Tag Archive | "Washington Capitals"

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Interest in the Caps…growing 1 Fan at a Time

Posted on 05 May 2009 by Jerry Reinhardt

The NHL’s two lockouts zapped my love of hockey. At the start of the KOBST competition, I was just a casual fan. I started watching hockey again so I could blog and talk about it. The more I watch, the more I feel the old love returning. As an Isles fan, I hate to say it, but I find myself getting attached to the Caps. This competition and the Caps great play, has renewed my love of hockey. Watching the NHL playoffs is a priority again. With the O’s terrible start I know I’m not the only one watching the Caps.

I’m not going to give you a run-down of all the scoring and critical plays. Other bloggers will do that so you can read their game recaps. I want to talk about the excitement the Caps are generating here in Baltimore. Last night at work, a few people wanted to talk about the Kentucky Derby and the Caps with me. The Caps part has NEVER happened before, in 10½ years on the job.

They didn’t read the scores online or in the paper, they watched the game on Saturday. They were excited to talk about Varlamov’s fantastic play and the “Save.” One person asked me explain what icing was. We talked about last night’s game. How the momentum kept swinging back and forth, the hard hits and the checks, how close it was until late in the 3rd period, and Ovechkin and Crosby’s hat tricks. We marveled at how Crosby could slap the puck out of the air for the last goal. More importantly, they could have watched anything last night and they decided to watch the Caps game. They made the effort to find the game and to watch it.

I know it was only a few people talking hockey, but we were talking hockey. The Caps playoff run has garnered a few new fans and rekindled the feelings an old one. Maybe the sport does shine it brightest when its 2 biggest stars collide. So far, Crosby and Ovechkin have not disappointed. Hockey may have a small following in Baltimore but it seems to be growing. Here’s hoping this series helps to grow interest in hockey in Baltimore and elsewhere. In these hard economic times, it’s always good to be able to escape reality for a short time and share the bonds of fandom.

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A Couple Notes about Caps/Pens

Posted on 30 April 2009 by Bryan Powell

I saw that the Caps have restricted ticket availability to the Maryland-DC-Virginia area in an effort to make it harder for Pens fans to get tickets. If the address attached to your credit card isn’t local you will be denied tickets. I know there are other options like ticket brokers or they may know someone in the area who can get tickets but the Caps are doing what they can to keep Verizon Center bathed in red.

I heard an interview with John Feinstein yesterday and he made an interesting point. Everyone thinks NBC is excited because they get the Oveckin/Crosby matchup but there is a problem. NBC has to televise the players championship on May 9-10 which means they are only going to be able to show game 1 of the series. If this was the conference finals they could have shown 3 or possibly 4 games.

This is going to be a great series and I can’t wait until Saturday to start watching it.

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Caps & Terps

Posted on 23 April 2009 by Jerry Reinhardt

Caps
First let me say I’m not a Caps fan. As I told Nestor when I made my appearance on the radio, I grew up an Islanders fan. My brother in-law was an Isles fan, and because they had the Blue of the Colts & the Orange of the Orioles, I latched on to them also. Between Daddy duty and work, I haven’t watched a full game of hockey all yr. I’ve watched a period here or there but not a whole game. Last night, I decided to watch my first full 3 periods of hockey.
There is no better time to watch hockey than the run for Lord Stanley’s Cup. The game had its ups and downs. The first period was pretty close until the Rangers got their first goal off of the deflection .Caps goalie Simeon Varlamov had no chance to stop it after the deflection. The Rangers got another goal early in the 2nd period. Varlamov could hold onto the puck and Chris Drury scored on the rebound.
Afterwards, the Caps dominate the rest of the period with a 19 – 5 shot advantage. The Rangers seemed to get a body or a stick on most of the shots and when they didn’t, their goalie Henrik Lunqvist seemed to make a great save. The King showed why he is the highest paid goaltender in the NHL. He earned his money tonight.
In the 3rd period Alex Ovechkin tried to lead the Caps back. He screamed at his teammates to keep pushing the puck up the ice. He pulled the Caps to within one with a wrist shot that flew past Lungvist. Alexander Semin had 2 shots at point blank range and was denied by Lungvist. Ovechkin had another shot hit the goalpost that would have tied the game. At the end of the game Caps pulled the goalie but couldn’t get a goal.
The Caps are down 3-1 in the series and in trouble. They are facing a terrific goalie that is HOT! The Rangers defense was great! They killed 6 power plays and seemed to get a stick or a body in front of half of the Caps shots. If they cannot convert on the power play the series will end Friday night.
Terps
Greivis Vasquez has declared for the draft but will not hire an agent leaving an opening for a possible return to the Terps. He says he is only interested in playing in the NBA not in Europe. I don’t think he is a 1st round talent at this point but we’ll see. If a team in France or Italy offers him $1 Mil or more to play will he resist? He is the undisputed team leader and the heart and soul of the Terps. It would be great to have him back but I have my doubts.

As reported on WNST, Braxton Dupree has been given his release. It is sad to see him leave. He had the most dreaded term you can hear as an athlete: “Unfulfilled Potential.” He never seemed to really want it. He reported to school out of shape and seemed to lose his confidence early. This opens up an additional scholarship for next year.

Also reported on WNST, Jerome Burney is considering leaving school also. It is rumored he is giving up his scholarship and/or transferring. There may be others who are considering leaving also. If any of these reports are true, we could have 2 or 3 scholarships available. That doesn’t count Vasquez if he turns pro.
I have been a huge critic of Gary Williams and his recruiting efforts over the past 5 yrs. He seemed disinterested in the past. This year he seems to be hitting the road a lot more and is getting personally involved with trying to land the upper tier recruits. We may not land the huge 4 or 5 star recruits but at least he isn’t ignoring them and saying I don’t need them.

I’m tired of hearing about Lance Stephenson. If he wanted to be a Terp he would have committed already! I’m not sure if a one and done player is the way to go. We are finally getting our graduation rate up. He may be one of the top ten players but I don’t think he is what we need right now. The Terps are recruiting DeShawn Painter again. He has reopened his recruitment since decomitting from FL. He is a 3 or 4 star who has fallen in the rankings this year. He hasn’t reached his potential and would fill Dupree’s scholarship. He, Jordan Williams, James Padgett, and Dino Gregory would give the Terps some size and a nice rotation of big men.

If another scholarship opens up I hope the Terps can land someone who can hit a jump shot and a 3 pointer consistently. Most of the top high school players have already signed. Any help in this area will come from a Juco transfer.

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The Wednesday Morning CMS Top-5: 'The Greatest Moments of Sports Dishonesty'

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The Wednesday Morning CMS Top-5: ‘The Greatest Moments of Sports Dishonesty’

Posted on 18 March 2009 by Chris Bonetti

Welcome back for another edition of the Wednesday Morning CMS Top-5.

Today the topic is, “What are the greatest moments of dishonesty in sports history?”

No more wasting time, let’s get to the results:

Wonderboy

5.  Eddie Guerrero untying his shoes at Wrestlemania XX

4.  John Lucas coaching the Spurs once put 6 players on the floor for the final possession to beat he Bulls at the buzzer

3.  The Danny Almonte saga in the 2001 Little League World Series

2.  Glenn’s parents writing a sick note to allow him to go the the Ravens’ Super Bowl Parade

1.  Glenn convincing his professor at UMBC that he was a Retriever soccer player to get out of missing an exam

And as for Drew’s list:

5.  Ben Roethlesberger in the Super Bowl against the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL

4.  The disputed ending of Marvin Hagler losing a split decision to Sugar Ray Leonard in Vegas in 1987

3.  Don Koharski being a “rat fink” in last year’s Game 7 Overtime between the Caps and Flyers

2.  The Orioles claiming Drew didn’t pick up his ’07 press pass, making him ineligible for an ’08 credential.

1.  Tom Brady’s fumble against the Raiders in the AFC Divisional Playoffs in January ’02

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Tuesday Morning's Crab Cakes and Light Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 10 March 2009 by Chris Bonetti

The Swinging Bunt

Funny things concerning the Caps.  Alexander Ovechkin is a rock star, no doubt about it, and when you’re a big deal near the nation’s capital… you gotta do the Eastern Motors commercials.  You know the jingle… “At Eastern Motors, we’ll put you in a car today… At Eastern motors, finance it all the waaay.”  The Great 8 now joins Ray Lewis, Willis Mc Gahee, Jason Campbell, Clinton Portis, Brendan Haywood, and many other athletes who’ve performed in these legendary spots.  As I mentioned yesterday, the outtake of him asking for a couple shots of vodka is gold.  Also, I’m really glad the fans are getting involved in the Ovechkin-Crosby rivalry.

Scanning the Blogosphere

Baltimore Sports Report has a Fantasy Baseball Preview of players on the O’s who may be able to make an impact on your team this season, like “The Stud,” Nick Markakis or “The Second Fiddle,” Brian Roberts.

Camden Chat takes a look at potential options for 1B and 3B in next year’s free agent class, in case Melvin Mora and/or Aubrey Huff are not in Oriole uniforms after this season’s end.

Dempsey’s Army takes a look at how the O’s can win the A.L. East and makes a case against the Yankees.

Bugs and Cranks: “Good work, Jeremy.  Here’s a 15% pay cut.”  First line… “The cheapest ace in baseball just got even cheaper.”

SI’s The Ghost Writer Blog breaks down which NFL Draft Quarterback Class was better ’07 or ’08?  For the Ravens, it’s easy… which do you prefer Troy Smith or Joe Flacco?

Around the Harbor gives their weekly “Maryland Lacrosse Roundup: The State at War.”

CMS Video of the Day

This is a must see, then rewind and play again Dwyane Wade double-overtime game ending on-the-run three ball.  The most impressive part of the highlight is Wade’s instinctual sense to know that as time was running down that John Salmons was going to cross the ball over to start his move… as soon as Salmons showed it, you knew it was over.  I wish you could zoom in to actually see his eye balls light up like a Jackpot! sign.

I’ll be honest, I have him in one of my two fantasy basketball teams… more importantly the one I’m currently leading, largely because Wade is crushing it.  What I’m trying to say is that I’ve had a decently close eye on him all-season long and the NBA MVP mention he’s now only beginning to receive is long overdue.

Lebron and Kobe are without a doubt having MVP years, and so is Wade.  In every sport, every season, there’s more than one guy having an MVP season… this year in the NBA this season, three guys are.  Last, I’d say Kobe, the winner, Chris Paul, Kevin Garnett, and Lebron deserved consideration.

It’s just an awesome time to be an NBA fan.  It really seems as if this new generation of stars… last summer’s “Redeem Team” guys, are genuinely likable and worthy of such all-time high praise.

The immediate post-Jordan ‘next’ it players, Grant Hill, Tracy McGrady, Allen Iverson, and Vince Carter are now on their way out.

And there’s real talent coming up, too.  Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, Michael Beasely, Derrick Rose… all very legit players.

The Morning’s Final Thought

ESPN.com’s Page 2 usually has some interesting reads, and one of favorites is their “Uni Watch: The Obsessive Study of Athletics in Sports.”

Since the overwhelming majority of us will not be getting down to Fort Lauderdale to see the hometown team in Grapefruit League action, so here’s the latest concerning the Orioles Spring Training Uniforms:

“Meanwhile, over in Orioles camp, the black script on the O’s tops is now outlined in white (a major improvement), plus there’s now a road BP jersey with a “Baltimore” script. The old BP tops only had uni numbers on the back, but the new ones have NOBs (that’s “name on back,” for those of you who don’t speak uni).”

So… when are these awesome all orange unis coming back?

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Ovechkin Injured In Practice

Posted on 04 March 2009 by Alex Thomas

According to a report in the Washington Post, Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin, the NHL’s leading goal scorer, was injured this morning in practice after taking a hard slap shot off of his right foot. Ovechkin limped to the bench and was helped to the locker room.

Despite reports from the team that the injury is not serious, The Great Eight was seen smashing hockey sticks on the way to the locker room in frustration. That is never a good sign from an injured player, so this is certainly something to keep an eye on.

The news is only getting worse for the Caps. After beating the Bruins in overtime on the road, they are now fighting a two game losing skid after getting blown out by Florida and Carolina in back to back games.

Overall, the Caps are amidst one of their best seasons in franchise history; they currently sit comfortably atop the Southeastern division.

At this point, the question is not whether or not they will make the playoffs. The big questions are: (1) can this team stay healthy throughout the post-season and is the Ovechkin injury serious? And (2) is Jose Theodore good enough between the pipes to lead this team to the Stanley Cup?

Despite giving up at least five goals in the last two games, the Caps defense is sound and their offense is one of the best in the league. Caps fans need to keep an eye on the health of Ovechkin and look to see if Theodore heats up heading into the playoffs.

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Wednesday Morning's Crab Cakes and Light Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 25 February 2009 by Chris Bonetti

The Swinging Bunt

Welcome back Tiger!  Today at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship the most famous and successful athlete in the world makes his triumphant return… Ladies and gentlemen, the great Tiger Woods will be back on the golf course!  All players are ranked 1-64 and the tournament plays out like the NCAA Big Dance, and in this match up, well, as you may have guessed, the top ranked player in the world will be taking on the tournament’s #64 seed, in this case, Brendan Jones.  Tiger says he feels better than ever, if that’s true… that’s super-awful bad news for Mr. Jones.   How do you think Brendan felt when he first saw that draw?  I’ll bet his face looked pretty funny.

Ladies Hockey Night in D.C.  The Washington Capitals are doing their best job marketing towards women with their new “Capitals Scarlet” advertising campaign.  Seems smart to me, put a bunch of chicks in the crowd… that would lead me to believe that, naturally, guys would then be even more enticed to come to games.  More ladies, more guys, obviously more attendance, truly seems beneficial for everyone… yeah, you know Alex likes it too.

Scanning the Blogosphere

Ravens Insider explains what the potential re-signing of Bart Scott means for Ray Lewis.

Pro Football Talk: Is Ray “Burning Bridges in Baltimore?” “Fins to chase Jason Brown?” “Agent thinks Jason Brown or Bart Scott will leave the Ravens.”

The Schmuck Stops Here has the latest from Spring Training, the upcoming rotation, and the now necessary daily report on Matt Wieters.

Connolly’s Corner Sports Bar asks “Which Oriole will hurt his status with a poor spring?”

Tracking the Terps says rebounding will be crucial against Duke, and has some quotes from Gary and Greivis.

Face Off has the latest on this coming weekend’s Face-Off Classic and UMBC midfielder Peet Poillon, who was named this week’s America East Conference Player of the Week.

The Washington Post’s Baseball Insider gives a WBC Team that would be unbeatable.

CMS Video of the Day

Everyone always says Duke gets all the calls at home in Cameron Indoor Stadium.  Well, it’s tough to argue otherwise when Duke guard Elliot Williams TAKES 12 STEPS WITHOUT A TRAVELING VIOLATION BEING CALLED!

Also, yesterday the CMS Staff gave you the video of Devin Harris’ half court buzzer-beater.  Well, that was awesome, aaaand in a game, which is nice.

I guess Dwight Howard and Lebron James just wanted to show off a little before the game.

The Morning’s Final Thought

Serbian-born Memphis Grizzlies guard Marko Jaric could potentially be having the best year in the NBA by virtue of a single outstanding performance.  As a point guard, he averages a meager 2 ppg and 1 apg, but off the court yesterday Marko made the biggest play of his otherwise irrelevant season.  He proposed to long-time girlfriend Adriana Lima and is now engaged… jeez.  That’s awesome, I’m pretty sure every post-pubescent guy grows up wishing he could marry a Victoria’s Secret model.  Marko is just livin’ the dream.

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Thursday Morning’s Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 12 February 2009 by Chris Bonetti

The Swinging Bunt

Viva Beer Pong! So let me get this straight, they announced this week there will be no more BYOB at The Preakness and now we find out officials tried to outlaw drinking games like beer pong and flip cup inside local watering holes? Thank the good Lord that Sen. George W. Della Jr.’s potential legislation was stopped by that “growing online lobbying effort.” OK, what we can infer from that is… that Sen. G.W. Della is a crotchety old guy and every fun loving young adult in the Baltimore area made his life a pain in the ass every time he tried to check in e-mail. Down with government! Whose on the table next?

The sincerity of a $1M Apology? Michael Phelps’ “regrettable behavior” has apparently annoyed people all over the world. In a public statement made yesterday the Olympic Golden Boy apologized to the segment of his followers whom reside in China. You have to wonder, was he saying sorry to the whole billion-plus population or only those who buy Mazdas?

Duke Fans Have Cooties! Without a doubt, Duke University is one of the Top 10 academic institutions in the entire United States of America, and a true model for all other institutions of higher learning to sculpt themselves after. Now I know the old adage is “Knowledge equals Power,” now I also know that after a meningitis outbreak in Krzyzewski-ville, “Knowledge does not equal a force field against icky gross bacterial diseases.”

Scanning the Blogosphere

Deadspin reports that Robbie Alomar’s accuser is a professional arm wrestler.

The Smoking Gun has obtained the full complaint against Alomar.

With Leather says Robbie has “Not just HIV, but full blown AIDS”.

SI.com’s “Tale of the Tape” looks at Michael Phelps v. Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Pro Football Talk has a lot of Ravens stuff, they say “T.O. is Campaigning for Lewis,” “Suggs is hopeful,” “Ed and Troy are in close race,” and “Jets could be looking at Ray Lewis’ Teammates.”

NFL.com has posted an interesting 7 minute video of an interview with T-Sizzle talking about the future in Baltimore.

Bro Bible posts their Top 10 Sports Cry Babies… No Ravens of course, but at #9 is, you guessed it, the teary-eyed Hines Ward.  What a little girl.

Baseball Prospectus… translation The Nerds of Baseball, project the O’s at 2009 season at 74-88.

Orioles Hangout takes a look at what we can expect from Nick Markakis in ’09.

Camden Chat is perplexed the O’s didn’t make a move for new Nationals OF Adam Dunn.

MLB Trade Rumors informs us that the career of the whiskey drinking/fun lovin’ Kevin Millar is over in Baltimore.

Tracking the Terps reports top Men’s Hoops recruit Jordan Williams shattered a backboard during his last game in the scholastic ranks in Connecticut.

Fanhouse tells us Caps owner Ted Leonsis committed a “Random Act of Kindness.”

Inside Lacrosse has revealed their Preseason High School Lacrosse Power Rankings.

CMS Video of the Day

It seems like such a long time ago doesn’t it? This commercial hit televisions before the 1994 season… Remember back then when the O’s had winning seasons and good community relations.  Not strangely Baltimore was behind them selling out OPACY on a nightly basis in those days.  I wonder if Palmeiro and/or Anderson had been juicing already?

The Morning’s Last Call

The Sporting News regularly does a very nice job in their ‘short but meaningful’ analysis on most of the topics they cover.  In the last edition of their magazine, the Week of February 15, they have their Off season Grade Report.

TSN gives the O’s a very middle of the road B- and adds, “Now hear this: ‘Uehara might have been dynamite on Japan and then come over here and not fare very well,’ says Mike Boddicker, the Orioles’ 1983 ALCS MVP.  ‘The Royals signed a pitcher from Japan (Yasuhiko Yabuta) last season, and he struggled and ended up in triple-A.  You don’t know – it’s a whole different thing, pitching in Japan and over here.'”

On their website they address each team’s most pressing Spring Training questions.  TSN writer Gerry Fraley asks and answers

“Is super-prospect Matt Wieters ready to take over at catcher”

“In a perfect world, the Orioles would have Wieters, 22, start the season with a dominating showing at Triple-A before starting his service-time clock with a jump to the majors. He could change that with a strong spring showing. The Orioles cleared the way by trading Ramon Hernandez, last season’s starter, in the off-season.”

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WHAT’S A SPORTS FAN TO DO THIS WINTER?

Posted on 25 January 2009 by Vince Fiduccia

So football season is over.  Baseball is still in the hot stove, and you the sports fan are probably wondering what to do with your time.  Well while your fingers are sore from changing the remote, there are plenty of top flight sports to keep you busy this winter in our area.  Recently I got out of the house and have attended a few games.  Here are some thoughts.

The Baltimore Blast:  Behind the Orioles, the Blast is Baltimore’s longest tenured franchise.  Owner Ed Hale and his fine staff have done a great job of keeping the game alive in Baltimore, and they win a ton (four championships since 2003).   It’s still the same old Blast – music, great player introductions, high scoring action, the victory lap, and affordable prices, and all their games are on weekend nights.  Plus, how can you not root for these players?  They play hard, are great stewards of the community, and most of them are local guys.  Spoiled high priced players not the Blast; they are very approachable about autographs and best of all they actually look like they are having fun playing the game.  You have to see their interaction with the crowd after goals.  Those of you with kids will truly enjoy this night out.

Local Baltimore College Basketball:   I have had a chance to go to both Towson and UMBC this winter for basketball games.  Both are great fun and very easy on your wallet with great parking.  Both teams play in very competitive leagues and both features exciting point guards in UMBC’s Jay Greene and Towson’s Troy Franklin.   At Towson, you’ll love the Tiger Dance team and the mascot.  UMBC features the awesome Down and Dirty Dawg Band and a great baton twirler.   Loyola, Morgan and Coppin State also provide a great atmosphere for college basketball.   How good are the locals?  UMBC beat Big 12 School Nebraska in Lincoln, and Morgan State as we all know beat Maryland on the road.

Washington Capitals:  I went to my first Caps game in a long time a couple of weeks ago and I was stunned.  What a turnaround by owner Ted Leonsis and his staff.  18,000 fans all in red were rocking the Verizon Center.  What a great home crowd advantage.  In the past I went to go a couple of games a year and I have never seen the passion that is in the building today for Caps Hockey.   P.S. the Caps are really good, and the in-game entertainment is great with good music and video clips on the high def monster screen.   If you enjoy watching great players, keep your eyes on the Caps’ Alexander Ovechkin; he is as good as it gets.  Hurry if you want to go catch a game.  Tickets are going fast.  Yes everyone loves a winner!

As you can see sports haven’t ended with the Ravens loss last week.  If you have never been to one of these sports, take a trip out to one of them and try something different.  You will enjoy it.

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