orpik-stick-stuck-in-pants

Photo: @RegressedPDO

Over the offeseason, the Washington Capitals backed up a Brinks truck to Brooks Oprik’s driveway because of his physical game. So far this season, Orpik has delivered. On opening night, CSN Washington called the former Penguin the player of the game for all his big body checks. And Saturday night in Calgary, Orpik went on a hitting bonanza.

Orpik led all skaters with 10 hits. Late in the second period, the Caps defenseman made professional hockey player Josh Jooris wish he were a Mexico City sewer diver instead.

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ovechkin-blocks-shot-with-wrist

Alex Ovechkin earns almost 9.5 million dollars against the salary cap each season, more than 13 percent of the Washington Capitals’ player budget. That’s why it’s a little worrying when Ovi risks injury– even more so when he does it blocking an inconsequential shot.

So…

On Saturday night in Calgary, Alex Ovechkin risked injury by blocking an inconsequential shot.

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ovi-through-legs

Four minutes into the third period, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin nearly tied the game with a brilliant individual effort. After getting a perfect pass from Troy Brouwer, Ovechkin churned his legs and went solo against Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz.

Schultz had plenty of space and read Ovi perfectly– at least at first. But when you reach with your stick against one of the greats instead of taking the body, you might get burned.

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ovechkin-celebrates

We always hear criticism about Alex Ovechkin‘s leadership, which is why I bring your attention to this post. Early in the second period, Caps defenseman Mike Green scored a goal on a beauty of a wrist shot, his third goal in five games.

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Nicklas Backstrom Scores 500th Point (GIF)

500-in-501

Playing the Atlanta Thrashers on October 5th, 2007, Nicklas Backstrom scored his first NHL point, an assist on Michael Nylander’s power-play goal. Five-hundred games and 2,570 days later, the 26-year-old Swedish center has scored his 500th career point, a power-play assist on a John Carlson goal.

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thomas-dipauli

Photo: Rich Images Photography

Washington Capitals 2012 fourth-round pick Thomas DiPauli recorded a career-high four points (one goal, three assists) in Notre Dame’s 5-3 win over Lake Superior State University.

When DiPauli was drafted by the Capitals, he was one of two players selected from Notre Dame, along with senior Austin Wuthrich. DiPauli grew up playing with Connor Carrick around the Chicago area. This year, he appears to be breaking out offensively in the NCAA.

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ovechkin-shootout-goal

Photo: Alex Brandon

While Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is one of the greatest natural goal scorers of all-time, he’s never been lights out in the shootout. In his career, Ovechkin has connected on 30.2% of his shots, which is less effective than Nicklas Backstrom, Eric Fehr, Brooks Laich, and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

This season, new bench boss Barry Trotz has utilized Ovechkin in the clean-up spot, having him shoot only if a shootout is tied after three rounds. On Saturday, to change the bad juju after two straight shootout losses, Trotz let assistant coach and always-dour-human-being Blaine Forsythe pick the third shooter.

He went with the Russian machine. It paid off.

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joel-ward-chimera-laugh

After the Capitals were defeated by the Sharks, head coach Barry Trotz switched up his forward lines for Thursday night. Eric Fehr, the one true love of hockey bloggers, was moved off the first line and reunited with forever linemates Jason Chimera and Joel Ward. It paid off with a 6-2 win. The new third trio was Washington’s best all night.

It looked as if they weren’t going to come away with anything to show for it against the Devils, but that’s when Cory Schineder capped off his awful night with a gift.

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All Three Caps Swedes Scored Tonight (GIF)

all-swede-goals

The Washington Capitals destroyed the New Jersey Devils 6-2 on Thursday, and they owe half of those goals to a country “where the moose is king, Pippi Longstocking is a hero and innovation rules.” ALL THREE SWEDES SCOARED. That’s worth a fancy photoshop and some fancy GIFs, amirite?

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holtby-save-jagr

In the first period, the Washington Capitals defense was about as holey as my fifth grade gym socks, which I should really throw out. No worries though; Braden Holtby was on the case.

The Holtbeast made his slickest save of the season, robbing future hall-of-famer Jaromir Jagr from point-blank right at the end of the period.

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