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Friday Caps Clips: Semifinal Showdown

Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: The four remaining teams battle it out for a spot in the gold medal game, Ovi stays in Sochi, the US women lose in a stunner and more.

Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

Your savory breakfast links:

  • The men's tournament at the Olympics is winding down, as the final four teams battle it out today for a spot in the gold medal game [, X-factors (video: US, Canada, Sweden, Finland), ESPN]
    • First up, Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson and Team Sweden take on rival Finland right about... now. [, AP]
      • Three keys for Finland and Sweden ahead of their semifinal. []
    • At noon, it's the North Americans taking to the ice in a semifinal rematch of last year's gold medal game. [, ESPN, USoH, BSH, AP]
      • USA vs. Canada = offense vs. defense. [, ESPN]
      • Keys for Canada and the US ahead of their semifinal. []
      • Team USA is feeling good, feeling confident and feeling ready to exact a little revenge. []
      • An American hockey fan makes an Olympic rally cry video. The rest of us get goosebumps. Hell yeah, 'Murrica. [USoH]
      • Meanwhile the classic politician wager is on. You mean if Canada loses they also get stuck with a case of crappy American beer?? WIN-WIN. []
  • Hockey is a game of inches. Unfortunately sometimes those inches work against you, as Team USA found out yesterday. Tough, tough loss for the ladies. [USoH,]
  • NHLers participating in the Olympics brings up the question of whether there's an "Olympic Effect"... [THW]
  • ...and with all the injuries at this year's games, perhaps the NHL won't be going much longer. Sure, because presenting the best of the game is always a bad thing. [Sporting News]
  • If NBC has anything to say about it, the NHL is sticking around. And it'll be USA vs. Canada every day and twice on Saturday. []
  • Is it time for rookie Tom Wilson to be given a bigger role on the team? [Rink]
  • Sittin' at the end of the (Caps) bar, reflecting on the two-goal lead. [Rink]
  • Guess who just got back today, them wild-eyed boys that had been away... from Kettler:
    • In general. [Monumental video (Oates, Hillen, Rinkside Update/Holtby), Caps OT]
    • Best wishes and hopes for a speedy recovery go out to Alex Ovechkin's dad, Mikhail, who is in a Sochi hospital after having heart surgery earlier this week. [WaPo (and again), WashTimes, CSNW, NBC4]
    • George McPhee talked about the State of the Caps, including potential trade deadline moves, NHLers in the Olympics and the prospect of the prospects. [Dump 'n Chase, Monumental video, CSNW]
    • Great news - Mike Green passed his neuropsychological test and has been cleared for contact. [WaPo]
    • Like most of us, the Caps are looking forward to today's USA-Canada matchup. Unlike most of us, the majority of them are rooting for the wrong team. Traitors. [WaPo, WashTimes]
    • They are united in one thing, however - they all want Ovechkin to come home hungry after another Olympic disappointment. [CSNW]
    • As the season gets ready to resume, the Caps have their eye on the playoffs, the points race and the stretch run ahead. [NBC4]
    • Meanwhile Jay Beagle and John Erskine ride around on ice resurfacers. Not Zambonis. Related, these guys might be a little bored. [WaPo]
  • A glimpse at what the trade deadline plan could be for the Eastern Conference. [TSN]
  • So when will Caps fans finally see Evgeny Kuznetsov? [CSNW]
  • Down on the farm:
    • The Caps have recalled centers Michael Latta, Ryan Stoa and Casey Wellman from the Bears. Break's over, fellas! [Caps, Patriot-News]
    • Kettler isn't the only locker room that's divided; the Bears have a friendly little continental schism of their own going on. [Patriot-News]
  • Finally, if you're a hockey buff who loves history, or a history buff who loves hockey (or just like to learn about both), read up on how hockey and politics intertwined over a decade before the Miracle on Ice. [WWICS]