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Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

At this point, Capitals-Flyers games seem to devolve into elaborate displays of petty violence almost by habit. There’s no real point, but they do it every game. Sometimes, they even start punching faces. Last year, the Caps got into 18 fights with the Flyers, including the preseason. That accounted for a third of Washington’s fight total for the season.

“Not many guys on this side like them on that side and not many guys on that side like us,” Tom Wilson told me. “Last year there was a lot of high emotion.”

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The Caps’ fourth line, who had been irritating Colorado all night, drew a big penalty late in the second period. After Tom Wilson drove to the crease, Semyon Varlmov threw a left cross that hit the Toronto native square in the face.

Not really though. Varly got all face shield. Great acting job by Willy Baby.

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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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Photo: @WashCaps

The Washington Capitals let Tom Wilson and Michael Latta loose on their Twitter account Tuesday night. The roommates unleashed an endless barrage of tweets, answering questions and commenting on the final episode of EPIX’s Road To The Winter Classic (EP:RttWC?).

The friends, known for their chirping, made fun of everyone and everything they came across, including themselves. Below are some of our favorites.

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Photo: @brookslaich

One of the best parts of the Caps family skate Wednesday was when the NHL Network aired Brooks Laich skating with Hollywood girlfriend Julianne Hough. The couple held hands and giggled the entire time. They look positively blissful together. The honeymoon phase times 10.

At the end of the skate, the NHL Network caught up with Laich and Hough for what I believe was their first interview together.

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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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After practice this morning, Tom Wilson interviewed roommate Michael Latta for a video on ESPN.com. However, Wilson’s interviewing skills — though it was a fascinating conversation — aren’t why I’m writing today. This is a post because Caps’ back-up goaltender Justin Peters pied Wilson in the face.

“Is that for the deke?” Wilson says to Peters out of frame, while wiping his eyes. “I put his jockstrap in the stands out there and now he’s coming at me.”

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Barry Trotz’s Weapon: Ice Time

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Photo credit: Rob Carr

On Saturday night, Nate Schmidt and Andre Burakovsky sat out as the Capitals faced the Devils in Newark. Tom Wilson, the first line right wing, was also benched for most of second period. Barry Trotz’s weapon is ice time, and he uses it.

For Schmidt, it was his first scratch of the season, coming on the heels of excellent play alongside Mike Green throughout the year. The game before, Schmidt had misplayed Blue Jackets forward Michael Chaput, who scored a game-tying goal late in the game.

“Sometimes you have to reset players when they’re not going very well,” Trotz said the benchings. “You have to give them a little jolt.”

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The second period of the Caps/Blue Jackets was insane. There were 42 penalty minutes in the middle stanza and three fights. The bout that kicked things off was Tom Wilson going up against 6’2″, 215 lbs enforcer Dalton Prout. Wilson has pretty much never lost a fight at the NHL level.

You might know Prout from his one-punch knockout of Milan Lucic.

Wilson fared a bit better than Lucic, but not much better.

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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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