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Photo Credit: Patrick McDermott

On the morning of Wednesday, May 13, my Twitter feed was full of skittish anticipation. The Capitals were about to faceoff against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The winner would face the Tampa Bay Lightning with a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line. The loser’s season would end under that famous flat roof.

However, game seven wasn’t the only reason the Internet was abuzz: thanks to Eric Fehr, RMNB had just revealed the secret nicknames of the Capitals’ locker room. This came on the heels of my interrogation of Jay Beagle over the demise of his flip phone two days earlier.

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Last week, Eric Fehr met the media to update them on the injury that has keep him out of the lineup for most of the playoffs. After two minutes of optimism and indirect answers, the scrum was finished. The day’s routine necessity had been completed. As the rest of the media shuffled away from Fehr’s locker, I made an offhand comment that the F-16 was getting ready for flight.

“There are some bad nicknames out there,” he told me. “Of all the nicknames to have, that’s a pretty cool one.”

I asked what he thought of his other nickname, Fehrsie.

“See, that’s the thing: I hate those nicknames,” he said. “Anybody with a last name with a –y on the end would probably be the worst one. Spelling it –ie doesn’t change anything. You need to be creative. As a group we’ve tried to be more creative with guys. We tried to change it up a little bit.”

Inadvertently, I had just stumbled on a massive scoop. Over the next 10 minutes, Fehr revealed the other hidden nicknames of the Capitals locker room. Some you might know– others you don’t.

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Swedish bruisers. (Photo credit: Len Redkoles)

Over the past season, we’ve seen Marcus Johansson go from a talented set-up man into the Caps third leading goal scorer. Andre Burakovsky has gone from an 19-year-old babyfaced rookie into, for a while, the team’s top-line right wing. In the past two weeks, those two have added more facets to their game. In the 2015 playoffs, Johansson and Burakovsky have become physical forces on the ice. But instead of going for needless checks that only put them out of position as so many players do, Marcus and Andre pick their spots, using their bodies to bump opponents off the puck or maintain possession.

“You never want to approach a game looking for hits,” Brooks Orpik, who was third in the league in that stat during the regular season, told me Wednesday. “If you do that you’re gonna be out of position.”

“We can’t try to be a skill team all the time,” he added. “If you are a big team, you have to use that to your advantage.”

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Karl Alzner just scored his second goal of the series. Who is this man?!

The goal was made possible by a great Andre Burakovsky breakout and a great Jay Beagle carry-in. As the puck got loose in the slot, Troy Brouwer shot it at the Islanders net. Brouwer dug the puck out of Jaro Halak’s pads before hitting Alzner, who was streaking to the net.

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Photo: Jenna Boyer

In early January, Jenna Boyer stared at her computer intrigued. Hannah Delmonte, a fellow teenager at Woodgrove High School in Purcellville, Virginia, had asked Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Emmanuel Acho to prom via social media. Acho said yes, with a condition. He’d only go with her if she got 10,000 retweets. Delmonte’s tweet passed that number within a few hours. In February, Acho flew to Virgina and surprised Delmonte. It was one of those cute, amazing, feel-good, national stories.

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Washington Capitals checking-line center Michael Latta is questionable to return after a check from behind by Columbus enforcer Jared Boll.

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Alex Ovechkin loves to score goals. Afterwards, sometimes he leaps in into the glass, sometimes he does a jig, sometimes he tumbles to the ground like a building loaded with TNT. That last one happened on Sunday night after Ovi’s fortieth goal of the season.

“I think sniper was up there, shot me in foot,” Ovechkin told reporters after the game.

When I asked around the Capitals locker room at the Kettler on Monday, I was hoping the learn that Ovi’s teammates had seen the fall — or at least the replay — and had been giving Ovechkin a hard time. Troy Brouwer didn’t let me down.

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Photo: @nikkibrust

Last week, the Caps and Penguins played one of the most tense games of the season. It included a first-period brawl that spilled onto the Pens bench. For whatever reason, NBCSN showed us just one or two angles of the dust-up and then moved on. On Reddit, user beardyman22 shared a story that didn’t make it to air that night.

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Mayhem.

We knew from the moment Tom Wilson shoved Evgeni Malkin during warm-ups that tonight’s game would be a cluster. Sure enough, eight minutes into the first period, everything went to hell.

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Photo: @tom_wilso

Late last week, sometime scratch/sometime first-line winger Andre Burakovsky left the warm Swedish confines of Nicklas Backstrom’s house to move in with Backstrom’s figurative children, Michael Latta and Tom Wilson. Burakovsky is reuniting with Wilson, the man who first introduced him to mac and cheese and “cinnamon rollers.” Burakovsky calls Wilson a “really good friend,” despite Wilson putting a bag over his head at Development Camp.

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