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Photo: Bruce Bennett

As some of you know, I have a rare autoimmune condition. Earlier this month, I went up to the Mayo Clinic to Rochester, Minnesota to get some of that crazy stuff sorted out. As someone who’s never been west of Chicago, I was uniquely well-positioned positioned to ask vaguely informed, stereotypical questions about the State of Hockey. I directed them at former Minnesota Golden Gopher Nate Schmidt, who hails from St. Cloud. Here’s our conversation from last week.

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Photo: @SLuhman

Earlier this year, the Caps shared their favorite Valentine’s Day gifts to On Tap Magazine. In the article, we learned that Caps defenseman Nate Schmidt still sleeps on a pillow he once got from an ex-girlfriend.

“An old high school girlfriend gave me this awesome Tempur-pedic bed pillow,” Schmidt said. “I still have it from my junior year of high school. Super comfy!”

Somehow this got back to Tempur-pedic, and the brand reached out to Schmidt on Twitter. Really.

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Braden Holtby sat at the far end of the Capitals locker room for a few minutes, staring straight ahead. As reporters began to file in, Holtby walked out of the room to gather himself, returning about 10 minutes later. Earlier in the night, he held a 3-1 lead against the New York Islanders, just 13 minutes away from tying Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur for the most wins in a single season. With the Capitals possessing the best third period goal differential in the league and a significant shot advantage, Verizon Center roared as every save put him closer to the NHL record of 48 wins.

But in the final minutes, Holtby buckled, making an elementary miscue that ended up in the back of his net, putting the Islanders within one.

“I just, I made a mistake and it changed the momentum,” a dejected Holtby said of the play after the game. “It was just one of those plays I got caught between covering it and putting it in the corner, and when you’re in between decisions, it never ends up well.”

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The always-smiling, always-happy Nate Schmidt dropped his gloves again for the second time this season (here was his first). This time Schmidt threw hands with 21-year-old Max Domi. Domi tried to take Schmidt’s head off behind the net and…

Uh oh. We’ve got a Schmidtuation change! NATE CRUSH MODE INITIALIZE.

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Photo: @loshie17

Peter already shared RMNB’s Easter wishes for the Washington Capitals. Well Caps players and their adorable, precious, little babies have a wish for you too: Have a Happy Easter!

Let’s review what they’ve shared on Instagram.

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Nate Schmidt Still Has a Valentine’s Day Gift From His Ex

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Photo: @SLuhman

Sunday was Valentine’s Day, the most romantic day of the calendar year. Ahead of the holiday, On Tap Magazine asked Capitals players the best gifts they ever received, advice on the best gifts to give, and their favorite Valentine’s Day memories in general.

Dmitry Orlov and Mike Richards recommended fans give flowers to their loved ones. Nate Schmidt talked about the favorite Valentine’s Day gift he ever received and I need to tell you about it.

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Capitals head coach Barry Trotz gave his players the day off on Friday after they defeated Minnesota Wild 4-3 the previous night. Through 53 games, the Capitals have the most wins (40) in NHL history. I guess they earned it.

Tom Wilson, Michael Latta, Andre Burakovsky, and Nate Schmidt decided to spend their free day in Dallas doing the most hockey player thing imaginable: playing golf. The four amigos traveled to the fancy Top Golf facility, which features a driving range (that has TVs in every stall), batting cages, and a 64-hole miniature golf course.

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Nate Schmidt’s Interview Also Sabotaged by Teammates

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St. Cloud, Minnesota, native and Caps defenseman Nate Schmidt was all smiles in a pregame interview before tonight’s game against the Minnesota Wild.

It was a beautiful mess, just like Jason Chimera’s conversation with John Walton Wednesday.

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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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Help Us ID This Mystery Fan in a Nate Schmidt Face Shirt (Updated)

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Admit it, when you saw the above picture, which the Capitals posted on their social media platforms to advertise the game-night hashtag for the January 5 matchup against the Bruins, you thought, gee, that would make a killer shirt.

Well, guess what. You were 100% right.

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