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Photo: Drew Hallowell

TSN’s Bob McKenzie did his annual coach’s poll and I’m now paralyzed by superstitious, jinx-y feelings.

27 of 30 NHL coaches voted in McKenzie’s poll. A staggering 25 of 27 coaches picked the Capitals to come out of the Eastern Conference and play in the Stanley Cup Finals. Two lost souls have Jagr Fever, picking the Florida Panthers to play in a championship series I would refuse to watch.

Meanwhile, the Capitals were heavily favored by coaches to win the Stanley Cup. Washington received 16 votes while Chicago (nine), Los Angeles (one), and Tampa Bay (one) also received consideration.

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This might be the understatement of the century, but the 2015-16 Washington Capitals are really good. They’ve won 35 of their first 46 games, they hold a 12-point lead over Florida in the Eastern Conference, and they’ve got a 14-point cushion over the Rangers for the Metropolitan Division crown.

But if we turn our heads to the President’s Trophy race, that’s where things get even crazier.

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Sportsnet recently released a well-produced five-minute video on the Washington Capitals, focusing on how the team has changed under head coach Barry Trotz. In the video, Trotz and star players talk about the broken and fragmented atmosphere left behind by (current Sportsnet analyst) Adam Oates two seasons ago.

“I think it was a big wake up call for a lot of guys who had been here before that we needed to change something in here,” Braden Holtby said. “The happy-go-lucky Caps weren’t going to cut it anymore.”

“[New management] came at the perfect time for us,” continued Holtby. “We had our ultimate lows as an organization.”

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Graphic via Hockey Night In Canada

Saturday, there was a bit of history in DC sports. The Washington Redskins, Washington Capitals, and Washington Wizards all won on the same day for the first time in 32 years (and nine days). And if we’re counting just by days, it took 11,697 of them for this to happen again.

The Redskins’ 38-24 win over the Eagles gave the Skins the NFC East title (8-7 record) and a playoff berth. It was also the Redskins’ 600th win as a franchise.

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The Caps’ Holiday Group Hug

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Monday night, the Capitals survived a last-minute onslaught by the Carolina Hurricanes. With seven seconds left, defenseman Matt Niskanen blocked three straight shots after Jay Beagle lost a crucial defensive zone face-off, one of just four he lost all game. Niskanen’s sacrifice, Beagle’s faceoffs, and Philipp Grubauer’s staunch defense helped secure a 2-1 win at RBC Center.

If it seems like this this team can’t lose right now, it’s not because of excellent shot suppression or smart systems, it’s due to extraordinary efforts like Niskanen’s and Beagle’s and Grubauer’s becoming commonplace lately.

The standard on-ice celebration after a win would be the skaters congratulating the victorious goalie one by one. Instead, tonight, quite appropriately, the Caps held a big group hug in the defensive zone.

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The Washington Capitals Are Now First Place in the NHL

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Photo: @lerosier9

With the Capitals thrilling comeback win against the Lightning on Friday, their record improved to 23-6-2. They now have 48 points and are tied with the Dallas Stars for first place in the league. But wait a second, Dallas has played one more game than Washington. So guess what:

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The Redskins and Capitals Are Both In First Place

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Photo: Capstagram

I just thought I should point this out: Hell has actually frozen over.

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Photo: Tom Szczerbowski

In disturbing jinx news, the Washington Capitals are now Bovada’s odds on favorite (13/2) to win the Stanley Cup. This comes on the heels of several NHL.com analysts picking the Caps to win it all during the preseason.

Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars (7/1), New York Rangers (15/2), Chicago Blackhawks (9/1), and Montreal Canadians (12/1) round out Bovada’s top five.

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kuzy-helicopter

On Tuesday, the Washington Capitals held a team building event at Joint Base Andrews and visited with troops. They also got a tour of the facilities and tried on military gear. They took it very srsly, u guys.

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GIF Recap: Caps Go Into Beast Mode Against the Flames

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Photo: Gerry Thomas

We’re bringing the magic of Tumblr to RMNB, and it’s all for you. Hana Imiolczyk will be GIFing every Caps goal for us this season. Her first post documents the Capitals’ 6-2 defeat of the Calgary Flames, a game in which Karri Ramo was dominated so thoroughly that he was put on waivers today.

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