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Not sure. (Photo: championat.com)

Before getting injured on Sunday by German enforcer Markus Kink, Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin was having a splendid World Championships. Team Russia, for whom he is captain, is undefeated in six games with a plus-23 goal differential — the highest in the tournament. Ovechkin ranks second in points in the tournament. Plus, he got to ride a tank and shoot off guns and stuff.

Speaking to reporters for twenty minutes on Friday, Ovechkin spoke about a wide range of fun topics. He talked about his duties as captain for Team Russia, his on- and off-again relationship with Evgeni Malkin, and if he’d ever leave for the KHL. Ovechkin also was asked about his upcoming wedding (which, c’mon, that’s inevitable) and his ideal linemates. He really misses Sasha Minor and Sergei.

RMNB’s Igor Kleyner has translated most of the press conference, transcribed by Sport-Express, below.

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The Capitals Will Select 13th in 2014 NHL Draft

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Lucky number 13?

This season, the NHL adopted a draft lottery system like the NBA. That means, unlike in years past, every team that does not make the playoffs has a chance to win the lottery and draft number one overall. The suspense! The television revenues. The bloggity blogs writing about this craziness. Gary, you are such a brilliant commissioner.

The Capitals had a 0.5% chance of getting the first overall pick entering the night and ended up getting dreaded pick number 13, which I guess is good unless you’re really, really superstitious. For those looking for a good omen, the last time the Capitals drafted 13th– back in 2002, they wound up with Alex Semin.

The Florida Panthers, who are awful, won the lottery and will draft first. The Sabres, who are even awfuler, will draft second. Here are the rest of the picks.

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In a move that surprises absolutely no one, Alex Ovechkin, the world’s best scorer, has been named to the Russian Olympic team. The Capitals Captain is also a goodwill ambassador for the Sochi games, though he’s not sure what that means either.

Not on the Russian roster are Alex Semin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. The latter is a Caps prospect who delayed his NHL career for two seasons in hopes of making the Olympic team for Sochi.

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For a large part of Alex Semin‘s career in Washington, he was an international man of mystery. Semin would rarely conduct interviews with the media, and if he did, they were never in English. This was despite the fact that there were clear signs he knew the language. At times, I thought Semin’s english was secretly as expansive and perfect as Dave Chappelle’s impersonation of Lil’ Jon.

Since signing with Carolina as a free agent a few years ago, Semin’s relationship with the local media has been better.

Take Tripp Tracy’s two-part interview with Sasha Minor last year. Tracy grilled Semin about how great a Hurricanes jersey looks on him and how much his teammates actually love him. Hard-hitting stuff.

Tracy was granted another TV interview with Semin, and it has now hit the internet. It is just as gripping.

Below, learn how much Semin likes playing with the Staals, how awesome Pavel Bure is, and Mama Semin.

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Skinned: Canes Thump Caps 4-1

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Photo credit: Rob Carr

The Capitals’ power play, the main factor behind Washington’s early wins, has dropped off. So, too, has their penalty kill. Still, the team is finding ways to win — barely. Though they got four points over the weekend, both games took extra time. Nevertheless, the team’s five-on-five play has been improving. Would it be enough to defeat the new old division rival Canes?

The Caps played well in the first, with Jason Chimera nearly converting early on a scrum in front to give Washington the lead. Carolina, though, struck first. After Eric Staal fed him the puck from behind the net, Hockey Bieber — that would be Jeff Skinner — took a shot from the goal line. Braden Holtby couldn’t make to the near post in time as the puck deflected in off his nether regions.

In the second, things got out of hand. Midway through the frame, lil’ Skinner was at it again with fly ball from the near circle. Less than three minutes later, the Hurricanes pushed the lead to three as Andre Sekera unleashed a blast from the point on the power play that Holtby never saw. Point number three for Skinner. Fifty-three seconds later, it got even uglier when Jiri Tlusty put a nasty backhand top shelf. Ugh.

For the final frame, enter Philip Grubauer. The Caps didn’t show much life in the third, but at least Mike Green got on board for the first time since the Obama administration with a power play marker. Nothing more. Canes thump Caps, 4-1.

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Corey Perry Steals Alex Semin’s Stick (GIF)

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What comes around goes around. A few days after he pranked Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Justin Peters during an interview, Alex Semin was on the receiving end of some hockey mischief.

During overtime of Friday’s Canes-Ducks game, Ducks star Corey Perry broke his stick. On his way to the bench, the former Hart Trophy winner must have thought getting a new stick was too much work. Instead, he plucked a twig out of Semin’s hands as the ex-Cap sat on the boards waiting for a shift change.

Semin threw his hands up in Sashalian disbelief.

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Alex Semin Pranks Justin Peters During Interview (Video)

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From 2006 through 2012, Alex Semin was an inscrutable, playful presence on the Washington Capitals roster. Now that he’s with Carolina Hurricanes, Lesser Sasha doesn’t seem to have changed much. Friend-of-the-blog and Canes photographer extraordinaire Jamie Kellner shared a little video that reminds us of all the good times.

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Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and Carolina Hurricanes forward Alex Semin are best friends off the ice. On it, um, not so much. Which is why last year, Sasha checked Sasha so hard, he had to adjust himself on the bench.

Thursday night, in the first Sasha Bowl of the young season, Ovechkin checked Semin in the face during the final minute of the third period to try and save a goal.

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Matching Sashas: Canes beat Caps 3-2

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Derpfaces akimbo (Photo: Patrick McDermott)

It has been a long, five days since the last Washington Capitals game. The world just feels different now, ya know? The temperature dropped 40 degrees for one thing. Alex Ovechkin surrendered the scoring lead to a tween for another. No matter: the Carolina Hurricanes came to town and we finally got our hockey back. If you were looking for an even-strength exhibition, whoops.

Jason Chimera scored– doesn’t matter how; he just did. Elias Lindholm scored the first goal of his career in the second, a weird one that bounced off of John Carlson’s skate.

Ugh, I hate weird goals.

Alex Ovechkin scored a weird goal by deflecting Steve Oleksy’s shot, introducing all kinds of brownian motion that Khudobin couldn’t savvy. Soon after that, Alex Semin tied the game by converting a 5-on-3 pretty much instantly.

The Capitals defense reasserted its crumminess in the third, as John Erskine (6’4″, 220 lbs.) was unable to box out Nathan Gerbe (basically Rudy from the movie Rudy).

Canes beat Caps 3-2.

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7 Days Out: Sasha vs Sasha x 5

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The Washington Capitals will play their Metropolitan Division neighbors, the Carolina Hurricanes, five times this season. That means five wacky nights of Alex Semin vs Alex Ovechkin. Greater Sasha and Sasha Minor bashing skulls and chewing bubble gum times five! What will happen? Will Semin take a restraining penalty? Will he smoke cigarettes outside the team bus? Will it be awko taco between Semin and Grabo? Will  Semin get sassed by Troy Brouwer? Let’s hope for yesses across the board.

Game one is coming up soon, and the rest are evenly spaced out through the season:

THU OCT 10, 2013
TUE DEC 3, 2013
FRI DEC 20, 2013
THU JAN 2, 2014
THU APR 10, 2014

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