John Carlson’s Patriotic Mouthguard (Photo)

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Photo: Streeter Lecka

All week, we’ve been documenting the patriotic gear the Caps have been wearing in the Sochi Olympics. Alex Ovechkin has Russian-flavored sticks and skates. John Carlson has some stars and stripes on his Bauer twigs. But we missed something crucial.

On Thursday, Japers Rink’s Becca H. pointed out more piece of patriotic gear on Carlson: his mouthguard.

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Photo: Martin Rose

The United States of America opened Olympic tournament play against Slovakia on Thursday morning. It was a beatdown of epic proportions. The US won 7-1, starting with a beauty of a goal from Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson, who is playing in his first Olympiad.

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John Carlson Has a Patriotic Olympic Stick Too (Photos)

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Photo: Jayne Kamin

If there’s one thing about the Olympics (other than massive rights fees), it’s all the custom swag participants get. I’d become a cross-country sprinter if it meant getting free Russian flag skis.

The practice also extends to hockey. We’ve already seen Alex Ovechkin‘s majestic Russian flag skates and sticks made custom for Sochi.

But there’s a another Cap rocking another red, white, and blue: John Carlson. Seems like he’s brought his own American flag-branded sticks to the Games. I first saw these in the locker room at Verizon Center, but was unable to snap a picture before the equipment dudes packed up the gear. Now we’ve got photos of Carlson putting the sticks to work at Team USA’s practice on Tuesday.

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Ovi poses with Maria, Artem, and Uncle Pavel. (Photo: @Ovi8)

All five Washington Capital Olympians packed their bags and left for the airport on Sunday. Players were scheduled to catch their NHLPA-arranged flights out of Newark International Airport around noon.

According to Nicklas Backstrom at Saturday’s morning skate, the players would fly directly into Sochi on a ten-hour flight. He was not looking forward to it.

“I’m not even sure it’s going to be exciting the first hour,” Backstrom said on Saturday. “Everyone’s going to be tired. We’ll get as much sleep as we can because when we wake up it will be morning. We need to get into a rhythm right way with [Russian] time.”

On Sunday, Alex Ovechkin, Backstrom, and John Carlson were all spotted by Rich Clune Chere of The Star-Ledger and NJ.com at Newark’s airport.

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John Carlson Packs Team USA Bag For Sochi (Photo)

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Photo: @AdamVingan

It’s break-up time for the Washington Capitals: some players are going on vacation, some players are driving back to AHL Hershey, and five others are flying to Sochi on Sunday to compete in the Winter Olympics.

In the locker room after the the Caps 3-0 shutout over the Devils, John Carlson was caught by NBC Washington’s Adam Vingan packing his super fancy-looking Team USA bag. Is that persian leather?

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Photo: Patrick Smith

On Thursday night, the Capitals registered an important pair of points against the streaking Winnipeg Jets. The game wasn’t the only big event. Eight Olympians from the Jets and Caps were honored in a pre-game ceremony. It was capped off with U.S. Secretary of State dropping the puck between Team USA’s Blake Wheeler and John Carlson. With the Olympics already underway, Carlson talked about the experience and his thoughts on Sochi after the game.

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RMNB Talks to Secretary of State John Kerry

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Bros. (Photo: James Heuser)

Bros. (Photo: James Heuser)

Kerry stands at attention during the Star-Spangled Banner. (Photos by Chris Gordon)

In DC, hockey seems to be all but forgotten. Not by the residents, but by many of those who come here to govern. Capitol Hill is filled with baseball and football fans, and President Barack Obama is an enthusiastic basketball fan.

A few, though, like to lace up the skates. Until he was named America’s 68th Secretary of State last year, the annual lawmakers versus lobbyists hockey game was headlined by John Kerry, a former Yale University hockey player and senator from Massachusetts. The former Democratic nominee for president appeared at the State of the Union in 2012 with two black eyes and a broken nose, injuries he sustained in a pickup hockey game.

With the Sochi games kicking off earlier in the day, Secretary Kerry, a massive Bruins fan, visited Verizon Center to wish the eight Olympic athletes from the Jets and Caps well.

Before dropping the puck between Team USA’s Blake Wheeler and John Carlson, Secretary Kerry addressed the Capitals locker room. He also talked to RMNB in a one-on-one interview. Yeah, we’re surprised too.

Check out my conversation with the Secretary of State:

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United States Secretary of State John Kerry is in the house tonight and boy is he a busy dude. After meeting with Washington Capitals Olympians Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson, Nicklas Backstrom, and Martin Erat, Kerry talked shopped with Caps coach and hockey hall of famer Adam Oates, who used to play for Kerry’s beloved Boston Bruins. Kerry also did an interview for CRL with Elliot In The Morning, accepted a Caps jersey from Majority Owner Ted Leonsis, and then dropped the ceremonial first puck before the game.

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Photo: @juliamae91

Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson is two games away from flying to Sochi, Russia, to participate in his first ever Olympic Games. Beyond some patriotic mittens and a press conference in front of The White House, the fanfare around Carlson’s honor has been, at least in my opinion, kinda tame.

Tonight, that’ll get kicked up another notch. During pre-game warm-ups, Reader Julia D. will be holding the sign above. It reads Good Luck Carly! Bring home the gold! It is awesome and I love it.

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While the Washington Capitals haven’t had their best season on the ice, they have graduated to a new level of awesome when messing with each other off-ice. So far this season, we’ve been seen a Brouwer Bomb, a Backy Bomb (my personal favorite), and Joel Ward styling and profiling during a Karl Alzner interview.

On Sunday, during a national broadcast game against the Detroit Red Wings, Alex Ovechkin got into on the act, this time messing with fellow Olympian John Carlson during a pre-game interview.

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