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Photo: Yury Kuzmin

Derek Jeter’s Players’ Tribune has published an article by Evgeny Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov touches on his deep-seeded passion for the sport, the differences between Russian hockey and the NHL, and his experiences with Alex Semin.

I’m just going to blockquote my favorite parts, but please read this whole article because it’s amazing.

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Here’s How the Capitals Spent Their Christmas Break

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Photo: @jc7474

The Washington Capitals have been on Christmas Break ever since Monday’s thrilling 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

So what has everyone been up to? I’m glad you asked.

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Where were you when Evgeny Kuznetsov became indisputably JOKES? The date was December 12, the night of the Tampa Bay game, in the second period, in the library with the tuck-in goal.

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Photo: Geoff Burke

The Capitals have a lot of skill, which makes them extra dangerous in three-on-three overtime. “We’ve got some good guys out there,” TJ Oshie said after the game to reporters.

That same skill makes the Caps downright lethal in the shootout. Barry Trotz didn’t even have to send out his three-time MVP, Alex Ovechkin, or arguably his best player, Nicklas Backstrom. Instead he sent out Oshie– the player who rose to fame by beating Team Russia in an Olympic shootout — and Evgeny Kuznetsov, the Caps’ team leader in points.

They scored easily.

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Photo: @kuzya092

While teammates Andre Burakovsky and Stan Galiev watched what the NFL billed as a “professional football” game in Maryland on Monday night, Evgeny Kuznetsov pal’d around D.C. with one of his idols, Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk.

Kuzy posted a photo of himself with Datsyuk and an unidentified other serious-looking man Monday night, using the graduation cap emoji, presumably because he’s hoping to learn a thing or two from the Russian “Magic man.”

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Photo: Patrick Smith

In an NHL.com interview hyping the World Cup Of Hockey, Evgeny Kuznetsov, who leads the Capitals with 26 points, was asked by Vassili Ossipov about his transition from the KHL to the NHL. Kuznetsov had struggled until he found his stride after last season’s all-star break. In a recent interview with Pierre McGuire, Braden Holtby called Kuznetsov the team’s best player during last year’s playoff.

So what was the thing that clicked for Kuznetsov?

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Photo: Carey Lauder

Sixty minutes of play couldn’t decide it, so the Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets went to overtime with the game tied 1-1. That had been typically good news for the Capitals. Heading into Saturday, the team was 2-1 in three-on-three overtime. The Capitals sport some talented stick-handlers — Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, TJ Oshie, and Evgeny Kuznetsov — who take advantage of open ice.

Kuznetsov had scored both of the Caps’ OTGWGs this season, dominating the overtime periods with his stickwork and skating ability.

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Caps Russians Catch Up With Old Friends in Canada

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Photo: @AbateMarcello

The Capitals arrived in Montreal last night ahead of their game tonight against the Canadians. So what did the Caps Russians do? I’m glad you asked.

Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, and Stan Galiev had dinner with former Capital/forever-Habs-scratch Alex Semin. We know this because Ristorante Bis owner Marcello Abate published a photo of the group together on Twitter.

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During Jill Sorenson’s priceless interview with Evgeny Kuznetsov, we learned that the young Russian’s favorite TV show is Family Feud. “You know like Deal, No Deal but another one,” he said.

Kuznetsov took his Family Feud bit further Friday in an interview with NHL Network. This happened right after the Caps 4-2 win over Tampa Bay.

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The Washington Capitals have been playing just like they want against the Tampa Bay Lightning with the singular exception of the score. Despite outshooting the Bolts, the Caps had just a one-goal lead in the closing minutes of the second period. Then, as Braydon Coburn’s delay-of-game penalty was about to expire, Evgeny Kuznetsov slapped a pass right onto Jason Chimera’s stick. Scary good.

The Caps had a lot of zone time, incidentally provided by Kuznetsov’s solid carry-in to the zone, but couldn’t beat Tampa goaltender Vasilevskiy. Alex Ovechkin had left the ice as time was about to expire, which is when Kuznetsov did his thing.

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