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After another eventful summer, Alex Ovechkin has returned to the USA. To mark the occasion, I’ve been revisiting something we looked a few times last season: why Ovi’s linemates couldn’t score during even strength.

During 5v5 last season, Ovechkin was on the ice for 33 Caps goals, 20 of them came from Ovi himself. Either Ovi was making his teammates worse (no), or the Caps weren’t doing enough to supplement their captain’s scoring. They were one-dimensional, and that one dimension was Ovi.

When on the ice with Ovechkin during 5v5, center Nick Backstrom scored 4 goals. Two were scored by Eric Fehr, who shared under 100 minutes with Ovechkin, and another two by Casey Wellman, which I can’t even. A bunch of other guys scored single goals, though Marcus Johansson, who shared 600 minutes with Ovi, scored not a one.

I’m gonna try– and fail– to figure out what’s going on here.

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Photo: DaveArt

Swedish airbrush painter Dave Gunnarsson has just released photos of Braden Holtby‘s new mask, and boy is it a beauty. Built off the design of Holtby’s bucket from last season, Gunnarrsson continued — in his words — the “old school style” of the Capitals brand.

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Ovi on the flight home (Photo: @a0gr8)

In another encouraging sign that hockey is imminent, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has returned to North America, after a cross-continent flight over the Atlantic during the weekend. As we speak, the Russian machine is participating in the NHL’s media in New York City. Then, according to CSN Washington’s Chuck Gormley, he will return to nation’s capital on Wednesday.

When Ovechkin does arrive, he has a special event planned. According to the Caps, Ovechkin will host a private skate with sixty disabled children and adolescents at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. First, he skates with future pilots at an aviation school and now this? Whatta guy.

Ovechkin will then speak to the local media for the first time this season.

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The Brouwers with all three Brouwer Rangers. (Photo: Sheena D.)

9/8 Update: With post-event bake sale money and online donations included, the total raised actually comes to $2,800!

Thanks to everyone who braved the wicked traffic to come out to PARTYZORD: The Brouwer Rangers/RMNB ‘Legends of Ice Dancing’ Tour de Pouwer (to Support Fort Dupont Ice Arena)™ on Saturday morning. In just two short hours, we raised more than $2,100 for Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena! Can you believe it?!

That includes money contributed through the raffle, bake sale and silent auction, and surpasses the total donation we made along with the Brouwers last year! Even better is that the real total is probably even higher than that, thanks to folks who couldn’t make it out to the party but still donated online. (If you’d like to do that now, head over to FDIA’s donation page.)

We think Emily put it best:

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John Carlson Got Married Today, Looked Really Happy

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Photo: @lexsolofs via @CAPLDY

Earlier this evening, Washington Capitals defenseman and fifth member of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles John Carlson got married to his long-time girlfriend, Gina Nucci, in a beautiful outdoor ceremony at Woodend Nature Sanctuary in Maryland.

Gina looked stunning in her gown and aw, man, Carly looked so danged happy. We’re thrilled for them.

Carlson now becomes the second Capital player to get married this summer, joining Mike Green in holy matrimony (ugh, not with each other; you know what I mean).

All our young guns are grown’d up.

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The Winter Classic Will Be Held at Nats Park, Duh

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

At long last we know what the venue will be for the Winter Classic on January 1st, 2015, and it’s exactly where we thought it’d be: Nationals Park! Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post broke the news on the Twitter machine.

The news ends months of uncertainty around the big game. Despite rumors of quibbling over the details, Nats Park was always the obvious choice. It’s inside the district, it’s beautiful (inspired by Baltimore’s Camden Yards!), it’s not completely falling apart, and its baseball team isn’t owned by a jerk.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov Is at the Washington Nationals Game

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Photo: @Kuzy092

With two first place teams within 40 miles of each other, you can’t really go wrong taking in a baseball game on a warm Friday night in September. And that’s exactly what Washington Capitals rookie forward Evgeny Kuznetsov is doing tonight. Flanked by his beautiful wife of three years, Nastya, the Russian forward traveled to Nationals Park after an informal practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex today to see the Nats take on the Philadelphia Phillies.

Before the game started, Kuznetsov took a photo with his wife in the outfield grandstands. He captioned the photo, “Go Nationals.”

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Photo: @ElenaRusko

Fifteen Caps players (and Jeff Halpern) skated at Kettler Capitals Iceplex Friday, but Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin remains in his homeland of Russia.

Earlier on Friday, photographer Elena Rusko captured the Russian machine at the Dynamo Moscow game while he was aggressively face-nuzzled by the team’s former head coach, Oleg Znarok.

Dynamo lost 4-1. They sit DFL in the KHL after being outscored 10-2 in the first two games.

While Ovechkin goes way back with Znarok (Ovechkin played under him during the lock-out and during this past year’s World Championships) and this isn’t a big deal, it’s probably not the best thing in the world to see the Capitals’ best player (sorry, Brouwer Rangers) exchange pleasantries with a KHL head coach team official just days after the KHL President hints that you might return home for the 2015-16 season. But what do I know?

With that in mind, let’s have a Caption Contest! What is Znarok actually saying to Ovi? Here’s a photo with a caption bubble.

Submit your ideas in the comments below. Have fun and I’ll see you at the party tomorrow.

Fort Dupont Ice Arena Needs (And Deserves) Your Help

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Skaters on the ice at Fort Dupont Ice Arena. Photo: Friends of FDIA

This Saturday, Sept. 6, RMNB and the Brouwer Rangers are hosting #PARTYZORD: The Brouwer Rangers / RMNB ‘Legends of Ice Dancing’ Tour de Pouwer (to support Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena)™.

Between the special guests (ahem, Troy and Carmen Brouwer, anthem singer Bob McDonald, etc.), the raffle prizes and sundry shenanigans (e.g. Ian fulfilling his Ice Bucket Challenge), it’s going to be a lot of fun. But it’s also going to raise money for a really worthy cause. We wanted to take just a minute to tell you more about it.

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At around 5:45 pm, Nicklas Backstrom‘s Twitter account @Backstrom19 started tweeting incomprehensible links to its 90k followers at the speed of light. Take a look.

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