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Alex Ovechkin nearly tore the roof off Nationwide Arena on All-Star Weekend by using his hockey stick as a baseball bat. He failed to connect three times during the Breakaway Challenge, but this Thursday night against Ottawa Ovechkin did it in a actual freaking game.

This is incredible.

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Alex Ovechkin Is Basically Invincible (GIF)

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I often marvel at Alex Ovechkin‘s steely strength. In Ottawa tonight we got another example of his nigh-invulnerability. After checking Erik Karlsson from behind and away from the puck, the Senators defended their fallen captain’s honor.

That was their mistake.

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varly-sassin-it-up

Remember when we would share laughs when Braden Holtby out-sassed opponents? Those nights are rarer now that the Holtbeast, under the tutelage of Mitch Korn, has found inner-peace.

Former Capital goalie Semyon Varlamov, however: not so much.

Under insane head coach Patrick Roy, Varly is a fierce mama bear in net. When Tom Wilson came uninvited into the blue paint a month back, Varlamov punched Wilson right in the face. Against Dallas on Tuesday, Varly would have none of Vernon Fiddler’s stick-poking.

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mike-green-big-hit-bench

For anyone who has ever called Mike Green “soft,” the apology line forms to the left.

Late in the third period, after the Caps had a 4-0 lead, Green put an exclamation point on the Caps’ victory over the defending Cup champions by checking Kyle Clifford into the Caps bench.

Look at this and marvel.

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ovechkin-doughty-laugh

Alex Ovechkin and Drew Doughty are two of the best and most physically imposing players in the NHL. They’ve been matched up against each other every shift tonight. It’s been a fun battle to watch from home. They seem to be enjoying it too.

Midway through the second period, Doughty knocked Ovechkin over with a cross-check.

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brouwer-500-game

Twenty-nine-year-old forward Troy Brouwer is celebrating his 500th career game on Tuesday. No better way to commemorate the milestone than scoring a memorable goal against the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

Plus, this is a good excuse to share the ridiculous signs from the Brouwer Rangers.

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ovechkin-goal

Alex Ovechkin has long been criticized for his play away from the puck. On Sunday his tenacious forechecking in the Blues zone led to his second goal of the game (see his first) and his 31st of the season.

This one is GIF beautiful.

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karl-alzner-eye

Sunday’s game between the St Louis Blues and Washington Capitals has been surprisingly physical. Big hits punctuated the first period, including one that caused an injury to Shattenkirk, but this dirty boarding by David Backes on Karl Alzner was the worst yet.

It’s pretty simple in its dirtiness. Alzner skated to the puck at the boards. Backes lined up and hit him right in the numbers, smearing Alzner’s face into the glass.

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brouwer-check1

In what will end up being my favorite “Whoops, my bad” moment from today’s game, Troy Brouwer checked official Darren Gibbs into the Caps bench.

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Brooks Laich Hits PK Subban in the Junk (GIF)

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During a first-period power play, Brooks Laich battled with PK Subban for position in front of the Habs net. These types of little skirmishes happen all the time in hockey, but I’m writing today because Laich’s confrontation with Subban got particularly gruesome.

At one point, to clear Laich from the crease, Subban punched the Capital in the chest and knocked him over. Later, Laich got Subban back by pitchforking him in a sensitive spot. As Subban skated away, Laich performed an unscheduled inspection on Subban’s protective gear. Nutcracker.

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