Nathan Walker’s Incredible Hip Check (GIF)

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Photo: Alex Brandon

I was working on my new patio on Sunday night, so I missed the entire Washington Capitals/Buffalo Sabres preseason game. Bummer, I know. Luckily for me, Steve Wilhite of CompuServe invented GIFs in the late 80s, so I didn’t to have to miss one of the greatest hip checks ever.

And I’m saying that last part seriously, without hyperbole.

Australian Nathan Walker is teeny-tiny. He’s a baby joey hanging out in his mama’s pouch. But when Walker knocked Vaclav Karabacek heels-over-head on Sunday night, his slight 5-foot-8 frame didn’t matter.

Look at this.

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After the Washington Capitals defeated the Buffalo Sabres 1-0 in their preseason opener on Sunday, the game’s only scorer, Andre Burakovsky, spoke to CSN Washington’s Al Koken. Burakovsky said stuff but who cares; look at that baby in the corner.

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brooks-laich-flexing

Photo by the incomparable Chuck Gormley

For those of you who need something optimistic to clutch onto after the first day of training camp, I have some news for you. Brooks Laich did not get injured within the first ten minutes of camp (unlike last year). So maybe this is the season he becomes healthy again. Fingers crossed.

On top of that, the good-groin’d Laich is returning to his role as a quote machine, which was sorely missed. On Thursday, he spoke to Mike Vogel and answered a question many of us have been wondering.

What is Barry Trotz’s system going to be laich (get it)?

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The best moment of Caps Rookie Camp didn’t happen on the ice. It happened on Monday in front of a podium. That’s where one Czech, Jakub Vrana, who knows some English, helped another Czech, Vitek Vanecek, who knows virtually none, speak to the media.

The result was a five-minute press conference full of laughing, inscrutable Czech banter, and one-sentence English translations for the media.

Curious as to what Vrana and Vanecek were actually saying to each other in their native language, I reached out to Darina Sameková, a bilingual Czech, and asked her to translate LITERALLY EVERYTHING.

The result is a stressed-out Vrana desperately trying to get good answers out a joking Vanecek. It’s just the best. You have to trust me and read this.

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On Wednesday, CSN aired a feature by Jill “Sasha Whisperer” Sorenson on Washington Capitals prospect Nathan Walker. It’s a fascinating piece.

Sorenson documents just how difficult Walker’s road to the NHL has been. There are only 22 ice rinks on the entire (!) continent of Australia. The rink closest to Walker was 45 minutes away– we assume that’s drive-time in a V8 Interceptor Pursuit Special.

But the best part of the story was when Walker told a story about Jakub Vrana from rookie camp.

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Last week, some of the best hockey players in the world converged on New York City for NHL media day. Among the many things the players did was shoot a video for NHL.com where they guessed their own NHL15 player rating.

Most players were humble, but when the cameras turned to Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin he guessed 100 because what other rating could he be?

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Watch the Caps Rookie Game Against the Flyers Right Here

The game starts at 3pm. If anyone wants to GIF/GFY/VINE highlights of the game, feel free to dump them in the comments below. Let’s go Caps!

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Un-mute the video, then listen and smile with delight.

He’s gonna fit right in!

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verizon-center-ice-before

Photo: @WashingtonCaps

“Watching paint dry” is another way to say something is boring, but when it’s the Verizon Center staff painting the ice sheet for the Washington Capitals 2013-14 season, there’s reason to be excited.

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ovechkin-private-skate

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin ended his summer in Russia with fireworks of the figurative kind. He injected himself into the debate about Ukraine, found his name bandied about (again) in KHL speculation, and co-starred in an “unusual and somewhat provocative” music video with a Russian pop star.

On Thursday, back in the loving confines of Kettler Capitals Iceplex, Ovechkin looked as cool as a cucumber, talking with reporters about the upcoming NHL season (yaye!) and hosting a private skate with 60 children with developmental disabilities.

Of course the skate was cute but there was one particular moment that is mind-blowingly adorable.

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