Marcus Johansson Tried Smelling Salts But Did Not Inhale

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Alex Ovechkin’s pregame ritual of sniffing smelling salts is a hit with his teammates. Everybody’s doing it these days. . . if you’re cool that is.

And you are cool, right, Marcus Johansson?

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Andre Burakovsky Can Throw a Perfect Spiral Now

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The last time we visited the underbelly of an NHL arena, we learned that Andre Burakovsky could not throw a football right. Let’s revisit.

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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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Photo: @WashCaps

With the Caps back from the all-star break, a third of the roster went on team-building event on Wednesday. Justin Williams, Braden Holtby, Marcus Johansson, Philipp Grubauer, Brooks Laich, Brooks Orpik, John Carlson, and Nicklas Backstrom braved a torrential downpour to take a private tour of The White House.

I’d give you more details, but the Caps didn’t share any. That’s okay; we’ve got social media.

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Photo: Maddie Meyer

Marcus Johansson left Wednesday’s game after suffering an upper-body injury in the first period.

It’s not apparent exactly what the injury is, but it probably occured when Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds smeared Johansson into the boards halfway into the first period.

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The Washington Capitals are the league’s best team and lead the Eastern Conference by 16 points halfway through the season. They are dominating for a lot of reasons. You could point to the Caps’ league-leading power play and fifth-rated penalty kill, Braden Holtby and Alex Ovechkin being Braden Holtby and Alex Ovechkin, the rise of Evgeny Kuznetsov, or Brian MacLellan’s ace offseason acquisitions of Justin Williams and TJ Oshie.

I think one thing that sets this Caps team a part is the selfless brand of hockey they play.

We got another glimpse of this Tuesday during the second period of the Caps-Blue Jackets game. With the Caps up 5-2, future Lady Byng candidate Marcus Johansson forechecked in the corner with Blue Jackets defenseman Justin Falk. Falk, potentially trying to spark his terrible team in a hopeless game, began mauling the peaceful Swede. Then suddenly, Falk’s gloves were off. He wanted to fight Johansson. I’m not sure why. Johansson has zero career fights.

And that’s when fourth liner Michael Latta sprung into action.

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Marcus Johansson Suspended Two Games

Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson has been suspended two games by NHL Player Safety for his illegal check to Thomas Hickey’s head. This suspension comes despite Johansson’s standing as one of the NHL’s least penalized players. He’s only been whistled for three minors this season.

Here’s the NHL’s full explanation.

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Marcus Johansson Will Have Hearing With Player Safety

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Washington Capitals forward Marcus “The Mauler” Johansson will be speaking to NHL Player Safety after his check to the head of the Islanders’ Thomas Hickey.

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Last November, former Swedish Idol judge and hockey/media guy Daniel Breitholtz did a bit where Nicklas Backstrom literally tattooed his arm at a DC tattoo parlor for a video on Aftonbladet, Sweden’s biggest newspaper. For their next trick, Backstrom and Breitholtz teamed up to mess with Caps’ Swedes Marcus Johansson and Andre Burakovsky.

The prank was pretty basic. Host Daniel Breitholtz is supposed to conduct a serious interview with Johansson and Burakovsky. But what they don’t know is Breitholtz is getting all of the questions from Caps center Nicklas Backstrom through his earpiece. Once Marcus is let in on the prank, they team up to continue the fun against a very confused Burakovsky.

There’s a reference to Swedes on bikes.

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Jamie Sabau 3

Photo: Jamie Sabau

The Capitals made it nearly halfway through the 2015-16 NHL season without suffering back-to-back loses, winning nine straight games in December. But with Brooks Orpik, John Carlson, and Jay Beagle missing from the lineup, the Caps dropped two games in a row against two of the league’s worst teams. The games were close, with Brandon Saad scoring with just over a minute left to send Saturday’s game against Columbus to a shootout after the Capitals almost came back against Carolina on Thursday. Still, the loses are disappointing for a team that desperately wants to raise the Stanley Cup this year.

“It’s going to have to be better, it’s that simple,” goalie Braden Holtby, who took just his sixth loss of the season against Columbus, said.

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