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Photo: @CapsPR

On Tuesday, the Washington Capitals unveiled their Winter Classic jerseys and brought along Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Braden Holtby along for the ride to be their models. When I first noticed Ovi, something looked kinda off. Then he came closer, and yes, he was wearing white baseball pants bunched up at his ankles. And sandals.

My first thought: he must have seen the slacks somewhere in the Nationals clubhouse, mistaken them for Dolce & Gabbana pants, and just put them on.

Nope. This was an intentional outfit decision by Alex Ovechkin. I love it.

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Caps Install New Hat Trick Displays at Verizon Center (Photos)

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Photos by Chris Gordon.

This season, the Capitals are celebrating their 40th anniversary. Since they weren’t able to raise any Eastern Conference Regular Season Champion banners last year, the team decided to add a new installation outside section 111 honoring the hat tricks in franchise history. The exhibition, in a neat touch, includes displays of headwear collected after 13 hat tricks at Verizon Center since 2008. Most of those, naturally, come from Alex Ovechkin, with cameos from Nicklas Backstrom and Troy Brouwer and departed Caps Alexander Semin and Mathieu Perreault. There’s currently space for three more hat tricks. How quickly those get filled will depend on whether teams keep leaving Ovi wide open at the near circle.

Below, take a look at some photos.

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Photo: Chris Gordon.

Day two of Capitals training camp was Saturday, and the team continued the tough pace set by Barry Trotz on Friday. Each of the three group of players spent about an hour and the half on the ice, focusing on drills designed to simulate game situations and learn the system. With the first preseason game just hours away, three groups of Caps battled along the boards for loose pucks and charged at the net. Unlike previous regimes, Trotz is throwing the players into the fire quickly.

“This is the one day we had to prepare to play tomorrow,” the coach told reporters. “We tried to get a lot of stuff in that was situational.”

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

One hundred sixty days after the Washington Capitals missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007, 66 players took to the ice in Arlington, Virginia looking to atone for a lost season. New head coach Barry Trotz put his players through a 45-minute practice and then a rigorous skate test, which left many exhausted, including Alex Ovechkin. This year’s training camp is supposed to be a hard one, part of Trotz’s plan to transform this team from an also-ran into a real success. The Caps have just two days of training camp to get their legs under them before the preseason opens on Sunday.

Below the jump are photos from the day via RMNB’s newest contributor, Amanda Bowen.

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

On the first day of training camp, new Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz set the tone for the upcoming season by putting all 66 Caps players through a difficult skating test.

According to The Patriot-News’ Tim Leone, “the conditioning skate involved skating the length of the rink down and back twice and then back through the red line.” What made it worse was this came immediately after each group’s 45-minute practice session. Talk about brutal.

The players only had to do the test three times if they were able to beat 38 seconds on the first two trips and 41 seconds on the third. However, if they failed to meet those times on any of the tests, they had to do the insane skate twice more.

On Thursday, Brooks Laich spoke about how the new coaching staff would require every player to meet the same standards and that they didn’t care “what your last name is.” Which brings me to these photos of a pained-looking captain and three-time MVP Alex Ovechkin after completing his test.

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Last week, some of the best hockey players in the world converged on New York City for NHL media day. Among the many things the players did was shoot a video for NHL.com where they guessed their own NHL15 player rating.

Most players were humble, but when the cameras turned to Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin he guessed 100 because what other rating could he be?

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RMNB Readers Wish Alex Ovechkin a Happy 29th Birthday!

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Illustration by the one and only Rachel Cohen

Today is one of the best days of the year. On this beautiful Wednesday we celebrate the birth of our blog’s namesake, Alex Ovechkin. And since Ovi has everything a guy could ever wish for (except the respect of Canadian pundits), we figured that the best gift would be something creative: homemade birthday cards.

Unlike in years past where we’ve asked you to email us five-minute scribbles in Microsoft Paint, this year we’ve simplified the submission process. You can create a card in any way you’d like: Photoshop, noodles, Vines, GIFs, YouTube, whatever. You can upload your file in the comments or put a link to it. Our commenting system, DISQUS, has a great explainer on how to properly upload JPEGs and link to all other rich media like GIFs, Youtube, Vine, and tweets.

But please, don’t pull a Gormley. It’s not Alex Ovechkin’s 30th Birthday. It’s his 29th.

Please do us proud and vote for your favorite cards. Downvote whatever Peter does. There are a lot of fun topics to potentially cover here. If you need inspiration, check out our last four years of cards.

Have a blast, and happy birthday, Ovi!

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Photo: Tyler Lapeyre

Before the Washington Capitals played the Vancouver Canucks last October, Alex Ovechkin noticed a girl standing along the boards during warm-ups. The sign she held read, “All I want 4 my 16th birthday is a puck, Ovi.” The Russian machine obliged and tossed a puck over the glass. The moment was expertly photographed by Jonathan Hayward.

We wrote about the photo. The story went viral. It was even on Buzzfeed.

“The whole thing was pretty surreal,” Tyler Lapeyre, the Vancouver girl who caught the puck, explained to me in an interview on Sunday night. “Then to see the picture show up all over Facebook and Tumblr really made the moment more special. It was like the world realized how awesome the moment was for me!”

That tiny gesture wasn’t the only kind thing Ovechkin did for the young Canadian Caps fan.

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Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin hasn’t played in a single game yet, but TSN’s Darren Dreger is already criticizing him for future wrongs. Two years after completely changing positions and not complaining under Adam Oates, Dreger is worried that the Russian machine won’t “buy in” on the plans of new Caps head coach Barry Trotz.

Welcome to Hot Take Central where the temperature is always scorching.

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oviebday

Birthday card by Lisa A.

С Днем Рождения to the Russian machine himself, Alexander Ovechkin. Ovi turns 29 years old on Wednesday the 17th. He’s got one year left in his twenties, so here’s hoping he can scoar moar goals within that window.

But that won’t matter until October. For now, we just want your help in wishing him a happy day. We’ve done this before; you know the drill. Make a birthday card for Ovi and post in the comments of our Happy Birthday article that will be released Wednesday at 12 AM.

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