Saturday, May 16, 2009

Turning My Attention to D.C. United

What, you thought losing baseball was more interesting than the MLS Eastern Conference top seed? You're wrong. Sorry you had to find out this way.

D.C. looks to add to their already crowded trophy case by qualifying into the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. They won the Cup last year, a highlight in an otherwise disappointing season, and now they're looking for a repeat. Unfortunately there's no automatic bid for last year's champion, so D.C. is working to play their way in.

United faces off against the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday (May 20), and the winner is in the tournament. I'll be there covering the game and if the press box's wireless allows I'll have twitter updates at

Thursday, May 14, 2009

DC Sports Box: Game 7 recap

It was a tough game to watch, and I can assure you it was an equally tough recap to write. The Caps got outplayed in every facet (except goaltending until Wednesday) for much of the series, and that's why they're heading to the offseason and the Penguins are heading to the Eastern Conference Finals for a second straight year. And all I keep thinking is, "I can't believe that same Capitals vs. Penguins playoff script played out again." My recap is at DC Sports Box:
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Washington may have been a city in denial for much of the Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sure, the Capitals were getting outshot in every game and outworked in most, and they never seemed to be able to put together a full 60 minutes of solid effort, but somehow they had found a way to get to a Game Seven on home ice.

At worst, it seemed, Game Seven provided a coin flip: even odds that the Caps could come away with one more win and reach the Eastern Conference Finals for the third time in franchise history. After all, the series had been unbelievably close on the scoreboard for six games. Three of those games required overtime, and the Penguins were outscoring the Caps in the series by only one goal.

But those watching every game must have known, even if they didn't want to admit, that the Penguins were controlling too much of the play, putting too many shots on net and drawing too many penalties. Over the first six games, the Penguins outshot the Caps by 66 and had 11 more power plays, both signs that Pittsburgh was dictating the play even though the results weren't making that obvious.

In Wednesday night's Game Seven, the results did make that obvious.
Read the rest (with lots of depressing player quotes) at

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Caps-Penguins Game 3 Recap...

Not that you want to read more about that game, but my article is up at DC Sports Box:
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Capitals goalie Simeon Varlamov stopped shots from every angle imaginable to keep his team in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Wednesday night, but it was a deflection off his own player in overtime that did the Caps in.

Varlamov had already stopped 39 of 41 Penguins shots through 60 minutes of regulation and 11-plus of overtime when Pittsburgh won an offensive zone faceoff back to the blue line and defenseman Kris Letang fired a slap shot on net. The puck deflected off of Caps defender Shaone Morrisonn's leg, came up and clipped Varlamov's left side before finding its way just inside the goal post, sending the white-clad Pittsburgh crowd into a relieved frenzy knowing the Penguins had avoided falling into a near-insurmountable 3-0 hole in the series.

Instead, Pittsburgh now trails 2-1 and has the opportunity to knot the series up on Friday night with another home game.
Read the rest at

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Recap: Caps vs. Penguins Game 2

My recap of Capitals-Penguins Game 2 is up at DC Sports Box.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – For anyone who was concerned that the Alex Ovechkin versus Sidney Crosby matchup in the Eastern Conference Semifinal series couldn't possibly live up to the hype and anticipation: You've been served notice.

Both young superstars scored hat tricks in Monday night's Game Two between the Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins, but only Washington could claim victory. With a 4-3 win, the Caps will take a 2-0 series lead to Pittsburgh for Games Three and Four.

"It was a battle of the two best players in the league tonight," Caps defenseman Mike Green said in the locker room after the game. "Sidney [Crosby] played outstanding. It's incredible how good he is around the net and ... he was carrying his team, but tonight we had the top gun."
Read the rest at

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Beltway Sports Beat is on Twitter

That's right, kids! I'm only a year late to the party.

Follow me: BeltwaySports

You can also see my last five tweets in the widget on the right side of this blog.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Caps-Penguins Previews: Article and Podcast

The preview that my fellow DC Sports Box beat writers and I wrote for the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals between the Caps and Penguins is now available online. Check it out here.

I think we have some interesting stuff on Ovechkin vs. Crosby, some of the matchups that AREN'T Ovechkin vs. Crosby, and the goaltending for both teams.

Once you're done with that, click over to the preview podcast. We've set an important standard with this one: that we're not going to re-record a whole podcast just because we keep flubbing Simeon Varlamov's name. That's right, my co-host, Abram Fox, and I are willing to make sacrifices. Namely, sacrificing quality for our own sanity.