Alexander Ovechkin scored the game-winning goal with 1:41 remaining in overtime to give the Washington Capitals a 5-4 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres in a weird and wild game Saturday night at the Verizon Center. The win moved the Caps to the top of the Eastern Conference by one point over the idle Philadelphia Flyers, though Philadelphia does have a game in hand.
However thrilling the win was to the 18,398 fans who made up the 100th consecutive sellout crowd for a Capitals home game, Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau was in a less-than-celebratory mood at his postgame press conference.
“I’m concerned with the process of how we played,” Boudreau said, “I thought it was way too close to looking like last year.” Continue reading →
For each of the last three years, the Washington Kastles (The District’s World Team Tennis franchise) has played on a bespoke temporary court at the corner of 11th and H Street NW across from the Grand Hyatt. This season, with construction slated to begin at the city center site in April, the team has had to put together other plans.
The Kastles will play in a temporary stadium on the new site at 800 Water St SW on the Waterfront, between Zanzibar and Phillips, for the next two years. The temporary stadium will closely resemble the temporary stadium built at 11th & H, but will remain up year-round and be programmed by the Kastles and their partner PN Hoffman.
If your morning commute takes you along the Georgetown section of M Street, then on Tuesday morning you likely saw a long line of cold, sports enthusiasts waiting to get the first peak (and swag gift bags and prizes) at the City Sports flagship store located at 3338 M Street, NW.
The two story, 1000+ sq. ft. space is the 18th location for the City Sports group and offers shoppers not only fashionable and functional merchandise, but the opportunity to explore, learn and experience the various DC-based athletic activities and groups.
Given the current weather—SNOWOMG! Definitely hit up this City Sports, as it has all the outdoor, thermal underwear, winter boots, snow pants, puffy jackets, fuzzy sweaters, wool hats, Everest climbing gloves, you’ll ever need. Oh so, practical and oh so stylish!
Last week I reported that it was looking like Steve Strasburg’s MLB debut would be June 4. Well, it seems that I was wrong. The Nationals website reports that Strasburg will be starting between June 8 and June 10 in the Nats’ series against the Pirates. They haven’t said which game, exactly, but they plan on making that announcement a week before the actual day itself. If it makes you feel better, I bought pricey tickets to the June 4 game. Oh well. I guess I’ll just have nice seats when they take on the Reds.
As I exited the Verizon Center this evening, I saw a few things that spoke to what I had just witnessed. Dejected Caps fans covered their Ovechkin jerseys with jackets and pull overs. I walked past a sign showing a basset hound with its ears held out straight; “SURPRISED?” it asked. Frankly, yes. Surprised, shocked, slightly embarrassed; the Caps, the best team in the NHL, had just been defeated by a number eight seed in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. How did it happen? I’m sure there a dozen perspectives. Mine is that the Caps never quite figured out how to get inside the Canadien’s defense and play the net. Continue reading →
Thank you so much to every one who trekked out in the rain last night. Our small group certainly made a large dent in what turned out to be the least attended game in the National’s Park’s history… But the sparsely populated ballpark also made for a great playground for the Let Teddy Win group. After a great tour of the stadium, including a trip up to the press box and views of private suites and the Diamond Club, we headed back to our seats for presidential race trivia and prizes. And we were there at the finish line when Teddy’s umbrella slowed him down to a near halt, letting Abe pull into the lead.
Perhaps this is a silly prejudice, but I feel like hockey teams from warm places have something to prove. I know, I know, hockey teams don’t recruit from their localities and, like every other professional athlete, hockey players go to where the money is, but it doesn’t change the fact that I expect less from a hockey team from Arizona. If the Phoenix Coyotes did have anything to prove, they’re certainly doing it this year. With an impressive record, they came to DC, last night, as a very real threat to the Capitals five game winning streak.
The Capitals, with their aforementioned win streak and Ovechkin’s impressive scoring record, were definitely the team to beat and the Coyotes were determined to cut them down to size. The game opened with Phoenix playing aggressively and keeping the puck near the Capitals goal for most of the 1st period. The Caps looked a bit tentative, early on, but managed to take advantage of their first power play, with Brooks Laich to scoring in the opening minutes. The Coyotes answered in the 13th minute of the period, tying game. Continue reading →
In addition to the trade to the Yankees for Brian Burney, the Nats signed catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez to a 2-year, $6M deal to backup Jesus Flores. From what they’re saying so far, Pudge will be Crash Davis for the Nationals, tending to the young pitchers and leading Jesus Flores toward stardom. The price, in addition to his salary, is likely the release or trade of Wil Nieves (Who? Wil Nieves!) as he’s the third catcher on the Nats’ 40-man roster.
Hard to tell right now if this is an upgrade. Pudge had his worst season ever, and so we’re now paying him twice as much as he made last year. That part doesn’t seem to be as wise a deal.
Look for more moves from the Nats as the winter meetings continue.
The Wizards kick off their season tonight in Dallas against Mark Cuban’s Mavericks. While it seems the Wiz will wait even longer for the holy trinity of Arenas/Jamison/Butler to be united, but since we’ve been waiting since 2007, anyhow, so what’s another 3-5 weeks? This will also mark the Washington debut of coach Flip Saunders, who took over at the helm during the off-season. Saunders’ past success with Detroit and Minnesota make him a candidate to lead the turn-around for the Wizards, but much is dependent at this point on getting everyone healthy and keeping them that way.
The Wizards start of with a brutal first fifteen games. Four of their first five opponents made the playoffs this year, and they’ll be down Antawn Jamison until mid November at the earliest. It’s not exactly the sort of situation you want a team that has so much to prove to be in so early in the season. This is the kind of stretch you want to see much later in the year, once the engine’s running on all cylinders. But, if Saunders can keep the keel even, and can come out of that first fifteen with six or seven wins, then I’d say there’s a fair chance the Wizards might be back to their earlier form. Don’t hold your breath.
Tipoff’s at 8:30 tonight, and the game’s on Comcast Sports Net.
What a night for the hometown team. The Redskins lost to the Philadelphia Eagles by a score of 27-17 in an absolutely miserable performance. You may be thinking “10 points isn’t that bad,” but, I’ll remind you that half of the Eagles team is injured and that they lost to the Oakland Raiders, last week. It’s bad. Where to start with this? The offense, while making a few clutch plays (hence the 17 points), had 3 turn-overs, one of which resulted in a touchdown for the Eagles. The line allowed Campbell to be sacked 6 times, oh, and Chris Cooley broke his ankle. Things are not looking good. On the defensive side, no one seemed to be able to stop Desean Jackson, who scored two touchdowns, one on a huge run and the other on a huge reception. All in all, the Skins looked par for the course for this season. The front office’s decision to mute Jim Zorn obviously had no positive effect on the play calling and the Redskins show no sign of improvement. Honestly, get used to losing.
The inaugural season of the Washington Kastles, DC’s very own World TeamTennis team, was wildly successful, selling 94% of their seats and all of their boxes, an amazing feat by any standards. In response to this great demand, their second season proves to be even bigger and better. The Kastles Stadium (currently under construction) will again be located in the heart of downtown on the corner of 11th & H Streets NW, will be expanded to nearly 3,000 seats, and will also host an additional “marquee player game” as well as the WTT Championship Finals. The icing on the cake however is the addition of their new head coach, ex pro and TV personality, Murphy Jensen.
I had a chance to sit down with Jensen to discuss what he hopes to bring to the team this season. If you know anything about Murphy and his exuberant, gung ho personality, it may come as no surprise that interviewing him was like herding cats. Cats on a Red Bull diet. What I’d imagined to be a well executed, fifteen minute set of questions and answers, turned into an hour long chat with one of the most high energy individuals I’ve ever met. During our conversation we covered topics ranging from his excitement to be a part of the Kastles, his comedy travel show Murphy’s Guide, his advice on shaving your head, the first time he drove a Porsche, playing tennis with “41″, and of course what he loves about DC. Many of his responses were as if they came from a politician in that they were long-winded and never really answered my question, but in the end I left the Kastles office thinking to myself, “That is one awesome dude.”
Big night for Sergei Fedorov, who put in a beautiful goal with just 5 minutes remaining in the 3rd to sink to the Rangers and send the Caps onward to the 2nd round of the NHL Playoffs for the first time since 1998. I’m not sure what exactly Coach said to the Caps in the 2nd intermission, but I suspect it was the kind of pep talk that involved biting the head off a bat or something.
Looks like we’ll be facing the Pens in the second round. Sorry Ben Rome, your boys are going DOWN!