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Not naming former Cap Al Iafrate on list of best sports mullets is a shame

Not naming former Cap Al Iafrate on list of best sports mullets is a shame

On Wednesday, former Capitals forward and current NHL elder statesman Jaromir Jagr turns 45 years old.

In honor of his birthday, ESPN put together a video of some of the best mullets in sports, because — after all — Jaromir Jagr was the purveyor of one of the finest mullets in sports history.

The video includes the likes of tennis icon Andre Agassi, Bryan, Bosworth, Wayne Gretzky, Randy Johnson, Jared Allen, Roy Nelson, John Kruk, and Barry Melrose, which are all good if not great choices.

But we noticed one major omission with local ties: Cult Capitals hero Al Iafrate.

Iafrate played for the Capitals from 1990 until 1994, appearing in three All-Star games. He was regarded as having the hardest and fastest slap shot in the NHL, and was among of of the fastest skaters as well.

And even in the height of the "Mullet Era" of the late 80's and early 90's, Iafrate had what many considered — and still consider — one of hockey's finest mullets. 

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There is just so much to love about Iafrate's mullet.

The "business in the front" is a bit patchy, which makes it a unique loo, and he makes up for the bald spot with an incredible ammount of "party in the back."

Iafrate personified the late 80's and early 90's NHL: He lived his life hard and fast, both on and off the ice and had the look to match. 

As great as Gretzky was as a player, his mullet was not even in the same stratosphere as Iafrate's.

We may never see another mullet quite like his and it deserves proper recognition.

BONUS: We dug up a picture of CSN analyst and former Capitals' enforcer Alan May, who like Iafrate, had a glorious mullet.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: A trip to the Stanley Cup Final is on the line

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: A trip to the Stanley Cup Final is on the line

The Eastern Conference Final is going the distance!

After losing three straight to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Capitals won Game 6 to force a Game 7 in Tampa Bay. Can the Caps beat the Lightning one more time and advance to the Stanley Cup Final?

JJ Regan, Tarik El-Bashir and special guest cameraman Mike D break it all down.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to schedule and time constraints, this podcast was recorded by phone and the audio quality is not up to our usual standards.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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Caps push Lightning around in Game 6 with physical game plan

Caps push Lightning around in Game 6 with physical game plan

As the NHL continues to focus more on speed and skill, the Capitals took a very old-school approach to Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. From the moment the puck dropped until the clock hit zero, it was clear Washington came into Monday with a very physical game plan.

"It made a big difference," T.J. Oshie said. "I think in these games, everyone’s bringing energy and you kind of want to control that and direct it towards some positive play, some momentum building for your team, and tonight I think we handled that and did that pretty well."

"We just wanted to throw everything we had at them," Stephenson said. "It was a do or die game and we don't want our season to end."

It worked.

The scoresheet officially credited the Caps with 39 hits for the game. The Lightning had only 19. The physical play seemed to wear down Tampa Bay as the game went on.

After an even first period, Washington took a 1-0 lead in the second. Then, very fittingly, a physical fourth line extended that lead to 2-0 in the third to finish the Lightning off.

"All of a sudden now we turn a puck over, you’re back in your end, they’re feeling it, they’re being physical, crowd’s behind them and we’re spending way too much time in our D zone," Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper said. "That’s what hurt us."

What made it so effective was the fact that the entire team bought into it. Alex Ovechkin was certainly the most noticeable player as he threw himself around like a wrecking ball against everyone wearing a white jersey. But it was not just his line. Tom Wilson and Brooks Orpik each led the team with six hits, Devante Smith-Pelly recorded five of his own while Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom both had four.

The Lightning faced a constant barrage from the Caps from every line and defensive pair. There was no respite.

The hits also gave the fans plenty to cheer for.

The Caps were playing an elimination game at home and Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy was standing on his head. Even with the score locked at 0-0 through the first period, the crowd was still very much into the game. There was no apprehension, there was no quiet tension. There was just a loud crowd cheering on its team.

"[The fans] were loud right from the start, which I think we fed off of and wanted to give them something back," Brooks Orpik said. "We didn't get a goal early. I think some of the physical play kind of helped carry that. They were great for us."

Now in the third round of the playoffs after six intense games between the Caps and Lightning, the hope is that Game 6's physical play will continue to take its toll on Tampa Bay heading into Game 7.

"We need to do that every game," Nicklas Backstrom said. "That's our forecheck. Hopefully, we can keep it going here in Game 7."

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