TomWilsonPatrickMcDermott

Artsy. (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)

Tom Wilson needs to play like Tom Wilson,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said early this month. “If Tom Wilson starts to play like someone else, then he won’t be on the first line.”

It’s been over a month since the bellicose winger got promoted to top line duty. He was in full bloom on Thursday, agitating the Blue Jackets all night. His premiere moment of belligerence came midway through the second period when Wilson goaded James Wisniewski into taking four minutes of penalty time for attempting to disfigure Wilson’s face.

Wisniewski’s assault failed, his stick snapping upon contact with Wilson’s chin.

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Rob Carr

Whose goal? (Photo: Rob Carr)

The Washington Capitals dominated the Columbus Blue Jackets in the game’s opening minutes before coming up short in overtime. The Caps authored 12 of the game’s first 13 shots, including a sweet Eric Fehr deflection goal on the power play.

Except I kinda think Alex Ovechkin touched it last.

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nicklas-backstrom-tb-game

Photo from before the game by @theunemployedmom

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom is one of the league’s best at distributing the puck. Playing against Tampa Bay on Tuesday, Backstrom authored one of his most brilliant passes ever. Or maybe it was a redirect. I’m not even sure what to call this; it was just subtle and awesome.

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ovechkin-goal-lightning

For the first time in his career this season, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has endured a five-game pointless streak. Coming into tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Ovechkin had not dented the twine in four straight games.

That unluckiness is now over. Ovechkin has scored his team-leading 13th (oh god) goal of the year. And it only took 40 seconds.

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orlov-breakaway

On Saturday, while most of the Caps roster was in New Jersey, a few injured players including Dmitry Orlov got in some extra work at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. We know this because the Caps hosted a blood drive at Kettler that day, and a bunch of fans took photos and videos of the players practicing.

Orlov, whose surgically repaired wrist has kept him out of action for seven months (one month longer than the doctor’s worst-case scenario), started practicing with the team on November 17th in a no-contact jersey. Three weeks later, according to this video from the Brouwer Rangers’ Instagram page, it appears Orlov may finally be close to returning.

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jay-beagle-honest-abe

You guys, I’ve got some incredible news to share. Jay Beagle has played only 21 games this season, but tonight he tied his career high in goals with four. He’s also more than halfway to his career season high of 9 points, which he set last season.

The (un)dynamic fourth-line winger has scored two goals in his last two games. He also did this a few weeks ago. Suffice it to say: Beagle’s playing unleashed. Let’s throw him a bone (wink) and take a look at his latest goal.

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braden-holtby-empty-net

As a kid, Braden Holtby played forward before turning into a goaltender full-time as a teenager. That’s where Holtby gets his strong stickhandling ability from and that’s why, dammit, he’s going to score a goal someday.

Saturday night against the Devils, Holtby– after making 33 saves and playing generally amazing– decided to take a pot shot at New Jersey’s empty net with the Caps clinging to a two-goal lead.

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We’re officially 29 days away from the Winter Classic. It’s time to chug vitamin water and start running 6-minute miles on the treadmill because that’s the only way you’re going to be able to physically handle the crush of Winter Classic promotional material coming your way. On this boring Wednesday night, NBC released a new commercial, the Caps wore their Winter Classic pants, and season-ticket holders got their awesomely designed tickets for the event.

It’s okay to be super excited– in fact, the way things are going this season, this might be the only thing worth being excited for all year.

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stan-galiev

Photo: Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey

Since turning pro, the career of Capitals 2010 third-round draft pick Stan Galiev hasn’t gone as expected. The dynamic winger struggled with system play and never found a role with the AHL’s Hershey Bears under coaches Mark French and Mike Haviland. He spent the majority of the last two seasons with Reading in the ECHL. Last year, injuries and scratches limited him to just 30 games between the AHL and ECHL.

Despite this stunning goal in the beginning of the season, 2014-15 started as more of the same for Galiev, who has been playing in North America since 2008. Galiev was scratched in five of seven games in the opening months. But now, it seems like we may actually see a breakout year for the Russian winger.

After scoring four goals in his first 44 career AHL games, Galiev has scored three in his last three, including a game-winner against St. John’s on Sunday. Those were the only goals Hershey scored those games.

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John Carlson’s First Ever Two-Goal Game (GIF)

carlson-goal

Photo: Rob Carr

Playing against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night, Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson had one of his most electrifying games as a pro offensively, tallying his first ever multi-goal game. Unfortunately, he was also on the ice for all three of Vancouver’s power-play goals, which (womp womp) negated his awesomeness a bit (or you can just blame Orpik).

Let’s look at the goals anyways.

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