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Photo credit: @nickludeman

The Washington Capitals have long been divided when it comes to music. The Capitals captain, Alex Ovechkin, loves weird Russian techno and rap, most notably Drake. Nicklas Backstrom enjoys Tiesto and pop music. Brooks Laich digs classic rock. Mike Green dabbles between both rap and hard-rock, Jay-Z and Seether in particular.

Then there are some other Caps who jam to country music. That group includes Eric Fehr, who once detailed his love of the genre during his first go around with the Caps.

“When it comes to my music, you can tell I grew up on the farm,” Fehr was quoted by the DC Sports Bog as saying. “I really enjoy listening to country music. The guys on the team don’t let me put it on in the dressing room, but I’m pretty sure they’ll come around. Alex Ovechkin could be one of the biggest country music haters of them all.”

On Saturday night, Karl Alzner and Matt Hendricks showed they are country music aficionados too, going to WMZQ Fest held at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia. The show was headlined by Luke Bryan, who recently won the Academy of Country Music Awards’ Entertainer of the Year award and is best known for his boom boom single Drunk On You.

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Sad Caps (Photos)

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Photo was touched up to remove the NHL executive handshake-passing the ref a 100-dollar bill. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)

With their 5-0 loss to the New York Rangers in game seven, the Washington Capitals have been ungently booted from the postseason again. A period of healing and reconciliation now begins (also probably some suntans), but first we need to take a look at the sadness. The infinite, infinite sadness.

Let’s just take it all in, mope around for the next day or two like red-rocking Eeyores, and wallow in the wah wah wah (that’s what a sad trombone sounds like). It’s not fun; no, but we need to give the grieving process time to do its thing.

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It was mid-March and Karl Alzner was on the Internet. Like most twentysomethings, he looked up silly videos on YouTube to kill time. He stumbled across one from early last year — it was of Peter Dill, a basketball player for Seton Hall. Dill scored a single basket in his two years playing for the school, but he did get very excited when his team scored. Alzner played the clip for Mathieu Perreault.

“The guy would just go crazy, pretend he had Thor’s Hammer and he’d be smashing the ground,” Alzner told me Saturday afternoon. “Perry, I could just see his eyes, like ‘this is awesome!’”

“We should do that after we win games,” Perreault responded.

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MikeGreenOTgoal

Boom. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)

Whether he’s riding a Vespa on 66, sporting hair that doesn’t make sense, or scoring an overtime goal, Mike Green is always cool. Even in some of the game’s most heated moments, he retains his composure. After Saturday’s one-time blast to put the Capitals up 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, he now has eight overtime goals in his career.

Because of his late-game abilities, his “Game Over Green” nickname is well known. But now, it seems, Greenie may have another one.

“He’s calm all the time with the puck in regulation, so when it gets to overtime and guys start to get the shakes a little bit, he’s still calm Mike Green,” defenseman Karl Alzner said. “We call him Casual Mike every now and then.”

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Caps Smack Leafs 5-1; Don’t Hit Nicky!

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Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

Looking to extend their season-high seven game win streak, the Washington Capitals hosted the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. In a match-up of possible first-round opponents, the Caps came off a shaky ending to their last win and played a game that was anything but against a tired Leafs team.

Jack Hillen scored (when doesn’t he?), Nicky got boarded, the Caps got mad, Erat got his first in red, the Brouwitzer a nice backhand shot was unleashed, Ovi had a scoar, and MoJo hacked one in. Caps smack Leafs 5-1.

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Note: I’m writing this post heavily medicated and a day after right-leg surgery. Yes, I’m hockey-player tough.

While the Washington Capitals got outplayed in the first period of Saturday’s game against the Jets, they came out strong in the second , scoring some goals and getting a little cocky. I love it when my favorite team gets cocky. Particularly because it can lead to a line brawl, one started by five-foot, ten-inch (yeah right) French Canadian Mathieu Perreault.*

After absorbing a legal shoulder-check from tough guy defenseman Zach Bogosian, Perry decided to get a lil’ saucy and slash Bogosian in the legs. Bad idea.

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Flyers beat Caps 4-1, Grubauer Plays His First NHL Game

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Photo credit: Elsa

Washcaps Philaflyers. Last game good. This game less good. Make words hurt so use less. Puck not in good net. Puck in bad net. Giroux make goal. Simmonds make goal. Gagne make goal. Maxbag Talbutt make goal. Ward make goal make Bryz sad. Groooooooooooo.

Flyers beat Caps 4-1.

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Seven Penalties, One Period

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This is what happens when you’re in the box too much. (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)

Backstrom (boarding), Hendricks (holding), Kundratek (delay of game), Ovechkin (tripping), Erskine (hooking), Poti (interference), Brouwer (misconduct) — seven penalties, one period.

“I can’t really explain it without getting into trouble,” Karl Alzner told me when asked about the Caps’ stunning collapse and the calls that caused it in the third frame of Thursday’s game against the Devils. “It just happened.”

Alzner’s mood was echoed by many in the locker room. The Washington Capitals didn’t want to talk about happened during those 20 minutes. And it didn’t really matter whether they wanted to or not — there were no clear answers. Yes, some of the calls were iffy. Yes, they played a good game otherwise (if you also ignore the first 10 minutes of the contest). But this was unacceptable. It was a baffling display. Six penalties in 11 minutes and two goals: that’s what it took to turn a solid win into a crushing loss. Troy Brouwer added a 10 minute misconduct for arguing with the referees at the end of the game just for good measure.

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Caps beat Panthers 6-5 (OT), Felt Like a Fehr Night

Eliot J. Schechter

Photo credit: Eliot J. Schechter

The Washington Capitals schlepped down to that bustling metropolis of Sunrise to face the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night. It was classic Caps hockey: dumb penalties, tons of goals, a nominal interest in defense.

Mike Ribeiro found the puck on the weak side to score an early power play goal, but then Tomas Fleischmann banked a shot off John Erskine’s skates to even it up. Shawn Matthias knocked in a go-ahead goal for the Cats from high in the slot. Karl Alzner scored a nasty slapper off the faceoff to knot the score at 2. Let me repeat that: Karl Alzner scored a goal. Peter Mueller Huberdeau bounced a flubbery puck past Braden Holtby, but then Matt Hendricks got a rebound of his own. Jonathan Huberdeau exploited some bad defense to make it 4-3 Florida. Holtby bobbled a loose puck to give Drew Shore his first NHL goal — after a review from Toronto. Eric Fehr finally made it onto the scoresheet with a tip-in just five minutes before the end of regulation. Alex Ovechkin ripped a tying goal off the faceoff during a late-game power play.

And then Troy Brouwer won it in OT on a breakaway. Cause that’s how this team gets down.

Caps beat Panthers 6-5 (OT).

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Karl Alzner and John Carlson: The Disaster Duo

Karl Alzner skates off the ice after the Habs score in the second period

Photo credit: Rob Carr

Nothing is going right for the Washington Capitals right now. But one of the biggest problems is clear: the misfortunes of Karl Alzner and John Carlson. Of the 14 goals the Caps have allowed this season, Carlson has been on the ice for nine of them and Alzner for eight. Until they were broken up at the start of third period, this was the team’s number one defensive pairing. That’s not how you win hockey games, something Washington has demonstrated.

“I have no idea,” Alzner said when asked what was going wrong for the two.

“We’re not getting the bounces, plays that I normally would do, an easy poke check — it’s happening for the both of us,” he added. “We weren’t contributing anything good to the team.”

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