schmidt-elbowed

Last season, Washington Capitals defense prospect Nate Schmidt had his year ended early after suffering a knee injury on a low-bridge hit by Norfolk Admirals defenseman Garnet Exelby.

Playing Montreal on Sunday, Schmidt narrowly missed a head injury after getting elbowed in the noggin by Jarred Tinordi, son of former Capital, Mark Tinordi.

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Nathan Walker’s Incredible Hip Check (GIF)

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Photo: Alex Brandon

I was working on my new patio on Sunday night, so I missed the entire Washington Capitals/Buffalo Sabres preseason game. Bummer, I know. Luckily for me, Steve Wilhite of CompuServe invented GIFs in the late 80s, so I didn’t to have to miss one of the greatest hip checks ever.

And I’m saying that last part seriously, without hyperbole.

Australian Nathan Walker is teeny-tiny. He’s a baby joey hanging out in his mama’s pouch. But when Walker knocked Vaclav Karabacek heels-over-head on Sunday night, his slight 5-foot-8 frame didn’t matter.

Look at this.

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Braden Holtby Falcon Punches Ryan Callahan (GIF)

holtby-punch

American hero Ryan Callahan is well known by Capitals fans and not for good reasons. When he captained the New York Rangers, his Rags beat our Caps twice. Despite what the national media likes to tell us, he’s not really the most honorable player.

That’s why it felt good to see Callahan fall like a sack of bricks to the ice after he got punched in the mush by Braden Holtby.

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ovi-hillen-crash

Photo: Rob Carr

Now that the Washington Capitals will officially miss the playoffs for the first time in six years, this is a great time to focus more on the tendencies of this Adam Oates-led team. While a lot of positive stories have been written about the team’s revitalized power play and its Russian captain, there’s a lot of reasons why we think Oates may be holding this team back from bigger and better things. Like, here’s twenty of them.

Then there’s the whole issue of the Caps sometimes looking like a beer-league team on the ice. Over the last few weeks, Caps players have violently collided into each other three times. Three. Times. And in two straight games.

Because this seems to be more like a pattern than a series of freak events, I collected GIFs and video of all the times it’s happened during Oates’ tenure. It’s happened… a lot.

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mojo-brouwer

The Caps-Blues game started off nice enough. The good guys drew a penalty late in the first period when Derek Roy slashed Alex Ovechkin. The Caps power play had a couple of looks, but everything went wrong after that.

It ended with Troy Brouwer and Marcus Johansson lying on the ice in pain, the second white-on-white collision in as many weeks.

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so-caps

This is so Capitals.

All season long, the Washington Capitals have had recurring momentary lapses in judgement in which they forget how to hockey. That’s why the Caps won’t be making the playoffs for the first time in six years, and now I’ve got a drinking problem.

On Saturday at Nassau Coliseum, Mike Green and Jason Chimera illustrated how to do the worst breakout ever. Instead of establishing possession and exiting the defensive zone, they crashed into each other full speed right in front of their own goal.

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hillen-hurt

Scary moment at the end of Tuesday’s Caps-Kings game as Caps defenseman  Jack Hillen collided with Alex Ovechkin during overtime. Hitting one another at full speed while crossing center ice, Hillen’s head ran into Ovechkin’s chest. Hillen laid motionless on the ice, apparently knocked out.

Hillen eventually regained consciousness and was helped off the ice to the applause of a relieved Verizon Center crowd, but his injury is yet another chapter in the very sad book of Hillen’s tenure in Washington.

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ovi-perreault-say-hello

Hockey can be a strange sport sometimes. Such as on Tuesday, when the Washington Capitals took on former coach Bruce Boudreau and the Anaheim Ducks. Seeing Boudreau bark orders to another team is odd enough; seeing Mathieu Perreault dart around in black and olive feels outright wrong.

Late in the third period, with the Capitals protecting a 3-2 lead, bedfellows got even stranger when Alex Ovechkin and Perreault collided near the Caps crease. Perreault took an extra whack at a loose puck, which Ovechkin did not seem to like very much.

The Russian machine cleared the crease the only way he knows how, shoving Perreault twice and knocking him over. With Matty belly up along the boards, Ovechkin loomed over his former bro as if to say, “You know not to do dis.”

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tom-wilson-smiles

He looks very proud of himself.

Since Evgeny Kuznetsov got moved off the fourth line, Tom Wilson has reverted into his role of being the toughest mug in the NHL. In the second period of the Ducks game, Wilson showed off some his dazzling physical game, lowering the boom on Anaheim Ducks’ defenseman Stephane Robidas.

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ovechkin-hit-on-sutter

While the Washington Capitals played great against the Pittsburgh Penguins, they fell 3-2, losing another game they really needed to win. But it wasn’t for a lack of effort.

Caps captain Alex Ovechkin attempted 8 shots, 4 of them on goal, and recorded an insane 7 hits, leading all players.

His most impressive collision was his third-period hit on center Brandon Sutter, which sent the center tumbling into the Penguins bench.

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