Tag Archive | "Jets"

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The 15-7-0 is jealous of fans of good NFL teams. Like the Panthers. And the Jets.

Posted on 04 November 2013 by Glenn Clark

15 positive observations from the weekend of football, seven not so positive observations and we acknowledge a “zero” from outside the world of football. A reminder, there’s never any Ravens game analysis here. We do plenty of that elsewhere. It’s a trip through the weekend of football via videos, GIFs, memes, pictures, links, Tweets and shtick.

Jake Peavy and I had similar weekends. He took a ride through Boston on a duck boat and then drove the thing to Foxborough the next day. I took a bath on the Breeders’ Cup Classic Saturday after getting a terrible tip on Moreno. Wait. Did I say we had similar weekends? What I meant was that “F*ck Jave Peavy.”

15 Positive Observations…

1. The New York Jets are one of the best run offenses in football. Their backs are Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell. I give up trying to understand this damn game.

Geno Smith did his best Davone Bess impression in this one…

It wasn’t all bad for the Saints…

2. Florida State got a real test* from Miami Saturday night. (*Oh. By “test” I meant they absolutely clobbered them like they have everyone this season. I’ve got to start doing a better job of differentiating these types of things.)

Jameis Winston is good at football, even more gooder at handshakes.

College Gameday was in Tallahassee, where we learned spelling isn’t really a thing at FSU.

Elsewhere in the ACC, Clemson somehow did this.

3. Geez Ohio State. We get it already. We were wrong. Let’s just move on. What’s that? You need to hear us say we’re sorry? Well I don’t think that’s appropriate. Hey…don’t leave. We can work this out. We’re all adults here. Okay! We’re sorry! We’re sorry! Now can we please settle down? We have to go to my parents’ house later.

Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Nebraska had kind of a neat finish against Northwestern…

And then there was the Iowa quarterback…doing…I have no freaking idea.

Michigan State got a big win over Michigan, so here’s Sparty doing some sort of chop. It was that kind of college football weekend.

Plus Travis Jackson celebrates and America rejoices.

And finally elsewhere, the Penn State punter flops EXACTLY the way you’d expect a man named Butterworth would.

4. Everyone wants to know what the best plays are in Andy Reid’s playbook. It’s actually not that complicated. It’s called “give the ball to the defense”.

Because when that happens…

Also, this girl Deadspin found had a better Halloween than you.

5. Nick Foles threw seven TD passes Sunday. I wasn’t able to catch his postgame press conference, but I’ll just assume he said the number seven was special because he wanted to honor Emilio Estefan Jr.-who was won seven Latin Grammy Awards in his career.

Riley Cooper had a big day in the win. This did not go over well with everyone.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Ovechkin, Holtby Help Caps Beat Jets in Shootout

Posted on 23 October 2013 by Ed Frankovic

There’s an old saying that “there are no style points in sports.”

That absolutely applied to the Capitals 5-4 shootout victory over the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre on Tuesday night.

Washington played miserably on defense for much of the night, but thanks to some timely goaltending from Braden Holtby (43 saves) and two goals from Alexander Ovechkin (NHL leading 8th & 9th tallies), the Caps grabbed a win on the first tilt of their five game road trip to improve their record to 4-5 overall.

Time after time the Caps gave up odd man rushes to a very fast Winnipeg team but somehow Holtby managed to make the big saves to keep the Caps from falling too far behind. The Jets, once they watch the film on this one, will curse themselves for not scoring more on their numerous opportunities.

Washington struggled with their first three power plays giving up a shorthanded tally and if not for #70, the Jets might have had more. Still, when Washington received a power play in the third period the man advantage finally clicked with Troy Brouwer banging home a goal off of a sweet feed from Nicklas Backstrom to give the Caps a 4-3 lead.

Naturally, on this night, some horrible defensive zone play by the top line and the Mike Green-Nate Schmidt defensive pair, led to the tying tally less than three minutes later. Green would play one more shift in the 3rd period, on a Washington power play, but after that he did not see the ice again, including the overtime session. Oates stated afterwards that the decision to sit #52 was because he was struggling (h/t to Mike Vogel for that info). The question though, is were the struggles due to a physical ailment, because Green has not looked that lethargic or played that poorly in a long time?

Offensively, the Caps did numerous good things and they generated a lot of speed going into the Winnipeg offensive zone. Marcus Johansson (2 assists) and Mikhail Grabovski (1 goal) were really flying for Washington in this one. The Capitals also had some very good fore checking shifts that wore out the Jets defense and forced Winnipeg into some costly turnovers. Rookie Tom Wilson continues to play hard, hit, and wreak havoc when he’s on the ice. Those were some of the positive things that came out of the victory.

Defensively, well, there is a ton of work to do. The Caps are far too guilty of puck watching and not moving their feet in their own zone. You could call it “road cone” defense, if you will. Defense is an effort and attention to detail part of the game. Washington has much work to do in this area, especially when it comes to looking around and finding out where your opponent is going so that you can take away their time and space. Coach Adam Oates has his work cut out for him getting some of these guys to buy in on playing in their own end. If the Capitals want to have a strong regular season and then advance deep into the playoffs, they have to improve their play when they don’t have the puck, particularly in the neutral and defensive zones.

Still, a win is a win and they don’t say how, they just count the two points for a victory during the regular season.

The Caps did not play particularly well, but they did manage to not quit, show some passion and resiliency, and earn a very big win to open up an important early road trip.

Notes: Backstrom, Brouwer, Brooks Laich, and Martin Erat scored in succession in the shootout, which the Caps won, 4-3…Washington was 1 for 5 with the power play while Winnipeg went 0 for 3 (but the Jets did have a SHG)…Oates relied heavily on Karl Alzner and John Carlson as a d-pair in this one, with both playing 26 minutes and change…Green had only 18:13 of ice time, a season low…the Caps lost the faceoff battle, 47-34 and Eric Fehr went 1-6…somehow Evander Kane only had an assist in 28 plus minutes of ice time. #9 had 6 shots on net and was all over the rink. He’s a Capital killer but Holtby denied him in the gimmick right before Erat notched the game winner.

 

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Caps Knock Off Jets in Preparation for Baltimore Hockey Classic

Posted on 15 September 2013 by Ed Frankovic

Mike Green scored on a sweet, top shelf wrister in the shootout on Saturday night to give the Washington Capitals a 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets in the Kraft Hockeyville game in Belleville, Ontario. This was the Caps pre-season opener and it was played in an Ontario Hockey League barn on Olympic sized ice.

Here are my thoughts and analysis on the opening contest in a slate of eight tune ups before the regular season starts on Tuesday, October 1st in Chicago:

– The first period was fast and furious! Washington carried the large majority of the play and the skill of the Caps really came out on the big ice. The Capitals had numerous scoring chances in a scoreless first frame but Winnipeg’s goaltender, Edward Pasquale, was the reason no red lights were turned on.

– Braden Holtby, outside of a second period turnover, was very aggressive and solid playing the puck. His stickhandling ability is a big advantage for the Caps and I expect Coach Adam Oates to make more use of it this season, especially since he has a full training camp to implement things.

– Speaking of Holtby, he made some good saves, but like many other NHL goalies, will have to adjust to the new net sizes. The Jets second tally came on a wraparound goal that is made easier by the changes made to the back of the cage (the shooting area in the front is still the same).

– 19 year old Tom Wilson is on a quest to make the Caps opening night roster and he did a lot of good things in this tilt. He continued to take the body but playing with Jay Beagle and Aaron Volpatti, he was a force on the ice. He showed solid speed and had some chances to score. In addition, he set up his teammates for scoring opportunities. Overall, #43 had a very positive first pre-season contest and he will challenge hard for a roster spot.

– Stanislav Galiev, Washington’s 3rd round choice in 2010, was involved in several quality scoring chances for Washington. The Russian winger, who didn’t tally in 17 games with Hershey last season and ended up playing 46 tilts in the ECHL with Reading, also scored a goal going to the net. #49 looks much improved and if he can play and contribute in Hershey this season, that would be a big step for his development.

– Alex Ovechkin took a nasty high stick that got lodged up under his visor in the opening frame, but after some stitches, the Gr8 returned to the game in the first frame and played his normal shift the rest of the night. Ovechkin continues to be a member of the “Eats Rocks for Breakfast” club.

– Washington’s power play was a mixed bag on the night. They failed to score on the four minute minor doled out after Ovechkin was mauled and had a four on three in overtime that they didn’t connect on, as well. However, they tied the game midway through the third period on a nifty passing play between Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, and Troy Brouwer. #20 got the tally from his normal spot, in the slot and in the middle of the opposition’s penalty killing box configuration.

– As one would expect, after the high tempo first period, the pace started to slow and the lack of game conditioning brought on a sloppier brand of hockey.

– Pasquale was the reason this contest went to the extra frame and gimmick, but Philipp Grubauer certainly showed he still has NHL ability. #31 didn’t allow a Jet to score in the shootout and he earned the victory in a barn he used to play in regularly.

– While the Caps owned the Jets last season, it will be nice to not have to face Evander Kane on a regular basis. #9 is a Caps killer and he had two tallies on Saturday night. Kane is a stud at wing and if he ever gets some decent line mates, look out!

– Jack Hillen got Washington on the board with a quick shot from the left side and he was paired with Steven Oleksy on defense. The other d-pairs were Green with Karl Alzner and Nate Schmidt with Connor Carrick. Schmidt wore #88 and is a free agent signed out of the University of Minnesota that played in Hershey last spring. He had a decent game and showed some serious potential.

On Monday night, the Capitals will take on the Flyers in Philadelphia. Per Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps), Washington will field a lineup that will not include any players from Saturday’s game against Winnipeg. On Tuesday, the Capitals host the Eastern Conference Champion Boston Bruins at the Baltimore Arena in the 2nd Annual Baltimore Hockey Classic. The last one was a great event except for the ice conditions, but that issue has been addressed and there should be some quality hockey played. Game time is 7pm in Charm City.

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A 15-7-0 preview is just as good when enjoyed sideways

Posted on 26 August 2013 by Glenn Clark

If you’re not familiar with the 15-7-0, go back and take a look at one from last season and quickly familiarize yourself. Every Monday during football season, I use GIF’s, memes, videos and a minimal amount of wit to recap the non-Ravens football weekend. There are 15 positive observations, seven not so positive observations and one zero identified from outside the world of football.

To my knowledge, it is the most popular, most read and most worthwhile column on the entire internet.

This won’t be a full 15-7-0. Instead, it will be teaser-so we’ll go halfsies. Eight positive observations, four not so positive observations and we’ll keep that zero from outside the world of football. We’re doing the preview this week because next Monday is Labor Day and I’ll be far too deep into U.S. Open tennis to bother with sports that aren’t as important.

Eight positive observations…

1. I assume Chris Johnson and Julio Jones raised their game a bit after finding out they were two of my first three fantasy picks for 2013.

I mean, I can’t imagine a greater honor than finding out you’re joining this squad right here.

They just look like champions. They probably smell like champions. Or Ben Gay. But I bet a lot of champions smell like Ben Gay. What do you think Ben Gay smelled like? I bet he smelled beautiful. Like daffodils or some sh*t just to be ironic.

2. Tavon Austin is really good at football and at pointing.

Being that we’re in Charm City, we already knew the first part-as did the folks hanging out in the woods out in Morgantown. The second part we didn’t learn until his punt return TD against the Broncos…

If he had pointed against Maryland last year he probably would have won the Heisman. Known fact-Heisman voters love pointers.

3. I don’t know who Edmund Nelson is, but I’m enjoying him enjoy his ribs.

Apparently he’s related to the Pittsburgh Steelers, so once he finishes his plate of ribs I’m totally going to start hating him.

4. Tony Romo was also really excited about learning he was joining my fantasy football team.

Romo threw 2TD’s in the Cowboys’ win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Also, this image of Domata Peko from pre-game introductions.

Also, Cowboys P Chris Jones hit the massive scoreboard on a punt and had to punt again. Brandon Tate returned it for a TD. Thanks, Obama.

5. College football coaches have been pretty damn awesome recently.

When not refusing to pick a quarterback, Lane Kiffin is delivering ice cream…

Rich Rodriguez is dancing off…

And Bo Pellini is pulling a pretty righteous prank…

Meanwhile Ralph Friedgen is…I dunno…swimming in a pool filled with barbecue pork funded by Kevin Anderson’s money? Just spitballing here.

6. The Raiders are awful, but perhaps Terrelle Pryor would be worth watching?

I mean…maybe. I’m not saying anything for certain.

I’m just saying maybe.

7. The folks at NFL Films will put just about any idiot in a documentary, won’t they?

This year’s version of “America’s Game” celebrating the Super Bowl XLVII champion Baltimore Ravens will air September 2nd at 9pm on NFL Network. For some reason, the league was freaking out trying to get a copy to me last week. When I popped it in Friday night, it wasn’t five minutes before I realized why.

I’m sorry. It wasn’t my call.

8. Credit Gilman with football’s first big upset for 2013.

Friday night’s opener aired live on ESPNNews and was a lot of fun to watch late. Of equal importance, Good Counsel DE Jesse Aniebonam committed to Maryland during the broadcast. #HeATerp

And elsewhere in High School Football, they’re running Statue of Liberty plays for TD’s at something called Apopka.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Showalter advises Rex Ryan to focus on trying to beat Ravens this season

Posted on 19 April 2013 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — It’s safe to say Buck Showalter won’t be sending New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan any Orioles tickets for his comments criticizing the club for failing to move their Sept. 5 game to accommodate the Ravens in the NFL’s season-opening game.

The former Ravens defensive coordinator expressed his dissatisfaction with the Super Bowl XLVII champions’ inability to open the season at home as has become the custom over the last decade. Ryan went as far as suggesting that the Orioles should have just played in Chicago instead of hosting the White Sox that night, citing that it’s not a big deal considering major league teams play 81 home games.

While Ryan’s ties to Baltimore made it acceptable for him to share his disappointment over the situation, Showalter took exception to the New York coach’s suggestion that the Orioles simply give up a home game. To be clear, the Orioles manager was asked to respond to Ryan’s comments prior to the start of the club’s three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, but it seemed more than coincidental that Showalter knew the exact date of the Jets’ visit to Baltimore this coming season.

“I’d be a little more concerned about Nov. 24 when the Jets come here and trying to figure out a way to beat the Ravens, wouldn’t you?” said Showalter, who put the dates of the Ravens home games in his personal planner in hopes of attending one or two like he did last season. “I think that would be a little bit more of a challenge.

“I try to stay out of things that I don’t know about, like I don’t know about the NFL scheduling and the NFL challenges. That would be my advice. I would stay in what is my area of supposed expertise.”

Considering Ryan’s on shaky ground in New York with the Jets having missed the postseason in each of the last two years, many will find humor in Showalter’s use of the word “supposed” — intentional or not — with many wondering if the fifth-year coach will survive the 2013 season.

In the the Thursday conference call, Ryan expressed his continued fondness for Baltimore where he spent 10 years as a defensive line coach and defensive coordinator, but this was a subject he had no business broaching in such confrontational detail and with the complications being above his pay grade.

“Well, who really cares, you’ve got 81 at home, maybe you could have done the right thing and given one up and then played 82 on the road and then 80 at home,” Ryan said. “I really don’t think people are going to care about that game.

“Certainly, I can understand, if baseball only had a 16-game schedule you might understand it. But when they have 162 games, you might just [have] common courtesy and say, you know what, maybe I’ll play this one on the road or whatever.”

The conflict over the Sept. 5 date sparked much debate, polarizing many fans who elected to side with either the Orioles or the Ravens, but Ryan’s suggestion of simply giving up a home game is absurd for a club holding playoff aspirations after their first postseason appearance in 15 years last season.

Needless to say, it will be intriguing to see if Showalter circles the Jets’ trip to M&T Bank Stadium as one of the games he attends this fall. There certainly won’t be any doubt which team he’ll be rooting for.

To hear Showalter’s response to Ryan’s criticism, click HERE.

 

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Caps Blitz Jets Again Behind Ovechkin & Holtby

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Ed Frankovic

After the Caps smoked the Jets, 4-0, on Thursday night, I blogged that we’d know around 930pm if the Capitals were back in the Southeast Division race.

I was wrong, we actually knew an hour earlier as the Capitals destroyed Winnipeg, 6-1, on Friday night. The victory puts the Caps just five points in back of first place Winnipeg with a game in hand. In addition, Washington is just three points behind the 8th place New York Rangers with a Sunday date at 7pm looming with the Rags.

Everything has pretty much come together for Washington this week and as I mentioned after Thursday’s win, it starts with having a close to full lineup. The return of Brooks Laich has done wonders for the forward combinations and suddenly Coach Adam Oates has two lines that can put the biscuit in the basket. It was the second line that set the pace again scoring first as Laich buried one by Ondrej Pavelec off of a sweet feed from Mike Ribeiro. Then Ribeiro set up Troy Brouwer on a two on one to give Washington a 2-0 advantage.

In the middle frame Jay Beagle scored after a nice pass from Joel Ward to chase Pavelec and then the Gr8 greeted Al Montoya with a top shelf snapper that made it 4-0 and ended this one for all intensive purposes. In the third period, Mike Green scored with Laich doing a super job of screening in front and then Alexander Ovechkin tallied on the power play for his 2nd of the night and 15th of the season (now tied for 7th in NHL goal scoring) to round out the Caps markers.

Braden Holtby continued his stellar play and didn’t lose his shutout until late in the third period. #70 made some big stops early in the game when Winnipeg was playing hard and physical against Washington. The Jets also received the first four power plays of the game but Holtby didn’t allow any rubber to get past him.

So the Caps are now 14-16-1 with 17 games remaining. It is very clear that despite the loss to the Penguins on Tuesday, they picked up some confidence in that tough defeat. Pittsburgh has won 11 in a row and Washington nearly beat them in that game in the Steel City. Since then the Capitals have built on that confidence in the two white washes of Winnipeg. Confidence is so critical in hockey and the Caps clearly have that right now. Their more mobile defense with Green and Dmitry Orlov is getting to the puck quicker and getting it up to the forwards so that they can create more offense. The improved health has brought a lot of optimism this week.

The question now becomes, can they finally beat the Rangers, who have won both affairs this season? The Rags have the Caps number lately and John Tortorella’s crew has two talented top lines. New York has been struggling of late but you can bet they’ll be fired up for the Caps.

A win on Sunday in Madison Square Garden and things get really interesting. That is one tough place to play and the Capitals are due for some luck there after the game five disaster last spring.

Going in healthy in this third and final matchup between the two teams will certainly help.

But that game can wait until Sunday evening, Washington’s season was on the line coming to Manitoba and the Caps are leaving the province with a sweep of the Jets. Winnipeg and the MTS Centre are still trying to figure out what hit them and I’m not sure the Jets recover the rest of the regular season after getting their rears slapped around. The Capitals came in and showed Winnipeg who was boss, now Washington needs to continue to do that down the stretch to the rest of the teams they face.

Notes: Washington won the faceoff battle, 28-19. Laich was 9-4 on draws and as a result, Ribeiro only took one face-off, which is not #9’s strength…John Carlson had another really strong game logging a team high 22:37. No other Capital played over 20 minutes and none were under 10 minutes. Oates was able to just roll the lines which hopefully helps keep everyone fresh for the huge Sunday night contest.

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Ovechkin, Holtby Lead Healthier Caps To Big Victory

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Ed Frankovic

When the Capitals lines and defensive pairings for Thursday night’s contest against the Jets were tweeted out by Washington Capitals writer Mike Vogel during warmups, I tweeted back the following:

“Strongest Lineup All Season”

Well the Caps proceeded to make me and more importantly, themselves, look good as they smoked Winnipeg, 4-0 at the MTS Centre in a must win game.

Alex Ovechkin had a goal and two helpers and Braden Holtby stopped 20 shots in a dominant performance by Washington.

It was the Capitals best game of the season and it is no coincidence that it came when they were able to field their best lineup of the year.

Mike Green returned to the ice after the Caps got back Brooks Laich and Dmitry Orlov for the first time this campaign on Tuesday in Pittsburgh. Marcus Johansson is finally healthy as well. As noted in Tuesday’s blog after their loss to the Penguins, Washington’s effort was very good. On Thursday the effort was excellent and with a nearly healthy lineup for the first time this season (only John Erskine is really missing at this point), Adam Oates’ crew delivered a dandy performance.

Oates could finally put two scoring lines on the ice and he had three very good defensive pairings to use for the first time this season. As a result, John Carlson didn’t have to play close to 30 minutes and that helped him have one heck of a hockey game. #74 was downright superb in his 23:23 of action. That total led the club and looking at the ice times, the depth in the lineup allowed the Caps to roll the lines and the defensive pairs. As Alan May tweeted before the contest, the defense was the most mobile Oates has been able to play all year. Predictably, Washington’s ability to get to the puck and move it up the ice increased tremendously. Overall players were fresher and more productive with not many guys playing out of position. It is a shame that it has taken 30 games to get a healthy lineup, but it is, what it is.

Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom (1 goal, 1 assist) have reformed their chemistry from past seasons and are both heating up. The Gr8 now has 27 points in 30 games and five points in his last three games. It’s no surprise that his numbers have improved as the team is getting back to full strength.

So the Caps get a huge win in Manitoba to pull within seven points of the Jets with a game in hand in the Southeast Division race. With the Carolina Hurricanes losing their fifth in a row, Washington is just five points in back of them.

On Friday at 7pm, the Caps and Jets go at it again. It is another must win for Washington. If they can get it, they are back in the division race. If they lose, then the hole they dug is likely too deep to recover from to make the postseason.

It is tough that it comes down to this game on Friday, but that’s what happens when you put yourself so far behind the eight ball.

Still, the fact that the Capitals played at a high level when they finally iced a nearly healthy club has to be very encouraging. It gives the team and its fans hope that they may be able to salvage this season after all, especially if they can get a W for the second straight night.

We will know more around 930pm on Friday night.

Notes: Steve Oleksy continues to play solid hockey and he also took on big forward James Wright and held his own in a first period fight. #61 played 16:40, which is a good amount for a guy just cutting his teeth in the NHL this season. He doesn’t look out of place at all so far…Orlov played just 14:40 but he was +2 and looked really good at getting and moving the puck. He was paired with Green…Ovechkin had two monstrous hits in the second period on one shift (Bryan Little and Mark Stuart). Stuart only played one shift in the third period…Holtby’s best stop came in the 3rd on a sweet pad save on an all alone Antti Miettinen.

 

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Caps Lose A Battle But Win The War

Posted on 02 March 2013 by Ed Frankovic

Anyone who has ever played hockey at any competitive level knows that it is a game of emotion and high intensity. It is especially true in the NHL where the difference in the talent level of teams are not that great.

Simply put, in the NHL if you don’t have energy and intensity and your opponent does, you are likely going to get creamed. For evidence of that, just take a look at Wednesday night’s Caps 4-1 loss to the Flyers.

On Saturday afternoon, the Capitals once again came out flat in the first period and were being outshot 13-3. The only reason the game was scoreless was because of goalie Braden Holtby, who was doing a good job of stopping the Winnipeg shots and not allowing rebounds. Caps fans watching the game had to wonder if this contest was going to be a total continuation of the Wednesday night drubbing in Philly.

But then a funny thing happened on the way to the forum, or in this case on the ice. Winnipeg tough guy, Anthony Peluso, got into a bout with Capitals newly acquired forward Aaron Volpatti at the 17:50 mark of the opening frame. Volpatti, who was giving up three inches and 20 pounds, lost the fight fairly handily and the fans at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg were fired up.

Little did they know though, the bout for Washington was just what the Caps needed to awaken them from a nearly four period slumber.

Whether the Caps rallied around their new teammate for standing up for them in a very tough situation or not, it was the shot of adrenaline the club badly needed.

From that point until Mike Ribeiro made it 3-0 with 15:44 left in regulation by banging home the rebound of an Alexander Ovechkin shot, the Caps dominated the Jets on all fronts outshooting them 18-7 and heavily carrying the play. Matt Hendricks, Troy Brouwer, and Ribeiro all scored during that 26 plus minute stretch and it was all Washington needed to gain a key victory.

Had the Caps lost this game, they would have been eight points in back of the Jets and Carolina in the Southesast Division race. Instead they sit six in back of the Canes but just four behind Winnipeg.

So in my book, Volpatti deserves some serious kudos for coming in and making a big difference in his first game wearing a Capitals sweater. The 27 year old Canadian who competed collegiately at Brown University only played 5:24 the entire contest and didn’t register a point, but his fight was the turning point in this hockey game.

Volpatti lost that battle, but his team ended up winning the war and Washington earned a victory that helps them stay in the Southeast Division race.

Notes: Washington is now 8-11-1 and their next game is Tuesday at the Verizon Center against the Boston Bruins…Mike Green missed the game due to his lingering groin injury…Ovechkin had a very good game getting an assist, pumping four shots on net, shelling out two hits, and drawing a key four minute penalty on Mark Stuart with just over five minutes remaining. I don’t expect Mike Milbury or PJ Stock to let you know that, though…Washington won the faceoff battle, 36-28, and the Caps second goal came off of a Nicklas Backstrom offensive zone winning draw.

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Oates Needs to Figure Things Out Fast

Posted on 22 January 2013 by Ed Frankovic

0-2 is no time to panic in a normal hockey season and even in a 48 game campaign, there is no need for the Capitals to do that after losing their home opener to the Winnipeg Jets, 4-2.

However, they don’t exactly have a month or so to get things together since every loss and missed opportunity is magnified in this lockout shortened season.

On the ice, this team has not adjusted well to their new coach and they look a step slow on the ice.

Is it because they are out of game shape?

Are they thinking instead of reacting instinctively like you need to do when playing hockey?

Why is the penalty killing so bad (allowed five goals on opponents first nine tries)?

I could go on listing more, but you get the message, right now there are more questions than answers about this Capitals squad.

Coach Adam Oates is still learning his personnel and trying to implement his system so things couldn’t possibly go smoothly right out of the gate given a really short training camp and no real exhibition games, right?

Naturally, the answer to that is yes. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you can’t impose a new system and philosophy on a hockey team and get them to hit close to optimal performance immediately. So we have to give Oates and his staff a pass, at this point, and hope he can find the answers quickly.

Already he seems to have realized that playing Marcus Johansson on the top line and first power play unit is a mistake as MJ90 only received one third period shift. As I blogged after Saturday’s loss, Ovechkin and Backstrom need someone who can go to the net for them. Crashing the crease is not a Johansson specialty nor is he going to be an asset down low in the corners getting the puck out to 19 and 8. I much prefer a bigger guy with those two and wouldn’t mind seeing either Troy Brouwer there or even Eric Fehr, who has had past success playing on that line.

In addition to top line personnel changes, here’s to hoping the Alexander Ovechkin on the penalty kill idea is jettisoned as well. I am a big fan of the Gr8 but to waste his time trying to have him do something he is just not cut out for, playing defense when a man down, doesn’t make sense. Having Ovechkin rest while the Caps are shorthanded seems more logical. Defense is not Ovechkin’s strength, so why put him out there in those situations?

There are still 46 games left and there were some encouraging things in the 3rd period of Tuesday night’s loss (Caps outshot the Jets 17-6 and outscored them 1-0) so hopefully the team can build off of a decent period going forward. But how much of that improved Caps play was the result of Winnipeg hitting the wall after three games in four nights?

We can add that one to the question list as well, however, the bottom line is this team is playing very poor hockey right now.

Therefore, Oates needs to figure this mess out fast before the shortened season gets away from Washington too quickly.

Notes: The Caps have three games in four nights starting Thursday at home vs Montreal before facing the Devils in New Jersey on Friday and then the Sabres at home on Sunday…Braden Holtby allowed 4 goals on 34 shots. He was hung out to dry quite a bit, but on the first Jets goal, which went off of John Carlson’s skate, he overplayed the pass. It was a fluky and weak goal that Washington didn’t need after taking an early 1-0 lead…Mike Green played 27:35 to lead all Caps in ice time…Matt Hendricks had a goal and two fights. I thought he and Jay Beagle were the best Caps on the ice on Tuesday…this team could really use a healthy Brooks Laich but there is still no definitive time table for his return to the lineup.

 

 

 

 

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The 15-7-0 is worth falling 24 miles for

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Glenn Clark

As always, this week’s 15-7-0 is brought to you by Roofing By Elite. Visit them at roofingbyelite.com. We make 15 observations about football ELITE, 7 about football “not so ELITE” and one “zero” who deserves to sleep on the roof from outside of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens game analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

“The ELITE 15″…

1. Sometimes a single player can be a real program changer. For Maryland, Stefon Diggs might well be that player.

He at least does a hell of a Jacoby Jones impression…

Maryland improved to 4-2 (2-0 ACC) with a 27-20 win over Virginia despite Perry Hills being their leading rusher with SEVEN FLIPPING YARDS.

Also, Pe’Shon Howard looked pretty good in the new Terps’ hoops uniforms…

2. I hate saying it, but it’s awfully fun to watch Robert Griffin III play football.

It’s sorta not fair. The Minnesota Vikings were playing real football while the Skins’ QB was playing Madden from the year Michael Vick was on the cover…

Ugh. Now we have to hear DC fans running their mouths all week. Well, maybe all of them except this guy.

Also-I hope the Vikings enjoyed their taste of people thinking they were good for a week. The Cardinals waive hello, but we’ll get back to them.

3. ALERT! ALERT! Shonn Greene still plays in the NFL.

161 yards and 3TD’s for the New York Jets RB in a blowout loss over the Indianapolis Colts. But no, I’m GLAD I picked up Vick Ballard before getting trounced in Fantasy Football.

Also, tt was so totally worth putting Tim Tebow in for punt protection so you could one day be able to do this in a blowout win!

And…

4. The reports of LSU’s demise were greatly exaggerated.

I mean, just ask these guys!

Steve Spurrier isn’t really sure if he’s mad about his Gamecocks’ performance…

The East-West SEC showdown actually split a few households…

So now we wait for LSU-Alabama III…or IV…or who the eff knows why don’t we just play this game a hundred times to determine a national champ every year?

5. For Orioles fans who haven’t been paying as much attention to college football this season, Kansas State QB Collin Klein is in the “name to know” category.

It wasn’t an overwhelming performance for the Heisman Trophy candidate in Kansas State’s narrow win over Iowa State, but his three rushing TD’s looked better in a week where Geno Smith didn’t particularly shine…

K-State and WVU tangle next week. It had a chance to mean even more, but it still looks like kind of a big deal.

6. The Atlanta Falcons only needed 40 seconds on the clock to come back and beat the Raiders.

Matt Ryan was FAR from brilliant, but Matt Bryant bailed him out at the end to keep the Falcons perfect.

Do you feel like LOL-ing today? Here’s Carson Palmer trying to make a tackle…

Also part of the reason the Falcons are the only undefeated team left in the NFL? Harry Douglas’ concentration…

7. You like that Russell Wilson gets to actually enjoy a last second miracle win this time.

Because this time it really WAS a catch!

Let’s enjoy this grab from Doug Baldwin…

Wes Welker would tell you what he thought of the game, but it would probably come out sounding like “BROWNAHHHHH”…

I think it’s appropriate to wrap up this one with the most Tom Brady thing EVER…

Oh I almost forgot. Richard Sherman Tweeted something funny postgame…

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