ovi-falls-over-smiles

Alex Ovechkin loves to score goals. Afterwards, sometimes he leaps in into the glass, sometimes he does a jig, sometimes he tumbles to the ground like a building loaded with TNT. That last one happened on Sunday night after Ovi’s fortieth goal of the season.

“I think sniper was up there, shot me in foot,” Ovechkin told reporters after the game.

When I asked around the Capitals locker room at the Kettler on Monday, I was hoping the learn that Ovi’s teammates had seen the fall — or at least the replay — and had been giving Ovechkin a hard time. Troy Brouwer didn’t let me down.

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wilson-brave-heart

Things got a little chippy between the Caps and Leafs about halfway through the first period. Tom Wilson nailed Zach Sill in the corner.

Then something weird happened on the bench.

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wilson-big-hit

Tom Wilson has been whistled for three penalties tonight. His latest came after freight-training Christian Ehrhoff. The Pens defenseman, returning for the first time since suffering a concussion against the Caps on January 28, got floored twice by Wilson.

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caps-line-brawl

Mayhem.

We knew from the moment Tom Wilson shoved Evgeni Malkin during warm-ups that tonight’s game would be a cluster. Sure enough, eight minutes into the first period, everything went to hell.

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wilson-malkin

In the third period of their last game, the Pittsburgh Penguins took a bunch of cheap shots at the Washington Capitals. On Wednesday, as the Caps and Pens prepared to play the final game of their regular-season series, Tom Wilson approached Evgeni Malkin during warm-ups.

And gave him a shove.

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wilson-burakovsky-roommates

Photo: @tom_wilso

Late last week, sometime scratch/sometime first-line winger Andre Burakovsky left the warm Swedish confines of Nicklas Backstrom’s house to move in with Backstrom’s figurative children, Michael Latta and Tom Wilson. Burakovsky is reuniting with Wilson, the man who first introduced him to mac and cheese and “cinnamon rollers.” Burakovsky calls Wilson a “really good friend,” despite Wilson putting a bag over his head at Development Camp.

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matt-martin-jersey-ripped

What a day for Tom Wilson. In the first period, he executed a perfect double check with Jason Chimera. In the third during a fight with Matt Martin, the manchild nearly ripped the dude’s jersey in half.

That is an impressive feat of strength.

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wilson-big-hit1

Even though he’s only two seasons into his NHL career, Tom Wilson has had a bunch of impressive highlight reel hits. Saturday against the Islanders, he authored another one. This time with his pal Jason Chimera.

As Travis Hamonic gathered in a puck behind the Isles net, Wilson and Chimera caught him with, what Craig Laughlin referred to as, a “double whammy.”

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tom-wilson-hey-girl

Photos: Washington Capitals

Friday morning, the Capitals released the design of their new Courage Caps hats and t-shirts. 100% of the proceeds benefit TAPS, a national organization that provides care for the families of America’s fallen military heroes. The Caps say they’ve donated $486,261 to charity through the sale of more than 15,000 hats and nearly 7,000 T-shirts to fans. That’s awesome. Way to go, you.

What’s even cooler is that the team had a few players model some of the new gear this year, including Matt Niskanen, John Carlson, and Brooks Orpik. But I’m guessing – and this is just a hunch – that our readers are going to want to visually consume the Tom Wilson pixels.

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I want to start by saying I genuinely like Barry Trotz. I think he’s a good man and a good coach. He’s brought with him to Washington some of the brightest minds in hockey, he’s reversed a decline in the organization, and he’s helped Alex Ovechkin become a more complete player. I don’t think Trotz has gotten enough credit for that. He is exactly what fans wanted last summer: an experienced head coach.

But now that we’re more than halfway through the season, I see some worrying trends in this organization that reach all the way down to the AHL level.

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