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RIP (Photo: @WashCaps)

Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz might have given his players the day off Thursday, but everyone ended up on the ice anyways. The Caps held what I can only describe as an “intense team building event” at the Calgary Curling Club and I’m sad to report there was one casualty: Alex Ovechkin‘s pants. Let us have a moment of silence for #OviPants.

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ovi-through-legs

Four minutes into the third period, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin nearly tied the game with a brilliant individual effort. After getting a perfect pass from Troy Brouwer, Ovechkin churned his legs and went solo against Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz.

Schultz had plenty of space and read Ovi perfectly– at least at first. But when you reach with your stick against one of the greats instead of taking the body, you might get burned.

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ovechkin-celebrates

We always hear criticism about Alex Ovechkin‘s leadership, which is why I bring your attention to this post. Early in the second period, Caps defenseman Mike Green scored a goal on a beauty of a wrist shot, his third goal in five games.

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Photo: Rob Carr

On Wednesday morning, Sportsnet released an interview with Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin. They asked Ovi about lots of interesting things: the music video he co-starred in August, what he remembers from his first NHL goal, and fancy stats!

I’m going to go ahead and share that last part.

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CapsPupsCal_01

On Friday, the Washington Capitals held a photoshoot for their annual dog calendar, benefitting Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. While we posted everything that was put up on social media that day by the Caps, we didn’t tell you that our very own Amanda Bowen went to the event and got her own photos.

And oh man, they are incredible.

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Photos: Amanda Bowen

The Washington Capitals are 3-0-2 and are tied for first in the dumbly-named Metropolitan Division. It’s a good time to be a Capitals fan, which is why now is a good time to share these photos Amanda Bowen took at Wednesday’s practice.

Ovi: keep listening to Barry; he knows what’s up.

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Photo: Alex Brandon

While Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is one of the greatest natural goal scorers of all-time, he’s never been lights out in the shootout. In his career, Ovechkin has connected on 30.2% of his shots, which is less effective than Nicklas Backstrom, Eric Fehr, Brooks Laich, and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

This season, new bench boss Barry Trotz has utilized Ovechkin in the clean-up spot, having him shoot only if a shootout is tied after three rounds. On Saturday, to change the bad juju after two straight shootout losses, Trotz let assistant coach and always-dour-human-being Blaine Forsythe pick the third shooter.

He went with the Russian machine. It paid off.

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EightToFastToCatch getting a work in the slop

EightToFastToCatch getting a work in the slop (Photo: Anne Frederick / Maryland Million Ltd)

When we last left our four-legged equine hero, EightToFastToCatch, a local Thoroughbred named for Alex Ovechkin, he had just won the 2011 renewal of the Maryland Million Classic. Just ahead of puck drop against the Panthers at Verizon on Saturday, horsey Ovi will be looking to score his own hat trick, right up the road at Laurel Park.

Since 2011, ETFTC has had 19 races and found the winners’ circle 7 times, most notably with a repeat win in the 2013 Classic. Where was our coverage in those intervening years? Simple – in the 2012 Classic he ran 5th and we were so gripped by NHL lockout paralysis we could barely get out of bed, let alone play the races. I’m sure we have some other excuse for 2013… maybe we blame Oates, but that’s a bad horse pun.

Now an EIGHT year-old, this gelding (don’t ask!), is wrapping up his career, and has one more race on his schedule after today’s mile-and-an-EIGHTH Classic. And if his engine and the Racing Gods have their way, he’ll cross the finish line first on Saturday, ahead of his EIGHT rivals, and get his 3rd Classic win, a rare racing hat trick. The track odds-maker installed his as the prohibitive 3-5 favorite. It may not make dollars and sense to bet on him at such a low price, but we’re going to cheer for him just as loud (and obnoxiously) as we do his namesake.

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Photo: MSE Foundation

Last year, Washington Capitals players wore silly props for a Dog Calendar, which raised a bunch of money for Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. The Caps organization is producing the calendar again this year, and the photoshoot is being held at the Potomac Regional Overlook Park in Arlington, Virginia.

Players scheduled to attend include Karl Alzner, Nicklas Backstrom, Jay Beagle, Troy Brouwer, John Carlson, Jack Hillen, Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik, Justin Peters, Aaron Volpatti, and Joel Ward. They will will be posing with their own dogs. Braden Holtby, Michael Latta, Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson will be photographed with shelter dogs and puppies.

We’ll be updating this article all day with photos. It should be a blast.

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ovechkin-carly

Don’t look now, but Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has goals in three straight. Just 34 seconds into the first period, Barry Trotz’s newly configured top line paid dividends. After Troy Brouwer ripped a shot on Cory Schneider, Ovechkin snatched the tasty rebound, skated to the right circle, and wristed the shot stick-side.

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