Hi, my name is Ian Oland. I’m driving this here Capitals bandwagon. This week, we’ve travelled all over North America. We’ve had great success picking up many new friends, but I must admit my patience is wearing thin. Trebek keeps drinking liquor and challenging everyone to a shirtless bare-knuckle brawl. One of the oxen has died and several of our hockey oddsmakers have typhoid fever.

But no matter. As we press forward on Lord Stanley’s trail, we are scheduled to pick up four fine gentlemen on this here Capitals game day. First are the notorious rabble rousers from the NBCSN channel: Mr. Mike Milbury and Mr. Keith Jones.

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Thursday night, Evgeny Kuznetsov was slashed from behind in the the right leg (where there’s no protection) by Flyers forward Matt Read. The moment happened early in the third period, when the Caps were up 4-2. Kuznetsov, who has a history of knee problems, collapsed after the hit and writhed in pain. He needed Alex Ovechkin’s help to make it to the bench.

There was no penalty on the play.

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Photo credit: Eric Hartline

Fighting in the NHL has been on the decline. It might be on its way out of the sport. Roster spots for goons are dwindling. Nerds have found no evidence that fighting impacts winning.

Yet on Friday night in Philadelphia, the Flyers decided the only way to save face after a figurative beatdown from the Caps was a literal beatdwn. Once Joel Ward scored his hat-trick goal, Wayne Simmonds threw an elbow to incite a fight with Tom Wilson. Ray Emery, Flyers back-up goalie and trained boxer, skated all the way down the ice and started throwing punches at Braden Holtby — even though Holtby declined to fight.

Steve Oleksy then dropped Vincent Lecalvier. Alexander Urbom fought Brayden Schenn. There was also a bit of loud noises from John Carlson.

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Sure. Tuesday was a fun night. Andrew Gordon scored his first NHL Goal, Marcus Johansson got his first NHL kiss, and the Capitals offense exploded in a 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils. But not everything was rainbows and butterflies. Just ask former Capital and current Vesus analyst Keith Jones, who had this to say about Alex Semin’s play against the Devils on Versus’ post-game show.

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