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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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“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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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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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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Hit play before watching the GIFs.

It’s game seven. It’s do or die. Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin isn’t going to stand idly by as his team’s season hangs in the balance.

With 11:38 left in the first period, Ovechkin stepped out on the ice for a shift, and it was inspiring. Ovechkin laid out three New York Rangers players with big hits and left the ice to a roaring standing ovation from the sold out Verizon Center crowd.

Let’s recap.

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Photo credit: Greg Fiume

The Caps’ division-clinching 5-3 win over Winnipeg Tuesday was filled with great moments: like George McPhee’s fist-pump, Matt Hendricks open-audition to be in the Jabbawockeez, and fans serenading Alex Ovechkin with a loud M-V-P chant. But let’s not overlook Mike Green‘s magic moment, the one where he hip-checked forever-Penguin Eric Tangradi head-over-heels.

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Photo credit: @luvdcaps

All things considered, Alex Ovechkin had a quiet night on Tuesday. But, at this point, a quiet night for Alex Ovechkin means a goal to clinch a division championship, a crucial assist, and one literally earth-shattering hit. Verizon Center serenaded Ovechkin to “MVP” chants and signs, cheering him on in his comeback season. It was a perfect night.

Lets’ review.

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Way back in November, Igor and I spoke to Dmitry Orlov’s best friend Alex Burmistrov in Hershey. When we asked Burmistrov about his friendship with his fellow Russian, the Jets forward said, “I don’t think either one of us ever hit another when we played against each other.”

Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin do not have such an agreement.

With fifteen minutes left in the second period of Sasha Bowl IV, Ovechkin and Semin raced for a puck along the boards. Semin did not make it there.

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