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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 10/01/2010

Poll: Do you like the new, tougher Capitals?

In two preseason games this week, two Capitals players -- D.J. King and Matt Hendricks -- fought. The former to remind everyone what it's like to have a heavyweight in the room again, the latter to make sure opponents knew that any slight against Alex Ovechkin would not go unnoticed.

Granted, it's only the preseason, but there certainly appears to be a heightened gritty undertone in the Washington dressing room these days. Whether the uptick is about setting a precedent against opponents early on or something else, the presence of a player like King can certainly give other teams pause before challenging the Capitals.

"It puts a second thought in somebody's head," Brooks Laich said. "Where maybe they'd run around a little loose, carefree, a loose cannon, now they have somebody they really have to answer to if things get out of whack. So maybe it just tones them down a little bit. Sometimes the job that somebody like D.J. does isn't seen every night; people usually talk about the fights that he has, but sometimes it's an undercover job of just keeping cooler heads out there."

If you managed to miss them yesterday, go check get some Friday laughs with a new slate of advertisements featuring the Capitals. There's a pair with Bruce Boudreau and another with Alex Ovechkin.

Ted Leonsis says to expect a colder environment, and perhaps better ice, in Verizon Center this year.

Puck Daddy wrestles with and previews the Capitals' upcoming season.

By  |  10:43 AM ET, 10/01/2010

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