It's been a week chock-full of goodies to capture in GIF form (and there was occasionally some hockey in there, as well) - but before we get to this week's set, it's time to unveil the one that ran away with the competition seven days ago. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you... Joel Ward, hat thief:
"Hey, I was wearin' that!" Ah, well.
So what's in the treasure chest this time around? First out of the gate is, appropriately, a first - otherwise known as the first time rookie Nate Schmidt found the back of the net:
It's not just the fact that he scored his first career NHL goal (although that in and of itself is pretty flippin' great). Kicking this up a notch is the celebratory bear hug from the guy who appears to give the best embraces on the team - fellow blueliner and hugger extraordinaire, John Carlson. N'aww.
So that's a pretty fun goal celebration. After all, first goal joy is the best goal joy.
...or is it? Observe, if you will, one Alex Ovechkin, whose fourth tally of the night proved to be the late, game-tying, overtime-forcing, thrill-inducing goal. He runs. He leaps. He... toe-picks and goes flying and belly flops onto the ice.
Heeeeee's okay, folks! Swimming, er, rolling right along...
As we head into the middle of December, there's a marked difference in our surroundings - holiday cheer takes over, in the form of smiles, songs and sparkly lights. And sometimes those three things combine to form the greatest holiday card EVER:
So. Much. Happening.
The captain loses a jingle bell because he is just too strong for mere musical instruments... but does it stop him? No, he just keeps right on jingling! And then there's giant Tom Wilson with the world's tiniest ukulele. And the little elf hat on Mike Green's head as he wails on the cowbell. And Joel Ward rocking out on his pink saxophone. And... whatever is happening with Troy Brouwer, because every bit of it is just horribly wonderful.
...yes. Well, then.
Switching gears from the goofy to the great, we head over to Sunday's showdown at Madison Square Garden. With the Caps already up 2-0, Mikhail Grabovski draws a penalty shot, and heads to center ice to face off against the King, Henrik Lundqvist. And then the guy with the silky mitts and sick moves does... this:
Wow. Pretty sure Lundqvist is still looking behind him in disbelief after that one.
Speaking of Lundqvist, remember how he had that insane, frustrating, heartbreaking and downright annoying shutout streak against the Caps, dating back to last May? Remember how it stretched out over 200 minutes? And remember how there is one guy on the Caps who always seems to score on him? Take it away, Jason Chimera:
Streak: busted. Heavy is the head that wears the crown... when he also wears a Rangers' jersey.
With a home-and-home coming up against the ever-charming Philadelphia Flyers, it seems only fitting to wrap things up with one of the great moments in Caps-Flyers history - so for this week's Flashback Friday moment, come along with us to April 16, 1988. Overtime. Game 7. And the puck on Dale Hunter's stick...
A great moment in the rivalry, a great moment in franchise history, and almost enough of a good memory to erase the stench of "Hunter hockey"... almost.
Now go vote for your favorite from the past week, and be sure to check back next Friday to see who agreed with you!