Welcome back to another edition of Caps in Motion. We've got a double-dose of GIF-y goodness for you this week - but first, a look at the moment you selected as your favorite the last time around. No surprises here, the long-awaited appearance of Evgeny Kuznetsov stole the show... and your votes:
That's not the last we'll see of that smiling face - in this week's Caps in Motion or, one would imagine, in future installments.
What's in store for you this week? Just a heaping helping of great, surprising or just plain entertaining moments from the past two weeks, sure to delight and astound. Or at least hold your attention for the next two to three minutes.
So we all know that Nicklas Backstrom is a pretty unselfish player; you don't rack up as many assists as he has in his career by being a puck hog. This time around, however, his unselfishness was demonstrated not by what he did with the puck - but what he didn't do:
Backstrom beats the two Leaf defenders into the zone by a few feet, and appears to have a pretty clear path to the empty net for the easy tap-in and goal. And yet he chooses instead to protect the puck without touching it, blocking it with his body (and taking a little hook from Dion Phaneuf for his trouble) to make sure that Troy Brouwer gets the credit for his 20th goal of the season.
All class, that Nicklas.
Okay, but let's get back to the magical stuff Backstrom does when he actually has the puck on his stick, and the equally magical things that happen when he gets that puck to Mike Green:
Great work by Backstrom around the net, beauty of a wrist shot to Green for what would eventually be the game-winner for a crucial two points... and oh, hey there, Evgeny Kuznetsov with the lovely pass to start the play in the first place. Just his third assist on the night, no big deal.
Rolling right along...
What's that, Brandon? You say your shift wasn't over yet? Ovechkin says otherwise.
Best line change EVER.
It's been a busy couple of weeks for Ovechkin, between sending players into their bench and scoring beautiful power-play goals - to say nothing of the fact that he has a new roommate, which can be an adventure. Luckily they appear to be getting along just fine:
Apparently the key to getting along with Ovechkin is to like the same music as he does, put up with his singing... and maybe, just maybe, he'll let you drive his badass Ovimobile. Not a bad tradeoff, amirite?
...although that music is pretty awful. Thank goodness for the silence of GIFs.
It's only been a few weeks, but Kuznetsov and Ovechkin are already turning into quite the comic duo (and the basis for a reality show that I would watch nonstop). Throw in Dmitry Orlov, and the Russian troika of hilarity is complete:
Dude. Never pick scissors. That'll get you bag boy duty every time.
Back to the ice, now, as another new arrival to the Caps finally made his mark on the scoresheet and did so in style. Check out this slick backhand pass from Dustin Penner as the Caps hosted the Leafs, helping to give Joel Ward his 20th goal of the season:
Penner's first assist as a Cap wasn't the last nice feed Joel Ward would get this week, of course. Remember that Kuznetsov guy we mentioned earlier? Here he is again, with an absolutely sick pass out to Ward for what would prove to be a pretty important goal, one that helped secure a crucial point in the standings for the Caps:
That was just filthy.
Speaking of filthy, and Kuznetsov, and filthy Kuznetsov plays... get out of here with this goal in your first career shootout appearance against superstar goaltender Jonathan Quick, Evgeny:
Seriously, who is this guy? He's good. The Caps should maybe hang on to him.
You want more Kuznetsov, you've got it. Because when it comes to the great plays this kid has already made in his short time as a Cap, there may not be any that are better than this fake-slapshot pass to Tom Wilson against the Canucks:
Nice pass. Nice goal. And a nice future ahead for a couple of pretty gifted kids.
Greatness on the ice translates to greatness elsewhere - like in the stands. This doesn't really need much of a lead-in beyond that; all you need to know is that Caps fans are special, special pandas:
The joy. The glee. The sheer mockery. Bless.
So that wraps up our fortnight of fabulous GIFs - but before you go make the tough, tough choices, it's time once again for a walk down memory lane. And as the Caps prepare to host the Boston Bruins next week, it's only fitting to look back at one of the all-time great fights in Caps-Bruins history:
...er, well, "fights" at least. Best friends don't necessarily make for the best fisticuffs, but they are the funniest.
And there you have it! Have a great weekend, everyone.
As always, stick-tap to Brendan Sheridan for the amazing GIF magic... be sure to follow him on Twitter, @CapitalsHill