Thursday Caps Clips: Backstrom Wins, Ovechkin and Carlson Begin

Well, Erik Karlsson looks kinda like Marcus Johansson, so... - Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: Nicklas Backstrom helped Team Sweden get its first win in Olympic pool play, and Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson get their campaigns started today.

Your savory breakfast links:

  • Recaps and other assorted musings on Sweden's victory over Czech Republic from IIHF, NHL.com, and PHT.
  • Better make sure your remote has fresh batteries as the pucks will drop for Sbornaya and Team USA in two separate arenas at 7:30am Eastern. [Rink]
  • Previews of Slovakia-USA. [NHL.com, USA Hockey, CBSsports.com, LA TimesCBSNYUSA Today (video), ESPN]
  • Previews of Russia-Slovenia. [NHL.com (and again), SenShot, SI, ESPN]
    • Say, in case you hadn't heard, Alex Ovechkin and Team Russia are under a lot of pressure. Like a lot a lot of pressure. Oh, and heat. Heat and pressure. Surely they'll squeeze a few diamonds out before all is said and done. [Search "Ovechkin Sochi Pressure"]
    • Fortunately, there are at least four folks in Sochi who have Team Russia's back - and also a terrific sense of humor. [DC Sports Bog]
    • The hockey gladiator. [Sport Review]
    • Ovi and the Puck of Penza - Team Russia practiced with pucks labeled with the hometowns of all the Sochi support staff, and Ovi made sure the Penzyachka got their due. [vpenze.ru (pic)]
    • More pracky pix, with Alexander Semin enigmatically airborne. [championat.ru]
    • The Ovechkin-Malkin-Semin line gets the Sergey Gimaev stamp of approval. [stadium.ru (link in Russian)]
    • Maria Kirilenko gave a charming interview to Sport-Express: "S-E: So you have a bronze medal of the Olympic Games, won in London paired with Nadia Petrova. And your fiance - does not ...
      MK:  I'm all for that Sasha outscores me in Sochi. A man should be the best at everything. Even in medals (smiles)." [Sport-Express (link in Russian)]
  • Why each Caps Olympian will win Olympic gold... and also why he won't. [GM on a Couch]
  • Finally, congrats are in order for John Slaney and the late Bob Perreault, inducted yesterday into the the AHL Hall of Fame.  Defenseman John Slaney was drafted by the Caps in the first round of the 1990 draft and scored the gold medal gamewinner for Canada over Russia in the 1991 WJC's.  He went on to become the AHL's leading offensive defenseman.  Bob Perreault backstopped Hershey to back-to-back Calder Cups between 1957-1959 and added two more for the Rochester Americans. [Sporting News, Patriot-News]

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