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Photo: Alex Brandon

We already told you that Alex Ovechkin took home the Rocket Richard Trophy for the fifth time and Braden Holtby finished fourth in voting for the Vezina Trophy. But there are a few other juicy tidbits from the NHL Awards ceremony that we missed.

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There were a lot of great Caps Father’s Day wishes Sunday. From Tom Wilson’s Instagram pic with his dad to Joel Ward’s sweet words for his deceased father Randal, Caps players brought the feels on social media.

My personal favorite Father’s Day tribute, however, was definitely the below tweet from Michael Latta.

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backstrom-hip-injury

Photo: Greg Fiume

Two weeks ago, the Washington Capitals announced that first line center Nicklas Backstrom went under the knife to have an arthroscopic procedure done on his hip. The club added in a statement that they were “confident” he will be “completely healthy” before the start of the 2015-16 regular season.

Over the weekend, Backstrom spoke to Erik Illerhag of his hometown Swedish newspaper Gefle Dagblad and revealed that this injury was something that was bothering him all year.

As translated by Malin Elis of Hockey Ramblings, Backstrom told GD.se, “I’ve been in pain since sometime in November so we had to fix it.”

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Photo: Sydney Madison Photography

Friday in Culpeper, Virginia, a few hundred Eastern View High seniors gathered at Cyclone Stadium, the school’s football field, for graduation. Like the thousands of other students across the area, graduation is a huge celebration– the culmination of many, many years of hard work (or just enough expert coasting to get by).

But there was one Eastern View senior who was walking with a heavy heart: 18-year-old Paige Hockman, who was graduating with honors. As she walked on stage and accepted her diploma, she blew a kiss into the sky. Most in the audience understood exactly what the gesture meant.

The top of her powder blue graduation cap had a message written in glitter glue: “Guys, I did it!!!” The names Reagan, mom, and dad accompanied the note with blue hearts. Blue was her father’s favorite color.

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Photo Credit: Katie Brown

Nicklas Backstrom can be bland. He’s one of the best players in the league and one of the Capitals’ alternative captains, but sometimes you forget he’s there. On the ice and off it, he draws almost no attention to himself.

Two days after the Capitals were eliminated by the New York Rangers in game seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinal, the team gathered at Kettler Capitals Iceplex to pack up their equipment and speak to reporters for the final time this season. In past years, we’ve seen weird fashion choices and forceful quotes, but Backstrom normally sits in the shadows. Friday, however, was Nick’s time to shine: he wore a shirt that read “Free Hugs” and said some vaguely interesting things.

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Photo: Jared Silber

A few years ago, Dan Steinberg asked Joel Ward why his teammates call him The Big Cheese.

“Just the big guy on campus, you know?” Ward explained. “The Big Cheese, it’s like the king on the throne. I mean, the Cheese kind of holds everything together in here, you know?”

On Thursday night, Ward, playing on the first line again with Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin, showed why he’s such a big deal. The winger scored with 1.3 seconds remaining in the third period after being marvelously set up by Alex Ovechkin. Ward also scored in game seven on Monday. He famously netted the series-ending goal in deciding game against the Boston Bruins two years ago.

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Nicklas Backstrom’s Game Four OTGWG (GIF)

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Photo: Bruce Bennett

How do you beat Jaroslav Halak? The answer is almost always traffic up front. That’s how Alex Ovechkin got the Caps their first goal, a deflection in the first period. And that’s how, almost 60 minutes of play later, Nicklas Backstrom ended the game– as Joel Ward impersonated a wall in the slot.

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Photo: Mike Stobe

Nicklas Backstrom just scored another game-tying goal. Today it came as the Caps were six minutes away from losing 1-0 to the Islanders.

Backstrom just shot it through a maze of players. Jaro Halak, screened, was eluded.

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Nicklas Backstrom Ties The Game (GIF)

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Talking about this goal would be vulgar. Just know this: Nick Backstrom has tied the game at three with a power-play goal that will make you cry or high five or cry five, which is what you call it when you cry and high five at the same time.

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When the Washington Capitals lost Nicklas Backstrom to injury for most of a season, they were a different team. The elbow to Backstrom’s head from Rene Bourque devastated the team.

So on Monday, when Sabres defenseman Mike Weber went to slam Nicky’s head against the boards (he missed), Caps captain Alex Ovechkin would have none of it.

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