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Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals jam out to ‘Jingle Bells’

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It’s amazing how one Christmas card video can shed light on the otherwise hidden talents of a bunch of hockey players.

If you haven’t seen the Capitals’ Christmas video, you should.

Alex Ovechkin singing “Jingle Bells;” Brooks Laich pounding away on drums; Joel Ward blowing on an inflated saxophone; Nicklas Backstrom keeping pace on tambourine; Tom Wilson swaying to the sound of a toy ukulele; Mike Green wailing on a cowbell; Aaron Volpatti grooving on his guitar; John Erskine tapping on a xylophone; and Troy Brouwer playing guitar in his …. PJs?

Of course, with every great music video there are untold back stories and here are a few we uncovered Thursday:

-- According to Ward, Ovechkin knows only the opening two words of “Jingle Bells."

-- Ward actually played saxophone for a couple weeks when he was in elementary school before switching to the tuba “because I didn’t have to take the tuba home.”

Ward said that if prodded he could still carry a tune on the sax or the tuba.

"Maybe Hot Cross Buns or something,” he said. “Actually, I can play Locomotion pretty good.”

-- Volpatti and Brouwer are no strangers to guitars. Both played them when they were teenagers and Volpatti actually played in a band at Brown University.

“Mostly classic rock, a little bit of country, Bob Marley,” Volpatti said.

The band’s name? Three-hour Parking.

“We were jamming late one night outside and one of us looked at a parking sign that said, ‘Three-hour parking,’ Volpatti said. “That was it.”

-- The Caps tried to find an ugly Christmas sweater to fit Erskine, but couldn't.  "We had to cut out the scenes with his belly hanging out," Brouwer said. "Too many kids watching."

-- Other band members say Laich took his drum playing "way too seriously."

As for that get-up Brouwer was wearing, they’re all his. He received the red and black pajamas as a Christmas gift last year, said he loves the feel of Uggs, and yes, that’s his Cousin Eddie hat as well.

-- Chuck Gormley, CSNWashington.com

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