Alex Ovechkin Captains Russian National Team

Photos: FHR.ru

On Thursday, Washington Capitals forwards Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov all played in a hockey game for the first time since the Caps’ dreadful season ended two weeks ago.

The three Russian Caps suited up for Russia’s national team in what was basically a glorified exhibition against Germany to warm up for the World Championships. Team Russia won 4-2 and scored three of their four goals in 1:38. None of the Caps players scored or tallied a point.

One interesting fact we can take from the game is that Ovechkin was captain of Team Russia. It’s the first time he’s led the national team since 2005, when he was the 19-year-old captain of Russia during the World Junior Championships. Though his captain patch totally looks velcroed on.

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On Monday, the Washington Capitals held Breakdown Day at Kettler Capitals Iceplex after missing the playoffs for the first time in six years. Alex Ovechkin spoke about his disappointment, Evgeny Kuznetsov talked about sneezing, and Dmitry Orlov learned what corsi is.

Four days later, all three Caps Russians jumped on a plane to go back home.

You know what that means: selfies on an airplane.

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Despite not making the playoffs, a lot of Washington Capitals players still have some hockey left to play. Last week, Caps captain Alex Ovechkin announced that Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, and he will be representing Team Russia in the 2014 World Championships happening in Minsk, Belarus.

But what of the Caps’ Swedes? After winning a silver medal in Sochi, Marcus Johansson will likely not represent his home country due to a broken arm. On Thursday, Pär Mårts, Sweden’s national team coach, told Svenska Dagbladet that Nicklas Backstrom has turned down an invitation to play in the tournament this year.

When asked why, Mårts said Backstrom won’t be playing “for family reasons.”

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Photo: Igor Kleyner

Caps breakdown day is never a particularly festive affair, and yesterday was no exception, as the Washington Capitals brought down the curtain on their dismal 2013-14 season. Understandably, none of the players were in a particularly cheerful mood as they addressed the media for the last time before summer break. Not all of them, however, are putting away their skates for the season. Some, including defenseman Dmitry Orlov, are looking forward to joining their national teams in preparations for the World Championship, which opens early next month.

The 22-year-old Russian is joining the Sbornaya training camp in a few days, and hopes to put his country’s uniform on for the first time since he was a prominent member of the 2011 WJC gold-winning Russian team. A consolation prize, at best, as the dream of winning the Stanley Cup – or even playing for it – will remain just that at least for another year. But it made for a good conversation starter.

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Photo: Chris Gordon

On Monday, the Washington Capitals held Breakdown Day at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. For two hours, Caps players filed out of the locker room and conducted exit interviews with the media. Because of the whole no playoffs thing, there were a lot of long faces.

There’s about three hours of interview video to surf though on Monumental Network. Because I hate myself and care only about you, dear reader, I’ve transcribed all the key quotes. And because this is RMNB, I also pointed out the fashion choices. Sadly, there was no crazy hair this year.

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Photo: Chris Gordon

For the first time in their respective careers, Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin, Dmitry Orlov, and Evgeny Kuznetsov will all play together on Russia’s national team. As first reported by Yahoo Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov, Ovechkin announced the news after the conclusion of the Caps’ season-ending shootout loss to the Lightning.

The World Championships, which will be held this year in Minsk, Belarus, begin on May 9th and end May 25th.

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In Narrative Land, the biggest story in the hockey world today was Adam Oates calling out Alex Ovechkin for quitting on the play that resulted in a third period goal for the Dallas Stars. But c’mon, it was already 3-0 at that point. How much would one more goal hurt? Other than, ya know, emotionally.

The hockey media went all out covering the living ish out of this quote. How would Ovechkin react to being literally thrown under a literal bus by his head coach? By driving his six-figure price-tag car to Georgetown and shopping at the Nike Store with his two Russian bros.

So I guess Ovi’s not exactly devastated by his coach’s heel turn.

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This illustration will make sense at the bottom. I promise.

By all accounts, Evgeny Kuznetsov’s move to North America has been a success, both on and off the ice. Eight games in, the young Russian has managed a three assist game, scored twice in the shootout, and on Tuesday night scored his first NHL goal.

Kuzya has surprised us with his command of English and his willingness to interact with the media despite of limited language skills. Also, let’s not forget Zhenya’s love of social media, especially Instagram. Imagine how boring our lives would be without his baby pictures and Ovi doing pushups. So what if the captions are in Russian.

Google Translate is on the case.

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Photo: @kuzya92

Approximately 49.31 percent of all RMNB traffic comes from players making funny faces: Chimera, Ovechkin, Oates. If a Capital player has made a dumb face, we’ve covered it. We’re the Walter Cronkite of talking about people looking stupid.

Tuesday night, after Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his first NHL goal, he whipped out his iPhone and posed with bro Dmitry Orlov. For those of you counting at home, that’s two (2) Russians making funny faces.

Pageview jackpot? Pageview jackpot.

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After defeating the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, head coach Adam Oates gave the team the day off on Wednesday. That means the Washington Capitals were let loose in Los Angeles, California. While some players hung out by the pool, others — like the Russian trio of Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov — went shopping.

It went about how you would expect.

First, they rode in a cab together, which is a photo opportunity, I guess. iPhones out!

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