The more minutes we come across…

Everyone has voiced their opinion about the NBA and resting players. It’s a touchy subject. The old school is saying the new class is weak, not to mention the science and trainers are pushing coaches to rest players. Really, the issue is the season is so long, it’s natural to try and find way to fight fatigue. If you want your team to perform come playoffs, sacrifices need to be made. There are plenty of ways to keep teams fresh and competition at a higher level, but let’s be honest…none are easier than resting a player.

Enter the NHL. Just like the NBA, the NHL has 82 games a season. Coach Barry Trotz has been “resting” his top line for most of the season. Yes, I am aware that playing 17 minutes instead of 19 is not the same as sitting a star player during a marquee primetime matchup, but the concept is the same.

The Washington Capitals are getting ready to fight it out for first place and secure 1st place in the Metropolitan division. Thankfully our coach had the foresight to rest his stars. Consideri the month of March; Ovechkin, Backstrom and Oshie are logging more than 19 minutes per game. This may not seem like a lot from their average of 18.30/game but it’s making a difference. Each one of those guys has been hitting the ice harder and their productivity and skills are shining through.

Tonight’s game versus the Blue Jackets is a pivotal Metro division clash. Entering Thursday’s games, the Caps have 102 points, the Penguins with 101 and Jackets clocking in with 100. A win tonight will give us some much needed breathing room. It would also help eith that whole playoff seeding format. A win tonight would help ensure dont face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round. If you’re familiar with the Caps, you know we don’t like the penguins come playoff time.

Tonight’s game will be 4 out of 5 between the two teams. Last game we snapped the Blue Jackets 16-game win streak. Translation — tonight’s game won’t be a walk in the park. A division rival, a close playoff race, a bad taste in Columbus’ mouth, all with one more matchup come April 2. Thankfully our coach rested our players and can now play more minutes in these important games.

 

A big day for DC

Washington DC has a lot going on right now in the world of sports. Aside from the Nationals, every team has something noteworthy going on. Lets dive right into it and break it down.

Redskins:

The Redskins finally tagged Kirk Cousins. Some people were surprised it happened essentially a day before the deadline, some are surprised it was an exclusive tag. If you don’t know the difference between a franchise tag and an exclusive tag, it just means the Redskins earned themselves just a tiny bit of control. The major question now is what happens next? Can they turn this into a long term deal?  My belief is that the exclusive tag was the only move possible. San Francisco was not going to give up two first round picks, and really they shouldn’t have. They could essentially wait it out and see if they can get Cousins next year for even less. So no sweetheart deal was coming our way. Cousins bet on himself and won. If the Redskins are ever going to DEFEAT THE CURSE they need to get Kirk to commit to a long term deal now before he has yet another productive year and we get put between yet another rock and hard place next off season.

Capitals:

The Capitals can smell the silver polish of the Stanley Cup. They salivate at the idea of skating around the rink and hoisting up that massive trophy. They define success by the simple phrase their GM Brian MacLellan was quoted saying: “Winning a championship”. Enter Kevin Shattenkirk. Easily the biggest fish available at the 2017 NHL trade deadline. The Caps paid a premium, took a risk, and won out in a bidding war with the Pittsburgh Penguins to bring in one of the best puck-moving defensemen available. Why is this move so huge? The core is shifting. Alex Ovechkin is closer to the end of his career and on his way down. The Caps most likely won’t be able to retain TJ Oshie AND Karl Alzner. Its simple, the Capitals have the best team in hockey by a large margin right now, but that can all change next year. Hopefully this move will catapult us back into the Stanley Cup playoffs and allow our whole city to smell that damn silver polish.

Wizards:

The Wizards will face the Warriors tonight. Steph Curry went 0-11 from the 3 point range last night. That was not a typo, Steph Curry tanked all this 3-point attempts. This does not bode well for a Wizards team that lost their last two games and have had a slow start since the break. Tonight will be a true representation of where this team stands and will magnify any glaring weaknesses we have. It’s no mystery we need help off the bench, especially at PG so that Wall can get quality resting minutes. Maybe we bring in Brandon Jennings, who as of this post, has given a verbal agreement with DC. The goal tonight will be to stay sharp on defense, not to turn over the ball and to hope and pray that Steph is off his game yet again. Typically, that doesn’t happen. Lucky for us fans, the Wiz tend to play up to their opponents and impress in the phonebooth. #FilltheBooth