Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

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The Loop

Alexander Ovechkin's pre-game cup check will make you want to call 9-1-1

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Stop us if you've heard this one before: The Washington Capitals are in a first-round dog-fight. Tied 2-2 with the Carolina Hurricanes, who haven't made the playoffs since 2009, and now down T.J. Oshie, it's officially all-hands-on-deck for the defending Stanley Cup champions. But on Thursday night, they might have taken the intensity too far with this terrifying pre-game cup check routine. Gentlemen, when they say "Because it's the Cup," this is NOT what they mean:

Now Ovechkin is one tough cookie. Earlier this series, he KO'd a 19-year-old kid who idolizes him and when Carlson gives his cup a hearty whack here, he hardly bats an eye. But no matter how bulletproof Ovi may seem, we still wouldn't be risking our star forward's life and, uh, limb like this. Who knows, the guy may want to have kids some day. This just seems reckless.

Let's not forget that the Lightning and Penguins have already been swept out of the playoffs, leaving the Capitals' path to a repeat Stanley Cup Finals appearance as open as ever...provided they can keep Ovi healthy, of course. That means ice baths, green juice, plenty of sleep, and an intact tackle box. So John, do us all a favor: The next time you feel the need to whack a teammate where the sun don't rarely shines, ask Tom Wilson instead. Something tells us he's into it.