Photos: Amanda Bowen

On Tuesday afternoon, the Capitals celebrated all twelve months of the year with Homeward Trails’ Animal Rescue dogs for the 2015-16 Caps Canine Calendar. Each month had its own silly theme based on a season or holiday, with the players and dogs dressed accordingly.

Here’s a quick preview: Caps roomies Tom Wilson and Michael Latta celebrated Valentine’s Day by putting roses in their mouth for February; Braden Holtby wore a sombrero and poncho for Cinco de Mayo; and Karl Alzner dressed in a skin-tight skeleton costume with his dogs for Halloween in October.

January models Andre Burakovsky and Marcus Johansson had problems. By the time the photographer was ready for them, the puppies they were carrying fell asleep in their arms. Adorable, but improvisation was needed. The New Years theme became “falling asleep before midnight.” After two rounds of throwing balloons, the crew tried popping confetti champagne bottles that startled the two pups awake in the middle of the take. The Swedes handled it well: with many puppy kisses.

After the main sets, the photographer did sessions with the player families that wanted their own set of photos. #SquadGoals.

Prepare yourself for enormous amounts of adorable. We can’t wait to buy this calendar.

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Over Analyzing Lines On the Third Day of Camp


Photo: Amanda Bowen

Let me be clear: I don’t care about the preseason of any sport, not even hockey. Takeaways from preseason are often worthless, for a wide variety of reasons. Intersquad scrimmages are even further down the ladder of things we should care about and read into. And, considering line combinations aren’t worth getting worked up about on a day-to-day basis during the season, no one should read much into lines from a scrimmage at training camp.

But let’s do it anyway.

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Tom Wilson Selfie: Six Caps, One Plane (Photo)


I have no idea if they’re coming or going, but here’s a quarter of the Caps roster– Tom Wilson, Justin Peters, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Connor Carrick, Andre Burakovsky, and Madison Bowey— on the same airplane.

Wilson, the mastermind of the selfie, Instagrammed this comment along with the pic: “Elbows up everyone. Looking good @kuzy092 #lotsoftigers”

Nope. No idea what that hashtag means.


Photo: Patrick Smith

Years ago, no one knew if talented forward Evgeny Kuznetsov, a notorious waffler, would ever play in the NHL. “It’s kind of like seeing the Loch Ness Monster,” George McPhee said on March 8, 2014, the night Kuznetsov finally put ink to paper on a two-year entry-level contract.

After all that KHL drama though, it looks like Kuznetsov is ready to make a long-term commitment to the NHL. When speaking to The Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt Monday about his recent two-year extension, Kuznetsov stated his desire again to stay in Washington for the rest of his career.

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Photo: @kuzy092

We now know how Evgeny Kuznetsov has spent part of the $6 million he’ll get from the Washington Capitals under his new two-year deal: He bought a teeny tiny jersey for his 12-week-old daughter, Ecenia.

Kuzy posted the photo to Instagram with the caption “Готовь сани летом.” Igor has your translation as “Prepare your sled in summertime.” Sounds like … good advice?

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Photo: @jgains

While Evgeny Kuznetsov led the Caps in playoff goals (along with Alex Ovechkin) and carved out a spot in the top six last year, he doesn’t seem satisfied. Wednesday morning via a photo from @jgains, the Caps’ second-line center was out at Kettler alone doing skating and shooting drills. And apparently, this has been a routine thing.

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Photo credit: Chris Gordon

On Monday, the Capitals announced they had signed Evgeny Kuznetsov to a two-year, $6 million contract.

“I’m very happy to be here two more years,” Kuznetsov told reporters in a conference room at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, adding that talks originally centered around a longer deal.

“It’s probably good for me and good for the Caps too,” the Russian forward said of his so-called bridge deal. “I have two more years to show my hockey. It’s always motivation for you when have one, two years. Maybe long contract is good too but I’ve never been in that situation.”

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Photo: Rob Carr

We’ve got at least two more years of Evgeny Kuznetsov ahead. The 23-year-old RFA forward has signed a two-year bridge contract with the Washington Capitals with an average annual value of $3 million, the Caps announced on Monday.

That’s another solid signing in a summer filled with solid signings.

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Over the last decade, Caps fans have gotten to know Alex Ovechkin and watched him become one of the greatest goal scorers of all-time. Along the way, we’ve also been exposed to Ovi’s style of communication. There’s always lots of ha ha‘s and exclamation points. And parentheses.

Parenthesis use on social media grew out of Russia as an alternative to smilies. It’s similar to the use of terms like LOL, ROFL, and LIRL— just coded in a simpler way.

Have you seen those Discovery documentaries about elephant language? This is pretty much it.

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Photo: @kuzy092

On Tuesday, Evgeny Kuznetsov and teammate Dmitry Orlov flew home to Russia. By Wednesday, Kuznetsov was already dishing to the Russian media.

While speaking with Moscow sports radio station 93.2 SportFM, Kuznetsov spoke about his first season playing under Barry Trotz and the differences between the NHL and KHL. He sounded like Christopher Columbus discovering a new world.

Igor Kleyner has your translation.

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