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Photo credit: Len Redkoles

Vincent Lecavalier, the man who (thankfully) spurned the Washington Capitals offseason for a deal with the Flyers during the offseason, was all smiles before last night’s game. Why wouldn’t he be? The 33-year-old forward is making a cool $4.5 million over the next five seasons, and he is producing– leading the Flyers in points (7 in 9 games).

After the game, however, Lecavalier was lucky could move his head. His team started a ridiculous line-brawl after getting smoked 7-0 and, the French Canadian, who has dropped his gloves 25 times, fought Steve Oleksy. That proved to be unwise.

Lecavalier reportedly lost teeth in the bout and is day-to-day with a facial contusion (someone please explain to me what that means).

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During last season’s playoffs, Washington Capitals rookie forward Tom Wilson lost his right skate blade after attempting a big hit on a New York Ranger player in the defensive zone. This is apparently a huge problem in hockey. Without his blade, Wilson’s legs flailed like a baby giraffe trying to walk for the first time. Wilson fell over a bunch as he desperately tried to inch to the bench.

Good times, but I thought that it’d be the only time I’d ever see that happen in a Caps game. Wrong.

In Vancouver on Monday, defenseman Steve Oleksy experienced the horrible malfunction. After blocking a Kevin Bieksa shot with his left skate on the penalty kill, Binky started to skate up the ice. As he did, his blade popped off. Wuh oh.

Stuck in the middle of the circles without any help, Oleksy tried to get his footing but could not. He even tried, unsuccessfully, to block a shot while sliding on his hip.

Eventually, after a little help from some teammates and the ref, Oleksy made it back to the bench. What an adventure though.

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Steve Oleksy’s Amazing Curl-and-Drag — Really

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Pure skill. (Photo credit: Nick Wass)

On Saturday night, the Washington Capitals got back on track with 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The skillful play of the new second line was the story, especially Martin Erat and his three assists. Erat, though, wasn’t the only flowing haired playmaker on the ice. That title also belongs to Steve Oleksy, who made a sublime curl-and-drag on Brooks Laich’s second period tally.

Picking up the puck from Martin Erat, Oleksy charged towards the faceoff dot. Blue Jackets winger Cam Atkinson attempted the poke check, but Steve O went all sick nasty, blowing past him. Oleksy then dished the puck to the front of the net and Laich finished the play. Beautiful.

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Swag. (GIFs by welshhockeyfan)

Washington Capitals defenseman Steve Oleksy had one hell of a night (which Chris Gordon wrote about in more detail here). Oleksy earned a second period assist on one sick dangle and then later got in a fight with Brandon Dubinsky in the third. While he didn’t necessarily win the bout, it’s what he did during it that earns him some bonus swag points from RMNB.

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Winning Feels Nice: Caps Top Blue Jackets 4-1

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Happy times! (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)

Finishing up their longest home stand of the season, the Washington Capitals took on new look (!) Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday. Facing a bunch of weak teams, the Caps didn’t do well in their last four games of their five game set at Verizon Center, posting a record of 1-3 and falling to 2-5 overall. Yesterday, Adam Oates had enough and went all “Screw everything! YOLO!” on the lines. Erat to the second! Fehr on the fourth! Grabo on the third! Other things! Par-ty!

No offense in the first frame. In the second, though, power play powerhouse Joel Ward rifled one top shelf on Sergei Bobrovsky to give the Caps the lead. Washington added to it about six minutes later when Brooks Laich popped in the rebound after Steve Oleksy’s inexplicably fancy stick work. The Caps took it home in the third with tallies from Troy Brouwer and Alex Ovechkin. Garbage goal for Artem Anisimov late. Wee! Caps top Jackets 4-1.

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John Erskine: Even-Strength Albatross (Video)

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Photo credit: Elsa

Ostensibly, John Erskine is a top-4 defenseman, but his performance so far this season leaves much to be desired. He has been on the ice for the last five even-strength goals scored against the Caps.

The team’s goal differential during 5v5 play, by the way, is minus-5. Coincidence?

Let’s take a look at how those goals went down.

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Who Will Be the Odd Man Out In the Caps Blueline Logjam?

Jack Hillen and Steve Oleksy are frontrunners for defensive spots on the Caps opening night roster. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

With days to go before the start of the regular season, a few questions regarding the Washington Capitals’ opening day roster remain unanswered. First among them is this: who will be the Caps bottom-pairing D-men?

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Steve Oleksy Nearly Fights His “Mentor” Matt Hendricks

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Steve Oleksy tangles with Mike Fisher during Thursday’s game. (Photo credit: Alex Brandon)

During Saturday’s Caps convention Steve Oleksy joked that he wore “black and blue like accessories.” It didn’t take long for Steve to bring back his trademark look.

Towards the end of the second period in Wednesday’s preseason game against the Nashville Predators, Oleksy got tangled up near the net with Mike Fisher. The two exchanged words, and soon Oleksy was pummeling the Preds star. The Washington defenseman easily won the bout, though the right side of his face was bulging out like a boulder was jammed underneath his cheek.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s preseason or regular season,” Oleksy told reporters after the game. “That’s part of my job, that’s part of the reason I’m here. It doesn’t matter who it is, I’m gonna try and hold people accountable.” Continue Reading

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Monumental Network provided a live telecast of the Caps Alumni game Thursday to the delights of thousands. During the game’s third period, Washington Capitals radio man John Walton and Comcast SportsNet sideline reporter Al Koken noticed some Caps players watching the game along the boards. After one particularly brutal shift by Olie Kolzig (on defense!), Monumental’s cameras panned to goalie Braden Holtby, flanked by teammates Tom Wilson, Steve Oleksy, and Andre Burakovsky (seen above checking out his guns). Holtby couldn’t stop laughing.

Let’s hope Braden comes back to play in alumni games after he retires. I can’t wait to see how funny he thinks it is then when he can’t fully crouch and a 70-year-old Kolzig is scoring goals on him.

19 Days Out: Steve Oleksy vs Jack Hillen in a 4D Battle

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Photo: The great Clydeorama

The Capitals are stocked with three excellent defenders in John Carlson, Karl Alzner, and Mike Green. Each brings something to the veritable table: Carlson has an offensive upside, Mike Green is a power play maestro, and the stay-at-home Karl Alzner is threatening to crack a 2.5% shooting percentage any day now.

You can pair those three any way you want, but it is still unclear who else among the other Caps D-men is up to the job of playing in the top four. Here’s a lovely chart  from Greg Sinclair that illustrate’s how Caps D were used and how they performed last season:

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