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Adorable puppies love the Capitals' scary eagle mascot, fear Nicklas Backstrom

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Several of the Washington Capitals players had the best day ever today because they got to play with little puppies for a calendar photoshoot with the MSE Foundation and Homeward Trails Animal Rescue.

Players who were there included Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. But the one who had THE MOST FUN was Slapshot, the team's mascot.

Hopefully that's intended to be a kind, gentle pecking at the puppy's head, and Slapshot isn't trying to eat the dog. Even though I'd be completely terrified sitting in that giant bird's lap, the pups seem to love it.

They tried the same set up with Backstrom ...

Unleash the furry. #SoManyPuppies #CapsCanineCalendar @nicke19 @homewardtrailsrescue

A video posted by MSE Foundation (@msefoundation) on

... it looks painfully awkward and they're all running away! It's OK, not everyone's a dog person.

Then, the dogs got to play dress up with the players -- one-on-one time! Here's Braden Holtby and a puppy in sombrero-type hats:

THAT pooch is most definitely throwing buckets of shade with that side-eye.

Anywaaaay, the shoot overall seemed like a success. It made for adorable photos and it's more than worth it if this will help get more of these little guys adopted.

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SB Nation video archives: The best dogs in sports (2013)