April 19, 2014

Washington Capitals Game 24 Recap: Rangers dominate and down Caps 4-1

After a rough loss against the other New York team, the Islanders, on Saturday, the Caps returned home to take on the New York Rangers but were not able to spring forward in the standings losing 4-1.

The New York Rangers decided to take a conservative approach and went with their backup netminder Marty Biron between the pipes for Sunday’s matinee. Despite his steady presence in the backup role, he was fooled early on a shot from the point just two minutes into the game. Capitals defenseman Steve Olesky fired a shot from the right point and passed Biron to give the Capitals an early 1-0 and gave Olesky his first NHL goal. [Read more...]

Washington Wizards Game 60 Wrap: Deron Williams and Brooklyn Nets dominate Wizards 95-78

If you were tuning in to see whether the Washington Wizards continued their impressive winning ways you are going to be disappointed as the Brooklyn Nets dominated them 95-78 in New York.

Nothing quite sums up just how bad this game was than the fact that Brooklyn’s Deron Williams broke the record for three-pointers in a half by hitting nine leading the Nets in scoring. At one point at the start of the second half Williams had as many points, 33, as the entire Wizards. At one point, Williams was the only player to hit a three in the entire game, until Washington’s Martell Webster hit one at the start of the second half. [Read more...]

Washington Capitals Game 20 Wrap: Capitals come back, down Bruins in OT

An old friend who returned home this season, Eric Fehr, lifted the Washington Capitals to a miraculous 4-3 comeback win to down the Boston Bruins in overtime on Tuesday in the Verizon Center.

Looking to build off of a commanding 3-0 win over the division rival Winnipeg Jets on Saturday, the Caps welcomed the Bruins to the Verizon center. One of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, Boston entered Tuesdays matchup sitting on top of their division and in second place in the Conference.

The first period was all Bruins and they started to take control of the game early on. With just over six and a half minutes gone by in the first, Boston went to the penalty kill. While defending their net on the disadvantage, Brad Marchand took a breakaway in on Washington netminder Braden Holtby. Alexander Ovechkin, playing the point on the powerplay, was unable to catch up to him and hooked him. Marchand was awarded a penalty shot and scored to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.  [Read more...]

Washington Wizards Game Wrap 58: Wizards down 76ers late, lose Bradley Beal to injury

Even though John Wall stole the show for the Washington Wizards with a huge bucket to seal a 90-87 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, the long-term story of the game is the loss of rookie Bradley Beal.

The Wizards’ rookie franchise single season three-point recorder holder went down with little contact in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter and did not return to the game. Scoring 14 points in the game, Beal is a key-cog in the Wizards’ plans. [Read more...]

Washington Wizards Game Wrap 56: Wizards throw away victory in 96-95 loss to the Pistons

The Washington Wizards’ winning streak ended at three games, as they fell to the Detroit Pistons 96-95 for the fourth time this season, as the Wizards threw away the final possession which gave them a chance to hit a shot to win it.

Even with John Wall having probably one of his worst games of the season, the Wizards were able to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter and almost overcame what looked like an insurmountable Pistons lead, but their attempt fell just short, entirely to poor fundamentals.

“We were more caught up in ourselves as individuals than the team. That’s the bottom line. We got guys that, haven’t been in the rotation, complaining, the older guys try to help them and they wont listen and that just tells me I’m worried about myself, I’m not worried about winning this game,” Wizards Head Coach Randy Wittman said following the game. “Its my job to coach you and right now, tonight for whatever reason, it’s bizarre to me, they didn’t want to be coached.” [Read more...]

Washington Wizards Game 55 Wrap: Wizards extend winning streak to three games after downing Raptors

It may not have been pretty, but the Washington Wizards persevered through some tough shooting and poor offense to pull out their third win in a row with a 90-84 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Bradley Beal was the Wizards’ best shooter all night, scoring 20, but it was a tough night for both teams around the bucket. Both shot under 45 percent, with the Raptors shooting under 40 percent, to make for some less than thrilling basketball. Washington put three players in double-figures compared to Toronto who just had two players go over ten points. [Read more...]

Washington Wizards Game 54 Wrap: Win over Rockets shows glimpse of future

The Washington Wizards have looked like a different team since John Wall returned and with their second win in two nights over playoff bound Western Conference teams, Saturday night’s saw the Wizards beating the Houston Rockets 105-103, the NBA is getting a glimpse of what may be next year.

Even though Wall’s return has been the focal point for much of the season, Bradley Beal might be the brightest star on the team right now. Saturday night he showed why too with 21 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Even though he is just a rookie, Beal is showing a high-rate of improvement this year with his best games coming when Wall gives him the ball.

“I think he is playing big. He’s finding his comfort zone, the way he wants to play,” Wall said of Beal to reporters after the game. “He’s really maturing throughout every game he plays during his rookie season.”
[Read more...]

OPINION: Jordan Crawford’s days with Washington Wizards appear to be numbered

The end of Jordan Crawford’s days in a Washington Wizards jersey are coming and if people needed any proof, they can look at last night as the climax of an end to Crawford’s eventful stay in the Red, White and Blue.

With his posture on the bench defined as at a constant 45-degree angle, Crawford failed to stay engaged in what was happening on the floor, failed to even attempt to become apart of team huddles during timeouts and in my opinion looked like he was more interested in making sure his towel stayed in place than in determining how he could help his team win. Add his behavior during the game up with the fact he threw his jersey into the stands, stormed out of the locker room before media could arrive and his cryptic tweets and you get a perfect storm for an unhappy player who wants to be traded.

After the game, I asked Head Coach Randy Wittman for a comment on Crawford’s current status with the team.

“He’s like any of our other 14 guys, he’s got to stay with it, his opportunity is going to come again,” Wittman said following last night’s loss. ”Like any of the guys that doesn’t have the opportunity to play or be in the rotation, gotta be ready because it changes like that … [This season is too long] it is a test of your will and character and I look at those things when you’re building a team and who handles it the right way and who stays in it and stays ready.”

Clearly based on his posture alone, one could assume Crawford may not be handling it the right way. When pressed for more information, Wittman did not seem to want to discuss the matter more and said to me he didn’t see Crawford’s in game antics.

“Listen, I’m watching the game. You’re obviously not watching the game, you’re watching him. I can’t comment on that.”

With the trade deadline fast approaching and Crawford’s seeming lack of enthusiasm, it seems he could be a prime candidate to be moved. Sitting four points away from 2,000 and only playing limited minutes since he was pulled from a win over the Los Angeles Clippers, Crawford may not have a spot in the rotation. Wittman alluded to players with good attitudes getting second chances and based on Crawford’s current aura in front of the media, coupled with Wittman’s comments, it might be fair to say Crawford does not have that attitude.

The only players reportedly off limits are John Wall, Bradley Beal and Nene. Those are the pillars this organization is looking to build around and even though fans may have chanted for Crawford to enter the game last night, it does not appear there is room, at the guard spot at least, for him to play consistent minutes.

The biggest question for the Washington Wizards now may not be about whether Crawford can perform for them, but rather does anyone want him on their squad?

Listen here for audio of Wittman’s comments, courtesy of Sky Kerstein. His discussion of Crawford begins three-quarters of the way through the recording.

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Andrew Tomlinson is a Contributor to District Sports Page. He is a graduate of The American University and has experience covering the NCAA, WNBA, NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL.  Andrew is a former staff writer for On Frozen Blog, where he spent three years covering the ups-and-downs of the Washington Capitals. You can follow him on Twitter @drew_tomlinson.

Washington Capitals Game Game 15 Recap: Caps struggle on offense in 2-1 loss to Rangers

If it was not for the outstanding effort by Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, Sunday’s loss to the New York Rangers on the road would not have been close as the 2-1 score would indicate.

Holtby, Washington’s playoff hero last year, has struggled mightily this season but has played well enough to earn himself a string of starts. While he may not have tallied the win, he was challenged early and often by the Rangers facing 40 shots on goal and only let two in. He was clearly the best player on the ice for Washington, if only he could have helped them score too. [Read more...]

Washington Capitals Game 13 Recap: Brouwer caps comeback with OT winner

It’s been trying times for the Washington Capitals this season as they have struggled out of the gate in this lockout-shortened season with just three wins in their first 12 games. But a furious third period comeback from a two-goal deficit set up an overtime winner from Troy Brouwer to deliver the Caps a 6-5 OT win against the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, FL, the Caps second consecutive win over the Panthers.

The Caps (4-8-1, 9 points) got two late third period goals, from Eric Fehr and Alex Ovechkin, to force overtime, where Brouwer took a breakout pass from Nick Backstrom, drove past Panthers forward Steven Weiss down the right wing, and beat goalie Scott Clemmensen between the wickets for the game-winner. [Read more...]

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