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Madison Bowey, Jakub Vrana share interesting pregame ritual

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USA TODAY Sports

Madison Bowey, Jakub Vrana share interesting pregame ritual

T.J. Oshie likes to wake all of his teammates on the behind with his stick during warmups. Braden Holtby has his whole focus routine. Madison Bowey and Jakub Vrana like to...hold hands?

Professional athletes are known for having strange superstitions and rituals. Capitals rookies Bowey and Vrana are no exception. But theirs is unique in that it involves one another and is not a solitary practice.

Whenever Bowey and Vrana take the ice, whether it be for pregame warmups or before each period, they always come onto the ice together holding hands.

"He's always going in front of me and I go behind him and we kind of like hold the hands and just try to shake and skate on the ice together," Vrana said after a practice.

"It's like our game ritual or something."

RELATED: WHERE DO THE CAPS LAND IN THIS WEEK'S NHL POWER RANKINGS?

When the Capitals come onto the ice, they walk single file from the locker room. Bowey is always in front of Vrana and the two are always holding hands with Bowey extending his hand behind him to the following Vrana.

You can see the two taking the ice hand in hand in here before the team's game against the Florida Panthers:

Anything to get an advantage, right?

"We're pretty good buddies off the ice," Bowey said. "Obviously, we've been together for the past two, three years now. It's I think just kind of something that we just are kind of going with right now."

This is not the first year the two have been teammates. They played together the past two seasons with the Hershey Bears in the AHL. Clearly, they developed a bond during that time, but this isn't a ritual they brought with them from Hershey. This is something new they came up with in Washington.

"One game we were just trying to get each other going a little bit and I lent my hand out and he gave me a little high five," Bowey said. "Now it just kind of carried on a little bit longer."

"He wanted to give me high five so from beginning we just do the high five," Vrana said, "And then lately I was like holding his hand and he didn't let it go and we just skate in the ice together."

MORE CAPITALS: CHECK OUT THE LATEST CAPITALS FACEOFF PODCAST ON WHAT THE CAPS MAY DO AT THE TRADE DEADLINE

This new ritual has now carried on for several weeks. For a while, it was working. With only one point for Vrana in the past 13 games, however, Bowey admitted they may need to change things up.

Vrana, however, sounds committed.

"We just think it's funny, but we do it every time."

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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

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NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

Alan May knows a thing or two about the trade deadline.

Over the course of his NHL career, May was traded five total times, four at the trade deadline. He sits down with Rob Carlin on a special edition of the Capitals Extra Podcast to tell stories from his playing days about what it was like getting traded.

This one's a can't miss for hockey fans. You can listen to the episode here on the Capitals Extra page or with the player below.

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NHL Awards tracker: Where would the Caps' offense be without Ovechkin?

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USA TODAY Sports

NHL Awards tracker: Where would the Caps' offense be without Ovechkin?

The Hart Trophy is given to the player judged to be the most valuable to their team. With the Caps currently struggling in almost every aspect of the game, consider this: Just where would they be without Alex Ovechkin?

Washington ranks 10th in the NHL in goals per game with 3.05. Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals with 36. He has scored an incredible 19-percent of his team's goals. No one on the Caps is within 20 goals of the Caps' captain.

That's not a typo. Evgeny Kuznetsov ranks second on the team with 16 goals. No other team in the league has a larger separation between its top two scorers. In fact, only three teams have a difference that's in the double digits: Vancouver (11), San Jose (10) and New Jersey (10).

Ovechkin is almost singlehandedly propping up Washington as a top-ten offense. If you think about just where this offense would be without him, there's a pretty strong case to be made that Ovechkin is as valuable to his team this season as any other player in the league.

SEE THIS WEEK'S 2018 NHL AWARDS TRACKER HERE

Here are the Caps' hopefuls for awards this season:

John Carlson

In contention for: Norris

Carlson is fifth among all defensemen with 45 points, but his case goes beyond the numbers. With a blue line that has featured two rookies the majority of the season, an aging veteran in Brooks Orpik and that had to deal with an injury to Matt Niskanen, the Caps have asked a lot of Carlson this season and he has always been up to the task.

Alex Ovechkin

In contention for: Hart

Few players, if any, are as important to their team's offensive production and therefore its success than Ovechkin has been this season.

Check out who the top candidates are for the league's major individual awards in this week's 2018 NHL Awards Tracker!