Tag Archive | "flyers"

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Golf-PGA Tour Honda Classic (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on NBC); Boxing-Friday Night Fights: Joan Guzman vs. Cosme Rivera (Friday 9pm from Hollywood, FL live on ESPN2); Women’s College Basketball: ACC Tournament-Maryland vs. Virginia/Boston College (Friday 8pm from Greensboro, NC live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS); Tennis: ATP Tour Delray Beach International Tennis Championships (Final Sunday 3pm from Delray Beach, FL live on Tennis Channel), ATP Tour Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (Tuesday-Thursday 7am, Friday & Saturday 8am from Dubai, UAE live on Tennis Channel); High School Basketball: MPSSAA Playoffs-Games include Springbrook vs. Mervo, Paint Branch vs. Kenwood, Westminster vs. Blake, Sherwood vs. Southwestern, Glen Burnie vs. Meade, Leonardtown vs. North Point, North County vs. Old Mill, Arundel vs. Chesapeake (Anne Arundel), Milford Mill vs. Aberdeen, C. Milton Wright vs. Woodlawn, City vs. Digital Harbor, Franklin vs. Patterson, Centennial vs. Howard, Stephen Decatur vs. Atholton, Annapolis vs. J.M. Bennett, Reservoir vs. Wilde Lake, Lake Clifton vs. Chesapeake (Baltimore County), Dundalk vs. Owings Mills, Randallstown vs. Douglass, Loch Raven vs. Edmondson Westside, Patterson Mill vs. Harford Tech, Elkton vs. Edgewood, Perryville vs. New Town, Bohemia Manor vs. Sparrows Point, Havre de Grace vs. Overlea, Western STES vs. Pikesville (Games Thursday-Sunday)

10. Brad Paisley (Thursday 7:30pm 1st Mariner Arena); Boyz II Men (Friday 7pm Rams Head Live), Chevelle/Middle Class Rut (Monday 6:30pm Rams Head Live); Fun. (Friday 7pm Recher Theatre); O.A.R. (Tuesday-Friday 9:30 Club); Chiddy Bang (Tuesday 8pm U Street Music Hall); Lauryn Hill (Wednesday 8pm Warner Theatre); Young Jeezy (Saturday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Carolina Chocolate Drops “Leaving Eden” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

You probably don’t know how much I enjoy Chevelle. It’s fine, I’m not mad. But someone will have to accept the responsibility of passing along a few tickets my way. I don’t care which one of you takes the responsibility, just make sure it gets done.

I’m doing the Tuesday night gig from Jerry DePizzo and the boys in DC. Unlike Chevelle, you all know EXACTLY how much I love the guys from Of A Revolution…

Lauryn Hill is one of the greatest musicians in the history of the planet. This dates back to her days at St. Francis School in California…

Not familiar with Carolina Chocolate Drops? Probably about time for you to take a few minutes…

9. Tim Meadows (Friday & Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Donnell Rawlings (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); John Oliver (Friday & Saturday DC Improv); “Hugo” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

Here’s the thing. I don’t always think every comedian that comes to the area is very funny. That’s not the case with the group hitting the Mid-Atlantic this weekend. They’re all freaking funny.

“Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” wasn’t very funny, but Tim Meadows was pretty funny in “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” (Language Semi-NSFW)…

You may remember Donnell Rawlings better as “Ashy Larry” from Chapelle’s Show. (Language definitely NSFW)…

John Oliver is just freaking brilliant…

I wish I had more time to watch The Daily Show.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 07 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-Miami @ Maryland (Sunday 2:30pm from Comcast Center live on ESPN2); High School Basketball: Dulaney @ Perry Hall (Wednesday 6:30pm), Towson @ Perry Hall (Friday 7pm); Baltimore Ravens Regional Scouting Combine (Saturday 1 Winning Drive Owings Mills)

10. Anthrax/Testament (Tuesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Black Stone Cherry/Cavo (Thursday 6:30pm Rams Head Live), Umphrey’s McGee (Sunday 7pm Rams Head Live); Wayne Static (Wednesday 6pm Recher Theatre); Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe Presents the Rolling Stones’ album Sticky Fingers in it’s entirety (Friday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club), The Darkness (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Jack’s Mannequin (Friday & Saturday 6:30pm 9:30 Club); Eric Benet (Tuesday & Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere); The Fray “Scars and Stories” and Van Halen “A Different Kind of Truth” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I probably enjoy Cavo a little bit more than I’m willing to admit publicly…

I both enjoy Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe…

AND I enjoy the Rolling Stones’ album Sticky Fingers. So I’ve got that going for me…

I really don’t care…at all…what you think. The new song by The Fray is freaking awesome.

9. Mike Epps (Friday 7:30pm & 10pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Nick Cannon (Thursday-Sunday Baltimore Comedy Factory), Alonzo Bodden (Monday 8pm Baltimore Comedy Factory); “Safe House” opens in theaters (Friday); “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” available on DVD/Blu-Ray (Tuesday); Wanda Sykes (Friday 8pm Strathmore); Motor Trend International Auto Show (Thursday-Sunday Baltimore Convention Center); Sex at the Zoo (Thursday 6pm Maryland Zoo in Baltimore); Wishful Drinking feat. Carrie Fisher (Tuesday-Sunday France Merrick Performing Arts Center-Hippodrome)

This is a bizarre combination of events for sure. Me personally, I’d watch Denzel Washington act his way out of a cardboard box, so I’m excited for Safe House.  Of course, there’s no way humanly possible it’s as good as Training Day (language NSFW)…

I don’t know if Eli Manning would be willing to donate his new car to the event at the Convention Center this weekend, but I’d certainly appreciate the opportunity to drool over the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Centennial Edition…

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Mathieu Perreault notches a hat trick in Caps 5-3 victory over Boston

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Caps Hard Work Leads to Surprising Win Over Defending Champs

Posted on 25 January 2012 by Ed Frankovic

When prognosticating Tuesday night’s Boston-Washington hockey game on paper beforehand, this looked like an easy win for the Bruins. The B’s have been one of the hottest teams in the league the last two plus months while the Capitals have been struggling to score goals. With Alexander Ovechkin out due to suspension and Nicklas Backstrom missing his 10th game because of a concussion, surely the highest scoring team in the NHL would have an easy night against the Caps, right?

Well to quote the Sundance Kid, “You figured wrong, Butch!”

The Caps came to play on Tuesday night and displayed as much effort and energy as they have all season. They battled a much bigger Boston club and in the end, the Bruins were done in by Washington’s little guys. Mathieu Perreault played the “Little Engine That Could” on this night notching his first career hat trick, including the game winner in the third period, and Cody Eakin chipped in a goal that Tuukka Rask should’ve had as the Capitals were victorious, 5-3, to improve their record to 26-19-3 and reclaim first place in the Southeast Division as a result of Florida’s 3-2 loss to the Flyers in the shootout.

There was a lot to like about this game despite the fact that the Bruins outshot the Caps, 32-23, and attempted 73 shots to just 50 for Washington. Despite the attempt imbalance, the Capitals had lots of scoring chances primarily because they seemed to develop a consistent offense to defense flow for the first time in awhile since Backstrom’s injury. The passing, after a shaky first several minutes, was much crisper and the Caps were coming through the neutral zone with some speed. The Capitals still have issues up the middle of the ice, but for the last two tilts, Perreault has really stepped up and filled a gaping hole in the pivot position by using his excellent offensive skill. You will still get the occassional MP85 defensive zone poor coverage or penalty (his trip in the second period led to the Bruins third goal on the power play) but at this point coach Dale Hunter needs to continue to take that risk because you can’t win without scoring goals. Plus, Perreault seems to have some nice chemistry with Alexander Semin (1 assist) and we saw glimpses of that in the first half of last season (before Perreault broke his nose in Carolina).

On the backend, the Caps still have some cleaning up to do. The first Bruins goal may be considered lucky to some since it went in off of Karl Alzner’s own stick but there were four big mistakes in Washington’s end before King Karl put a wicked backhander past Tomas Vokoun (29 saves). First, Dennis Wideman throws the puck up the right wing boards without checking on the position of his winger (Semin). Second, #28 gets beat to the puck by Bruins d-man Dennis Seidenberg, third, Wideman then loses Rich Peverley coming off of the boards giving Boston a two on one down low, and finally, Alzner goes to the ice to try and cut off the pass but he does it too quickly and that allows Peverley to slide the puck behind #27, who in a last ditch effort to breakup the centering feed, swings his stick around and puts the biscuit in his own net. I am a big proponent of defenders NOT leaving their feet in their own zone because, like in basketball, you give the offensive player a huge advantage. Alzner should’ve stayed on his skates there.

In addition, the Bruins second goal came on a terrible cross ice attempt by John Carlson. Sophomore Tyler Seguin picked that one off and went in easily to beat Vokoun upstairs. Carlson has been making far too many giveaways lately and needs to be more responsible on his breakouts.

Vokoun once again turned in a solid performance in goal. He is in a groove right now and that is primarily coming from the fact that the Capitals, under Hunter, have drastically cut down the number of odd man rushes they allow. In addition, #29 is in better position to stop the puck because he has a very good idea where the opposing shots are coming from. Both of those things correlate directly to a higher save percentage.

At the end of the night, Hunter’s squad overcame their defensive zone mistakes because they played with energy, effort, and passion. The Bruins are a bigger team but Washington actually out hit them, 30-16. It was a victory that many could not see coming but one thing about this Caps club is they very often seem to be able to elevate their game against the league’s elite. Perhaps Boston was a bit distracted by their Conn Smythe winning goalie, Tim Thomas, and his decision to bail on the President and the White House yesterday? Maybe. But once the puck is dropped those type of things kind of disappear, so credit Washington for a hard working win that gives them the ability to take the week off sitting in first place in their division.

Notes: Ovechkin announced today that he will indeed skip the All Star Game this weekend in Ottawa due to his suspension…Marcus Johansson returned to the lineup after his illness but only played 12:28. He did have an assist and was +2 playing left wing with Perreault and Semin…Jeff Halpern was 11-4 on faceoffs, including a big win with 30 seconds left that directly led to Wideman’s lengthy empty net goal that made it 5-3…John Erskine, Joel Ward, and Jay Beagle all played under 10 minutes. Ward needs to show that he is worth the $3M a season General Manager George McPhee shelled out for him over these last 34 games and then the playoffs. Right now he is not skating well and as a result won’t see the ice much in Hunter’s system that relies heavily on speed and skating ability…the Caps return to practice next Monday at 2pm before departing for the Sunshine State. They play in Tampa on Tuesday and then face the Panthers on Wednesday night…speaking of Florida, congratulations to former Caps radio play by play man Steve Kolbe for landing a new gig with the Jacksonville Suns calling AA baseball. I spoke with the Baltimore native and Mount St. Joes grad last Thursday night and he was excited to be back in broadcasting after his 14 year run ended with the Caps this past offseason.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 27 December 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-Terrapin Classic Lafayette @ Maryland (Wednesday 12pm Comcast Center), Delaware/ECU @ Maryland (Thursday 7pm Comcast Center); Boxing: Jermain Taylor vs. Jessie Nicklow (Friday 11pm from Cabazon, CA live on Showtime); High School Basketball: Gilman Bristow Tournament feat. Gilman, Mt. Carmel, Coppin Academy (Tuesday & Wednesday Gilman School)

10. Dark Star Orchestra (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Halestorm (Thursday 6:30pm Rams Head Live), Child’s Play (Friday 7pm Rams Head Live); Rusted Root (Friday 8pm Recher Theatre); SOJA (Saturday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Matisyahu (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Drive-By Truckers (Thursday-Saturday 9:30 Club); Charlie Wilson/Melanie Fiona (Thursday 8pm Modell Performing Arts Center-Lyric Opera House); The Roots (Thursday & Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Little Feat (Saturday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Wale (Sunday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); The Wailers (Thursday 7pm State Theatre); Downtown Countdown feat. Carbon Leaf (Saturday 9pm Hyatt Regency); Downtown Countdown DC feat. Third Eye Blind/Dirty Heads (Saturday 9pm Washington Hilton)

I saw SOJA open for O.A.R. at Merriweather Post Pavilion this summer. Not only did I sense I would enjoy their music, I also sensed there was no possible way these guys ever used any marijuana…

You might have missed it at the end of the year, but The Roots’ “Undun” was one of the best records of the last 12 months…

This is the part of T10BD where we listen to Little Feat play “Fat Man in the Bathtub”…

Look, if I WASN’T an obsessed 3eb fan, I’d tell you that.

9. Baltimore’s New Year’s Eve Spectacular (Saturday 9pm Inner Harbor); Jeff Dunham (Wednesday 7:30pm 1st Mariner Arena); Archer Season 2 available on DVD (Tuesday); Tournament of Roses Parade (Monday 11am from Pasadena, CA live on ABC)

Just for the record, my services are available for NYE at the moment. I have no current commitments.

What services can I offer on NYE? I guess you could say I’m a bit like the moose from Family Guy…

(Continued on Page 2)

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Caps continue to get poor performances in net and lose to the Flyers, 5-1

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Goaltending Still a Major Problem for Caps

Posted on 13 December 2011 by Ed Frankovic

Death and taxes are two guarantees in life, but if I could choose a third one, it would be that you will have a very had time winning hockey games with poor goaltending. On Tuesday night at the Verizon Center an inconsistent Tomas Vokoun turned in another clunker and as a result the Washington Capitals were soundly beaten by the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-1.

Washington came into this contest fresh off of three days rest ready to see how their new system would match up against a team that had won seven of eight games and five straight overall. The Caps carried much of the play for the first 15 minutes or so and had the nights first two power plays. But Ilya Bryzgalov (31 saves) was extremely solid for the Flyers in net to keep his banged up road club in it and when Vokoun misplayed a Scott Hartnell shot that was slowed by Caps d-man Dennis Wideman, suddenly Philadelphia had a goal and new life.

Anyone who has followed hockey closely or played the game knows how deflating it can be to work your rear off and dominate a team only to look up and see themselves down on the scoreboard due to the guy in net. The crew that was carrying the play loses confidence and the other squad gains energy. The Flyers were a different team after that Hartnell tally and started dominating late in the opening stanza and then into the middle frame. They then scored again on a deflected point shot at the 7:23 mark and the Capitals just didn’t recover. Vokoun would yield another soft goal along with an additional deflection tally before giving way to Michal Neuvirth for the third period.

Some will call the Caps mentally weak for letting poor goaltending impact their play in this one, however, when your goalies continually give up a weak goal or multiple soft ones game after game, it drains the energy and confidence of the team. This is what is going on with the Capitals right now. Their goalies simply aren’t making the big stop when they need them on a consistent basis. It is an issue that must be addressed and Coach Dale Hunter needs to have one of Vokoun or Neuvirth take charge in goal otherwise it might be time to give Braden Holtby a shot with the big club again.

Washington had other problems on Tuesday night, they didn’t get enough traffic on Bryzgalov early on to rattle him and as a result the Russian goalie got into a groove. In addition, some of the Capitals younger small forwards, namely Cody Eakin, Marcus Johansson, and Mathieu Perreault, had trouble in their own zone with the more physically mature Flyers in the middle frame and that added to the Flyers sustained offensive pressure, that eventaully led to three goals. It might be time for Eakin to be sent down to Hershey to properly develop because he just doesn’t look ready for the NHL grind at this stage of his career.

Still, at the end of the night, this game came down to goaltending. It is very difficult to win when your netminders aren’t playing well and Vokoun was downright terrible to continue a disturbring trend for GM George McPhee’s club.

**************

Notes: The Caps next two games are on the road. They are in Winnipeg on Thursday and Colorado on Saturday…Jeff Halpern had the only Washington goal in the third period after it was 5-0…Alexander Semin had five hits to lead the Caps in that department…Washington’s power play went 0 for 3.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 18 October 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Nonito Donaire vs. Omar Narvaez (Saturday 10:30pm from New York live on HBO); Soccer: MLS-Portland Timbers @ DC United (Wednesday 8pm from RFK Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet), Sporting Kansas City @ DC United (Saturday 7:30pm from RFK Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS); College Soccer: Penn State @ UMBC (Wednesday 7pm Retriever Soccer Park); Mixed Martial Arts: Bellator Fighting Championships 55 (Saturday 9pm from Yuma, AZ live on MTV2); High School Football: Perry Hall @ Woodlawn (Friday 7pm), Dunbar @ Poly (7pm), Archbishop Spalding @ Calvert Hall (7pm); Rugby World Cup Bronze Medal Match: Wales vs. Australia (Friday 3:30am from Auckland, New Zealand live on Universal Sports), Final: France vs. New Zealand (Sunday 3pm from Auckland, New Zealand on NBC); Canadian Football League: Montreal Alouettes @ Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Saturday 3pm from Winnipeg live on NFL Network)

10. Dirty Heads/Gym Class Heroes (Tuesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Jayhawks (Thursday 7pm Rams Head Live), Ani Difranco (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live), New Found Glory (Sunday 5:30pm Rams Head Live), Mat Kearney (Monday 7pm Rams Head Live); Mike Posner (Thursday 7pm Recher Theatre); J Cole (Thursday 7pm Baltimore Soundstage); Blind Boys of Alabama (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Stephen Stills (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Dick Dale (Saturday 12:30pm Rams Head on Stage), Little River Band (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Jason Isbell (Friday 10pm 9:30 Club), Taking Back Sunday (Saturday 11pm 9:30 Club); Wale (Saturday 7pm Fillmore Silver Spring); “Weird Al” Yankovic (Wednesday 8pm Warner Theatre), Jackson Browne (Sunday 7pm Warner Theatre); India.Arie (Saturday 8pm Strathmore); Martina McBride (Sunday 7pm France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at the Hippodrome); Coldplay “Mylo Xyloto, Jane’s Addiction “The Great Escape Artist” available on iTunes/in stores (Tuesday); Pearl Jam 20 available on DVD (Tuesday)

I’ve had my ass kicked a bit over not being more familiar with the Jayhawks until recently. They’re quite good…

The name Dick Dale might not mean a lot to you, but if you listen to “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net (and why wouldn’t you?), you’d be familiar with the theme to “Totally Tubular.” (Someone will yell at me for not also noting that Dick Dale is one of the greatest surf guitarists of all time. I’ve handled that now.)…

The Sun’s Kevin Van Valkenburg introduced me to Jason Isbell (of Drive-By Truckers fame) perhaps without even realizing he had. I’m thankful.

I’d love to be like the rest of the world and just make fun of Coldplay, but DAMN they make good music…

9. Brad Garrett (Thursday 6pm & 9pm Rams Head on Stage); Lewis Black (Saturday 8pm Lyric Opera House Sunday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Paul Mooney (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Dave Attell (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tide” and “Bad Teacher” available on DVD/Blu-Ray (Tuesday); Maryland Renaissance Festival final weekend (Saturday & Sunday RennFest Fairgrounds Crownsville)

There are few people in the world that GENUINELY make me laugh. Lewis Black is one of those people. (Language NSFW…unless you work in Lewis Black’s office of course.)

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7: Sporting Events You Would Have Camped Out To Have Great Seats For

Posted on 22 June 2011 by Glenn Clark

Today’s Tuesday Top 7 (on a Wednesday) topic was generated in honor of the folks who camped out at M&T Bank Stadium Tuesday night to get the best spots on the field to see U2.

The topic was “The Top 7 Sporting Events You Would Have Camped Our To Have Great Seats For.” As always, it seems pretty self-explanatory.

Glenn Clark’s list…

7. USA-USSR “Miracle On Ice” 1980 Olympics

6. Colts/Giants 1958 NFL Championship Game

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5. Secretariat dominates 1973 Belmont Stakes

4. Kentucky/Texas Western 1966 NCAA Championship Game

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3. 1998 NBA Finals Game 6-Michael Jordan over Bryon Russell

2. Hulk Hogan body slams Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III

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1. Andre Agassi/James Blake 2005 US Open

Drew Forrester’s list:

7. Toni Linhart “field goal in the fog” 1975

6. 2007 Winter Classic Penguins @ Sabres

5. 2004 ALCS Game 7 Red Sox @ Yankees

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4. Jason McElwain scores 20 points in four minutes

3. Dale Hunter beats the Flyers 1988 NHL Playoffs

2. Jackie Robinson’s first game 1947

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1. Miracle On Ice

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If you missed the explanation of why these players made the list on “The Morning Reaction” Wednesday on AM1570 WNST, hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net!

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Comparing apples, oranges and lemons

Posted on 06 May 2011 by Keith Melchior

It’s like comparing apples to oranges but people do it all the time in sports, i.e. “if the Orioles were in the AL Central, they’d be able to compete for the division title” and, “he hit 35 home runs in Arizona, he should hit 50 here”  You know, stuff like that. I shouldn’t make the comparison, but for sh*ts  and giggles (and bashing by the local Caps fans,)  I’ll do it anyway.

A history lesson:

The Washington Capitals have played in the NHL for 37 years (not including the lockout season) They have made the playoffs 21 times including a stretch of 14 straight years (1983 – 1996) but only 3 times from 1996 to 2008, and recently 4 straight playoff appearances since 2008.  They made it to the conference finals twice, getting swept by Boston in 1990, and after finishing in 3rd place in the Patrick division with 82 points, beating Buffalo in a game 6 overtime in 1998 to make their only trip to the Stanley Cup finals in which they were swept by a superior Detroit Red Wing club.

In 2004 they drafted a very talented Russian player named Alexander Ovechkin, but since there was no 2004/2005 season they had to wait until 2006 to see the rookie play in his first NHL game. Ovechkin quickly established himself as a franchise player and scorer the Capitals desperately needed by netting close to 100 goals his first two seasons. 2008 would mark the run of 4 straight playoff appearances, all of which ended in bitter disappointment, with three straight  game 7 defeats on home ice and this year being swept in 4 games by #5 seed Tampa Bay.

Capital fans are up in arms and bashing the team along with certain players who seem to disappear come playoff time, i.e. Alex Semin and Mike Green, as well as  their head coach Bruce Boudreau for not making adjustments to stop Tampa’s speedy forward lines and by having his top scorer Ovechkin stationed out by the blue line in Capital power play situations.  With all the talent and finishing as the top seed in the East Conference in 2010 and 2011, there is always something preventing them from going over the top and winning the Stanley Cup.  I’d like to think it’s the curse I put on them in 1997 when they moved from the cozy confines of the Capital Center to downtown Washington, D.C. but it’s way more than that.  Scoring droughts, bad coaching decisions, questionable goaltending, defensive brain farts, and flat out bad bounces, to name a few reasons extend the futility for the boys in red, white, and blue (still the coolest looking uniforms in the NHL)

We, in Baltimore, can appreciate what fans of the Washington Capitals are going through.

After winning the Super Bowl in 2000, the Ravens were a roller coaster team until 2008 when John Harbaugh led them to the first of 3 straight playoff appearances, all of which ended in disappointment and all on the road.  Until they prove they can beat playoff nemesis’ Pittsburgh and Indianapolis when it counts and secure some home playoff games for a run at the Super Bowl, they cannot consider themselves winners. Hey, at least the Caps get home playoff games.

The Orioles are another story. After winning the World Series in 1983 the O’s have made the playoffs twice,  and only finished with a better than .500 record 8 times in those 27 years. Talk about futility.  Suffering through a club record 13 straight losing seasons, the Orioles appeared to be on the right track to the postseason by making a managerial change, signing a few proven veteran hitters, and continuing the  growth and maturation of it’s young players. 2011 is a season of hope and, compared to 2010, looks like a tremendous positive  for the franchise, although after a hot start they find themselves a few games under .500 as they are home for a 6 game stand. Time will tell as we get into the 1/3 point of the season, but they can’t be any worse than they were the  last 5 years.

So, can we compare the Capitals to the Ravens and Orioles? Sure we can.

Are there similarities in all 3 franchises? Yes, Coaching changes, franchise player developments and bold moves by ownership can turn a team in the right direction.

Do we consider the Ravens playoff chokers much like they do the Capitals?  No. The Ravens have not had a home playoff game since 2006 and not being able to win their division are forced to go on the road for playoff games. The Caps, on the other hand, have been the top seed in their conference a few times and have had home ice advantage 4 straight years only to find ways to lose in a building that has been kind to them and a nemesis to their opponents.  The Capitals are the NHL version of the Chicago Cubs of the last 38 years, close but no ultimate cigar. But at least they got close a few times. That’s more than we can say for the guys in black and orange (and I’m not talking about the Philadelphia Flyers)

With young pitching talent, can the Orioles pull off some upsets within their division? No. The Orioles need a solid veteran pitchers in the starting rotation, guys who can teach Matusz, Tillman, Arietta, Bergesen and Britton HOW to pitch in certain situations so they can avoid hitting the 100 pitch benchmark in the 5th inning and maybe get out of an early jam by challenging hitters. Of those 5 probably 3 will turn out to be mid-level talent and career .500 pitching records.

What moves will the Capitals make in the off season? Will they stick with their core players or dump the likes of Semin and Green to try and find the right combination to go deeper in the playoffs?  First thing I would do is look to get rid of Semin and Green. Those guys put up the numbers in the regular season but somehow suffer a power failure come mid-April and fall off the radar.

I would entertain trade requests for Ovechkin. The guy is a super talent and considered by many to be the top player in the world. If I am Nanny McPhee and another team puts together a decent package deal that will benefit my club, I’m all in. They haven’t won anything with Ovechkin, why not try to win without him. The best player in the world looked like the worst player in history the final few minutes of game 3 vs Tampa.

Apples, oranges and lemons. Yeah, I guess they can be compared.  It just depends on what your tastes are.

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Caps 2nd Round Opponent Still TBD

Posted on 26 April 2011 by Ed Frankovic

It was another of day of rest for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday and on Wednesday morning, when GM George McPhee, Coach Bruce Boudreau, and the rest of the players wake up, their second round playoff opponent is still to be determined. With the Philadelphia Flyers knocking off the Buffalo Sabres in game 7 on Tuesday night and the Montreal Canadiens forcing a game 7 on Wednesday night with the Boston Bruins, the Caps can still play either Montreal, Tampa Bay or Pittsburgh in round two. The Penguins and Lightning will also play a game 7 on Wednesday. It will be a night of channel flipping and can’t miss hockey.

The good news in all of this: whatever team Washington draws for the second round will be worn down while the Capitals will likely have had nearly a full week of rest. If Montreal manages to win in Beantown, then the Caps get a rematch from last season’s post season debacle. However, if the higher seeded Bruins prevail, the Capitals play the winner of the Tampa Bay-Pittsburgh battle. Sidney Crosby (concussion) is still out for the Pens and it doesn’t look like he will be back this weekend since he has not fully practiced with contact yet.

This has been one exciting playoff year and Washington has given themselves a huge advantage by closing out their series with the New York Rangers in just five games. That feat was the quickest the Capitals have ever gotten out of the first round since the NHL expanded the opening round format, in 1987, to a best of seven from a best of five. The Caps had first round three game sweeps of the Flyers in 1984 and the Islanders in 1986. Since then they’ve needed at least six games to claim a first round series until 2011.

On Tuesday, the Capitals took the ice for their first full practice since Saturday (Monday was an optional skate). Mike Green and Mike Knuble both participated in the full practice while Alexander Semin missed it with the flu, according to Boudreau. In addition, Dennis Wideman skated in full pads for about 50 minutes on Tuesday with the first 45 of them prior to the full squad hitting the ice. Special thanks to Mike Vogel (WashingtonCaps.com), Steve Whyno (The Washington Times), Katie Carrera (The Washington Post), Sky Kerstein (106.7 The FAN in DC), and Dave Nichols (Caps News Network) for providing all practice info via twitter and blogs.

With Wideman not fully practicing yet, one would have to surmise that he likely won’t return to the Caps lineup until game two of the second round, at the earliest, and he was reportedly “a little lightheaded” at one point today. Knuble stated after the skate that he was day-to-day so who knows if he would play if a game one was on Friday? One thing is certain though, the Caps earned this rest and they needed it. Now they just have to wait to figure out who they will play in round two.

Notes: With the Hershey Bears losing in OT in game six on Sunday night, they were eliminated from the post season. It was a sad night in Chocolatetown and their shot at a 3rd straight Calder Cup has ended. Tuesday the Caps recalled goaltender Braden Holtby to help out at practice and remain sharp in case he is needed going forward. Tim Leone of The Patriot-News and Penn-Live.com tweeted that forwards Mathieu Perreault, Steve Pinizzotto, and Andrew Gordon (when healthy, sprained ankle) plus d-man Patrick McNeill will also be recalled by Washington for what could be a long playoff run. The other good news out of Hershey today was that the Caps and the Bears have extended their working agreement for another season (through 2011-12).

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 21 March 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Tennis-ATP Tour & WTA Tour Sony Ericsson Open (Satuday-Monday 11am from Miami live on Tennis Channel); NBA: Washington Wizards @ Portland Trailblazers (Tuesday 10pm from Portland live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Los Angeles Clippers (Wednesday 10:30pm from Los Angeles live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Denver Nuggets (Wednesday 9pm from Denver live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Golden State Warriors (Sunday 9pm from Oakland live on Comcast SportsNet); Auto Racing: NASCAR Auto Club 400 (Sunday 3pm from Fontana, CA live on FOX); Horse Racing: UAE Derby (Saturday 10am from Meydan City, Dubai live on HRTV), Louisiana Derby (Saturday 5pm from New Orleans live on HRTV); Arena Football: AFL Spokane Shock vs. Iowa Barnstormers (Friday 8pm from Des Moines, Iowa live on NFL Network)

10. Elton John (Saturday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena); Sick Puppies & Framing Hanley (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live); Kingston Trio (Sunday 4pm & 7pm Rams Head On Stage); Cold War Kids (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club), All Time Low & Yellowcard (Monday 5:30pm 9:30 Club); Stryper (Tuesday 7pm Bourbon Street), CKY (Sunday 7pm Bourbon Street); Janet Jackson (Tuesday & Thursday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Stanley Clarke & Victor Wooten (Wednesday 7pm State Theatre); The Strokes “Angles”, Green Day “Awesome as F**k”, Soundgarden “Live on I-5” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I could post songs from four different acts coming to town next week-but in all fairness, only one of them is Elton John.

Therefore, here are four Elton John songs. I’m sure you understand.




9. Roller Derby: Charm City Roller Girls (Saturday 5:30pm Du Burns Arena)

Does anyone remember the “Roller Jam” show that used to be on TNN a few years back???

Holy hell. How did that show not last? That’s Jerry Springer-quality awesome. “Awesome sauce” in fact.

(If you’re a “Parks & Recreation” fan and that last line meant something to you, you’re a hero to me.)

8. Golf: PGA Tour Arnold Palmer Invitational (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 2:30pm live on NBC. All golf from Orlando); LPGA Tour Kia Classic (Thursday-Saturday 3:30pm, Sunday 4pm live on Golf Channel)

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods are going to play in Orlando…which means that if you so choose to, you can watch two bad golfers on television this weekend.

I enjoy the Arnold Palmer Invitational, but in my neighborhood we always called it the “Half & Half” Invitational.

Anyone?

Also-why can’t I post the Family Guy “Old People Agree With Arnold Palmer” clip here? It’s nowhere to be found on YouTube…or anywhere else. It’s pretty funny. And pretty honest. I think I’m starting to feel more and more like Arnold Palmer at age 27.

7. NHL: Washington Capitals @ Philadelphia Flyers (Tuesday 7:30pm from Philly live on VERSUS), Washington Capitals @ Ottawa Senators (Friday 7:30pm from Ottawa live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), Washington Capitals @ Montreal Canadiens (Saturday 7pm from Montreal live on Comcast SportsNet & NHL Network)

With the Caps playing in the City of Brotherly Love this week, I get the chance to rag on Drew Forrester-sharing memories of Bobby Clarke, Ron Hextall, Ken Linseman and Joffrey Lupul.

In fact, here’s a small gift for my “Morning Reaction” cohort…

6. Mixed Martial Arts: UFC Fight Night Live-Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Phil Davis (Saturday 10pm from Seattle live on SpikeTV); Bellator Fighting Championships 38: Tim Carpenter vs. Daniel Gracie (Saturday 7pm from Tunica Resorts, MS live on MTV2); Titan Fighting Championships 17 (Friday 10pm from Kansas City live on HDNet)

Did you miss Jon “Bones” Jones’ complete DESTRUCTION of former UFC light heavyweight champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua this past weekend? Here’s some highlights, courtesy of ESPN…

I haven’t seen such a one-sided fight since The Undertaker completely destroyed Triple H at Wrestlemania X-7…

Oh wait…I guess we’re supposed to be pretending like that fight never happened…

5. Women’s College Basketball: Georgetown @ Maryland (Tuesday 7pm from Comcast Center live on ESPN2 & ESPN3.com); other games Tuesday, Saturday-Monday on ESPN2 & ESPN3.com

Thus far we’ve seen a lot of YouTube videos, but absolutely no pictures of attractive women.

Does it make me sexist that I waited until the “Women’s College Basketball” section to consider attractive women? At least I said “attractive women” instead of “sexy broads”, right?

The below picture is of former Playboy model Tiffany Taylor, a University of Maryland graduate. So, you know, once again…Terrapins > Hoyas.

tifftaylor

4. College Basketball: NCAA Tournament Sweet 16-San Diego State vs. UConn (Thursday 7:15pm from Anaheim live on CBS), Florida vs. BYU (Thursday 7:27pm from New Orleans live on TBS), Duke vs. Arizona (Thursday 9:45pm from Anaheim live on CBS), Wisconsin vs. Butler (Thursday 9:57pm from New Orleans live on TBS), North Carolina vs. Marquette (Friday 7:15pm from Newark live on CBS), Kansas vs. Richmond (Friday 7:27pm from San Antonio live on TBS), Ohio State vs. Kentucky (Friday 9:45pm from Newark live on CBS), Florida State vs. VCU (Friday 9:57pm from San Antonio live on TBS); Elite 8 games Saturday & Sunday live on CBS

The good news? With Jimmer Fridette and the Cougars still very much alive, CBS & Turner intelligently decided to send “Mr. March Madness” Gus Johnson to the Big Easy.

That leads us to the fantastic video of Johnson calling the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Hail Mary victory over the Houston Texans this season, courtesy of “imaU2fan” on Twitter. This is pretty good…

3. College Lacrosse: Loyola @ Mt. St. Mary’s (Saturday 1pm from Waldron Family Stadium live on AM1570 WNST); Virginia @ Johns Hopkins (Saturday 2pm from Homewood Field live on ESPNU); Quinnipiac @ UMBC (Saturday 3:30pm UMBC Stadium); Towson @ Delaware (Saturday 1pm from Newark, DE live on ABC2 & ESPN3.com); North Carolina @ Maryland (Saturday 12pm from Byrd Stadium live on ESPNU); Colgate @ Navy (Saturday 12pm Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium); Tufts @ Stevenson (Wednesday 4pm Caves Athletic Complex), Scranton @ Stevenson (Saturday 12pm Caves Athletic Complex)

Both the Cavaliers and Tar Heels are coming to town this weekend. Conveniently, I can’t stand the Cavaliers or the Tar Heels.

Not all of the memories between the Terps and UNC are positive, but here’s one I like…

2. Soccer: MISL Championship-Milwaukee Wave @ Baltimore Blast (Friday 1st Mariner Arena); Argentina @ Team USA (Saturday 7pm from East Rutherford, NJ live on ESPN2); MLS-DC United @ New England Revolution (Saturday 4:30pm from Foxborough, MA live on Comcast SportsNet)

Attention people of Wisconsin: I appreciate what your Green Bay Packers did in the Super Bowl. In fact, I’ll always be grateful.

But on Friday night, I hope you lose. Terribly. Preferably something along the lines of 400,000 to zero.

But I’ll still be grateful that you beat the Steelers. And I’ll be grateful that “That 70’s Show” was set there. I always thought “Mila Kunis or Laura Prepon” should have been the “Ginger or Maryann” of my generation…

kunisprepon

1. Boxing: Yuriorkis Gamboa vs. Jorge Solis (Saturday 9:45pm from Atlantic City live on HBO)

You’re thinking to yourself: “Who the hell are these guys?”

The response: “who cares?”

The reason why this fight is #1 on the list is that Ravens S Tom Zbikowski is scheduled to fight on the undercard.

As I told Tom two weeks ago, I’m a Notre Dame hater in general. But I pull for him…even if I pull for Georgia Tech when I’m watching “Rudy.”

Feel better Fighting Irish lovers. You know I still cry during this scene…

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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