carrick-hardest-shot

Photo: AHL

After the NHL All-Star Game wrapped up, the AHL held their own all-star skills competition in Utica, New York. The Caps-affiliated Hershey Bears were well-represented at the event with Philipp Grubauer, Connor Carrick, and veteran Tim Kennedy competing for the Eastern Conference.

According to The Patriot-News’ Tim Leone, Grubauer won the AHL’s top goaltender award after stopping 16 of 19 shots. That’s cool. Then there’s Carrick.

The 20-year-old defenseman, who spent a large chunk of last year in Washington, unleashed a 98 MPH slapshot during the Hardest Shot competition, which is kind of surprising. His three scores, according to Chocolate Hockey, were 93 MPH, 98 MPH, and 93.2 MPH.

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ovechkin-all-star-2015

Photo via Caps Instagram

Sunday afternoon in Columbus, Alex Ovechkin played in his fifth career All-Star Game. He had his eyes on one goal: winning the car that eluded him at Friday night’s All-Star Fantasy Draft.

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ovi-gives-away-stick

We’ve been documenting Alex Ovechkin‘s Goodwill Tour of North America all season long. Tonight we can file another entry. After the All-Star Skills competition ended, players from Team Foligno started throwing pucks to fans in the stands.

Ovi did this too.

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While Alex Ovechkin did not have his strongest showing in the Breakaway Challenge, he was awesome in the Hardest Shot competition. Ovechkin posted his fastest attempt ever, 101.4 MPH, which he accomplished twice.

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ovechkin-breakaway-challenge

Photo: NHL

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin became one of the most popular hockey players in the world partly due to his creativity in the NHL’s Breakaway Challenge over the years. He’s won the competition three times (2008, 2009, 2011). This is why Team Foligno picked him to compete again this year in Columbus. Unfortunately, he did not win.

While Ovechkin brought the creativity, he left his execution in Washington. His final attempt, where he took baseball swings at lob passes from fellow Russian Vladimir Tarasenko, was his most captivating.

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ovechkin-muffin

Before the All-Star Skills Competition began, Alex Ovechkin was interviewed by NHL Network’s Andi Petrillo out on the ice. It became another classic Ovi interview.

When the Russian machine was asked if he could potentially overtake Shea Weber, he modestly replied, “No, my shot is muffin.”

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The biggest storyline heading into the NHL’s All-Star Fantasy Draft Friday night was who would go last? Four years ago, Phil Kessel was humiliated as the final pick and it was great theatre. Kessel was awkward, everyone laughed, and then the Russian machine started snapping photos of him with his mobile phone which made it even awkwarder.

Fast forward to tonight and Alex Ovechkin flipped the script. When asked if he’d be mad if he wasn’t selected first, Ovechkin started campaigning. “I wanna be last,” he said. “I need a car.” Except, he wasn’t joking.

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ovechkin-gopro-tongue

As we learned during the Winter Classic, any NHL footage authored by GoPro cameras is awesome. That’s why we’re happy to hear that the two companies have partnered up. Today, the NHL and GoPro simultaneously released a video showing some of the world’s best hockey players wearing the cameras and basically showing off. The footage is freaking incredible. Even the Sidney Crosby part, which is like the entire video.

Also, Alex Ovechkin‘s in it too for like two seconds. And he wags his tongue. Appropriate.

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Photo: Steve Oleksy’s Instagram

Hockey players are tough; here’s another story about that.

Let’s go on a trip to PPL Center, where the Hershey Bears on Wednesday night took on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Thirty-two seconds into the game, Steve Oleksy took a rough run from defenseman Brandon Manning.

Binky was like oh hell no and dropped his gloves. As Manning and Oleksy pawed at each other in the corner, Oleksy’s helmet came off. Manning’s stayed glued to his head.

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Even though Evgeny Kuznetsov is goalless in his last 12 games and scoreless in his last seven, he’s been dangerous lately every time he’s had the puck on his stick. On Wednesday night, the Capitals’ debonair dangler deked Oilers goaltender Viktor Fasth onto his rear and scored a most beautiful shootout goal.

(Someone had to do some paralyzing since Matt Hendricks didn’t get an attempt.)

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