braden-holtby-headlock

Braden Holtby‘s nickname is the Holtbeast for good reason. He can have a temper (just ask Taylor Hall) and he protects his crease like a mama bear protects her cubs.

Wednesday night in Philadelphia, Holtby got a roughing minor, his third minor penalty of the year, after Sean Couturier got a wee bit too close to Holtby’s cage.

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chimera-duck

Through two periods of play, this Caps-Devils game is like trying to stay awake in a pitch black room after pulling three consecutive all nighters. But there have been some funny moments. Matt Niskanen gave birth to a hockey puck in first period. And in the second period, one of the strangest scrums of the season happened.

The play starts when Nate Schmidt blasts a shot from the point. Devils goaltender Scott Wedgewood can’t corral the rebound so the Caps’ third line consisting of Tom Wilson, Jay Beagle, and Jason Chimera start digging for the rebound. Wedgewood would eventually collect the puck for a whistle, but boys will be boys and there was some pushing and shoving.

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chimera-goal-header

There are many ways to appreciate the 18th goal of Jason Chimera’s season, scored in the second period of Sunday’s Caps-Pens game.

  1. At age 36, Chimera likely to set a career high in goals.
  2. Chimera tackled Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury after scoring.
  3. *The puck went in after striking Chimera’s freaking helmet*

You have to see this.

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Photo: Elsa

Entering the season, there were plenty of reasons to doubt if Jason Chimera could be a meaningful contributor. Save for the playoffs in which he look re-energized, 2014-15 was a lackluster season for the Ice Cheetah, spending time as both a healthy scratch and a fourth liner in Barry Trotz‘s first season behind the Caps’ bench. Combine that with this being Chimera’s second mediocre regular season over the previous three seasons (2013-14 being the exception) and Chimera now entering his age-36 season, many people, myself included, were skeptical of his ability to contribute in 2015-16

But somehow, someway, Chimera’s production has bounced back. There’s plenty of reasons to be suspicious of how sustainable this production is moving forward, but that doesn’t take away the 30 points Chimera has chipped in through the first 54 games.

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Nate Schmidt’s Interview Also Sabotaged by Teammates

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St. Cloud, Minnesota, native and Caps defenseman Nate Schmidt was all smiles in a pregame interview before tonight’s game against the Minnesota Wild.

It was a beautiful mess, just like Jason Chimera’s conversation with John Walton Wednesday.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov’s Favorite Musician is Lady Gaga

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Photos: thornescratch

The Washington Capitals organization gives out a program during games called “Breakaway.” Inside, it features various Caps players and their various (potentially embarrassing) survey answers. Kuzy, I’m sure, loves the surveys (Ian really enjoys that Vine), and some might even say he has a bad romance with them.

I learned a lot . . . maybe too much — such as Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s favorite musician being Lady Gaga. One can only imagine how excited he was to watch the singer perform the national anthem at Super Bowl 50. Let’s look at some other tidbits that thornescratch over on Tumblr provided us with.

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Caps Prank Jason Chimera, Try to Disrupt His Interview

chimera-interview

The Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL by a country mile. All that winning breeds a happy, playful locker room. And we have another ridiculous example of this courtesy of the Capitals and radio announcer John Walton.

Wednesday after practice, Walton interviewed Jason Chimera for a Rinkside Update. Chimera’s teammates then tried their best to torpedo the interview.

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chimera-goal

Jason Chimera blocked a shot with his hand during a first-period penalty kill. Jack Johnson’s blue line slapshot hit Chimera right around the wrist. Chimera retreated to the locker room, but instead of leaving the game he came back to score.

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justin-williams-2

On Sunday, Alex Ovechkin scored his 500th career goal, becoming the 43rd player in NHL history to accomplish the feat. I said on Monday night after our 11th article relating to the goal, and I will say it again during our 12th: there were so many tiny, wonderful moments contained inside that one, we’re still sorting through them all.

Over the offseason, three-time Stanley Cup champion and man nicknamed Mr. Game Seven, Justin Williams, said that he signed with the Capitals because his son Jaxon thought Alex Ovechkin was “the best.”

While Williams didn’t assist on the tally, he was on the ice when Ovechkin scored. And just like he has been all throughout his career, Williams was calm under fire, remembering to pick up the milestone puck before joining in on the team’s celebration.

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kuznetsov-pass-wow

Old man Jason Chimera notched his 11th goal in the first period of the Blue Jackets game, but that’s not important. Not to take anything away from Chimera, but straight-up, you could have scored on this pass. Your pomeranian could have scored on this pass.

Yeah, Evgeny Kuznetsov did it again. Look at this pass. Just look at it.

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