Tag Archive | "caps"

Neuvirth, Ovechkin Steal a Point for Caps in Detroit

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Neuvirth, Ovechkin Steal a Point for Caps in Detroit

Posted on 31 January 2014 by Ed Frankovic

A night after getting totally whipped in Columbus, the Washington Capitals went into Detroit to take on the Red Wings.

Granted this isn’t the vintage Wings teams that won four Stanley Cups from 1997 to 2008, but they still have a good hockey club and Detroit showed it by dominating the Capitals in puck possession (shot attempts were 81-54 for Detroit) and finally winning in a shootout, 4-3.

This game is 7-2 or worse if not for Michal Neuvirth (42 saves), who was absolutely outstanding throughout the night. Neuvy, who made several ten bell saves in regulation, stopped the first six shootout attempts but none of his teammates could dent Jimmy Howard in the gimmick and Patrick Eaves finally notched the game winner with a sweet glove high shot just inside the right post before Jay Beagle couldn’t convert in the 7th round.

Neuvirth, however, would have gotten the loss if not for a late push from the Caps that saw Alexander Ovechkin tie the game with seven seconds remaining after a nice feed from John Carlson (two assists). Joel Ward did a super job in front of the net on the tying tally.

Another Cap that had a good outing was Casey Wellman, who scored a huge goal to knot this one at two. Wellman took an excellent stretch pass from Ovechkin (1 goal, 1 assist), skated in on Howard and fired three shots before the last one finally hit the twine. Jason Chimera (1 goal, 1 assist) had a strong game along with Carlson and Karl Alzner.

Sadly, after Wellman’s great individual effort, John Erskine blew a tire in the offensive zone and that allowed Gustav Nyquist to beat a screened Neuvirth for what looked to be the game winning goal until the Gr8 late game magic.

Ovechkin now has 39 goals on the campaign and he rebounded after a poor outing in Columbus. The Caps worked harder against Detroit but they were outclassed by the Wings, which is a concern.

The Caps, without Green on the back end, had to rely heavily on Carlson (31:18 of ice time) and Alzner (23:19) on the blue line, and hope that Dmitry Orlov, Tyson Strachan, John Erskine, and Connor Carrick could hold the fort as the bottom four defenders. Unfortunately the Erskine & Carrick pair struggled and finished -2 on the night.

So an important five game road trip ends with the Capitals getting five points. The Caps are two points behind third place Carolina in the Metro Division and two points in back of the Wings, who own the 8th and final Eastern Conference playoff spot currently. Washington now has four straight home games, including Super Bowl Sunday’s tilt against the Wings. Given that the Capitals are 13th in the conference, one would have to think they need to win at least three of the four contests on home ice this week before the Olympic break hits to stay in playoff contention.

They were fortunate to get a point in Motown on Friday night. They can thank Neuvirth for this one along with some late game heroics from Ovechkin.

Notes: The Wings played without star center Pavel Datsyuk and forward Johan Franzen while the Caps didn’t have Mike Green or Mikhail Grabovski, due to injuries. According to Katie Carrera of the Washington Post, Coach Adam Oates confirmed that Green is undergoing concussion protocol and in addition, Brooks Laich was shut down for the third period due to “tightness.” Finding healthy bodies to play continues to get tougher for Washington…five Washington forwards didn’t even ATTEMPT a shot tonight (Martin Erat, Marcus Johansson, Eric Fehr, Beagle, and Tom Wilson), that is not good at all.

Comments (0)

No Ovechkin = No Goals for Caps in 6th Straight Loss

Tags: , , , , , ,

No Ovechkin = No Goals for Caps in 6th Straight Loss

Posted on 21 January 2014 by Ed Frankovic

“Slip Slidin’ away, slip slidin’ away. You know the nearer your destination, the more you’re slip slidin’ away.”  – Paul Simon

That song pretty much sums up the Caps season right now. The closer they are getting to playing all 82 games, the closer they are getting to missing the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons.

On Tuesday night, without Alexander Ovechkin, the Caps not only lost, but they failed to score a single goal against the Ottawas Senators in a 2-0 defeat.

There isn’t much to say about this game, it was a listless effort outside of a handful of players. Goalie Braden Holtby returned to the starting role and played a decent game, but his club didn’t give him any help. The Senators are a team that is too fast for Washington, and it is really looking like the Caps roster just isn’t fast or quick enough to play Coach Adam Oates’ pressure the puck system. There are far too many odd man rushes against and the Caps have no offensive identity outside of their captain.

They fail to get pucks and bodies to the net and on Tuesday they showed little resolve or passion for the game.

Bottom line, this team is getting worse. Sure, they’ve had some decent outings where they looked like they were going to turn a corner, like the game against San Jose just a week ago, but those type of efforts and performances have been few and far between. The ratio of quality games by this club compared to poor ones is not good at all.

I’ve blogged several times about the need for trades to correct an unbalanced roster but nothing has been able to get completed despite several trade requests. Granted it takes two to tango, but something needs to be done before the Capitals are reduced to just playing for a lottery pick.

Washington has had three coaches in just over 2 years and this team has continued to slide. One of those deposed coaches is sitting at the top of the NHL standings right now. I don’t see how a coaching change, whether the players are working hard for Oates or not, would get things turned around at this point? It seems that something more drastic is needed given that the same mistakes and lackadaisical efforts continue.

This team is headed in the wrong direction and an area that has really taken to hockey in the Ovechkin era is getting impatient and is not happy. Owner Ted Leonsis acknowledged it in his blog on Monday morning, citing that he feels “the heat.”

Well the temperature went up after Tuesday’s loss and the fans are not happy, at all. A five game road trip starts on Friday. There don’t appear to be any quick fixes for this club, but the hockey department, coaching staff, and players quickly need to get a plan together to turn this sinking ship around.

Right now, it looks like there isn’t any plan based on the effort I saw on Tuesday night following the debacles in Columbus and New York.

A plan needs to be found and implemented before this season is lost and the fans start tuning out.

Comments (0)

Embarrassing Weekend for Caps & NHL

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Embarrassing Weekend for Caps & NHL

Posted on 19 January 2014 by Ed Frankovic

For those following along on this blog and in my recent radio session with Drew Forrester on WNST, the fact that the Capitals have lost five in a row is not a surprise to you. On Friday they were whipped 5-1 by the Columbus Blue Jackets and on Sunday night it was a 4-1 drubbing to the despised New York Rangers. Things are bad in Caps land, no doubt.

The optimists will point to some fancy stats, particularly the Caps 5v5 Close Fenwick percentage, and talk about how the Capitals puck possession statistics are at a season high. But that and a dollar might get you a cup of coffee these days. Washington is making far too many mistakes on the ice, to include the propensity to take terrible penalties.

They are like that NFL team that can pile up the yards on offense but turn the ball over several times a game, get flagged often, and have a weak defense. Yes, the Caps have the puck more than their opposition a lot lately, but when they lose it, the mishap is resulting in a biscuit in the back of their net far more often than the puck possession edge is leading to goals for them.

Outside of Alex Ovechkin and perhaps John Carlson, there aren’t many guys playing well right now on this club. The defense is a shambles as Washington just doesn’t have six legit NHL blue liners. After Carlson, Karl Alzner, and Mike Green, the quality takes a severe drop. Dmitry Orlov, who made the terrible turnover that started the loss to New York just 70 seconds into the game, is trying to do too much on a disastrous pairing with Green. Both 52 and 81 have the same styles but because Washington is so weak depth wise on defense, Coach Adam Oates is practically forced to play them together because the other options are far worse.

The goaltending has had its share of ups and downs and the latest casualty of a horse being ridden too hard and long appears to be Philipp Grubauer. The rookie goalie was bad on goals two and three against the Rangers and yanked for the second straight contest. He likely will be heading back to Hershey since logically the way to go right now is with Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth in goal. As for Neuvirth, with a limited goalie trade market, it makes little sense to just dump the young goalie because he wants out. Neuvy has played well in his two recent games so the smart move for the Caps is to just go with the duo they planned on having all season and then decide what to do in the off season. GM George McPhee likely can’t get a good enough return to make it worth his while to move Neuvirth. Goaltending is a precious commodity (see Edmonton and Philadelphia for examples of teams with weak net minding) so for the Caps to move a good goalie who has won a playoff series and has a salary cap friendly contract would be foolish.

As for the offense, it stinks after you get past the Gr8. Part of the problem is the defense is not good at getting the puck out of their own zone but this crew of forwards lacks chemistry and the intestinal fortitude to get the greasy goals needed to be a playoff team. They also don’t defend well either. There is an over abundance of right wings and a dearth of left wingers. Martin Erat, who asked to be traded back in November, took three minor penalties on Sunday in New York, one of which cost Green a goal. The 32 year old winger, who is on the downside of his career, is not helping his trade case, at this point.

Basically, it’s a train wreck for the Caps right now and the schedule doesn’t get any easier with a home game on Tuesday against a speedy Ottawa team (2-0 vs. Caps this season) followed by five straight games on the road.

The embarrassing weekend has dropped the Capitals out of a playoff spot and if they don’t find a way to turn things around quickly, they will be in even worse shape heading into the Olympic break in early February.

Speaking of embarrassing, the NHL should have its’ tail between its’ legs after the events of Saturday night, which was “Hockey Day” in Canada.

Let’s start with the debacle in Detroit. The Los Angeles Kings had a 2-1 lead late in regulation when a Wings point shot deflected off of the stick of a Kings defensemen up in the air and hit the netting behind the goal some 20 feet up. The puck then proceeded to ricochet off of the netting and off of the back of Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and in the cage for what the zebras called on the ice the tying goal. Kings D-man Drew Doughty immediately put his hand up to signal the puck went out of play but somehow all four officials MISSED the puck hitting the netting. Then a bigger issue comes into play. Because pucks off of the netting are not reviewable the league office in Toronto could not disallow the goal because it is not in the rule book. What a joke. If the league doesn’t immediately change that rule tomorrow then they are a disgrace. The shootout loss cost LA a critical point that could decide home ice advantage for them and the Wings got two points they desperately need, but did not deserve, in a very tight Eastern Conference playoff race. Shame on you NHL for not having this scenario covered and double shame on the blind referees who missed this obvious call.

Now for the big embarrassment of the weekend, and those of you who follow the game will be not be surprised that Vancouver Coach John Tortorella was the main culprit. The stubborn and fiery coach, who has already worn out his welcome in Tampa and New York, is currently coaching a struggling Canucks team that just went 0-3 on a road trip. Flames coach Bob Hartley, the Canucks opponent on Saturday night, put a starting lineup together that was ultra tough. Calgary has been a bad team all year but their early season strong work ethic had recently waned. So Hartley rewarded a fourth line that had scored in the previous game with a start in Vancouver. So naturally, the man who seems to look for fights, Tortorella, overreacted and put his tough guys out on the ice to start the game. The result, as many have seen, was an instant line brawl right out of Slap Shot. It was a disgrace and an embarrassment to hockey. What made things even worse was Torts, after the first period was over, was caught on Hockey Night in Canada cameras trying to get at Hartley in the entrance to the Flames locker room. A major dust up occurred with Flames goalie coach and former Washington Capital Clint Malarchuk having to be restrained from going after Torts. Tortorella’s actions after the period was over are far worse than anything else because the game should never be played off of the ice. Torts crossed the line there and should be suspended for several games and fined heavily.

Those who try to say that Tortorella’s hand was forced aren’t going to get any agreement from me. If Torts had remained calm and thought his way through things he would have put out his 2nd or 3rd line to start the game. The line brawl would not have occurred and you can bet that the referees would have been watching closely at the Flames fourth unit and whistled any penalties had they come close to crossing the line. It was an avoidable situation for Tortorella but he was too busy being hard headed and trying to “man up” that he missed a chance to teach his team the right lesson about showing self discipline. Now he’s going to sit for awhile and his ability to get his club to show restraint seems to have been diminished greatly.

What an embarrassment for hockey from Tortorella, there is no other way to put it.

 

Comments (1)

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 13 January 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-Syracuse @ Maryland (Thursday 8:30pm from Comcast Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Georgia Tech @ Maryland (Sunday 2pm Comcast Center); Boxing: Jean Pascal vs. Lucian Bute (Saturday 10:15pm from Montreal live on HBO), Ivan Redkach vs. Tony Luis (Friday 10pm from Memphis live on Showtime); MISL: St. Louis Ambush @ Baltimore Blast (Friday 7:35pm from Baltimore Arena live on YouTube), Baltimore Blast @ Syracuse Silver Stars (Sunday 1pm from Syracuse, NY live on YouTube)

10. Paul Mooney (Saturday 7:30pm Howard Theatre)l Iliza Shlesinger (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Doug Stanhope (Thursday 8pm Magooby’s Joke House); Todd Glass (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Baltimore County Restaurant Week (Tuesday-Sunday throughout Baltimore County); Enough Said“, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler“, “Riddick” and “Carrie” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit“, “The Nut Joband “Ride Along” out in theaters (Friday)

Iliza Schlesinger is both humorous and not safe for work.

I have no interest in seeing Jack Ryan, but I could use some more Keira Knightley in my life.

9. Jay-Z (Thursday 8pm Verizon Center); Stone Sour/Pop Evil (Friday 8pm Rams Head Live); Rusted Root (Monday 7:30pm Rams Head on Stage); Big Daddy Kane (Friday 9pm Howard Theatre); Charles Bradley (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club), Big Head Todd and The Monsters (Saturday 7pm 9:30 Club); Gipsy Kings (Monday 7:30pm Birchmere); Dangermuffin (Friday 8pm Gypsy Sally’s); Bruce Springsteen “High Hopes”Switchfoot “Fading West” and Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings “Give The People What They Want” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I’ve seen Jay-Z a few times, probably won’t make down to DC Thursday night. But if he ever toured with The Roots there would not be a price I wouldn’t pay.

Charles Bradley > Charles Barkley > Matt Barkley > My elementary school friend Matt Besche. Actually, strike that. Matt Besche is WAY better than Matt Barkley.

Drew Forrester said the new Springsteen record isn’t a home run. Fair enough. I really like this tune though.

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings are example number 6,789,403 why Brooklyn is now the capital of the music world.

(Continued on Page 2…)

Comments (0)

Ovechkin, Neuvirth Rally Caps Past Leafs, 3-2

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ovechkin, Neuvirth Rally Caps Past Leafs, 3-2

Posted on 10 January 2014 by Ed Frankovic

Michal Neuvirth, playing his first game since late November, had every right to be upset after Karl Alzner’s stick deflected a Phil Kessel shot from a weak angle by him to give Toronto a 2-1 lead just 54 seconds into the third period.  But #30 didn’t sulk, and in more important fashion, Neuvy made a game changing save on Mason Raymond, who was wide open in the slot, just 65 ticks later. If Raymond’s shot goes in, the game is pretty much over as Washington would’ve gone down 3-1. But Neuvirth made a great glove save.

Shortly thereafter, the Capitals started to take the play after slightly being outplayed by the visitors, to that point. Nicklas Backstrom would tie it at the 4:36 mark after strong work in the offensive zone and then Alexander Ovechkin (1 goal, 1 assist) made a great pass to Marcus Johansson, who then fed Joel Ward in the slot, and #42 buried the game winner just after David “Overpaid” Clarkson’s penalty expired.

Washington then closed out the final 8:09 of time and won their second straight contest in regulation to improve to 22-16-6 (50 points), which puts them in a second place tie with the Flyers in the Metropolitan Division.

With both teams having played the previous night, the first period had a sleepy feel to it and neither club dented the twine. But that changed in the middle frame and boy did the intensity pick up after Dion Phaneuf and John Erskine had a roughing match with the linesman sandwiched between them. #4 would end up getting the extra minor, a call that had Coach Adam Oates as mad as I’ve ever seen him on the bench. The Caps killed the extra minor and then Ovechkin scored his 32nd of the season after great work by Mike Green in the corner and a super pass by Mikhail Grabovski.

But, as usual, the Caps couldn’t stand prosperity and the Leafs’ James van Riemsdyk scored on the power play just 2:29 later. Then the intensity went to an even higher level, fueled by the Phaneuf-Erksine spat and likely also by a shaky hit from behind by Nazem Kadri on Alzner along the Caps bench. For some reason Toronto’s Carter Ashton then decided it would be a good idea to fight rookie Tom Wilson and talk about a bad plan, #43 pummeled the son of former NHLer, Brent.

That undercard bout would lead to the main event, Colton Orr vs. Erskine and Big John pounded Orr in a decisive victory. Unfortunately the fight wins didn’t translate into goals on the ice as the Leafs carried more of the play from then until the Kessel tally early in the third period.

But Neuvirth (32 saves) came through with the huge stop on Raymond when this game was in question and saved his club.

It was a big victory, granted it was over a struggling Leafs squad, but Washington needs wins now and Neuvy allowed his club to finally wake up and grab the contest.

So that is two strong goaltending performances in a row for the Caps. Philipp Grubauer was super in Tampa on Thursday and Neuvirth was excellent on Friday against Toronto. #30 still wants to be traded, but with a grueling stretch coming up, Oates is gonna need his keepers to play well.

What also helped Neuvirth tonight was the Caps clamped down in the neutral zone and avoided offensive zone turnovers. As a result the Leafs did not get any two on ones or breakaways. At best, they may have had one or two three on two’s. That is real progress for Washington, granted it was against a team that struggles to own the puck. The Capitals still allowed 34 shots on net and 66 attempts to the Leafs against 35 and 68 for the Caps, respectively, so they did not totally dominate puck possession.

Overall, it was a pretty even game but Neuvirth made some big stops when needed and the Capitals top players, Ovechkin and Backstrom, delivered down the stretch to help Washington eke out a victory.

Notes: Washington was 0 for 4 on the power play and afterwards Oates blamed much of that on the Verizon Center ice, calling it “terrible tonight”…the Leafs went 1 for 3 with the man advantage…the Caps lost the faceoff battle 39-34 and Toronto’s first goal came right after a defensive zone loss by Brooks Laich on the PK…next up for the Caps are the Buffalo Sabres at 3pm at the Verizon Center on Sunday. Ryan Miller made 49 saves last time these two teams met in Buffalo.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Bovada gives Capitals 28/1 odds to win Stanley Cup

Posted on 07 January 2014 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv,  Twitter: @BovadaLV).Included below are 2014-2015 College Football Championship Odds, updated NFL Odds (Super Bowl, Conference, and Exact SB Matchup Chances) updated NBA odds (Title, Conference, Division, MVP, and ROY), updated NHL odds (Stanley Cup, Conference, Division, Hart and Calder Trophies), and updated Golf odds (all four majors and the Ryder Cup).

NHL

Odds to win the 2014 Stanley Cup (Teams in red have longer odds from last month, teams in blue have shorter odds, and teams in black stayed the same)     

                                                Odd on 12/3                 Current

Chicago Blackhawks                 15/2                              11/2

Pittsburgh Penguins                  7/1                                13/2

St. Louis Blues                          15/2                              13/2

San Jose Sharks                       8/1                                15/2

Boston Bruins                           9/1                                8/1

Anaheim Ducks                         16/1                              10/1

Los Angeles Kings                    14/1                              14/1

Colorado Avalanche                  18/1                              20/1

Montreal Canadiens                   25/1                              25/1

Philadelphia Flyers                    40/1                              25/1

Tampa Bay Lightning                 25/1                              25/1

Vancouver Canucks                   33/1                              25/1

Detroit Red Wings                     18/1                              28/1

Toronto Maple Leafs                 20/1                              28/1

Washington Capitals                  25/1                              28/1

New York Rangers                     25/1                              33/1

Carolina Hurricanes                    50/1                              40/1

Minnesota Wild                         28/1                              40/1

Ottawa Senators                        40/1                              40/1

New Jersey Devils                     40/1                              50/1

Phoenix Coyotes                       33/1                              50/1                 

Columbus Blue Jackets             66/1                              66/1

Dallas Stars                              50/1                              66/1

Nashville Predators                   66/1                              150/1

Winnipeg Jets                           100/1                            150/1

Florida Panthers                        300/1                            250/1

New York Islanders                    75/1                              250/1

Calgary Flames                         300/1                            500/1

Edmonton Oilers                       200/1                            500/1

Buffalo Sabres                          500/1                            1000/1

 

Odds to Win the 2014 Eastern Conference       

Pittsburgh Penguins                  5/2

Boston Bruins                           11/4

Montreal Canadiens                   12/1

Philadelphia Flyers                    12/1

Tampa Bay Lightning                 12/1

Washington Capitals                  12/1

Detroit Red Wings                     14/1

New York Rangers                     14/1

Toronto Maple Leafs                 14/1

Ottawa Senators                        18/1

Carolina Hurricanes                    22/1

New Jersey Devils                     251

Columbus Blue Jackets             28/1

Florida Panthers                        125/1

Buffalo Sabres                          400/1

New York Islanders                    125/1

 

Odds to Win the 2014 Western Conference      

Chicago Blackhawks                 11/4

St. Louis Blues                          15/4

San Jose Sharks                       4/1

Anaheim Ducks                         11/2

Los Angeles Kings                    7/1

Colorado Avalanche                  12/1

Vancouver Canucks                   12/1

Minnesota Wild                         18/1

Phoenix Coyotes                       22/1

Dallas Stars                              33/1

Nashville Predators                   75/1

Winnipeg Jets                           75/1

Calgary Flames                         250/1

Edmonton Oilers                       250/1

 

Odds to Win the 2014 Atlantic Division

Boston Bruins                           2/3

Tampa Bay Lightning                 5/1

Montreal Canadiens                   6/1

Detroit Red Wings                     7/1

Toronto Maple Leafs                 9/1

Ottawa Senators                        18/1

Florida Panthers                        100/1

Buffalo Sabres                          500/1

 

Odds to Win the 2014 Metropolitan Division    

Pittsburgh Penguins                  1/10

Washington Capitals                  10/1

Philadelphia Flyers                    16/1

New York Rangers                     20/1

Carolina Hurricanes                    25/1

New Jersey Devils                     33/1

Columbus Blue Jackets             40/1

New York Islanders                    250/1

 

Odds to Win the 2014 Central Division

Chicago Blackhawks                 10/11

St. Louis Blues                          11/10

Colorado Avalanche                  7/1

Minnesota Wild                         25/1

Dallas Stars                              33/1

Nashville Predators                   200/1

Winnipeg Jets                           200/1

 

Odds to Win the 2014 Pacific Division 

Anaheim Ducks                         11/10

San Jose Sharks                       7/4

Los Angeles Kings                    4/1

Vancouver Canucks                   9/1

Phoenix Coyotes                       20/1

Calgary Flames                         500/1

Edmonton Oilers                       500/1

 

NHL Special – Who will win the 2014 Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player?        

Sidney Crosby (PIT)                  1/6

Patrick Kane (CHI)                     13/4

Alex Ovechkin (WAS)                13/2

Ryan Getzlaf (ANA)                   7/1

John Tavares (NYI)                    18/1

 

NHL Special – Odds to win the Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year        

Nathan Mackinnon (COL)           5/2

Chris Kreider (NYR)                   3/1

Hampus Lindholm (ANA)            3/1

Torey Krug (BOS)                      7/2

Seth Jones (NAS)                      6/1

Sean Monahan (CAL)                 17/2

Valeri Nichushkin (DAL)             17/2

Jacob Trouba  (WIN)                  20/1

College Football

 

“It was a stressful night as we were pretty much all in on FSU, needing them to win the game because of our tremendous exposure on our BCS Future Odds and on the Auburn money-line, and I have to say I slept well.  However, there’s no time to rest as I spent all morning calculating next year’s College Football Championship odds. It has been more of a challenge this time around due to some key players still undecided on the NFL Draft and also the new playoff system which is still a little obscure. Therefore, some teams who would normally stand little chance may be able to sneak in. I expect these odds to move over the next few days quite a bit based on those factors.”

-Kevin Bradley, Sports Book Manager, Bovada.lv

 

Odds to win the 2014-2015 College Football Championship  

Florida State                 11/2

Alabama                               13/2

Stanford                       9/1

Ohio State                    10/1

Oregon                             12/1

Auburn                          14/1

Michigan State              20/1

Oklahoma                            20/1

Clemson                       25/1

Florida                          25/1

Georgia                            25/1

LSU                              25/1

South Carolina                   25/1

Texas A&M                   25/1

UCLA                            25/1

Baylor                           25/1

Notre Dame                  33/1

USC                             33/1

Wisconsin                            40/1

Oklahoma State            40/1

Missouri                               40/1

Iowa                                  40/1

Louisville                              50/1

Miami                               50/1

Michigan                              50/1

Nebraska                             50/1

North Carolina                    50/1

Texas                           50/1

Oregon State                66/1

Washington                         66/1

Mississippi                          66/1

Arizona State                66/1

UCF                              66/1

Arkansas                              100/1

Arizona                            100/1

Boise State                   100/1

Boston College                 100/1

BYU                             100/1

California                             100/1

Cincinnati                             100/1

Georgia Tech                100/1

Kansas State                100/1

Mississippi State           100/1

Pittsburgh                            100/1

Rutgers                            100/1

South Florida                     100/1

TCU                              100/1

Tennessee                           100/1

Virginia Tech                 100/1

West Virginia                      100/1

 

NFL

Odds to win the 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII  

Seattle Seahawks                      12/5

Denver Broncos                        13/5

San Francisco 49ers                  11/2

New England Patriots                15/2

Carolina Panthers                      11/1

Indianapolis Colts                      14/1

New Orleans Saints                   14/1

San Diego Chargers                  14/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 AFC Conference    

Denver Broncos                        5/7

New England Patriots                3/1

Indianapolis Colts                      7/1

San Diego Chargers                  7/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 NFC Conference    

Seattle Seahawks                      10/11

San Francisco 49ers                  11/4

Carolina Panthers                      9/2

New Orleans Saints                   7/1

 

Exact Super Bowl Matchup        

Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers                            8/1

Denver Broncos vs. New Orleans Saints                         12/1

Denver Broncos vs. San Francisco 49ers                       11/2

Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks                           9/4

Indianapolis Colts vs. Carolina Panthers                         40/1

Indianapolis Colts vs. New Orleans Saints                      50/1

Indianapolis Colts vs. San Francisco 49ers                     25/1

Indianapolis Colts vs. Seattle Seahawks                         14/1

New England Patriots vs. Carolina Panthers                    18/1

New England Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints                 25/1

New England Patriots vs. San Francisco 49ers               12/1

New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks                   13/2

San Diego Chargers vs. Carolina Panthers                      40/1

San Diego Chargers vs. New Orleans Saints                   50/1

San Diego Chargers vs. San Francisco 49ers                 25/1

San Diego Chargers vs. Seattle Seahawks                     14/1

 

In order of odds:

Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks                           9/4

Denver Broncos vs. San Francisco 49ers                       11/2

New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks                   13/2

Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers                            8/1

Denver Broncos vs. New Orleans Saints                         12/1

New England Patriots vs. San Francisco 49ers               12/1

Indianapolis Colts vs. Seattle Seahawks                         14/1

San Diego Chargers vs. Seattle Seahawks                     14/1

New England Patriots vs. Carolina Panthers                    18/1

Indianapolis Colts vs. San Francisco 49ers                     25/1

New England Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints                 25/1

San Diego Chargers vs. San Francisco 49ers                 25/1

Indianapolis Colts vs. Carolina Panthers                         40/1

San Diego Chargers vs. Carolina Panthers                      40/1

Indianapolis Colts vs. New Orleans Saints                      50/1

San Diego Chargers vs. New Orleans Saints                   50/1

 

SUPER BOWL XLVIII – Early Line           

AFC      +2½

NFC       -2½

 

NBA

Odds to win 2014 NBA Championship  (Teams in red have longer odds , teams in blue have shorter odds, and teams in black stayed the same)

                  Odds on 12/313            Current Odds

Miami Heat                                2/1                                2/1

Indiana Pacers                          4/1                                7/2

Oklahoma City Thunder              6/1                                6/1

San Antonio Spurs                    7/1                                7/1

Golden State Warriors               16/1                              12/1

Los Angeles Clippers                14/1                              14/1

Houston Rockets                      16/1                              16/1

Portland Trailblazers                  22/1                              16/1

Brooklyn Nets                           28/1                              50/1

Chicago Bulls                            33/1                              50/1

Dallas Mavericks                       50/1                              50/1

Memphis Grizzlies                     40/1                              66/1

Atlanta Hawks                           100/1                            75/1

Denver Nuggets                        50/1                              75/1     

Minnesota Timberwolves            50/1                              75/1

New York Knicks                       50/1                              75/1

Los Angeles Lakers                   50/1                              100/1

Phoenix Suns                            250/1                            100/1

Toronto Raptors                        125/1                            100/1

Washington Wizards                  125/1                            100/1

Boston Celtics                          200/1                            150/1

Detroit Pistons                          100/1                            150/1

Cleveland Cavaliers                   100/1                            200/1

New Orleans Pelicans                150/1                            250/1

Charlotte Bobcats                     300/1                            300/1

Philadelphia 76ers                     250/1                            300/1

Orlando Magic                          300/1                            500/1

Milwaukee Bucks                       350/1                            1000/1

Sacramento Kings                     500/1                            1000/1

Utah Jazz                                  500/1                            1000/1

 

Odds to win 2014 NBA Eastern Conference     

Miami Heat                                2/3

Indiana Pacers                          7/5

Brooklyn Nets                           22/1

Chicago Bulls                            22/1

Atlanta Hawks                           40/1

New York Knicks                       40/1

Toronto Raptors                        50/1

Washington Wizards                  50/1

Detroit Pistons                          66/1

Boston Celtics                          75/1

Cleveland Cavaliers                   100/1

Charlotte Bobcats                     150/1

Philadelphia 76ers                     150/1

Orlando Magic                          200/1

Milwaukee Bucks                       500/1

 

Odds to win 2014 NBA Western Conference     

Oklahoma City Thunder              9/4

San Antonio Spurs                    3/1

Golden State Warriors               6/1

Los Angeles Clippers                13/2

Houston Rockets                      7/1

Portland Trailblazers                  7/1

Dallas Mavericks                       28/1

Memphis Grizzlies                     33/1

Denver Nuggets                        40/1

Minnesota Timberwolves            40/1

Los Angeles Lakers                   50/1

Phoenix Suns                            50/1

New Orleans Pelicans                1251

Sacramento Kings                     500/1

Utah Jazz                                  500/1

 

Division Odds

Odds to win 2014 NBA Atlantic Division          

Toronto Raptors                        6/5

Brooklyn Nets                           2/1

New York Knicks                       11/2

Boston Celtics                          6/1

Philadelphia 76ers                     15/1

 

Odds to win 2014 NBA Northwest Division      

Oklahoma City Thunder              2/5

Portland Trailblazers                  3/2

Denver Nuggets                        40/1

Minnesota Timberwolves            40/1

Utah Jazz                                  500/1

 

Odds to win 2014 NBA Pacific Division           

Los Angeles Clippers                2/3

Golden State Warriors               3/2

Phoenix Suns                            7/1

Los Angeles Lakers                   50/1

Sacramento Kings                     200/1

 

Odds to win 2014 NBA Southwest Division      

San Antonio Spurs                    1/4

Houston Rockets                      5/2

Dallas Mavericks                       25/1

Memphis Grizzlies                     100/1

New Orleans Pelicans                100/1

 

2013-14 NBA MVP – Odds to Win         

Kevin Durant (OKC)                   10/11

LeBron James (MIA)                  11/10

Paul George (IND)                     15/2

LaMarcus Aldridge (POR)          12/1

 

2013-14 Rookie of the Year – Odds to Win        

Michael Carter-Williams (PHI)      5/4

Trey Burke (UT)                         2/1

Victor Oladipo (ORL)                 5/2

Tim Hardaway Jr. (NY)               12/1

Ben McLemore (SAC)                15/1

Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)    20/1

College Hoops

2013-14 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship – Odds to Win (Teams in red have longer odds , teams in blue have shorter odds, and teams in black stayed the same)         

      Odds on 5/15/13           Current Odds

Arizona                         15/1                              11/2

Michigan State              12/1                              6/1

Kentucky                      5/1                                7/1

Kansas                         11/2                              15/2

Louisville                      17/2                              10/1

Oklahoma State            50/1                              10/1

Syracuse                      25/1                              10/1

Duke                            14/1                              12/1

Ohio State                    20/1                              12/1

Wisconsin                     50/1                              16/1

Florida                          18/1                              20/1

North Carolina               16/1                              25/1

Wichita State                 66/1                              28/1

Iowa                             50/1                              40/1

Pittsburgh                     50/1                              40/1

UCLA                            40/1                              40/1

Villanova                       66/1                              40/1

Colorado                      40/1                              50/1

Connecticut                   33/1                              50/1

Iowa State                     100/1                            50/1

Memphis                       33/1                              50/1

Michigan                       33/1                              50/1

Oregon                         100/1                            50/1

San Diego State            100/1                            50/1

Creighton                      50/1                              66/1

Gonzaga                       50/1                              66/1

Missouri                        50/1                              66/1

VCU                             50/1                              66/1

Baylor                           50/1                              75/1

Cincinnati                      100/1                            100/1

Georgetown                  50/1                              100/1

St. Louis                       50/1                              100/1

Virginia                         66/1                              100/1

UMass                          Off the Board                100/1

Florida State                 75/1                              150/1

Illinois                           66/1                              150/1

Indiana                          33/1                             

 

Comments (0)

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 07 January 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-Wake Forest @ Maryland (Thursday 7pm Comcast Center); Boxing: Arash Usmanee vs. Juan Antonio Rodriguez (Friday 9pm from Tacoma, WA live on ESPN2)

10. Jimmie’s Chicken Shack (Friday 9pm Rams Head Live); Dirty Dozen Brass Band (Thursday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Cracker (Saturday 6pm 9:30 Club); Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder (Friday & Saturday 7:30pm Birchmere); Peter Gabriel “Scratch My Back & I’ll Scratch Yours” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

JCS is celebrating the 15th anniversary of one of the most important records OF MY LIFE.

I would like to go see Dirty Dozen Brass Band, yes, thanks for asking.

Cracker does that one song you kinda remember.

And now here’s Ricky Skaggs.

9. Blue Man Group (Friday-Sunday France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at The Hippodrome); Jim Gaffigan (Friday & Saturday 7pm & 9:30pm Warner Theatre); Rob Schneider (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); “Archer” season five premiere (Monday 10pm FX); Lone Survivor“, “Her” and “August: Osage County” out in theaters (Friday); Baltimore County Restaurant Week (Friday-Monday throughout Baltimore County)

Obviously the only thing that matters this week is the return of Archer. Enjoy the next eight minutes of your life. They won’t get better.

Also, this is great.

(Continued on Page 2…)

Comments (0)

Caps John Carlson Makes a Strong Team USA Olympic Hockey Team

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Caps John Carlson Makes a Strong Team USA Olympic Hockey Team

Posted on 01 January 2014 by Ed Frankovic

Following today’s NHL Winter Classic in the “Big House” in Ann Arbor, USA Hockey announced their 25 man roster for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in February and as predicted in this blog back in November, the Washington Capitals John Carlson made the team on defense.

Carlson, in a conference call with the media tonight, called it a “dream come true” and said that playing on this big stage would be an even greater feat than scoring the overtime game winning goal for USA in the 2010 World Juniors Gold Medal.

Washington’s #74 received a ringing endorsement from team captain Alex Ovechkin when the Gr8 said that Carlson was the team’s best defensemen and 100% deserved to be on the team. Carlson has had an outstanding season and when Mike Green was injured earlier in the year, he stepped up as the team’s #1 d-man on the power play to go along with his role of being on the #1 pairing for killing penalties. Simply put, his ability to play in all situations combined with his excellent skating and hard shot made him a perfect fit for this year’s Team USA Olympic squad.

As for the rest of the team, GM David Poile’s club that will be coached by Penguins bench boss Dan Bylsma is as follows:

Goalies (3):

Ryan Miller (Buffalo), Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles),and Jimmy Howard (Detroit)

Defensemen (8):

Carlson, Ryan Suter (Minnesota), Ryan McDonagh (Rangers), Brooks Orpik (Pittsburgh), Paul Martin (Pittsburgh), Kevin Shattenkirk (St. Louis), Kevin Faulk (Carolina), and Cam Fowler (Anaheim)

Forwards (14):

Patrick Kane (Chicago), Zach Parise (Minnesota), Joe Pavelski (San Jose), Ryan Callahan (Rangers), Derek Stepan (Rangers), James van Riemsdyk (Toronto), Phil Kessel (Toronto), Blake Wheeler (Winnipeg), David Backes (St. Louis), T.J. Oshie (St. Louis), Ryan Kesler (Vancouver), Max Pacioretty (Montreal), Paul Stastny (Colorado), and Dustin Brown (Los Angeles)

This is a very good team but the challenge, as Poile mentioned back in August, is to be able to handle the big ice surface in Sochi. Team USA has not fared well outside of North America in the Olympics so the pressure is on this club to produce. The strength of this squad, in my opinion, is the goaltending and up front. Miller, despite playing behind a weak Sabres club, has been performing at a very high level and if Quick doesn’t get healthy and play well quickly, it will be the Michigan State alum in net once again for the Americans. Up front, Kane is as good a scorer as any in the world. The defense is the question mark but this crew of eight is filled with players who can play at both ends of the rink.

The time zone change, Sochi is nine hours ahead of the east coast, will be a factor for many of the NHL players but that impacts nearly every squad. On paper, Canada and Sweden look to be the best while Russia is hoping home ice helps their cause. I see Russia’s defense and goaltending as ultimately being their downfall. There are still six weeks to go until the games start, but my prediction right now is:

Gold – Sweden

Silver – Canada

Bronze – USA

Comments (1)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Backstrom, Grubauer Lead Caps Over Rangers

Posted on 28 December 2013 by Ed Frankovic

So much of sports can be described as a “Game of Inches.”

On Friday night at the Verizon Center, that was definitely the case as the Washington Capitals received a late goal from Eric Fehr to defeat the New York Rangers, 3-2. Fehr’s tally, his 6th of the season, was on a snap shot down the right side after a nice feed from Nicklas Backstrom (1G, 1A). Immediately before that goal, which came in a four on four situation, Dan Girardi hit the far post behind Philipp Grubauer (38 saves) after a Washington giveaway. If that puck is an inch to the right, it’s a 3-2 Rangers lead. But that’s the way it goes, and remember on Monday, if Alex Ovechkin’s shot from the slot is an inch lower than the Caps tie the Ducks late in regulation. As they say, “That’s Hockey.”

This victory improves the Caps to 20-14-4 (44 points) and puts them six points ahead of the Rangers, who they will only face one more time again this season, at Madison Square Garden.

The biggest difference in this game tonight was between the pipes. Grubauer was excellent for the Caps while Cam Talbot gave up some questionable goals. I know Talbot has been hot, but Henrik Lundqvist owns the Caps, and for some reason Alain Vigneault chose to go more with recent form than historical stats in his net minding decision. I can tell you I was certainly thrilled to not see King Henrik manning the cage for New York, so one would think the Capitals players were happy too?

The shot attempts in this contest ended up 71-55 for New York, but it was a fairly even game when it comes to quality chances. The Rangers shot attempts in the opening frame were primarily from the perimeter and it was really only the second period where they dominated play, and most of that was when the Caps had either their 4th line on the ice or their 3rd defensive pair on the blue line.

In the final period, after the Rangers got a quick tying tally on Carl Hagelin’s shorthanded goal, the Capitals carried more of the play. Coach Adam Oates did a nice job of shifting the ice time to his top two defensive pairs and limited the 3rd pair to just three and a half minutes. The difference was clearly noticeable and with the Rangers short a defensemen due to Anton Stralman’s in game injury, the Capitals seemed to wear the Rangers out more in that final frame.

Another positive was that the Caps did a better job on the back check on Friday after misreading two situations on Monday and allowing the tying and winning goal to the Ducks. Oates said that his team was better, but he also said the Rangers are a different type of team than Anaheim, which indicated it was an easier chore for his club against New York. However, Karl Alzner told me that Oates showed some video clips on back checking and King Karl said that the breakdowns on Monday were more of an individual thing. Whatever the case, Washington did a much better job in defensive zone coverage when the Rangers came up the ice on the rush.

Alzner said the team has been working more on their “end zone.” #27 said that the key to a solid back check and defensive zone is that when the puck is in the offensive zone there is always a third guy high. Some coaches require their center to always be that third guy (this is how Bryan Murray ran things for the Caps in the mid 1980′s) but many just let each shift play itself out and have the third guy be a read by the forwards themselves. From what I can gather, Oates’ system looks to be a “read and react accordingly” on the back check. So any of the three forwards could be the first player back. One thing the team is working on, according to Alzner, is more than just the third guy coming back strong because he said the coaches have pointed out it usually has been the third or even the fourth guy on the opposition that have been getting the quality chances against Washington this year.

It’s encouraging to see the focus of the team on these things and there is no doubt that practice time helps the reads and the communication, which is vital, on the ice.

As for Backstrom, he continues to dominate and any smart hockey person will tell you just how good #19 is compared to others in the league. The media may not be all over him from a publicity standpoint, but those in the game know just how good the center is and he is arguably as important to the Caps as any other player. On Friday night, Backstrom, along with Grubauer, were the primary reasons the Capitals stopped their two game losing streak.

Notes: John Carlson led the Caps in ice time with 26:38. Mike Green (1G) played 19:10…the Rangers wore their top three d out with Girardi logging 27:35, Ryan McDonagh getting a game leading 29:53 and Michael Del Zotto playing 24:37…next up for the Caps are the Buffalo Sabres on the road on Sunday at 5pm.

 

Comments (0)

Defensive Zone Breakdowns Cost Caps in Loss to Ducks

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Defensive Zone Breakdowns Cost Caps in Loss to Ducks

Posted on 24 December 2013 by Ed Frankovic

After back to back dismal efforts against mediocore teams that saw the Caps fortuitously pull out three of a possible four points last weekend, Washington was back in action on Monday night against the number one team in the NHL: Bruce Boudreau’s Anaheim Ducks, who came in with an eight game winning streak.

The Capitals played much harder in this one and actually had a 2-0 early lead, but defensive mistakes at critical times ultimately did them in once again, and they were defeated, 3-2, to drop their record to 19-14-4 heading into the Christmas break.

This was a very close game, as evidenced by the shot attempt totals, which were 57-54 in favor of the Ducks. Washington was much better than last weekend in the puck possession department but Anaheim did a superior job of getting their attempts on net, winning that battle 29-19. The Caps did a lot of good things in this game and both Marcus Johansson and Alex Ovechkin hit iron in the third frame in what is a tough loss to a very good hockey team.

After Saturday’s overtime loss to the Devils I blogged that things needed to change and it was on Coach Adam Oates and GM George McPhee to figure out whether it was the players or the system that were causing the issues. Following tonight’s game, it appears to me that effort and also focus, on the part of the players, and not the system, is the major problem. Washington was motivated on Monday and brought a passion to get and own the puck. But the Ducks are a veteran and skilled team, and going against number one isn’t all about effort and passion, it’s about playing the right way and paying attention to detail.

That is where this Capitals team is falling down, attention to detail, especially in their own end. The Caps gave up the tying tally with just 27 seconds remaining in period two. Then they gave up the game winner with 5:36 left in regulation. Both goals were the result of poor reads that led to bad defensive zone coverage. Oates confirmed that after the game. On the game winner, the forwards all got caught too low on the back check allowing defenseman Hampus Lindholm to fire a shot through a maze of bodies past Philipp Grubauer. There was a lack of communication on the part of the Washington forwards on the ice and it resulted in a lot of space and time for the Ducks defenseman to shoot and score.

Anaheim’s second tally, however, is the one that is the most upsetting and disappointing. The five guys on the ice were out for a long shift and each one can shoulder their share of the blame. We won’t point out the names, but let’s just say there were a lot of contract dollars on the ice for the home club. The initial rush by Ben Lovejoy wasn’t played properly by the Capitals defensemen, who simply stopped moving his feet. But even still, Lovejoy was just looking to center the puck and if the other defenseman and the three forwards don’t puck watch and instead cover Anaheim players, there is no quality chance or goal. That did not happen as the Caps d-man went to the wrong post and the forwards allowed Saku Koivu and Andrew Cogliano to have a clear and uncovered path to the front of the cage. The result was an easy goal for Koivu that Grubauer had no chance on.

Simply put, it was a lack of effort at the end of a long shift and poor communication, as well. In his post game presser Oates said that communication should be going on at all times on the ice and he also said that at this point in the season, the reads and positioning should be automatic. It was not on the tying tally, as well as the game winner.

Those type of mistakes not only cost a squad points in the standings, but in the bigger picture, those are the type of errors that prevent a hockey team from being one of the better clubs in the league. Washington is in the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference for this exact reason, they have too many breakdowns in their own end that are costing them hockey games.

Reading Oates’ answers, expression and demeanor afterwards, I got the feeling that he’s been pointing out these things over and over to his players. These aren’t hard hockey concepts but they require a mental toughness to continue to execute when you are tired or not in a position to score a goal. Everyone loves offense, but playing proper defense is the key to winning hockey games and a Stanley Cup. The Cup winner each season knows how to do the things that allow a club to transition from offense to defense. They play their positions well, they communicate on defense, and they focus even when they are tired at the end of a shift.

It’s the things you need to do to win hockey games and ultimately a championship.

Until this Caps team is ready to commit to that, they’ll do exactly what I said after Saturday’s loss to New Jersey: they will qualify for the playoffs and then find themselves out in either round one or two.

The talent is mostly there for the Caps to go where the players say they want to go, but saying it and then doing it requires a whole different level of focus and commitment.

Right now, I question that level of commitment from several of the players on this team.

Notes: Washington won the faceoff battle, 43-25…the Caps were 1 for 5 on the power play while the Ducks went 0 for 4 with the man advantage…Brooks Laich returned to the lineup and played 13:23…Mikhail Grabovski and Nicklas Backstrom had the two goals for Washington…next up, on Friday night at the Verizon Center, for the Caps is an improving Rangers team that has won two games in a row.

 

 

Comments (0)