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This was awesome. (Photo: Toni L. Sandys)

Welcome to The Awesome Index. This column collects the very best people, or things, or abstract concepts in the Caps universe each week. It won’t be as stat-driven as the Sunday Snapshot or as comprehensive as Japers Rink’s Ups and Downs. It’s just a hastily assembled, somewhat defensible ranking of what looks great in red this week.

Awesome, right?

Now come and tell me where I’m wrong.

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Win this autographed Mike Green jersey by making a small donation to the Fisher House.

Editor’s note: RMNB reader Katie Sieck needs your help for a real good cause that we’ve discussed here before. Everyone who donates $20 or more has a chance to win some cool Caps loot, so donate and help her out. Katie takes it from here.

In just a few weeks, I’ll be running through the streets of Arlington and DC during the 39th Marine Corps Marathon with 30,000 of my closest friends. I thought that the best way to celebrate running my first marathon would be to run as a member of a charity team that supported members of our military and their families. Many of my family members and friends have served our country in the military, and some continue to serve—it was an easy decision. I’m running “The People’s Marathon” with Team Fisher House and the Fisher House Foundation.

If you support me and this worthy cause, you could win an autographed Mike Green jersey, a 2011 Winter Classic baseball cap, and a 2011 Winter Classic knit hat.

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O'Brien signs his first NHL contract.

O’Brien signs his first NHL contract.

It always seems there’s one player at every camp who comes out of nowhere to make the team. Last season it was Connor Carrick. This season it was undrafted free-agent invitee Liam O’Brien.

The forward, who managed just 42 goals in 261 junior games, did not get signed by Brian MacLellan to a three-year entry-level contract because of his scoring prowess. It was his tenacity and grit.

All of O’Brien’s strengths came through during Tuesday’s 6-5 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks. O’Brien tallied his first NHL point in his third NHL game and also got a bunch of media coverage for taunting bear-on-skates John Scott.

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The Cardiac Caps are Back: Sharks beat Caps 6-5 (SO)

Patrick McDermott

Irwin is an anteater. (Photo: Patrick McDermott)

It’s started as badly as you could imagine. After just 10 minutes, the Caps trailed the San Jose Sharks 3-0. But a stirring effort in the second period brought the Caps within striking distance. Remember, last season, when the Caps would go down two goals and you knew it was over? Well, now that’s over.

Matt Irwin connected for two in the game’s first five minutes, followed up by John Scott (seriously) five minutes later. Holtby out, Peters in.

The Caps got three back in the second period, including Ovi’s third of the year, but the Sharks led 4-3 going into the third.

Tommy Wingels kicked off the third period with either a hardnose goal or Carlson and Orpik just gave up. No matter, Ovi neutralized it with an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot with under 10 minutes remaining. Troy Brouwer stalked up to Niemi’s net like a panther before tying the game from the slot.

Overtime was thrilling but didn’t give us a result, so…

Shootout bullets!

  • Backstrom did NOT put the biscuit in the basket
  • Marleau did NOT put the biscuit in the basket
  • Kuznetsov did NOT put the biscuit in the basket
  • Pavelski put the biscuit in the basket
  • Fehr did NOT put the biscuit in the basket

Sharks beat Caps 6-5 in the shootout.

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The Washington Capitals needed a clutch third period goal trailing 5-3 and they got it from Alex Ovechkin.

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Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green scored for the second straight game on Tuesday. That’s cause for celebration. During his intermission interview with Al Koken he had a special shout-out.

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Photo: Nick Wass

When the Washington Capitals walked into the locker room for the first intermission, they trailed the San Jose Sharks 3-0. Seven short minutes into the second period, the Capitals had scored three of the next four goals, pulling within one.

Two quick goals from Mike Green and Alex Ovechkin 34 seconds apart, helped make that all possible.

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Photo: @trilljester

San Jose Sharks enforcer John Scott is probably one of the worst hockey players in the league. The 6’8″ left wing plays in the NHL only because of the traits he shares with a grizzly bear, except on the ice. Remember that one time Phil Kessel wielded his stick like a three musketeer? It was because Scott — who was playing for the Sabres at the time — was trying to send the Maple Leafs a message by trying to fight their best player.

San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan gave that his first sweater of the season on Tuesday. And he scored. On Brooks Orpik. Easily.

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Photo: @BrouwerRangers

We are told they did indeed get a high-five though!

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Caps vs Sharks Pregame: The Caps and the Captainless

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Ovi got two on Saturday, but it’s a long, hard road to the Richard. And, oh yeah, the playoffs. Coming to Verizon Center at 7 PM are the undefeated San Jose Sharks, perhaps the most Caps-like team in the league when it comes to playoff disappointment.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 1-0-1 48.5% 108 22.2% 100%
San Jose Sharks 2-0-0 46.9% 113 8.3% 100%

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