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Bauer’s OD1N “concept car” equipment to be showcased at Sochi Olympics

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By Michael Blinn

Hockey equipment is already at its apex. Everything is lighter, faster and as protective as possible.

Or so we thought.

On Thursday, Bauer announced a new line of player and goalie equipment, dubbed the OD1N. It’s safe to say that we’ve made it to the future–and it’s pretty sweet.

First, some background:

In early December, an image made its way around the hockey internet of some pretty crazy-looking skates in action. Other than a blurry Bauer logo, it was anyone’s guess as to what they could be. More and more teaser photos came out, and Bauer dropped some tidbits:

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  • Published On Dec 20, 2013
  • KHL buzzes while NHL lockout drones on

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    Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin

    Together again: Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin played their first game together as Dynamo Moscow teammates on Oct. 22. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    Let’s take a break from lockout news — or non-news — and skate around to where hockey is actually being played.

    Attendance is apparently booming in the KHL with the arrival of so many locked out NHL players. And as the impasse continues, another wave of players signing contracts with European clubs seems possible.

    One of the most intriguing KHL signings was by Alex Ovechkin’s Dynamo Moscow on Monday:  Ovie’s center on the Washington Capitals, Nicklas Backstrom. In fact, it was Ovechkin who recruited Backstrom by phoning him regularly to urge him to sign with Dynamo.

    Here’s a photo of Ovie and Backie at the Dynamo offices from Allhockey.ru with Backstrom dressed in a Dynamo shirt.

    Their old chemistry paid off immediately on Monday against Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, won 3-0 by Dynamo, with Backstrom setting up Ovechkin for a power play goal.

    That contest matched the top two teams in the KHL’s Western Conference. Dynamo led the Bobrov Division by two points over Ilya Kovalchuk’s SKA St. Petersburg club coming into this game while the rebuilt Loko sat atop the Tarasov Division, three points ahead of CSKA (the Red Army club, with Pavel Datsyuk, Alexander Radulov and Ilya Bryzgalov).

    Backstrom caused something of a stir when he chose to wear 99 as his jersey number, which hockey fans always associate with Wayne Gretzky. Unlike the NHL, the KHL has not retired that number and, as Backstrom told Sovietsky Sport, he selected it “Because I had a 9 in my 19 and 19 was taken and then I didn’t like the other numbers so 99 was the only one.”

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  • Published On Oct 22, 2012
  • Dale Hunter puts family first, Capitals behind him in surprise decision

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    How much Dale Hunter’s relationship with Alexander Ovechkin factored into the coach’s decision to quit is an intriguing question. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    The mercurial NHL coaching career of Dale Hunter came to an end on Monday when he told the Washington Capitals that, after less than six months, it was time to go. He did a lot in a short time, turning the glamorous Caps into a team suddenly known for glamorless defense. He got them into the playoffs, knocked off the defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins in the tightest seven-game series in playoff history and took the Eastern Conference’s top seed, the Rangers, to seven games before succumbing, 2-1, on Saturday. But now he’ll return to his OHL team, the London Knights, one of hockey’s most successful junior franchises, which he co-owns with his brother Mark.

    “It wasn’t unexpected,” Caps GM George McPhee told reporters at the team’s suburban practice facility (video). But for those who saw in Hunter’s makeover the direction that the club must take to achieve that elusive playoff success in the Alex Ovechkin Era, the coach’s departure can’t be anything but a disappointment. Perhaps speaking for that segment of Caps Nation, The Post’s sports columnist Tom Boswell called Hunter’s decision “UNBELIEVABLE!”

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  • Published On May 14, 2012
  • B’s vs. Caps: Possible Game 7 classic

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    Playing with great poise, young Braden Holtby has a chance to write another chapter in goaltending lore. (Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    This memorable first round moves on Wednesday night to the first of three Game 7s in the Eastern Conference when a pair of marquee clubs square off in Boston: the Stanley Cup champion Bruins and the newly-minted defensive strong boys/former offensive dynamo Washington Capitals.

    Had it not been for the five straight overtime games between the Coyotes and Blackhawks, this would be hailed as clearly the opening round’s tightest series. Three matches have gone to extra time and of the total 387 minutes 31 seconds played in the six games, the teams have been tied for 268: 54 of them. Washington has led for 74:14; Boston for 44:23. The only two-goal lead, which the Caps had in Game 5, lasted all of 2:54. In a postseason that has seen many see-saw lead changes, this series has had none.

    Additionally, each team has scored 14 goals. But most notably, this is the first playoff matchup in Stanley Cup history ever to have its first six games all decided by one-goal margins.

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  • Published On Apr 25, 2012
  • Leniency makes for a dangerous game

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    The on-ice call after Duncan Keith’s elbow to the head of Daniel Sedin, an illegal shot that could change the course of the Western Conference playoff race, was unfortunately lax. (Warren Wimmer/Icon SMI)

    By Stu Hackel

    Duncan Keith, the Blackhawks’ top defenseman, had a phone hearing with Brendan Shanahan on Friday for his elbow to the head of the Canucks’ Daniel Sedin, which concussed the Vancouver star and took him out of the lineup indefinitely. There’s widespread speculation that Keith will receive a relatively stiff suspension, since the league asked for an in-person hearing as opposed to over the phone. That’s the procedure the NHL uses when it believes the ban could exceed five games, although Keith waived his right to appear.

    If he’s suspended, and it seems certain he will be, it will likely be for longer than the three games Shane Doan got for the elbow he threw at Jamie Benn earlier this week.

    UPDATE: Keith received a five-game suspension from the NHL.

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  • Published On Mar 23, 2012
  • Capitals’ changes not all for the best

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    After all is said and done, as goes Alex Ovechkin, so go the Caps. (Mitchell Layton/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    Yesterday, we looked at a Western team, the San Jose Sharks, who remain a perennial postseason disappointment although their recent record may be encouraging but also a bit deceiving. Today we’ll look at a similar team in the East: the Washington Capitals.

    Before being shut out by the struggling  New York Islanders, 3-0, on Tuesday night, the Caps had won seven of their last nine games and the hype machine had begun buzzing that Washington was back, or at least on the way back, to being an NHL powerhouse. But if you saw how lethargic and sloppy the Caps played on home ice — taking only 17 shots against a more energetic team that was playing the second game of a back-to-back and is, after all, the 14th-place Islanders — you’ve got to have some reservations.

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  • Published On Jan 18, 2012
  • Is seven games enough for Carcillo?

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    Car Bomb strikes again: Repeat offender Dan Carcillo of the Blackhawks will be sitting for a stretch yet again after boarding Tom Gilbert of the Oilers on Monday night. (Photo by Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

    By Stu Hackel

    At what point does the NHL really decide to get serious about suspensions? Brendan Shanahan gave the Blackhawks’ Daniel Carcillo a mere seven games for yet another illegal and dangerous play this week.  Given Carcillo’s record as a multiple offender, he probably deserves to sit out at least twice that number.

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  • Published On Jan 05, 2012
  • Boudreau pays for Caps’ inability to adjust

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    Once a jolly, ebullient players’ coach, Bruce Boudreau got tough with his underperforming stars, such as captain Alexander Ovechkin, this season and ended up alienating them. (Ann Heisenfelt/AP Photos)

    By Stu Hackel

    The coaching obituary of Bruce Boudreau will reflect that one of the NHL’s most colorful and visible men behind the bench could not get the best out of a talented group of players when it mattered.  When adjustments were on the agenda, he couldn’t make his team follow. In a results-oriented business, that’s all that counts.

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  • Published On Nov 28, 2011
  • Red Wings-Capitals a great showdown

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    Alex Ovechkin, taking off after a slow start, leads his unbeaten Caps against Detroit’s stout defense. (AP)

    By Stu Hackel

    They won’t be looking ahead of themselves, because the undefeated Red Wings must first host the Blue Jackets on Friday night, but we can look ahead for them because Detroit’s next foe comes on Saturday night when they visit Washington for a date against the unbeaten Capitals at 7 p.m. Eastern time (and televised on the NHL Network in the U.S.).

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  • Published On Oct 21, 2011
  • Ovie, Caps fall short of expectations

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    With expectations for the Caps high as usual, all eyes are on Alex Ovechkin. (Warren Wimmer/Icon SMI)

    By Stu Hackel

    The NHL preseason ended Sunday for teams in North America (the four clubs opening in Europe — Kings, Ducks, Rangers and Sabres — each have a game left to play over there) and things will get going for real on Thursday. The Blackhawks-Capitals tilt on Sunday, a 4-1 Caps victory that was closer than the score indicated, gave us a chance to see two clubs who some believe could meet in the Stanley Cup Final, and it wasn’t bad entertainment for a preseason game at all.

    But Caps coach Bruce Boudreau wasn’t happy with the way his team played or the results of their warm-up games, in which Washington went 3-3-1. “We didn’t play like Stanley Cup champions all preseason,” he said (video) — a rather strange statement about a team that has won only two playoff series during his four-year tenure — and he called the Caps’ performance on Sunday “sloppy.”

    With that, Boudreau seems to have abandoned his jolly round fellow persona of seasons’ past. “If there is one thing we have come to know about Bruce Boudreau, it’s that he doesn’t sugar-coat anything,” wrote Chuck Gormley on CSNWashington.com, who just moved south to DC after a number of years covering the Flyers. He’ll get to watch Boudreau more closely during a season in which the coach’s job could be jeopardized if the expectations of fans and those above him aren’t met.
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  • Published On Oct 03, 2011


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