chicago golf course with some friends and– this is just an educated guess— played golf for the very first time.

Happy Gilmore was a natural in his transition from hockey to golf (putting aside). Carrick, not so much.

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All photos: Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images

Washington Capitals forward Mikhail Grabovski scored a late game-winning goal in Belarus’s upset victory over Switzerland on Monday. The win substantially improved the chances that Grabovski and his teammates will make it out of the group stage at the World Championship. That’s huge for Belarus and its fans, and it explains why Grabovski celebrated like he had just won the Stanley Cup after scoring on the breakaway.

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Photo: Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images

Team Russia beat the living tar out of Team USA at World Championships today with a final score of 6-1. Washington Capitals forwards Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored goals, while Hershey Bears goalie Pierre McGuire David Leggio came on in relief of Tim Thomas in the second period.

Leggio allowed one goal on eight shots in 28:57 of ice time.

Let’s take a look at the highlights.

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Photos: Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images

Washington Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer hit a milestone on Sunday. The 22-year-old prospect, who will likely back-up Braden Holtby in Washington next season, won his debut on the international stage with Team Germany, a 3-2 in a victory over Latvia. Grubauer made 30 saves, defeating Tampa’s talented prospect netminder Kristers Gudlevskis in the process.

Grubauer’s role on Germany is unclear. Grubi served as a back-up to Rob Zepp in Germany’s first game of the tournament on Saturday, a 2-1 win over Kazakhstan.

Two weeks ago, Grubauer shut out Team Russia in a pre-tournament game.

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2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship

Photo: Andre Ringuette

Back at the Olympics, Team Russia got eliminated from medal contention by Finland. It was sad. Even the mascot, the Sochi Bear, which literally had a smile fixed on its face, couldn’t keep it together.

Russia got revenge on Sunday, though some of the names and faces were changed. Buoyed by an Alex Ovechkin power-play goal (his second of the tournament), Russia beat Finland 4-2, ending a year-long losing streak to the Finns. It was Ovechkin’s second goal and his third point of the tournament.

Russia is now 2-0 in the World Championship and has outscored its opponents 9-2. Without Teemu Selanne, who is busy or something, Finland is 0-2 and may miss out on even qualifying for the playoffs.

Ovechkin’s goal was assisted by Dmitry Orlov.

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Photo: R-Sport

Team Russia walloped Switzerland in the opening game of the 2014 World Championships in Minsk today. The fabled Russian offense, mostly inert in Sochi, delivered five goals while goalie Sergei Bobrovsky turned away all 27 shots he faced from the Swiss.

Newly named captain, Alex Ovechkin, also scored a goal and tallied an assist in the beatdown.

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ted-leonsis-videobomb

For those who threw their remotes out the window when the Caps season ended, you’re missing out. The Caps co-tenants at Verizon Center, the Washington Wizards, have won their first playoff series since 2005 and upset the number-one seed Indiana Pacers in game one. On Wednesday night, ahead of game two, CSN Washington’s Chris Miller did a live shot from Bankers Life Fieldhouse during Wizards Central.

And then Ted Leonsis video-bombed Miller on live TV. Troy Brouwer would be so proud.

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Photo: Debora Robinson

Last summer, the Washington Capitals bought out the final season of Jeff Schultz’s four-year, $11 million deal. The 6’6”, 227-pound defenseman fell out of favor with Caps brass, and the Calgary, Alberta native asked for a trade. When they couldn’t find a willing partner, they bought him out. The Caps ended up using Sarge’s $2.75 million cap hit on Mikhail Grabovski, and we all said goodbye. It was time.

Over the summer, Schultz signed with the Los Angeles Kings. He didn’t make their team out of training camp, so he spent the entire season with American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs. He put up pedestrian numbers there–two goals and 11 assists– but Sarge has never been a stellar boxcar stat guy. On Monday night, with Robyn Regehr injured, Schultz was given a jersey by Kings coach Darryl Sutter. He looked like a changed player.

It was weird– and not only because he was playing his first NHL game since DC against Bruce Boudreau, Mathieu Perreault, and the Anaheim Ducks.

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