The Caps-Rangers game earlier today was an instant classic. There was an amazing last second game-tying goal by Nicklas Backstrom, a brilliant OTGWG by Alex Ovechkin, and a clutch stop by Braden Holtby and Nate Schmidt on a shot near the goal line. But if there was one play that stuck out to me more than the rest, it was Karl Alzner‘s unselfish shot block.

Let me set the scene. In the second period with the Caps up 2-0, Alzner broke up a J.T. Miller scoring chance with a diving pokecheck. As the play continued, Miller received the puck back from a teammate and looked to score again. Alzner, still laying on the ice from his previous heads up play, did something remarkable.

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Andre Burakovsky Goes to NWHL Game in Buffalo


Photo: @andreburakovsky

Caps forward Andre Burakovsky showed some love to the National Women’s Hockey League Sunday night. On his time off, the Burracuda went to HarborCenter to watch the Buffalo Beauts take on the New York Riveters. The Capitals arrived in Buffalo Sunday afternoon, a day early ahead of their game against the Sabres Monday night.

The Riveters won 7-3.

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Teeny tiny Tom Wilson.

During the second period of Caps-Canes, Joe Beninati wished us Happy Holidays in the best way possible: by presenting photos of the Caps as adorable kids at Christmas.

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Photo: @joelbaum1

Genuinely caring human Karl Alzner took some time during warm-ups to inconspicuously take a photo through the glass with a fan. It’s adorable.

He just made her an Alznermaniac for life.

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Midway through the third period of Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers, Dmitry Orlov turned the puck over at center ice and started a wild chain of events. The Capitals, in the middle of a shift change, watched helplessly as Oilers’ stars Nail Yakupov and Taylor Hall raced in alone on Braden Holtby.

But the Oilers didn’t score! Or even get a shot off. Hall fumbled Yakupov’s pass and as the Oilers regained possession of the puck, Karl Alzner— playing man-to-man defense against Teddy Purcell — blocked a shot from the point with his shin pads.

The puck squirted to center ice and sprung Alzner, he of 14 career NHL goals, on a semi-breakaway.

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Photos: Amanda Bowen

On Tuesday afternoon, the Capitals celebrated all twelve months of the year with Homeward Trails’ Animal Rescue dogs for the 2015-16 Caps Canine Calendar. Each month had its own silly theme based on a season or holiday, with the players and dogs dressed accordingly.

Here’s a quick preview: Caps roomies Tom Wilson and Michael Latta celebrated Valentine’s Day by putting roses in their mouth for February; Braden Holtby wore a sombrero and poncho for Cinco de Mayo; and Karl Alzner dressed in a skin-tight skeleton costume with his dogs for Halloween in October.

January models Andre Burakovsky and Marcus Johansson had problems. By the time the photographer was ready for them, the puppies they were carrying fell asleep in their arms. Adorable, but improvisation was needed. The New Years theme became “falling asleep before midnight.” After two rounds of throwing balloons, the crew tried popping confetti champagne bottles that startled the two pups awake in the middle of the take. The Swedes handled it well: with many puppy kisses.

After the main sets, the photographer did sessions with the player families that wanted their own set of photos. #SquadGoals.

Prepare yourself for enormous amounts of adorable. We can’t wait to buy this calendar.

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

On Saturday, Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner spoke to the media and predicted big things from a player likely slated for the team’s third defensive pairing.

“It’s just fun to see him handle the puck out there and do some of the things he does,” Alzner said to’s Katie Brown. “He’s a very highly skilled player and he can be a game-breaker for us. It’ll be a lot of fun to watch.”

The player Alzner is talking about: Dmitry Orlov.

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Karl Alzner: 2014-15 Season Review


Dear Karl,

You have skated nearly 3,000 minutes with John Carlson in your career up till now. Next season, you’ll play just 45 minutes of even strength ice time with him.

Good luck.

Barry Trotz, October 2014

By the Numbers

82 Games played
19:26 Average time on ice per game
5 Goals
16 Assists
51.6% Shot attempt percentage during 5v5
51.7% Goal percentage during 5v5

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The Apple Watch is a Hot Item in the Caps Locker Room


Wednesday morning, I set off to Kettler Capitals Iceplex on a serious mission. I was on deadline, working on a story on Braden Holtby for The New York Times. I paced around the rink until the locker room opened. When Karl Alzner, Holtby’s longtime teammate, became available, I prepared to pepper him with questions about Holtby’s breakout season, but Karl had other ideas.

“Hey, I gotta ask *you* a question!” Alzner exclaimed, pointing out the baby blue Apple Watch on my wrist. “How did you get that so fast?”

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Photo credit: Chris Gordon

Photo credit: Chris Gordon

Woo! (Photo credit: Alex Brandon)

For the last four seasons, the Capitals had been on a steady decline. During their Bruce Boudreau era runs for Presidents’ Trophy, they were D.C.’s team. For fans since the 70’s and young transplants in suits, Rocking the Red was all the rage.

In 2011, the team started going downhill. Boudreau was fired, with three coaches taking his place since then. Meanwhile, the Nationals got good. The Caps were no longer fashionable. The hockey wasn’t the same either. Instead of exciting run-and-gun matches, the Caps played overly defensive games and then, under Adam Oates, just plain bad ones, missing the playoffs for the first time in seven years. Despite claiming a sellout every night, Verizon Center was littered with empty purple seats.

But with Washington’s comeback victory in game two, the spark was lit. On Thursday, the Phone Booth was red, proud, and loud. The Caps dominated, beating the Islanders 5-1 and taking a 3-2 series lead.

“We love this,” Karl Alzner, who scored Thursday, told me. “The fact that we see everybody getting excited for it and feeling good about our team and about our chance at winning some games, that’s what’s exciting for us.”

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