Photo: Amanda Bowen

This morning at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, Barry Trotz took a hammer to the lines that have been so successful in the early part of the season. Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom have been split up. The team’s second line, consisting of Marcus Johansson, Andre Burakovsky, and Troy Brouwer, has been blown to smithereens as well.

The Capitals also made a roster move this morning, recalling Tom Wilson from AHL Hershey and demoting Chris Brown. Brooks Laich, who suffered what appeared to be a shoulder injury last week, did not skate with the team and will not play Wednesday. Trotz believes Laich may practice later in the week. Come on, baked goods, I thought you had magical healing powers!

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Photo: Jeff Vinnick

The Vancouver Canucks hosted their Hockey Fights Cancer Night on Sunday at Rogers Arena. The Canucks wore purple and lavender jerseys during warm-ups (the color represents all forms of cancer), which they auctioned off during the game. They also had a special guest for the ceremonial faceoff between captains Henrik Sedin and Alex Ovechkin.

So special, I thought I’d tell you more about her.

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Photo: Kyle Mace – Chocolate Hockey

Last night in Hershey, Caps goaltending prospect Pheonix Copley did something remarkable. No, I’m not talking about the AHL rookie’s second straight shutout. Nor am I talking about his mind-boggling shutout streak of 144:28.

Copley tried to scored an empty net goal!

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Photo: Andrew Propp for The Washingtonian

The Washingtonian published an interesting feature on Mike Green and Braden Holtby on Monday. You’re gonna wanna click and read it right now. It focuses on the personal lives, friendship, and style of the two Capitals.

“Fashion was one of the things that sort of brought [Mike Green and me] together, believe it or not,” Holtby said to Valeria Boucas.

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Photo: Simon Hastegard / Bildbyran

Washington Capitals defense prospect Christian Djoos scored two goals and an assist as his Brynas lost to HV71 7-4 on Saturday.

Djoos, who was held off the scoresheet in the first seven games of the season, now has two goals and two assists in the last three games.

Saturday’s contest was Djoos’ first multi-goal game in the top tier Swedish league. The 20-year-old defenseman, who was signed over the summer to a three year entry-level contract, also tied his career high in points in a single game and registered season high 23:33 of ice time.

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Sometimes the most captivating television comes from surprising places. Like, forget putting the twins in a room and forcing them to be funny, just take a camera man along with Caps color guy Craig Laughlin as he goes anywhere. To the grocery store. To the bathroom. Doesn’t really matter where.

That’s what CSN did on Saturday. During the first intermission of the Caps-Flames game, CSN aired a two-minute segment of Locker traveling up to a Calgary mountain top. Sounds simple, but it was a laugh riot.

In the car trip over, Laughlin told the story of him getting drafted and finding out from his father the next morning. Then he got in a cable car to go up the mountain, and that’s when things got really wacky.

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Photo: Anne-Marie Sorvin

Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson has found a home on the team’s second line. Skating with fellow Swede Andre Burakovsky and not-a-Swede Troy Brouwer, Johansson has doubled his shot output from last season.

Johansson has been more productive with his goal output as well. Last year, Johansson was a passenger on the team’s first line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, scoring only two goals at even strength through 80 games– and none of them when skating with Ovechkin.

This year is totally different. Johansson has already matched last season’s total– and he’s done it in 72 fewer games.

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That Road Trip Blew: Canucks beat Caps 4-2

Jeff Vinnick

800 games for this big lug (Photo: Jeff Vinnick)

You shoulda gone to bed. The Washington Capitals blew the final game of their trip through Western Canada with a loss to the Vancouver Canucks. The Caps let the Canucks take a ton of shots, which would’ve been fine if Justin Peters could’ve been perfect for two more minutes.

The first period was a disappointing affair, but the Caps survived it without giving up a goal. Marcus Johansson scored in the second after a great setup from fellow Swede Andre Burakovsky to put the Caps up, but the Canucks came back with a burst of scoring. Within two minutes, Vancouver struck thrice– first by Henrik Sedin on the power play, then with two more by Bonino and Sbisa. Things looked grim for the Caps until Liam O’Brien scored his first NHL goal late in the middle frame.

The third period wasn’t fun at all. Radim Vrbata got a long bomb into the empty net with 61 seconds left.

Canucks beat Caps 4-2.

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During the fall, 20-year-old forward Liam O’Brien was given an amateur contract from the Capitals. Back then, his goal was simply to stick around for a few more days. Instead, he became one of the most impressive players during camp, earning a three-year entry-level contract at its completion for his hard work and grit.

On October 14th, O’Brien notched his first NHL point (and first NHL tongue wag) against the San Jose Sharks. Against the Canucks on Sunday, O’Brien scored his first NHL goal on former Vezina Trophy winner Ryan Miller.

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Karl Alzner Messes With the Penalty-Box Cam (GIF)


Karl Alzner was whistled for interference late in the second period, which was the exact moment the wheels fell off for the Caps. At least for a 1:47 of game action, during which the Canucks scored three times.

But first: watch Alzner mess with the penalty-box camera.

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