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Brooks Orpik lost part of his pinky in the Final, but he did not lose any playing time


Brooks Orpik lost part of his pinky in the Final, but he did not lose any playing time

Brooks Orpik had part of the pinky on his left hand sliced off during the Stanley Cup Final.

And he didn’t miss any playing time.

Let me repeat that.

Orpik lost a part of his finger. Had it reattached, then casually helped the Caps claim the first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

“It kinda fell off,” Orpik said with a smile on breakdown day at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Wednesday.

The injury occurred at the end of Game 2 in Las Vegas when Erik Haula whacked him with a wicked slash. Haula received a five minute major and a game misconduct.

Earlier in the game, Orpik scored his first goal since 2016.

“It probably looked worse than it was,” Orpik said. “It was tough to look at. But the trainers did a really good job. It was never something that I thought would keep me from playing.”

Hockey players, man.


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Ovi's adorable toddler celebrates dad's birthday with balloons at practice

Washington Capitals via Twitter / @capitals

Ovi's adorable toddler celebrates dad's birthday with balloons at practice

It's Alex Ovechkin's birthday! Arguably the greatest shooter of all-time, definitely #1 Capital ever, and king of the boys and girls and babes turned 34 on Tuesday.

To celebrate, the captain's son Sergei came to practice with his mom, Nastya Ovechkina and Twitter almost broke over the cuteness.

The league shared a video from Nastya's Instagram story, revealing an "OVI JR" #8 jersey. I mean...

It doesn't get much cuter than that! But wait.

NBC Sports Washington's JJ Regan snapped the above photo with Ovi holding Sergei as he chats with assistant GM Ross Mahoney while Nastya looks on. 

Ovi also stayed behind to sign some autographs for fans at practice. 


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No, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby is not going back to Sweden if he doesn't make the Caps

NBC Sports Washington

No, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby is not going back to Sweden if he doesn't make the Caps

ARLINGTON, Va. -- We already know where the vast majority of players at Capitals training camp will be playing for a majority of the season. Some players have contracts with other teams, the NHL players know they will be with the Caps, junior players know they will be with their respective junior teams, etc. There are few spots on the Caps’ roster that are up for grabs and only a handful of players who are actually competing for them.

And then there is Axel Jonsson-Fjallby.

Recognizable for his long, blonde hair, Jonsson-Fjallby has become an intriguing prospect. He already possesses NHL speed and it is just a matter of waiting for the rest of his game to catch up before making the NHL roster becomes a real possibility.

But he is also an intriguing player because of the uncertainty of where he may play.

Last season, Jonsson-Fjallby was sent to Hershey, but returned to his native Sweden after just 16 games. That led many to wonder just where he would be playing this season. If he did not make the NHL squad, which seems very unlikely at this point, would he again choose to return to Sweden?

In May, Jonsson-Fjallby said he would be staying in North American regardless of whether he was in the NHL or AHL. Now at training camp, he reiterated that sentiment.

“Yeah, I’ll stay,” Jonsson-Fjallby told NBC Sports Washington.

Even if you are sent to Hershey?


No plans to go back to Sweden?


Whatever the personal reasons may have been for Jonsson-Fjallby’s decision to, it appears to have been ill-advised in terms of his NHL hopes.

Clearly general manager Brian MacLellan was displeased with the performance of the Caps’ fourth line and penalty kill as he made a number of acquisitions in the offseason to address those needs. But as those are spots that Jonsson-Fjallby could have potentially competed for, it also shows the team still believes Jonsson-Fjallby still has more work to do before he can realistically compete for a spot on the NHL roster. Perhaps if he was fully adjusted to the North American game he would have had more of a shot. Just 16 games at the AHL level, however, are not enough.

“I feel like I've been playing a lot,” Jonsson-Fjallby said, “But you can still get used to it more.”

The ice rink is much smaller in North America which makes the game both faster and more physical than in Europe. Adjusting to the different style is hard for players to do and will require more time from Jonsson-Fjallby than 16 games, a rookie tournament and a training camp to figure out.

Jonsson-Fjallby said he is working on the details of his game to make it simpler.

“Plays on the board, playing simpler sometimes,” he said. “Since I don't have as much time here since the ice is smaller, I just feel like sometimes I can make an easier play.”

With Nic Dowd, Garnet Hathaway, Brendan Leipsic, Chandler Stephenson and Travis Boyd all competing for fourth line spots, Jonsson-Fjallby will almost certainly be headed to Hershey this season, but that is the best thing for him. He struggled during the Prospects Showcase and at times in camp and he is not yet ready to take on a full-time NHL role. That is something he can work on in Hershey if and only if he remains in North America and, for now, he says he is committed to doing just that.