Tom Wilson’s Big Hit On Colin McDonald (GIF)

wilson-check

Wilson’s blurry because he’s traveling at a very high rate of speed.

The last time Washington Capitals rookie Tom Wilson played the New York Islanders, the big, bruising forward showed off his soft hands, scoring his first NHL point (from his tush) and his first NHL goal.

Saturday night, Wilson showed off another part of his game to the Islanders: his physicality. Ten minutes into the first period, the 6’4” Wilson leveled the 6’2”, 215-pound Colin McDonald, smearing him into the boards.

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We are less than a week away from that furry thing being shaved off. (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)

In the first period, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was his normal, rambunctious self against the Ottawa Senators. Like here’s a perfect example. Six minutes into the first frame, Ovi looked to deliver the boom to defenseman Erik Karlsson in front of the Sens’ net. Every Caps fan in attendance and every Caps fan watching at home could see this massive collision developing.

Unfortunately for Ovi, Karlsson is no mere mortal. An unbelievable skater, Karlsson won the Norris trophy in 2012 as the league’s best defenseman and is very mobile on the ice.

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ovi-hejda

This will not end well for Hejda.

The Washington Capitals lost to the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 on Sunday. That was a bummer. We hardly wrote anything that night.

Fedor and I talked about it a few days later, and my main man from Moscow shot me this link to Yahoo. “Did you see this Alex Ovechkin hit? CSN cut away as it happened, but the replays from the Avs feed are crazy.”

I was skeptical. “C’mon, Fedor,” I replied. “It couldn’t have been that crazy. We would have heard about it.”

Then I watched the video and HOLY. WOW.

As Avs defenseman Jan Hejda reversed behind the net, The Great Eight came at him like a heat-seeking missile. Ovi crushed him into the boards. Hejda’s skate blades lost contact with the ice and he flew into the air. It was a video game hit, a hockey decleater.

The cameraman in the corner caught the whole thing.

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A few weeks ago, the RMNB servers almost melted down when Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson checked three Columbus Blue Jackets players at the same time. Wilson, who is 6’4” and eats two large bison per day, is a behemoth on the ice with unlimited power. With that size, why not push the limits of what the body check can accomplish?

That same spirit must have possessed Michael Latta and Garrett Mitchell on Sunday when they combined to break a Giant Center pane of glass while body checking Max Friberg at the same time.

And on Monday, nice guy Karl Alzner went into his own berzerker rage. Alzner, whose success as a defenseman comes from smart stick position and careful spacing, decided that this was the night to check two players at once. Alzner put 398 pounds of Vancouver Canuck into the boards: 6’3” Jeremy Welsh and 6’1” Alexandre Burrows. Almost makes it look easy.

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GIFs by Ian Oland

The Washington Capitals have tried to improve their physical play in recent years, adding more power forward prospects into their system. On Sunday, two of those prospects playing for the Caps’ AHL affiliate in Hershey — Michael Latta and Garrett Mitchell — combined for a big hit on Norfolk Admirals’ forward and Anaheim Ducks prospect Max Friberg. The hit was so powerful that it made the glass unhinge and fly into the Giant Center crowd.

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Tom Wilson Checks Three Blue Jackets At the Same Time

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Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson is a six-foot four-inch behemoth on the ice. There are very few players in the NHL with both his size and speed. That might be why when he went for a loose puck in the second period Saturday night, he accidentally played some hockey bowling with three Columbus Blue Jackets players. That looks dangerous.

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holtby-checks-hall

“I’m just chillin’ here mindin’ my own business.”

Late in the third period, the Washington Capitals first line got in what could be generously called a line brawl. After Alex Ovechkin checked an unaware Mike Brown hard into the boards (clearly interference and a retaliatory hit for the body check he took seconds earlier from Andrew Ference), everybody converged into one big pig pile of angry hockey hate.

There was pushing. There was shoving. There were face washes and head-patting too. Pugilists Karl Alzner and Mike Green were sent to the box along with Alex Ovechkin. Two Oilers’ players, Luke Gazdic and Brown, also served time for roughing.

As the line brawl went on, my brain wandered. Why won’t Braden Holtby come down and join in on the fun? A few weeks ago, Ryan Miller fought Jonathan Bernier. Holtby has never been one to feel constrained by his goalie crease or afraid to send a message to the other team.

Holtby did send a message to the Oilers, but found a more subtle way to deliver it. As Taylor Hall went for a deflection goal a few minutes later, the Holtbeast told the former first overall pick to get the hell out of his crease.

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semin-ouch

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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Photo credit: Alex Brandon

When Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin traveled halfway around the world last weekend for the Olympic torch ceremony in Greece, I was worried. Would the jetlag affect the Russian machine? Two games into the season, we have an emphatic answer: hell naw.

In Thursday’s home opener, Ovechkin got a DC Hat Trick: two regulation goals and a shootout tally. Even though it’s not a real hat trick, fans at Verizon Center threw hats because that’s what we do. Ovechkin put 11 shots on goal (17 attempts overall) and dished out five hits. Through two games this season, Ovechkin leads the league in points and goals. I guess he’s doing okay.

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wilson-cassie-campbell

During the Washington Capitals preseason opener, Hockey Night In Canada made a big freakin’ deal about Tom Wilson. The 2012 first-round pick is on the bubble for a roster spot, and CBC wanted us to know just how very hard this decision is going to be for Caps management.

Oates compared The Ten Train to this former Flyers great.

Oates compared The Ten Train to this former Flyers great.

In the first period, one of the CBC commentators brought up how when they talked Adam Oates before the game, the Caps head coach said that Wilson reminds him of retired Philadelphia Flyers pivot Eric Lindros.

Sideline reporter Cassie Campbell asked Wilson (without the HNIC towel!!) about the comparison during the second intermission.

“That’s huge,” Wilson said. “I think growing up that was my older brother’s favorite player and obviously [Lindros was] a well-respected guy in the hockey world and a big body. That’s a pretty big compliment.”

Wilson also explained what he thought he needs to do to make the team this season. “I think for me it’s just to play smart,” he explained. “I gotta know my role here. I’m coming in here being a third- or fourth-line guy. Unfortunately [my line] got a couple of minuses out there in the second period, but Beagle, Volpatti, and I are going to look to turn it back the other way in the third.”

In the third period, Wilson atoned, knocking over two Jets during his first shift on the ice. He almost scored on a deflection attempt.

The Caps rookie also knocked 205-pound Zach Redmond over like a bag of feathers.

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