We’ve been through this. Alex Ovechkin is half man, half machine. Hence: our blog name. Yet, in the highlights below, Dion Phaneuf thought it was a good idea to slash Ovechkin after the whistle.

No. It was not.

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After the Washington Capitals concluded their first and only practice on the Winter Classic ice sheet, head coach Barry Trotz gathered his team in a semi-circle.

“They’re kicking us off the ice so we can let our families and let the people who helped us get here and the people you care about have some time on the ice,” Trotz said as the group disbanded. It was at that point dozens of friends, girlfriends, wives, and children came out onto the ice to enjoy a family skate with the Caps.

“This is Belle,” Braden Holtby said to EPIX cameras. “This is her first time on the ice.”

“Too bad you won’t remember this,” Holtby said, as he head turned to his new-born daughter. “We will.”

Brooks Laich could be seen skating with his girlfriend Julianne Hough. Trotz even got to say hello to Alex Ovechkin‘s mom and dad, Tatyana and Mikhail.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with your son,” Trotz said to Ovechkin’s parents, as the Russian machine translates. “I don’t know if it’s a pleasure coming back, but I know it’s a pleasure this way. I think we get along.”

“Happy New Year, health, good luck for the whole team and your family,” Ovechkin’s father responded back in Russian.

“The same thing goes for you,” Trotz said.

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Alex Ovechkin followed up his Winter Classic tally with a power-play goal against the Panthers on Sunday, his eighth of the season and 19th goal overall. It was all made possible because of a beautiful pass by Nicklas Backstrom.

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A few years ago, Milan Lucic laid out Ryan Miller, causing the Vezina trophy-winning goaltender to miss a lot of time due to a concussion. The fallout from that play also caused a change in the NHL rulebook.

On Sunday, Alex Ovechkin laid out Roberto Luongo. Unlike with Lucic-Miller, there was zero malice here.

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RMNB’s Photos of the Winter Classic


Photos: Amanda Bowen

Unable to secure a photo credential for the Winter Classic from the NHL, we went on the open market to buy a ticket. Then we saw the prices (the most expensive in five years) and had a small panic attack. That is until reader Sarah Heffern reached out to us. One of her friends was sick, unable to come, and needed someone to claim the ticket. She offered it to us at a discounted price.

Because of Sarah’s generosity (read her account of the game), we now bring you these incredible photos from Amanda Bowen. She manages to capture nearly the entire experience. Below are photos from the  spectator plaza, the merch area, the USO Board, and inside Nats Park. She also brings you the Brouwer Rangers, Ovie the Bulldog, that sick flyover, Kathryn Tappen, and a celebrating Troy Brouwer.

We’ve linked to the high-resolution version for each photo, so we encourage you to click on your favorites. These are truly incredible pics. The shadows and light are crazy.

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Screen: @myregularface

While Karl Alzner’s sunglasses were a thing, Alex Ovechkin‘s new earphones demanded our attention during warm-ups before the Winter Classic.

The Russian machine wore Beats by Dre’s new Powerbeats2 wireless earbuds, becoming what I think is the first hockey player to wear headphones on the ice. Look at Ovi breaking down walls.

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After Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his first career Winter Classic goal, his luck went to hell. First, he stopped a clearing attempt with his throat. Then, to start the second period, the Russian machine hit the post on two consecutive shots.

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We’ve known for years that Alex Ovechkin is a tough player. Russian machine never breaks and all that. During a first-period power play, Ovechkin’s immunity to human pain was spotlighted when he blocked a Blackhawks clearing attempt WITH HIS THROAT.

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Photo via @NHLPA

We don’t love the idea of Jay Beagle on the first line, but darn it if a clutch screen by #TopLineBeagle didn’t just help Alex Ovechkin score at the Winter Classic.

What a moment.

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Trotz Family

Following their sun-splashed practice at Nationals Park on Wednesday, the Washington Capitals stayed on the ice for an informal skate around the outdoor rink, joined by their friends and family — and there were plenty of them. Michael Latta got around 50 tickets for his guests, though he’s not the Capitals leader. According to Latta, John Carlson asked for even more. While the media was ushered away from the rink during the skate, NHL Network cameras and the Caps Twitter account captured some of the heartwarming moments.

These guys are adorable.

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