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Ovechkin sports new look, talks lockout

Ovechkin sports new look, talks lockout

Alex Ovechkin showed up at Kettler Capitals Iceplex Tuesday sporting a military-style haircut.

Im one of the soldiers of the NHLPA, the Capitals captain said with a smile.

Ovechkin certainly sounded like a soldier ready to do battle with the NHL as it moves closer to a Sept. 15 lockout.

The following are excerpts of Ovechkins fairly explosive interview with a small group of reporters at Kettler:

On the possibility of a lockout: Of course nobody wants to be in a position to be in a lockout, but it is what it is and were not going to give up.

On the players plan to help struggling NHL teams: We want to help teams that financially are not that good and the league knows it. They tell us what they want and think that cutting our salaries and our contract years is going to help that. Why are they still signing guys for 10 years and not five years? Its strange and they look stupid. They right now say they want to cut salary and everything. Lots of guys just wont come back if this happens.

On players support for executive director Donald Fehr: I think everybody trust him and we all know exactly what hes going to do. We feel exactly how its going to happen. If there is going to be a lockout theres going to be a lockout. Were ready for it. If we were not ready we would have signed the offer they gave us.

On playing in Russia if there is a lockout: Of course I think about it. My hometown Moscow has teams and my Russian federation has a league. Of course Im probably going to be there, but I dont want to be there. I want to be here. But my contract is here and I hope the NHL and the NHLPA is going to sign a deal before Sept. 15.

On players being asked to give back a percentage of their salaries: Its not fair for us. They still make money. They still sell tickets and they have money. Why they sign us to long-term deals and that kind of money and when the CBA is done they want to cut our salary? Why do they want to cut 20 percent? If theyre going to cut a percentage of the contracts and years, I dont think lots of guys who sign American deals are going to come back and play here. Its not reasonable to be here. You have to think of your future. You have to think of your family.

On if he thinks players would leave the NHL and never come back: Yeah, Why not?

On if he would consider leaving the NHL if his contract was reduced by 15 or 20 percent: Im going to think about it, but I hope not. Its something the league wants for all the players. Sidney Crosby just signed, Ryan Suter, Shea Weber just signed huge deals. They want to cut 24 percent for nothing? I dont think its fair enough.

On the potential of a lockout: I dont think were close enough to make a deal. Its all about the owners and Gary Bettman.

On what it will take to get a deal done: We know exactly what theyre going to do. Im not going to tell you whats in our mind.

On the impact an NHL work stoppage would have: Of course its going to be hard and of course its going to be a long time to wait. But it is what it is. Everybody wants to play hockey and make money. Nobody wants to play for free.

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Capitals listed as underdogs in their first Stanley Cup since 1998

Capitals listed as underdogs in their first Stanley Cup since 1998

The odds have never gone the way of the Washington Capitals.

After years of being the common pick to finally break through and win the Stanley Cup, this was most definitely not the year.

Yet, here we are with the Capitals as one of the final two teams standing.

For their upcoming Stanley Cup Final, the Caps are the underdogs against the Las Vegas Golden Knights.  The opening line from OddsShark has the Golden Knights as -135 money line favorites to win the Stanley Cup. The Capitals were listed as +115 underdogs.

Vegas (the betting entity, not the team) has not exactly been the most reliable this year though. After all, the Golden Knights were 100/1 odds to win the whole thing. Now they are four games away.

In their past two series, Washington was not the favorites. The Capitals have not been favorites since the First Round against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

For years in the Alex Ovechkin era, they have been the favorites to not only go on to play for the Stanley Cup but winning it.

In 2018 they started the season tied for the fifth best odds to win the Cup (14/1), one of their lowest opening marks in the past decade. For the full perspective, Washington was tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs and behind the Dallas Stars at the start of the season.

Without question this underdog role has fit them quite well, they shouldn’t want anything to change heading into the biggest postseason series in 20 years for Washington D.C.

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How the Caps upset the Lightning to win the conference championship

How the Caps upset the Lightning to win the conference championship

It wasn't supposed to happen.

The Capitals celebrated too hard after beating the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Second Round. The Tampa Bay Lightning had been here before. Tampa Bay's roster was deeper. Their goalie was hotter. They had home ice advantage. They had easily won their first two series. Nicklas Backstrom was still injured. Washington wouldn't be able to stop the Lightning's power play.

Here's how the Capitals were able to shock the hockey world and upset the Lightning.

For all of those reasons, many did not even give the Caps a chance. Washington overcame every obstacle in their way and was, for the most part, the better team through seven games defeating Tampa Bay to win the Eastern Conference for just the second time in franchise history.

The Capitals showed in their second-round win over the Penguins that these weren't the "same old Caps." They continued to prove that in the conference final when they stunned the Lightning to win Game 1 and Game 2 both on the road.

Here's how the Capitals were able to shock the hockey world and upset the Lightning.

When Washington lost the next three, many thought that meant the real Lightning had awoken, but it was the Caps who rose to the occasion in Game 6 and Game 7 where they face elimination as they completely dominated Tampa Bay by a combined score of 7-0.

The Caps now advance to take on the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final. The Knights have lost only three games this entire postseason and will hope to carry that momentum with them into Game 1.

If there is one thing this Washington team has proven, however, it's that you should never count them out.

Here's how the Capitals were able to shock the hockey world and upset the Lightning.

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