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Photo: @Nationals

On Sunday afternoon, Washington Capitals John Carlson and Steve Oleksy joined Tyson Strachan at Nationals Park to help promote Strachan Strays, a program started by the minor league defenseman to raise awareness for dog adoption. And really, any charity that inspires photos like this I totally support.

Carlson, Oleksy, and Strachan signed autographs and posed photos with fans. I think they went on the field too. Beyond that, I’m not sure, so let’s check the Twitter machine.

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Festival of (Red) Lights: Sens Edge Caps 6-4

SensGoal

Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

Blame Rachel Cohen for this.

Blame Rachel Cohen for this.

[Note: This recap is Chanukah-themed tonight. Why? Because there’s literally no one on the Internet right now.]

Last week, there was only one way to describe the play of the Washington Capitals: shameful. After winning three straight, the Capitals allowed seven unanswered goals at Verizon Center, before showing some life late against Montreal. Saturday’s game, though, was markedly different. The Capitals still lost, but they put 50 shots on goal, Washington’s highest total since 2010. On the first night of Chanukah, the Caps looked to continue that output against the lowly Ottawa Senators. They did — at first.

It started with a sublime play by yelling person-cum-Jewish pun Michael Latta, who skated into the offensive zone, got tripped, and then pole vaulted over a Sens defender. The loose puck went to Eric Fehr, who unleashed a lovely wrist shot to put the Caps on the board. Ottawa tied it up less than a minute and a half  later, however, when Bobby Ryan tipped one past Braden Holtby on the man-advantage. However, Marcus Johansson whacked in a loose puck in front on the power play just 38 seconds after the Sens tally, giving the Caps a 2-1 lead. BUT WAIT! A mere 47 seconds later, Brooks Laich backhanded home a loose puck in front. Four goals in under five minutes. Whew!

The second period was all Sens. Chris Philips put them within one with a blast on the power play, before Colin Greening tied the game at three.

In the final frame Mika Zibanejad added another PP tally. Ugh. The game looked hopeless until John Carlson tied it late. Prepare to cry, though, because just over a minute later Zach Smith beat Mike Green and Nate Schmidt to win the ballgame. Ryan added an empty netter. Sad face. Vodka. Sens edge Caps 6-4

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Tyson Strachan didn’t make the team; will Tom Wilson? (Photo credit: Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports)

With the deadline to submit opening-day rosters approaching at 5:00 PM Tuesday, the Washington Capitals moved towards finalizing their 23-player roster with a flurry of moves on Sunday.

The Caps assigned defensemen Michal Cajkovsky, Dmitry Orlov, and Tyson Strachan (who cleared waivers at noon) and forward Dane Byers to the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears. They have also placed forward Joel Rechlicz on waivers. Today was the final day players could be put on waivers before rosters must be set, meaning the Caps won’t be able to demote any more players who have those rights.

That leaves Washington with 21 players on the roster (13 forwards, six defensemen and two goaltenders) and three prospects trying to crack the lineup: Connor Carrick, Tom Wilson, and Michael Latta.

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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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Green with his fiancée Courtney Parrie

On Tuesday night, extremely rich and beautiful sports people congregated at the National Building Museum on F. Street for the 10th annual SneakerBall. As described by the SneakerBall website, the event is “the only black tie and sneakers gala that celebrates the best of sports in the region.” SneakerBall awards athletes and sports owners for extraordinary charity work.

Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green was given with the JB Impact Award, which honors the player who has used sports to most positively impact the area through community service. Green, who was making his first public appearance since getting engaged, does lots for the DC Community and his Canadian homies such as his “So Kids Can” charity, t-shirts, and creating awareness for Calgary Flooding victims.

“It is an honor to receive the JB Impact Award,” said Green in a very press-release-y press release from the Capitals. “I’ve been fortunate to be involved with several projects that have given back to the Washington, D.C., community, and I look forward to another season giving back to those in need through service.”

While you’re happy for Green, you’re just here for the photos of Caps players in suits. It’s okay, I get it.

If you ask me, Karl Alzner hits a homerun with a smart navy blue suit and pants combo. That said, Steve Oleksy also gets points for somehow managing to be in every photo. Also, fake sources tell us that Jason Chimera turned down Tyson Strachan’s invitation to be his date Tuesday.

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Welcome to the team. (Photo credit: Joel Auerbach)

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the Washington Capitals have signed former Florida Panthers defenseman Tyson Strachan to a one-year, two-way contract. The terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed. So far, this is the biggest signing the Caps have made since free agency opened Friday.

Strachan, who turned pro in 2006–07, has played 120 games in the NHL with both the Panthers and St. Louis Blues. Last season he played the entire year in Sunrise, tallying four points and racking up 40 penalty minutes. The right-handed shot ultimately gives the organization some more depth on the blueline after the recent departures of buy-out victim Jeff Schultz and Tom Poti. John Walton believes Strachan will start the season in Hershey.

My brother-from-another-mother, Peter Hassett, describes Tyson as a sheltered, unlucky, and unremarkable defenseman, which is a pretty nice way of saying he’s a cheap, replacement-level type player. The 28-year-old Canadian also has a bit of a mean streak, as evidenced by this dirty, blind-side hit he delivered to Jason Chimera last season.

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Semin Dishes, Arnott Scores: Caps Edge Blues 3-2

Ovechkin celebrates win

Photo credit: Greg Fiume

The new-look Washington Capitals are certainly getting things done. And for the second time in as many games trade deadline pick-up Jason Arnott was the key to the Caps victory.

“They are great guys, experienced guys,” said Nicklas Backstrom, referring to the new acquisitions. “They have been in this league for a long time. They are great players too. I think that is what we need on this team. And hopefully we can just get as much advice and get together as a group before the playoff.”

The Capitals controlled the play early on, outshooting St. Louis five-to-one at the eight minute mark of the contest. However, it was the Blues who struck first as Alexander Steen converted on a three-on-two odd man rush at 11:25. Late in the first period, the teams began to ramp-up the physical play as Matt Bradley and Tyson Strachan dropped the gloves. Bradley ended the bout with a bang as he delivered three straight right hooks to Strachan’s noggin, sending him down to ice.

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Video: Matt Bradley Knocks Out Tyson Strachan

Brads gets an entire post dedicated to this awesome first period knockout of Tyson Strachan because 90% of his fights he ends up looking like this. S/T to @ProffessorBrads.