Caps victorious in game one of round two with Oshie’s hat trick

April 29th, 2016

After coming off a 4-2 series win against the Philadelphia Flyers in the National Hockey League playoffs, the second round pits the Capitals against the red hot Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins won its first round series 4-1 against the New York Rangers.

The Capitals played Game 1 at the Verizon Center Thursday, April 28, and it was a back-and-forth game. Thirteen seconds after the first intermission, the game was 1-0 Capitals, thanks to wing André Burakovsky. Then Pittsburgh defenseman Ben Lovejoy scored halfway into the second period. Next, Penguin center Evgeni Malkin scored at 11:37 in the second period. The tide seemed to have changed, but right wing T.J Oshie evened the score at 12:10.
The second period ended 2-2, however Oshie wasn’t done yet. He scored to pull the Caps ahead at 3:23 in the third. The Caps had the lead back but it didn’t last long with Penguin center Nick Bonino tying the game up. The game reached the end of regulation and headed into overtime.
As the overtime neared the halfway point, Oshie was on the right side of Penguin goalie Marc-Andre Fleury with possession of the puck. Oshie transitioned from one side of the goal behind the goalie and scored in the lower left section at 9:33. Oshie’s hat trick won the Game 1 of the Stanley Cup second round series.
Moving forward, fans hope the Caps keep that winning momentum. However, heading into Game 2, Alex Ovechkin, who is at the top of the “goals scored” leaderboard, has not scored since April 18 in Game 3 of the first round. Fans hope he can get back into his groove as the next game is Saturday, April 30, 8 p.m., at the Verizon Center.

Harper’s personal milestone makes MLB history

April 15th, 2016

April 14, the Washington Nationals (6-1) were going against the Atlanta Braves (0-8). This game meant a lot for Bryce Harper since he was just one home run away from a milestone of 100 home runs. In the bottom of the third inning with two out, he hit a grand slam off Julio Teheran.

Elias Sports Bureau reports, “Harper is the first player in major-league history whose first career grand slam and his 100th career homer came on the same swing.” Harper is the eighth youngest player to hit his 100th home run.

The Washington Nationals won this game 6-2, sweeping a four-game home stand against the Braves and sending them back to Atlanta with an 0-9 record. As of April 14, The Washington Nationals are leading the NL East on a five game winning streak.

 

In other April 14 sports news Caps take Game One of the first round of NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

April 14, The Washington Capitals played its first playoff game against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Verizon Center. The Capitals won 2-0 with one goal from John Carllson on a power play in the second period and Jay Beagle in the third period. Goaltender Braden Holtby topped another shutout. The Caps are up 1-0 in the series and Game Two of the best of seven series is at the Verizon Center Saturday at 7 p.m. before heading to Philadelphia for Games Three and Four.

Upsets Abound in NCAA Men’s Basketball Tourney

March 25th, 2016

 

As well as a team may play in the regular season, even if its winning ends in a great seed position in March Madness, an upset is always possible on the basketball court. There can be Cinderella stories and miracles launched by upsets. Before March Madness commenced, 64 men’s teams entered the four bracket challenges. Experts said one of these five teams was likely to win it all: Michigan State, Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, and Oklahoma.

Middle Tennessee kicked Michigan State out in The Big Dance, the first round of games for all 64 teams. Indiana beat Kentucky in the second round. Kansas faces hometown favorite Maryland in the Sweet Sixteen March 24, North Carolina faces bracket buster Indiana in the Sweet Sixteen March 25. Oklahoma has avoided getting knocked out by a spoiler, but they play No. 3 seed Texas A&M in the Sweet Sixteen.

The most interesting part about this year’s March Madness is that there may be no perfect brackets after March 25. Even before the Sweet Sixteen, eliminations were dramatic. Middle Tennessee, a No. 15 seed, eliminated number two Michigan State, Stephen F. Austin University (SFA), seeded No. 14, beat No. 3 seed West Virginia and lucky 13 seed Hawaii knocked out No. 4 seed California. These unexpected losses all happened on the second day of the first round. This was the first time in men’s NCAA tourney history that the No. 13, No. 14, and No. 15 seed won on the same day.

The Steven F. Austin Lumberjacks played remarkably in their third straight time heading back to the Big Dance. They did it in style against West Virginia. Next, they lost against Notre Dame in a heartbreaker. The game was decided 76-75 by a tip-in basket that Notre Dame made with less than two seconds left on the clock.

The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders victory over Michigan State marked the eighth time that the No. 2 seed was upset by a No. 15 since the NCAA tourney has expanded to 64 teams in 1985. The last upset like this was in the 2013 NCAA Tourney when No. 2 seed Georgetown lost to Florida Gulf Coast. The Blue Raiders didn’t really have a glass slipper in the next round. Once Syracuse drew its top player Jaqawn Raymond into foul trouble and locked into its powerful zone defense, the Orange crushed the Blue Raiders’ Cinderella dream.

Maybe Syracuse deserved better than its No. 10 seed. While the team struggled throughout the regular season with a conference record barely above .500, it had a decent overall record of 19-13. The program is recovering form a nine-game suspension of Coach Jim Boeheim imposed by the NCAA in March 2015. However, Syracuse had many good wins against Top 25 teams this year which could be the reason for its seeding in the top ten. Syracuse will face No. 11 seed, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, in the Sweet Sixteen.

The No. 5 seed Maryland did what No. 4 seed California couldn’t. In the first round, Maryland defeated South Dakota State 79-74 off a steal by former Duke star Rasheed Solumon. In the second round, the Terps knocked out Hawaii, 73-60, and notched some impressive NCAA stats. Maybe The Turtle should be fitted for glass slippers. However, they are going against the Kansas Jayhawks, the best number one seed in the tourney. A win against Kansas might be a miracle since Terps coach Mike Turgeon was an assistant coach under Jayhawks coach Roy Williams from 1987-1992. When Turgeon coached for Texas A&M (2007 to 2011) his teams were 0-6 against the Jayhawks.

Although, The biggest bracket buster was No. 2 seed Michigan State being eliminated by No. 15 seed Middle Tennessee was the biggest concern for many people who filled in their brackets. This was a concern because many people had their brackets favoring Michigan State to win it all.

Continuing though March Madness the upsets will pile up and your bracket will get closer to being busted whether you are competing in a bracket challenge or playing against your friends. Anything can happen in March Madness, so you will just have to wait until Final Four round comes. The huge aspect is that you may get a Final Four win or guess the national champ correctly. As the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight arrive, getting any matches right is huge.

Will Walde, 16, is a junior at the Lab School of Washington in the District of Columbia.

Please note: this blog entry should be dated March 24, 3:00 p.m.

Griffey, Piazza, very different as draft picks, achieve highest honor

March 3rd, 2016

The game of baseball’s best players often go to the Hall of Fame, but MLB might not have seen their potential at first. The Seattle Mariners picked Ken Griffey in the first round and first overall pick of the 1987 draft. However, the Los Angeles Dodgers picked Mike Piazza in the 62nd round as the 1,390th pick in the 1988 draft. During that draft there were 1,433 picks and 97 percent of the players were picked before him. Jan. 6th, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., announced its 2016 class of honorees: Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza. They join players voted in by the Baseball Writers Association of America since 1936.

The voting procedure considers baseball players who played in the majors for over 15 seasons. Five years must go by after a player’s retirement announcement before he can be eligible for the vote. Members of the BBWAA can votes on eligible players. The BBWAA does the voting and decides who goes into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Griffey is the first ballot-winner to get 99.32 percent of the votes approaching unanimous selection. Previously, the highest percentage was for Tom Seaver’s 98.84. Seaver is in the 1992 Class. Both Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza played in the MLB for over a span of 15 years. Ken Griffey Jr. played in the Major league Baseball as an outfielder (MLB) for 21 seasons. He was drafted in the first round by the Seattle Mariners in 1987. His MLB debut was April 3, 1989. During his debut he made a line drive double and one week later he made his first home run. He played for the Seattle Mariners from 1989-1999 and then he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds his hometown city. The reason he wanted to go back to play his hometown team was because of golfer Payne Stewart who died in a plane crash on October 25, 1999. He played for the Reds until 2008 and then he was traded to the Seattle Mariners for the last couple seasons of his professional career. After the 2010 season, he retired from the MLB with some records that still stand, and accomplishments that made Griffey Jr. a good player.

Mike Piazza played in the MLB as a catcher for sixteen season under multiple teams. He played for Dodgers, Marlins, Mets, Padres, and Athletics. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988 and made his debut during September 1, 1992 and eleven days later he made his first home run. He played for the Dodger until 1998. During the first month of the 1998 MLB season the Los Angeles Dodgers traded him to the Florida Marlins. One week later he was traded to the New York Mets. He help the team during the 1999 and 2000 season making the playoffs. Especially, during the 2000 season the Mets made it to the World Series and it was known as the “Subway Series”. The Yankees won the World Series four to one. Before the 2005 season ended, the last game he wore a Mets uniform he had a standing ovation at Shea stadium. Piazza parted ways with the Mets when his seven-year contract expired. During the offseason as a free agent, the San Diego Padres signed him to a one year contract for the 2006 MLB season. After the 2006 season he was a free agent again and he was signed to a one year contract with the Oakland Athletics. After the 2007 MLB season, he announced that he was retiring from the Major Baseball League. The Hall of Fame ceremony will be held on July 24, 2016 at Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. The MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred will be presiding the awards to Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza.

Will Walde, 16, is a junior at the Lab School of Washington in the District of Columbia.

 

NHL is villain as fan support boosts John Scott to All-Star MVP

February 12th, 2016

John Scott, a defenseman who had previously only scored five goals in his eight-year NHL career, is the 2016 All-Star most valuable player. Fans voted for him as MVP after Scott scored two goals during the All-Star Game in Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 31.

On the way, the Pacific Division won the All-Star Game.

In an interview with Canada’s SportsNet Jan. 29, Scott said that he understood that being voted onto the all-star roster by fans “started as a farce” by a blogger. The campaign quickly gained momentum. Not only did he make the roster, but the fan-voted player was automatically the captain for the division team.

Scott says he was asked to bow out of the All-Star Game by the Arizona Coyotes (his team at time) and by the NHL. Then Scott says that an NHL representative asked, “Do you think this is something your kids would be proud of?” That question finalized Scotts’ decision. He decided that he would still play in the game anyway whether or not the Coyote management or the NHL liked it.

Shortly after his decision, Scott was traded from the Coyotes to the Montreal Canadiens – and promptly sent down to the AHL affiliate the St. John’s (Newfoundland) Ice Caps, therefore looking like he was ineligible for the All-Star Game.

What makes the NHL the bad guys in this situation is that it made John Scott and his wife who is expecting twins and their two daughters go across the continent. It displaced the Scotts’ life in Arizona. It sent him to the minors. All this for a meaningless set of 3-on-3 20-minute games in a tournament that was supposed to be fun for everyone.

But the internet was persistent, they constantly heckled the NHL over social media in the days that followed. The NHL, perhaps in full damage-control mode, perhaps out of the kindness of its heart, allowed Scott to still play in the Honda All-Star Game in Nashville. Sott scored twice and won All Star Game MVP.

John Scott shares his long strange career and his even stranger route to Nashville in The Players’ Tribune. YDC calls it recommended reading: http://www.theplayerstribune.com/a-guy-like-me/

Evgeny Kuzenetsov leads Capitals in points at the quarter mark

December 14th, 2015

Washington Capitals (10/7 to 12/7) Recap.

The Washington Capitals have exceeded their fans’ high expectations and have achieved 37 points in 24 games for the third place in the NHL.

Evgeny Kuznetsov leads the team in total points with eight goals and 18 assists. He has become the breakout success of the team.

Alex Ovechkin is on a slower pace than normal for him. But he’s still great compared to the rest of the league. As of Dec 7, he has 12 goals and 11 assists on the season.

T.J. Oshie is proving his worth with his new club after the Caps traded Troy Brower to the St. Louis Blues for him in the offseason. Oshie has scored eight goals and logged six assists.

Seven Capitals players are on pace to score 20 or more goals this season:
Evgeny Kuzenetsov
Alex Ovechkin
Nicklas Backstrom
Justin Williams
Jason Chimera
T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson

Over the summer goalie Braden Holtby entered free agency, but the Caps spent $30.5million to keep him for five years. He is proving to be worth the big money. His stats to date include 16 wins, five losses, and a .93 save percentage.

The Capitals have also been gaining a lot of their points from the blue line players this season. John Carlson has lead the way in defensive scoring for the season with four goals and 14 assists and is the team’s fourth highest scorer behind Backstrom, Ovechkin and Kuznetsov.

The Capitals look to continue the trend of success they’ve had as they take the ice Dec. 8 to host the Detroit Red Wings.