Six-foot, four-inch behemoth Tom Wilson has racked up some huge hits in his two-year career. but it’s been those body checks that knock over multiple guys at once that I’ve loved the most. Remember his triple-check of the Columbus Blue Jackets or this shellacking of a Blues player and Matt Niskanen in St. Louis?

On Saturday, Wilson checked one of his own teammates again, this time Nicklas Backstrom, while trying to destroy Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith.

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Trotz Family

Following their sun-splashed practice at Nationals Park on Wednesday, the Washington Capitals stayed on the ice for an informal skate around the outdoor rink, joined by their friends and family — and there were plenty of them. Michael Latta got around 50 tickets for his guests, though he’s not the Capitals leader. According to Latta, John Carlson asked for even more. While the media was ushered away from the rink during the skate, NHL Network cameras and the Caps Twitter account captured some of the heartwarming moments.

These guys are adorable.

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In episode one of The Road To The Winter Classic, Tom Wilson and Michael Latta revealed that they are protective of their on-ice dad, Nicklas Backstrom. In episode two, Backstrom showed a rare glimpse of his life away from the rink, where he is actually a dad. The segments featured Backstrom’s daughter, Haley.

After returning home from New Jersey, Backstrom and girlfriend Liza took their one-year-old daughter to the park. “We were just on a road trip for six days,” Backstrom said. “You’re kind of like, ‘I wonder if she recognize me now?'”

The Swedish dad pushed Haley on a swing and rode down the slide with her. It’s adorable.

“It’s one thing to have a good group of guys on a team,” Backstrom said. “We’re all family, but it’s awesome to come home from games and enjoy her.”

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In episode one of The Road To The Winter Classic, EPIX brought us into the luxury apartment of Caps forwards Tom Wilson and Michael Latta. It was the best segment of the night– probably because their apartment wasn’t so luxurious as we might have thought.

Not-Liev Schreiber described the design of Wilson and Latta’s bachelor pad as somewhere between “minimalist and utilitarian.” If your ping pong table is also your dinner table, that’s pretty accurate.

“I roast him on it a lot,” Wilson joked.

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Tonight at 10 PM, the first episode of EPIX’s Road To The Winter Classic will air online featuring (hopefully) organic, not-at-all-contrived coverage of the team we love (also the Chicago Blackhawks). I admit I’m super excited for all the right reasons (pageviews!). Some old RMNB footage might even make a short cameo on the show.

EPIX has posted exclusive photos, featuring some fantastic portraits of Caps stars.

I have a feeling at least half of you are going to be very excited to continue scrolling. I even included a few GIFs and a video too.

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BackstromLockerRoomHats (3 of 7)

Photos by Chris Gordon.

Nicklas Backstrom is a quiet Swedish assist machine. He sits in the background, setting up Ovi and racking up points. He’s a bit shy, often speaking to reporters siting down and speaking in a soft tone. He’s not underrated. People know Backstrom is good, but he’s just doesn’t flout it at all. That’s why he’s not one of the league’s most recognizable stars, despite the skill and stats to back it up.

But we Caps fans know how good he is. Tonight, Backstrom put on a grand Saturday night production. After not scoring in almost a month, Backstrom registered a natural hat trick, his first three goal game since 2010, as the Caps beat the Bolts 4-2.

There was a present waiting for him after the game. Upon entering the Capitals locker room, Backstrom found his locker filled with the hats thrown on the ice by fans.

“I don’t know who the f—k was doing that,” Backstrom told me. “Someone surprised me.”

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Photo: Caps Instagram

Nicklas Backstrom scored a natural hat trick on Saturday night, which meant Caps fans got a chance to throw their favorite hats onto the ice.

But not everything they threw were hats.

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Photo: @CapitalsPR

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom made it rain hats tonight. Nicky scored the first regular-season hat trick of his career and the Caps’ first natural hat trick since Alex Semin did it in 2010. Backstrom’s only other hatty came against the Habs in the 2010 playoffs (OMG DONT REMIND ME).

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Photo from before the game by @theunemployedmom

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom is one of the league’s best at distributing the puck. Playing against Tampa Bay on Tuesday, Backstrom authored one of his most brilliant passes ever. Or maybe it was a redirect. I’m not even sure what to call this; it was just subtle and awesome.

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Banged Up Alex Ovechkin Scores Two Power Play Goals (GIF)


Photo credit: Mike Stobe

Coming into Wednesday, we didn’t know if Alex Ovechkin was going to be able to play, as he was dealing with an upper-body ailment after leaving practice on Tuesday.

Nevertheless, Ovi was ready after the morning skate. “Feel good,” Ovi said. “Just one part of my body didn’t feel great.”

Against the Isles, Ovi feel good indeed. While the team continued falling off the even-strength scoring cliff, Ovechkin kept the Caps in a game that looked like it was heading towards disaster early on.

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