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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tom-wilson-fight

Photo: Chris O’Meara

Skating in his second game of the season on Saturday, Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson looked to make an impact in any way he could. That included getting in his first fight of the season with Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas after Eric Fehr crashed into Lightning goalie Ben Bishop. Gudas skated towards Fehr, and Wilson was having none of that.

They dropped the gloves. Boys will be boys. Willy Baby unleashed one vicious punch that connected early in the fight. Gudas, who doesn’t wear a face shield (this is important for later), then skated off the ice and went to the locker room.

When Gudas came back to the Lightning bench, he was wearing a full cage.

Good question. I looked back on the action and this is what I figured out.

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brooke-malakoff-ceremonial-faceoff-ovechkin-sedin

Photo: Jeff Vinnick

The Vancouver Canucks hosted their Hockey Fights Cancer Night on Sunday at Rogers Arena. The Canucks wore purple and lavender jerseys during warm-ups (the color represents all forms of cancer), which they auctioned off during the game. They also had a special guest for the ceremonial faceoff between captains Henrik Sedin and Alex Ovechkin.

So special, I thought I’d tell you more about her.

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winter-classic-2015-logo

Graphic via the Washington Capitals

On Monday morning, the Washington Capitals published an article re-promoting the Winter Classic press conference they will host at Nats Park Tuesday at noon. The Capitals will reveal their new Winter Classic jerseys while commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA leader Don Fehr, and Caps owner Ted Leonsis speak to the media.

In the article, the Caps embed no photos, but when I looked on Facebook I noticed the team uploaded a simplified 2015 Winter Classic logo image to go along with the article.

And there was one thing that immediately stuck out to me: THERE’S TAN, YOU GUYS.

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ovechkin-malkin-singing

For those of you whose lives literally stop until we post about that thing Ovechkin just did on social media, I would like to apologize on behalf of the entire blog for being more than 48 hours late on this article. Please forgive us.

You see, on Saturday, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was hanging out with Evgeni Malkin after the “From Pure Heart” charity hockey game. In a dark room, with the superstars face-to-face, Ovi started filming.

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Did Steve Oleksy Change His Number to 62?

steve-oleksy-number-62

Photo: Washington Capitals

Tuesday morning, the Washington Capitals published photos on their Facebook page of Steve Oleksy, Matt Niskanen, and Chris Brown getting in a skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. One of those photos seemed a bit odd to reader Matt, so he sent us a tweet.

Hmmm, yeah that’s not right.

With all the number changes happening recently, I went directly to the source to inquire if all those Binkaholics in the Maryland, Virginia, and DC-area needed to buy a new #62 sweater.

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julianne-hough-caps-game

Julianne Hough has been busy lately. She has announced that she will be doing a dance tour around the nation with her brother Derek. She also will be returning to Dancing With The Stars as a guest judge in two weeks.

We do not care about that. We care about Hough watching the Caps play at Verizon Center on Tuesday night (well, maybe we care; I guess this is debatable). I assume she was there to support her injured boyfriend, Brooks Laich, who recently went under the knife to repair his injured groin.

Here’s a treat: everybody’s favorite paparazzo Homer McFanboy posted this photo of Hough on the concourse, which was taken by an anonymous friend.

Here you see Julianne smiling with friends and— HEY, wait a minute. What is in her hands?

COMPUTER: ENHANCE QUADRANT PICARD LAMBDA.

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Self-dentistry FTW!

Friday night, the Washington Capitals lost to the Florida Panthers. It was the second meeting between the two teams this season, with the Capitals winning the other match-up 3-2 (SO) in early November at Verizon Center.

During the third period of Friday’s game, as Panthers forward Krys Barch dumped the puck into the Capitals zone, CSN’s Craig Laughlin had a question for play-by-play man Joe Beninati.

Didn’t Barch pull out his tooth in the first meeting… in the penalty box?” Laughlin asked.

“Yeah, I was never sure if he did that for real or if it was all a big joke,” Beninati responded with a laugh.

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ovechkin-with-milestone-puck

Photo credit: Igor Kleyner

Alex Ovechkin had a pretty good night at the rink Tuesday. The Washington Capitals captain almost single-handedly (okay, Nicky and Grubi helped) dragged the team out of the 3-0 hole they had dug. Four goals and an avalanche of hats later, Ovi’s night to remember was in the books. And that outrageously awesome tying goal celly – was Alex the Great going for a swim at center ice?  Showing off a triple Salchow? Channeling his inner Superman? Whatever it was, it must have been something Alex devised ahead of time and saved for a special occasion, right?

Well, maybe not.

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Facepalm on the background is an appropriate reaction to your team going to the penalty kill because a player’s underwear is of wrong color.

I knew something was wrong with the “Fear Of Missing Out on Hockey (#FOMOH)” commercial the first time I saw it. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was. Something about two of my favorite players, Brooks Laich and Alex Ovechkin, doing some truly horrible acting in that hospital just didn’t sit well with me.

Then I put it all together. During a commercial break of that awful Caps-Pens game, I realized that Laich is a rule-breaker.

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