Tag Archive | "washington"

Ride WNST Caps Puck Bus to D.C. for Toronto Maple Leafs (March 16)

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Ride WNST Caps Puck Bus to D.C. for Toronto Maple Leafs (March 16)

Posted on 16 December 2013 by WNST Trips

The 2014 WNST.net “Rock The Red” Puck Bus is back! This time, we’ll be taking a group of hockey fans from White Marsh and Catonsville down to Washington, D.C. on Sunday, March 16 to watch the Capitals host the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 3 p.m. game.

All aboard another WNST Rocks The Red Puck Bus to D.C. for another 60 minutes of old-time hockey with the Washington Capitals. Our Gunther Motorcoaches will depart from the White Marsh Mall at noon with a pickup from Catonsville/UMBC I-95 Park N Ride (at Rt. 166) at 12:30. All tickets are upper level in the Verizon Center and include a limited supply of cold beer (for those 21-and-over) en route and snacks, soft drinks and fun videos and giveaways.

We will be able to accommodate larger groups upon request and always keep groups together.

We hope you join us for a night of hockey and fun aboard the WNST Rocks The Red Puck Bus to D.C.

As always, families are welcomed and encouraged to join us!

COST: $90 per person

Pickup Location
Mobile contact #

Here’s a look at one of our Puck Bus trips via WNSTv:

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Caps Rally From 3 Down To Best Flyers in Shootout

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Caps Rally From 3 Down To Best Flyers in Shootout

Posted on 15 December 2013 by Ed Frankovic

If you attended or watched the Caps-Flyers contest today, you saw one wild hockey game.

After a strong start by the Capitals, Philadelphia rebounded to tie the game late in the first period, dominated the second frame, and scored two quick goals early in the third period to take a 4-1 advantage. The third of those four goals came from Sean Couturier from the corner and behind the goal line. He shot the puck off of Philipp Grubauer and into the cage for a goal that deflated the Caps and the crowd. Then when Jakub Voracek deflected a Michael Raffl shot home at 3:32 of the final frame (74 seconds after the third goal), it looked like the Flyers would avenge the 7-0 drubbing they took from the Capitals back on November 1st.

But not so fast with the 2013-14 Capitals, who had already come back four times after two periods to win contests this season. The Caps started getting pucks and bodies to the net and Mike Green’s goal with 8:40 left gave Washington life. After a failed power play, the Caps kept the pressure on and Dmitry Orlov lasered one by Steve Mason with 3:31 to go after a face off win and suddenly it was a one goal hockey game. The Verizon Center crowd went nuts and the Capitals kept on coming with wave after wave like they were storming the beaches of Normandy. With Grubauer pulled and the extra attacker on, Mason decided to try and play the puck behind his own net but he gave it right to Joel Ward. #42 then found a streaking Alex Ovechkin in the slot and the Gr8 doesn’t fail in the clutch, snapping one by Mason giving the Capitals their third goal in just under eight minutes to send the game to overtime.

The Caps would go on to win, 2-1, in the gimmick and improve to 18-12-3 (39 points), good for a four point lead over the third place Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan division.

Trying to make sense of this game, quite honestly, makes little sense. Green told me afterwards that the vast swings in play were simply typical momentum shifts you see in games. He said that there are real no answers for it. #52 is probably right.

Both the Caps and the Flyers wanted this game very badly and were giving all they had at various times. Washington did manage to get those last three goals by getting pucks to the point for shots with traffic. Green stated afterwards that the coaches and players noticed that Philly was sagging back and that the forwards were reminded that the defensemen were getting room to shoot. With big guns like Green, John Carlson, and Orlov on the point, it made sense for the Caps to “simplify” as Marcus Johansson (1 goal, 1 assist) called it and get shots with traffic on Mason. Clearly it worked and the Flyers were likely guilty of thinking they had the game won when they were up 3 pucks.

With the Caps offensive skills, they are rarely out of a game these days.

Once the game goes to the skills exhibition, it’s anyone’s to win. However, Grubauer said that he watched video of the two previous shootouts this week and he learned some things from it. He said that his objective was not to commit and make the first move because it gives the shooter an advantage that they often capitalize on. Only world class forward Claude Giroux got one by the German goalie while Eric Fehr and Nicklas Backstrom scored for the Caps in the shootout. Grubauer made 24 saves plus the two shootout stops and is now 3-0-1. He made some great saves at other times during this contest, but would definitely like the second and third goals back. With the Caps going to Philadelphia on Tuesday for round three of the season series, I’d imagine that Braden Holtby gets the nod in the cage given his good record on Broad Street.

As for Ovechkin, he had a sweet pass to set up Johansson for the first goal on the power play and his tying tally was his 27th goal of the season. He had seven shots on net in 25:08 of ice time. He, Green, Johansson, and numerous others were way better than they’d been in Florida on Friday and that was a big reason the Caps came back. The Flyers let off the gas and appeared to run out of energy too. Perhaps they used up too much fuel when they seized the middle portion of the game?

Who knows? Like Green said, there are no easy answers for it.

One thing for sure, though, is this Capitals team has character and does not fold the tent when down. Five of their victories have now come from third period rallies and that is very impressive.

The naysayers will complain about too many wins coming from shootouts or state that they are in a weak division, but this team has been in nearly every game this season. They are still figuring out the best way to play on the back end under Oates’ system and that has been complicated by a rotation of different personnel on defense. The coach told me after the game that he prefers that his defensemen move the puck within the first five feet once they get it, and that has to be an adjustment for guys like Green and Orlov, who like to carry the biscuit. Perhaps that is why #52 has been very up and down this season?

Former Coach Bruce Boudreau called Green the “One Man Breakout” and Orlov has that capability too. But if your head coach doesn’t prefer that style, one would have to think that would cause mistakes and an adjustment period? It’s something to continue to watch as the season progresses. Do the players adhere to Oates’ preferred method or is there a give and take between players and coaches to maximize some seriously strong defensive puck handling ability on the back end that the Caps could and probably should take advantage of? After all, what if Glen Sather told Paul Coffey he couldn’t skate with the puck more than five feet, how would that have worked out in Edmonton?

Oates is a smart hockey mind and I understand why he wants the puck moved up as quickly as possible. If a defensemen is coming with speed, he can pass the puck and then get it back from a player who is further up the ice. The puck moves faster than the players, at least that is the philosophy of the strategy, but if the forwards aren’t open or are being taken away by the opposition then the defensemen certainly have to adjust, right? It’s an interesting topic and I’m guessing that there have been many discussions on it between the head coach, assistant Calle Johansson, and some of the defensemen.

Whatever they end up doing, one thing is for sure: you can’t win hockey games with a bad defense. The Caps need to find a way to maximize the skills they have back there. Carlson and Karl Alzner are playing great hockey but the team needs Green and Orlov to play at a strong level too for Washington to be a puck possession dominating club.

Stay tuned.

Notes: Mikhail Grabovski didn’t play due to illness and that forced Oates to move Jay Beagle to center Troy Brouwer and Fehr while Michael Latta was recalled from Hershey and centered the fourth line. Nate Schmidt was sent to Chocolatetown to make room for #46, who ended up leaving the game early with a lower body injury. Latta did have a good scrap with Zac Rinaldo in period two. Steve Oleksy fought Wayne Simmonds early in period three, right before the third Philly goal…Washington had the shots on goal advantage, 33-28, but the Flyers won the shot attempt battle, 55-50…Washington was 40-29 from the dot, including some big offensive zone draw wins in the final 10 minutes…Carlson led the Caps in ice time with 29:38.

 

 

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Ovechkin’s 4 Goals Rallies Caps Past Bolts in Shootout

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Ovechkin’s 4 Goals Rallies Caps Past Bolts in Shootout

Posted on 10 December 2013 by Ed Frankovic

There is something about snow that tends to bring out the best in Alexander Ovechkin, so it’s no coincidence that one of his nicknames, besides the Gr8, is Snovechkin.

On Tuesday night, in a game the Capitals really had no business winning, Alex Snovechkin scored four goals, including the game tying tally with just 33 seconds left in regulation.

Washington would go on to win in the shootout, 6-5, and steal two points from a hard working and undermanned Tampa Bay Lightning club.

Ovechkin had the four markers and his center, Nicklas Backstrom, had a goal and four helpers for a five point night. Those two guys, along with rookie Philip Grubauer in net and some good fortune, are the reason the Caps scraped out two points after trailing 3-0 early on.

The Caps looked nothing like the team that manhandled the Rangers on Sunday at the Garden as the Lightning, without top players Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman, came out flying while several Capitals coasted through their early shifts. Most notable was defensemen Mike Green who had the worst period I’ve ever seen #52 play. He took four minors, a 10 minute misconduct, and badly misplayed the two on one break that gave the Lightning a 3-0 lead and chased starter Braden Holtby. #70 wasn’t that bad, but clearly Adam Oates wanted to wake his sleep walking team up, at that point.

The move eventually helped and Ovechkin would get yet another goal this season off of a face off in the opening frame to give the Caps some life. Then when the Bolts Richard Panik took a major for boarding Karl Alzner late in period two, the Gr8 scored twice on the power play to send this one tied, at 4-4, to the third period.

At that point one would think the Caps would take over and win this one against a depleted Tampa squad, but the Bolts are well coached by John Cooper and they carried much of the play. They grabbed the lead when Martin St. Louis, who is one of the smallest but also one of the best players in the NHL, set up Ondrej Palat in the slot at 8:36 of the final period. St. Louis is a Caps killer and he had three points in this game. His work ethic is amazing and several Capitals could learn a lot from watching him.

Work ethic was something that was not there for many Capitals in this tilt. Washington was too fancy and made many bad passes. Martin Erat had a hat trick of giveaways, one of which led to a goal. It should have been three for three if not for Grubauer’s great goaltending on the other two occassions. The Capitals forwards did a mostly lousy job of helping out their defense in this game and Oates will have plenty of video to show of their mistakes.

But the good news is this Capitals team is resilient. They don’t quit and they keep scrapping. It really helps to have skill and talent and Ovechkin and Backstrom took over to save the day on a night when many Washington players just didn’t bring their better performances to the rink.

On Tuesday the Caps did just enough to win, they should be thankful that snowstorms, even an over hyped one like the area had today, brings out the best in their captain.

It was the Alexander Ovechkin show on Tuesday. That’s now 26 goals in 29 games this season. To quote the Gr8, that is “Sick, Unbelievable…”

Notes: Eric Fehr, who is playing super and brought his game on Tuesday, Mikhail Grabovski, and Troy Brouwer all scored in the gimmick for the Caps…Grubauer got his 2nd NHL win in his 1st career NHL shootout…because the Caps were trailing the fourth line played sparingly and Aaron Volpatti and Tom Wilson played less than five minutes each…the Caps are now 17-12-2 (36 points)…John Carlson played an all worldly 34:48 in this one…the Caps won the face off battle, 36-22 and Backstrom was 15-7…Washington was 3 for 5 on the power play while Tampa went 2 for 5…Green was a lot better after his misconduct and had an assist. The referees were not the problem for him in the opening frame, it was his lack of skating and too much reliance on using his stick. Lazy hockey, plain and simple.

 

 

 

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The 15-7-0 is snowed in & drunk. And still more functional than the Washington Football Club.

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The 15-7-0 is snowed in & drunk. And still more functional than the Washington Football Club.

Posted on 09 December 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.

The 15-7-0 won’t be right with every football observation we make. In fact, our goal is simply to be right roughly 75% of the time. Or in other words, about 70% more often than your local meteorologist of choice.

15 Positive Observations…

1. Matt Prater’s kick was so amazing that Nick Saban texted him afterwards to ask him if he had any plans Saturday. Of last week.

This was actually kinda awesome.

Seriously, Peyton Manning?

Jim Nantz and Phil Simms did this game for CBS. And then did this weird promo.

2. Auburn is playing for the National Championship. Fans gathered in Toomer’s Corner to celebrate, but after realizing the SEC title game didn’t involve a Hail Mary or a last second field goal return they decided it wasn’t really even worth reveling and instead spread out through the city to clean up liter and ask old ladies if they could use some help getting across the street.

Dressing up like some sort of angelic figure is probably a bit much-but I’ve seen the Tigers’ season. It fits.

This is your potential national champion?

THIS?

But then again, this guy won money for “throwing” footballs at halftime of this game-so there probably isn’t really any such thing as God.

3. Towson channeled their inner Jay-Z and treated their first FCS playoff game by going “On To The Next One”. They gave Fordham “99 Problems” and will now be “Big Pimpin’” in the quarterfinals. The Rams were essentially “D.O.A.” in the second half after the Tigers were able to “Change Clothes” and go. QB Peter Athens proved that he would “Run This Town” for at least another week and Terrance West got another chance to “Show Me What You Got”. And since there’s no way to organically work “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” into this post, I’m just gonna wrap up. I’ll just go ahead and assume you “Can’t Knock The Hustle”.

Eastern Illinois next. The Fighting Romos. At least I assume.

4. Drew Brees has now surpassed 50,000 passing yards for his career. Sadly he’s still stuck at 49,876 commercials for jeans and laundry detergent in the same span. But he’s close!

Jed Collins introduces himself on Sunday Night Football by saying “Jed Collins. Washington State. Class of 1862.”

Greg Hardy one-upped him.

You thought he made it up, but here’s Wikipedia.

Your thoughts, Rob Ryan?

5. Holy crap Frank Gore is still a thing? What’s next? You’re going to tell me Willis McGahee is still playing in the NFL? Haha…I’m kidding-I swear. Just having fun. Because we all know McGahee retired years ago obviously. Obviously.

Why is this GIF so great?

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Canes Drop Caps 4-1

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Canes Drop Caps 4-1

Posted on 04 December 2013 by Nick Dorsey

 

The Washington Capitals faced off Tuesday night against their fellow Metropolitan division rival Carolina Hurricanes and it did not end well. The start of the game was not so bad for the Caps, going into the second period only down one to the Canes. Jeff Skinner scored his first goal of the night on the short side of the net, one that Braden Holtby would certainly like to have back. It was not Holtby’s best night so far this season.

The Caps started with plenty of scoring chances early and throughout the first period, but were unable to finish. Washington outshot Carolina 23-14 in shot attempts at the conclusion of the first period, but still unable to score. The Capitals generated momentum heading into the second period with still over a minute left on their first power play of the game. There were four solid scoring chances on their power play in the second period, but the Caps still came up empty-handed. A game that was so close for the first half was about to be blown open by the opposition. At the 11:18 mark in the second period, Jeff Skinner recorded his second goal of the night. It was a shot from the outside near the center of the faceoff circle, another one that Holtby should have had. Shortly after the Canes second goal of the night, Mikhail Grabovski was called for a tripping minor after a turnover. Andrej Sekera was the goal scorer on the power play for the Hurricanes, giving Carolina the 3-0 lead in the Verizon Center. After the third goal, just under a minute later, Jiri Tlusty on a nifty backhand put the game out of reach with the fourth tally of the night. The Caps have comeback twice for victories in their last two games, but this lead was insurmountable for Washington.

It was not a good loss for the Caps at home as the rest of the Metropolitan division, including the Hurricanes, are starting to gain ground on the leaders of the division. They have lost five of their last seven games, leaving plenty of points out there. There are several reasons the Caps have struggled as of late and one of the main reasons has been the struggling power play. The Caps generate a lot of momentum and scoring chances from their power play, which is consistently one of the best in the league. That has not been the story as of late. In their last eleven games, the Caps are 5-37 in the power play, which has led to a 5-5-1 record in those eleven games. The Capitals did manage to score a power play goal in the third period against the Hurricanes, Mike Green’s first goal of the season. Green has had a rough start to the first quarter of the season, but now that he has found the back of the net, maybe this will generate a spark in his game. Green has been known as a streaky scoring defensemen and is definitely a player that can help rejuvenate the power play. Not only was the power play a struggling unit, but Braden Holtby struggled all night as well. He has been called upon a lot as of late to start games due to Michael Neuvirth being injured. It is possible the increased workload showed its wear and tear Tuesday night because Holtby is usually much better between the pipes. Philipp Grubauer came in for the third period and was pretty impressive. He came in to start the third period facing a Carolina power play right from the get go. He did not allow a goal during the period and finished with eight saves. If Grubauer can possibly step in there soon to give Holtby a game or two off, that would be great for the team. Washington is now 5-4 on the season against their Metropolitan division opponents. The Capitals will look to shake off this bad home loss and look to rebound this Saturday against the Nashville Predators at the Verizon Center.

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Bovada improves Capitals’ Stanley Cup odds to 25/1

Posted on 03 December 2013 by WNST Staff

“Some may think that the Nets who have been a complete disappointment up to this point and even the Knicks for that matter should have longer odds to win it all, but this early in the season as despite bad as they are, the Nets and Knicks are only two and four games out of the playoffs respectively. With the talent these teams have, we have to be careful how much we over-adjust this early in the season.”

Kevin Bradley, Sports Book Manager, Bovada.lv

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV).

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

                                                Odd on 11/5                 Current

Pittsburgh Penguins                  6/1                                7/1

Chicago Blackhawks                 15/2                              15/2

St. Louis Blues                          10/1                              15/2

San Jose Sharks                       15/2                              8/1

Boston Bruins                           11/1                              9/1

Los Angeles Kings                    16/1                              14/1

Anaheim Ducks                         20/1                              16/1

Colorado Avalanche                  10/1                              18/1

Detroit Red Wings                     14/1                              18/1

Toronto Maple Leafs                 14/1                              20/1

Montreal Canadiens                   28/1                              25/1

New York Rangers                     33/1                              25/1

Tampa Bay Lightning                 25/1                              25/1

Washington Capitals                  33/1                              25/1

Minnesota Wild                         25/1                              28/1

Phoenix Coyotes                       33/1                              33/1

Vancouver Canucks                   20/1                              33/1

New Jersey Devils                     66/1                              40/1

Ottawa Senators                        33/1                              40/1

Philadelphia Flyers                    66/1                              40/1

Carolina Hurricanes                    40/1                              50/1

Dallas Stars                              66/1                              50/1

Columbus Blue Jackets             50/1                              66/1

Nashville Predators                   66/1                              66/1

New York Islanders                    28/1                              75/1

Winnipeg Jets                           100/1                            100/1

Edmonton Oilers                       100/1                            200/1

Calgary Flames                         100/1                            300/1

Florida Panthers                        200/1                            300/1

Buffalo Sabres                          250/1                            500/1

 

Odds to Win the 2014 Eastern Conference       

Pittsburgh Penguins                  3/1

Boston Bruins                           17/4

Detroit Red Wings                     9/1

Toronto Maple Leafs                 9/1

Montreal Canadiens                   12/1

New York Rangers                     12/1

Tampa Bay Lightning                 12/1

Washington Capitals                  12/1

Ottawa Senators                        18/1

Philadelphia Flyers                    18/1

New Jersey Devils                     20/1

Carolina Hurricanes                    22/1

Columbus Blue Jackets             33/1

New York Islanders                    40/1

Florida Panthers                        150/1

Buffalo Sabres                          250/1

 

Odds to Win the 2014 Western Conference      

Chicago Blackhawks                 15/4

St. Louis Blues                          15/4

San Jose Sharks                       4/1

Los Angeles Kings                    15/2

Anaheim Ducks                         8/1

Colorado Avalanche                  8/1

Minnesota Wild                         14/1

Phoenix Coyotes                       16/1

Vancouver Canucks                   16/1

Dallas Stars                              25/1

Nashville Predators                   33/1

Winnipeg Jets                           50/1

Calgary Flames                         100/1

Edmonton Oilers                       100/1

 

Odds to Win the 2014 Atlantic Division

Boston Bruins                           7/5

Detroit Red Wings                     9/2

Tampa Bay Lightning                 9/2

Toronto Maple Leafs                 9/2

Montreal Canadiens                   11/2

Ottawa Senators                        12/1

Florida Panthers                        100/1

Buffalo Sabres                          200/1

 

Odds to Win the 2014 Metropolitan Division    

Pittsburgh Penguins                  2/5

Washington Capitals                  11/2

New York Rangers                     6/1

Philadelphia Flyers                    18/1

New Jersey Devils                     20/1

Carolina Hurricanes                    22/1

New York Islanders                    33/1

Columbus Blue Jackets             40/1

 

Odds to Win the 2014 Central Division

Chicago Blackhawks                 5/4

St. Louis Blues                          8/5

Colorado Avalanche                  9/2

Minnesota Wild                         7/1

Dallas Stars                              33/1

Nashville Predators                   40/1

Winnipeg Jets                           50/1

 

Odds to Win the 2014 Pacific Division 

San Jose Sharks                       3/2

Anaheim Ducks                         11/4

Los Angeles Kings                    3/1

Phoenix Coyotes                       6/1

Vancouver Canucks                   8/1

Calgary Flames                         100/1

Edmonton Oilers                       100/1

 

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

Sidney Crosby (PIT)                  5/6

Alex Ovechkin (WAS)                7/2

Evgeni Malkin (PIT)                    6/1

Ryan Getzlaf (ANA)                   13/2

Alexander Steen (STL)               8/1

Patrick Kane (CHI)                     15/1

John Tavares (NYI)                    15/1

Henrik Sedin (VAN)                    20/1

Henrik Zetterberg (DET)             20/1

Phil Kessel (TOR)                      30/1
Odds to win the Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year

Tomas Hertl (SJ)                       5/4

Torey Krug (BOS)                      7/4

Sean Monahan (CAL)                 13/2

Nathan Mackinnon (COL)           13/2

Seth Jones (NAS)                      7/1

Chris Kreider (NYR)                   15/2

Hampus Lindholm (ANA)            10/1

 

Who will win the 2013-2014 NHL Presidents Trophy?

San Jose Sharks                       3/2

St. Louis Blues                          11/4

Chicago Blackhawks                 4/1

Colorado Avalanche                  5/1

Boston Bruins                           8/1

Pittsburgh Penguins                  9/1

Anaheim Ducks                         15/1

 

International Hockey Futures

Odds to win 2013-2014 IIHF World U20 Championship

Canada U20                              7/4

Russia U20                               3/1

Sweden U20                              3/1

USA U20                                   3/1

Finland U20                               14/1

Czech Republic U20                  25/1

Switzerland U20                         40/1

Slovakia U20                             100/1

Germany U20                            300/1

Norway U20                              500/1

 

2014 Olympic Ice Hockey – Men’s Gold Medal 

Canada                                     2/1

Russia                                      9/4

Sweden                                    5/1

USA                                         11/2

Czech Republic                         10/1

Finland                                     12/1

Switzerland                               25/1

Slovakia                                   33/1

Norway                                     200/1

Latvia                                       400/1

Austria                                      900/1

Slovenia                                   900/1

 

2014 Olympic Ice Hockey – Women’s Gold Medal        

Canada Women                         4/5

USA Women                             1/1

Finland Women                         16/1

Russia Women                          22/1

Sweden Women                        25/1

Switzerland Women                   40/1

Germany Women                       100/1

Japan Women                           150/1

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

                  Odds on 10/28/13         Current Odds

Miami Heat                                2/1                                2/1

Indiana Pacers                          9/1                                4/1

Oklahoma City Thunder              17/2                              6/1

San Antonio Spurs                    14/1                              7/1

Los Angeles Clippers                9/1                                14/1

Golden State Warriors               16/1                              16/1

Houston Rockets                      12/1                              16/1

Portland Trailblazers                  150/1                            22/1

Brooklyn Nets                           10/1                              28/1

Chicago Bulls                            11/2                              33/1

Memphis Grizzlies                     28/1                              40/1

Dallas Mavericks                       50/1                              50/1

Denver Nuggets                        50/1                              50/1

Los Angeles Lakers                   40/1                              50/1

Minnesota Timberwolves            100/1                            50/1

New York Knicks                       25/1                              50/1

Atlanta Hawks                           150/1                            100/1

Cleveland Cavaliers                   66/1                              100/1

Detroit Pistons                          75/1                              100/1

Toronto Raptors                        150/1                            125/1

Washington Wizards                  100/1                            125/1

New Orleans Pelicans                100/1                            150/1

Boston Celtics                          150/1                            200/1

Philadelphia 76ers                     300/1                            250/1

Phoenix Suns                            300/1                            250/1

Charlotte Bobcats                     500/1                            300/1

Orlando Magic                          500/1                            300/1

Milwaukee Bucks                       250/1                            350/1

Sacramento Kings                     300/1                            500/1

Utah Jazz                                  150/1                            500/1

 

Odds to win 2014 NBA Eastern Conference     

Miami Heat                                5/7

Indiana Pacers                          2/1

Brooklyn Nets                           12/1

Chicago Bulls                            14/1

New York Knicks                       22/1

Atlanta Hawks                           50/1

Cleveland Cavaliers                   50/1

Detroit Pistons                          50/1

Toronto Raptors                        66/1

Washington Wizards                  66/1

Boston Celtics                          100/1

Philadelphia 76ers                     100/1

Charlotte Bobcats                     150/1

Orlando Magic                          150/1

Milwaukee Bucks                       200/1

 

Odds to win 2014 NBA Western Conference     

Oklahoma City Thunder              5/2

San Antonio Spurs                    11/4

Los Angeles Clippers                11/2

Houston Rockets                      13/2

Golden State Warriors               7/1

Portland Trailblazers                  12/1

Memphis Grizzlies                     18/1

Minnesota Timberwolves            25/1

Dallas Mavericks                       28/1

Denver Nuggets                        28/1

Los Angeles Lakers                   28/1

New Orleans Pelicans                66/1

Phoenix Suns                            100/1

Sacramento Kings                     200/1

Utah Jazz                                  250/1

 

Division Odds

Odds to win 2014 NBA Atlantic Division          

Brooklyn Nets                           2/3

New York Knicks                       3/1

Toronto Raptors                        5/1

Philadelphia 76ers                     10/1

Boston Celtics                          25/1

 

Odds to win 2014 NBA Northwest Division      

Oklahoma City Thunder              1/5

Portland Trailblazers                  5/1

Denver Nuggets                        12/1

Minnesota Timberwolves            12/1

Utah Jazz                                  100/1

 

Odds to win 2014 NBA Pacific Division           

Los Angeles Clippers                4/9

Golden State Warriors               8/5

Los Angeles Lakers                   20/1

Phoenix Suns                            50/1

Sacramento Kings                     100/1

 

Odds to win 2014 NBA Southwest Division      

San Antonio Spurs                    2/5

Houston Rockets                      9/4

Dallas Mavericks                       20/1

Memphis Grizzlies                     20/1

New Orleans Pelicans                33/1

 

Odds to win 2014 NBA Southeast Division      

Miami Heat                    -5000 (1/50)

Any Other Team            +1400 (14/1)

 

Odds to win 2014 NBA Central Division           

Indiana Pacers              -10000  (1/100)

Any Other Team            +1600   (16/1)

 

Awards and Stats Leaders

2013-14 NBA MVP – Odds to Win         

LeBron James (MIA)                              4/5

Kevin Durant (OKC)                               4/1

Paul George (IND)                                 11/2

Chris Paul (LAC)                                    6/1

Stephen Curry (GS)                               15/1

Kevin Love (MIN)                                   20/1

Carmelo Anthony  (NY)                          25/1

James Harden (HOU)                             25/1

Tony Parker (SA)                                   25/1

LaMarcus Aldridge (POR)                      40/1

Dwight Howard (HOU)                            40/1

Damian Lilliard (POR)                            40/1

John Wall (WAS)                                   40/1

Russell Westbrook (OKC)                      40/1

 

2013-14 Rookie of the Year – Odds to Win

Michael Carter-Williams (PHI)                  1/2

Victor Oladipo (ORL)                             7/5

Ben McLemore (SAC)                            15/2

Trey Burke (UT)                                     8/1

Steven Adams (OKC)                            16/1

Nate Wolters (MIL)                                 22/1

 

Points Per Game Leader – 2013/14 NBA Regular Season          

Kevin Durant (OKC)                               4/7

Carmelo Anthony (NYK)                         5/2

LeBron James (MIA)                              3/1

Paul George (IND)                                 19/2

Stephen Curry (GSW)                            16/1

James Harden (HOU)                             20/1

Kevin Love (MIN)                                   30/1

 

Miscellaneous Odds

Who will be the first head coach fired in the 2013-2104 Season?         

Jason Kidd (BRK)                     9/4

Mike Woodson (NY)                  5/2

Mike Brown (CLE)                      4/1

Tyrone Corbin  (UTA)                 9/2

Monty Williams (NO)                  6/1

Larry Drew (MIL)                        7/1

Dwane Casey (TOR)                  9/1

Mike D’Antoni  (LAL)                  15/1

 

 

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Ovechkin Wins It In OT After Backstrom Tied it Late

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Ovechkin Wins It In OT After Backstrom Tied it Late

Posted on 30 November 2013 by Ed Frankovic

Wow, what a finish, and I’m not talking about Auburn-Alabama.

The Washington Capitals, who could’ve put the game away in the second period by burying some golden opportunities, looked dead to rights after the Islanders took the lead with 1:51 left in the third period and then Mike Green was correctly whistled for an interference penalty just 41 clicks later.

But the Caps showed some serious resolve and mental toughness as Karl Alzner made a great pinch on the left wing boards to get the puck behind the net to Jason Chimera and then #25 hit a streaking Nicklas Backstrom in the slot and #19 one timed it by Islanders goalie Anders Nilsson with 49 ticks left in regulation for an unlikely shorthanded game tying tally.

The Capitals would then kill off those final 49 third period seconds of the Green infraction and then 50 more into overtime. Over a minute later, Alexander Ovechkin scored from the slot five hole on Nilsson after a nifty drop pass from Mikhail Grabovski and it gave Washington a huge two points on Long Island. It was Ovechkin’s league leading 21st goal and the 5th time he has scored in OT in his career to defeat the Islanders (h/t @ehornick). The victory improves Washington to 14-11-2 (30 points) and keeps them two points ahead of the third place New York Rangers.

Washington led 1-0 heading into the final frame thanks to a hard working goal by the Caps fourth line of Martin Erat, Tom Wilson, and Aaron Volpatti at 8:58 into period two. Erat got the puck into the slot where Wilson used his size and strength to get two shots on Nilsson before Volpatti slapped it home. After that goal the Caps had some golden opportunities to expand their lead but Backstrom and Green both missed the net from in close in the slot when all alone.

Those misses looked like they might haunt Washington after they gave up a shorthanded goal to Cal Clutterbuck at 3:59 of period three, who got a breakaway when Green let a puck get by him at the Islanders blue line. It was another dismal power play for the Caps in their only try of the night. When Vanek scored just inside the two minute mark after a goal mouth scramble that had Braden Holtby (37 saves) incensed, it sure looked like it would be a rough defeat in a game Washington deserved at least a point.

But Coach Adam Oates’ crew didn’t quit and Backstrom’s laser made up for his earlier miss. Ovechkin sealed the deal like a true assassin to provide a very huge win and give the Caps a two game winning streak heading into Tuesday’s tilt at the Verizon Center against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Defensemen Dmitry Orlov made his season debut on Saturday and was very solid in 13:41 of work. Hopefully 81′s agent wises up and rescinds his ridiculous trade demand. As for the other player demanding out, Erat played hard and assisted on the first tally but his offensive zone turnover helped lead to the Islanders shorthanded breakaway.

On defense, Alzner and John Carlson led the way again, playing 23:20 and 24:40, respectively. Overall, the Caps moved the puck much better with Orlov in for Alex Urbom on the back end. There are still improvements to be made, but Orlov looks more like an NHLer than some of the other guys who’ve been playing. He just needs to get some steady work now that he’s fully recovered from last year’s injuries. Dima wasn’t tentative at all tonight, like he was in preseason, so the time in the AHL definitely benefited him.

New York is a team that in recent years has given the Caps trouble because of their speed and a struggling Islanders club gave it all they had tonight, making it difficult for the Caps to put them away. Then it sure looked like Washington had handed the game to New York before Backstrom, Oveckhin, and company snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

There are no style points in the NHL, two points is two points.

But the way the Caps came back and showed mental resolve makes this victory feel like more than two points.

Time will tell if this kind of come back victory is one that propels Washington to improved play and a long winning streak, but for tonight, I’ll just leave you with a classic line from Baltimore broadcasting legend Chuck Thompson.

Ain’t The Beer Cold!

 

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Fehr, Grabovski Help Caps End Losing Skid

Posted on 29 November 2013 by Ed Frankovic

In pro sports, talent is a nice thing to have, but effort is every bit as important. On Friday night against Montreal, the Caps started slowly again but fortunately Coach Adam Oates made some big in game adjustments, primarily going with players who were giving him maximum effort after a horrible first period by Washington.

The decisions paid off as the Capitals rallied to tie Montreal in the third period on Mikhail Grabovski’s goal after some great work by Eric Fehr (1 goal, 1 assist and a shootout tally) and then they won the game in the shootout, 3-2. The victory halts the Caps four game winless streak (0-3-1) and improves their record to 13-11-2, good for sole possession of second place in the Metropolitan Division.

This was the Caps sixth shootout win of the season against two losses in the gimmick.

So why did the Capitals finally win?

It starts with guys working hard and Fehr and Grabovski were two of the players who were at or near the top of the list in that department. Add Jay Beagle to that list too, as #83 got his first game since early in the season with Brooks Laich sitting out due to a lower body injury. Fehr and Grabovski helped Troy Brouwer have one of his better nights and #20 had several golden chances that he just couldn’t finish. The fourth line of Michael Latta, Tom Wilson, and Aaron Volpatti provided sparks when they were on the ice, as well. On the back end, John Carlson was super again and Mike Green and Karl Alzner chipped in with strong efforts too.

In net, Braden Holtby (35 saves) received a surprise start when Michal Neuvirth stepped on a puck in warmups and injured himself. #30 will not travel with the team to Long Island tonight meaning Philip Grubauer or David Leggio will backup Holtby on Saturday. #70 was outstanding and his two stops on Andrei Markov in the 3rd period with the game 2-1 in favor of the Habs allowed his club to tie it and eventually win. It was two big saves at a critical moment, just what you need from your goalie. Holts stopped two of the four shootout attempts while Fehr, Alex Ovechkin, and Grabovski scored in the gimmick for the Caps.

The Caps went 0 for 4 on the power play, and that downward trend continues to be discouraging. They just aren’t getting enough pucks and bodies to the net. On the positive side, they killed off both of Montreal’s man advantage situations, primarily due to the stellar play of Holtby. By the way, this was easily the best officiated Capitals game of the season, so a hat tip to Kelly Sutherland and Mark Lemelin for a job well done. Any chance we can see more of you two guys?

Even with the better effort, the Caps struggled to win this one. There are still issues on defense and Alex Urbom, who along with Tyson Strachan allowed Daniel Breire to score an easy wraparound goal in the first period, was benched after that miscue and only played 2:15 forcing the other five defensemen to log a ton of time in a back to back game situation. Carlson played a beastly 31:10, Green logged 26:42, and Alzner was at 25:23. Even Nate Schmidt, who made the offensive blue line mistake that led to the second Montreal goal, played 23:00. Strachan only received 14:30 of time. It’s pretty clear that Urbom needs to sit and it will be interesting to see what Oates does tomorrow in Long Island. Does Dmitry Orlov finally get the call up and play or will Steve Oleksy get a game? Frankly, I’d like to see both #’s 61 & 81 in for Urbom and Strachan. Schmidt is also playing too much for my liking too but until a trade is made, the Caps don’t have a lot of options back there.

But at the end of the night, the Caps found a way to get two points and that is vital right now. Several players brought a better effort after a putrid first frame. Grabovksi, Brouwer, and Green were three guys who the Capitals needed to be much better after the Senators game and each was on Friday, especially #84, who really gelled with Fehr.

Players like Fehr and Beagle are hard working team guys who don’t rock the boat. You never heard either one whining while they were sitting out. I chatted with both of them multiple times during their lengthy scratch situations and just reminded them that their chance would come. It did, and it’s nice to see two good guys hang in there and get rewarded. They were a big reason the Caps ended their losing skid tonight, along with Holtby, Grabovski, and some others.

It’s a step in the right direction, but can Washington keep it going against a struggling Islanders team on Saturday?

For me, it all comes down to effort.

Notes: Shot attempts were 61-54 in favor of Montreal. Most of the Habs advantage was in the first period…the Caps lost the face off battle, 36-33…Beagle played 12:32 and was 9-6 from the dot…video coach Brett Leonhardt became the back up goalie after Neuvy was injured.

 

 

 

 

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Caps Suffer Worst Loss of Season

Posted on 27 November 2013 by Ed Frankovic

With two guys asking for trades this week (Martin Erat and Dmitry Orlov), things went from bad to worse on Thanksgiving Eve as the Capitals turned a 3-1 first period lead into a 6-4 defeat to Ottawa.

It was a terrible loss for Washington primarily due to a lack of focus and effort. There are also holes in the talent department on the back end too, but more on that later.

The Caps came out skating, something you must do against a very fast Senators club, and as a result, they had the lead and the momentum. Then Chris Neil, who is known for physical and dirty play, took a run at defensemen Nate Schmidt drawing an obvious penalty in the process. What happened next, was the start of the end for the Caps. Defensemen Tyson Strachan immediately went after Neil taking an instigator penalty, five for fighting, and a 10 minute misconduct to take the Caps off of a power play that could have put them up 4-1. It was a bad decision at the wrong time for a guy who really should be playing in Hershey.

Ottawa received a spark from the play while the Caps seemed to get their boots filled with cement. The Senators would out shoot the Caps 19-3 in the second period tying the contest up and then they dominated Washington in the 3rd period to take a 4-3 lead on their third power play goal of the game. Ottawa was flat out too fast and determined for Washington and they repeatedly went to the net for screens and deflections while many of the Caps defenders failed to get position or tie up their sticks. It was absolutely terrible defense by the Capitals. A big part of that problem is the lack of talent on the back end. Strachan, Schmidt and Alex Urbom simply aren’t NHL players at this point in their careers. This is a big reason why the Caps are giving up lots of shots night after night (Ottawa had 40 on Wednesday) and the goaltending is starting to wear out. Braden Holtby started strong in this game but he faded giving up some goals he’d like to have back. But when your defense allows too many players in front of the net and can’t consistently close gaps on the ice, your goalies are going to get lit up eventually. You also can’t score when the other team has the puck.

Therefore, it is up to Coach Adam Oates, assistant Calle Johansson, and GM George McPhee to make some upgrades on the back end. Whether it is inserting Orlov, trying someone else from Hershey, or making a trade for some defensive help, something has got to give.

The Capitals are fortunately still sitting at 12-11-2 after this four game losing streak (0-3-1) thanks primarily to the outstanding play of Alexander Ovechkin and John Carlson this season. Carlson was great again tonight throwing seven pucks on net and his individual effort at the blue line drew a penalty and then #74 tied the game with three minutes left on the ensuing face off. It’s too bad that Mike Green’s awful night (3 minor penalties and shoddy d-zone play) and Schmidt’s inability to close on a streaking Senators forward resulted in the winning goal just 64 seconds later. Green was pretty bad on Wednesday after two games where he seemed to be on the upswing. Bottom line is #52 needs a steady NHL partner to be most effective and he does not have that with this defensive crew make up right now.

There were several other passengers in this one up front. Troy Brouwer was -3 and he continues to struggle this season. Mikhail Grabovski had a poor showing as well.

As for the penalty kill, it’s dropping like a bag of wet cement lately. The Caps are losing too many face offs and they are allowing too much traffic on their goaltender. The Caps rely heavily on Karl Alzner and Carlson to kill penalties and when the team gets into penalty trouble, like it did on Wednesday, it severely impacts the Capitals ability to win the puck possession battle because their top duo spends much of their energy while shorthanded. It’s a bad situation right now with the lack of experience on the back end.

So on Thanksgiving Eve, a game that started so promising, turned into a disaster and the way Ottawa skated all over the Capitals was telling.

It was an ugly defeat from the lack of effort and focus along with a shortage of talent on defense.

Worst loss of the season for the Caps? Absolutely.

 

 

 

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 26 November 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Tennis-The Dream Cup Barbados (Friday & Saturday 6pm from Bridgetown, Barbados live on ESPN3.com); Running: Baltimore City Turkey Trot 5K (Thursday 8:30am Druid Hill Park)

10. The Bridge (Wednesday 9pm Rams Head Live); Cara Kelly and the Tell Tale (Wednesday 8pm 8×10 Club); Charm City Devils/The Brian Jack Memorial Concert (Wednesday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Herman’s Hermits (Saturday 6pm & 9pm Rams Head on Stage); Alice Smith (Friday 7:30pm Howard Theatre), Kelly Rowland (Sunday 8pm Howard Theatre); Rob Zombie (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club); Preservation Hall Jazz Band (Friday -Sunday 8pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); MGMT (Tuesday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Brian Setzer Orchestra (Friday 8pm Warner Theatre); Michael McDonald (Saturday 8pm Strathmore); Foxes (Saturday 7pm U Street Music Hall); Billie Joe & Norah “Foreverly” and M.I.A. “Matangi” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Baltimore is better when The Bridge is together.

I saw CCD do a tribute to Brian Jack at the Recher Theatre a year or so ago. Baltimore rock and roll isn’t as great without him.

I’m going to try to get to the Sunday Preservation Hall show. I could listen to them play Christmas tunes all month.

You know what? Same thing with Michael McDonald. Judge away.

9. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Thursday 9am from New York live on NBC); Bobcat Goldthwait (Friday & Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Donnell Rawlings (Friday-Sunday DC Improv); Despicable Me 2“, “Red 2” and “Jobs” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Frozen” and “Homefront” out in theaters (Friday)

I’d be more excited about flicks coming out, but none of them are ‘The Wolf of Wall Street”. There isn’t a movie I want to see more than “The Wolf of Wall Street”.

Other than maybe this.

Also because Kate Bosworth is in “Homefront”, this photo of Kate Bosworth’s legs is relevant.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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