Monday, October 23, 2006

Weekend In Review

Apparently the sporting world has decided it's OK to cheat, as this weekend Detroit Tigers pitcher Kenny Rogers was found using some foreign substance on his hand, for which he received no penalty, and former Maryland Terrapin and current San Diego Charger Shawne Merriman was suspended four games for failing a steroid test.

What frustrates me more than anything in these stories is the relative lack of outrage. Is it too much to ask that professional athletes not cheat? Apparently not.

Now if you'll allow me to dismount this high horse I'll get on to the local stuff...

D.C. United won 1-0 in the first leg of its first-round playoff series against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday afternoon. The second and final game of the series is set for Sunday at 6 p.m. at RFK Stadium, and all United needs is a draw to advance to the Eastern Conference finals.

MVP candidate Christian Gomez scored the only goal of the match on a sweet give-and-go from Jaime Moreno. Gomez got through the defense and chipped the ball over Red Bulls goalkeeper Jon Conway in the 77th minute.

When watching the game on TiVo I initially thought the shot missed and hit the outside of the net (which, thinking back, would have been almost impossible from where he was shooting). It was a fantastic shot.

The Maryland Terrapins avoided choking away a 20-point lead in their homecoming game on Saturday afternoon, holding on for a 26-20 victory over the N.C. State Wolfpack.

The Terps are now 5-2 (2-1 ACC) and are only one win away from bowl eligibility, although that may not be enough to actually get them into a bowl game.

N.C. State beat Florida State and Boston College at home earlier this season, which is a good sign because the Terps still have to face both of those teams (although BC will be in Boston).

The 'Noles come to College Park on Saturday for a 7 p.m. game.

Do I really need to comment on the Redskins? No? Good.

The Capitals lost, 6-4, to the Lightning on Saturday night despite two goals from Alexander Ovechkin (although you'll never convince me that the first shouldn't have been credited to Alexander Semin).

In the third period, coach Glen Hanlon played with the lines a little, moving center Jakub Klepis up to the second line to work with Semin and Richard Zednik, displacing Kris Beech who thought he was a good fit on that line.

Now it appears Hanlon will give Klepis a few games with Zednik and Semin to see if they can add some production.

Klepis has no points so far this season, compared to Beech's goal and four assists. Granted, Klepis has been playing on a line with Rico Fata and Donald Brashear.

The other concern, as JP on Japers' Rink pointed out, is that Beech is the fourth best faceoff man in the NHL, while Klepis has lost 60 percent of the faceoffs he's taken.

Ideally when you have two potential big-time scorers like Semin and Zednik on a line, you'd like to gain control of the puck as often as possible.

On a side note, how long can Zednik possibly go without a goal? It seems like he's constantly swarming around the puck, going hard into the corners, making plays and making strong moves to keep the puck in the face of tight pressure from opposing defensemen, yet he hasn't found the back of the net this season. It's only a matter of time.

The Caps start a four-game Western Conference road trip Wednesday when they take on the Avalanche at 9 p.m. Eastern.

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