Capitals

After a party, Usain Bolt gets into car accident

503540.jpg

After a party, Usain Bolt gets into car accident

From Comcast SportsNet
KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) -- Usain Bolt was involved in a minor car crash shortly before dawn Sunday in his Caribbean homeland of Jamaica but was not hurt, according to the publicist for the world's fastest man. Carole Beckford said the three-time Olympic champion was returning from a party with friends in the early hours Sunday when he was involved in a "fender bender" in Jamaica's capital of Kingston. "There were no injuries at all. He is fine and resting at home," Beckford told The Associated Press in Jamaica. Police in the Half-Way-Tree area where the accident took place say they are still investigating, but it appears that the sprinting champ somehow lost control of his black BMW and swerved into guard rails shortly after 5 a.m. local time. Fellow Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell was traveling in another car at the time and was at the scene of Bolt's accident. "My friend and countryman (Bolt) is ok after a fender bender," Powell's Twitter account said Sunday morning. Powell's Twitter feed dispelled rumors that he was also hurt: "Contrary to the news, I was in another car." Bolt and Powell had just returned to Jamaica after competing at the Diamond League meet in Norway. At that meet, Bolt recovered from a poor start to win the 100 meters in 9.79 seconds, beating Powell by 0.06 seconds. Bolt remains undefeated this year. The Jamaican star hasn't lost since failing to defend his title in the 2011 world championships in South Korea after being disqualified in the final for a false start. It's not the first time Bolt has been in a worrying car crash in Jamaica. In 2009, Bolt crashed a BMW into a ditch along a highway. He required minor surgery on his left foot after stepping onto thorns while getting out of the wreckage. A month after the accident, Bolt told reporters: "After something like that you look at life through and over, and look at what has gone wrong -- where you should improve or should be careful." Bolt's coaches could not be reached for comment Sunday. Beckford said she would release further details when they became available. Bolt emerged as a global superstar after his stellar 2008 performance at the Beijing Games, where he became the first sprinter to set three world records in the same Olympics. He gave much of the credit for his 2008 renaissance to his willingness to act the part -- to stop the late-night partying, which he conceded could be over the top, and spend more time in the gym. The news of Bolt's car accident worried his fans in Jamaica, where the charismatic athlete is regarded as a national treasure. "?He should be more careful on the roads," said Rashalee Mitchell, an assistant lecturer at Jamaica's University of the West Indies. "Jamaica cannot afford to lose a precious athletic gem as Lightning Bolt.'"

Quick Links

Nicklas Backstrom is trying really hard not to get frustrated with lack of goals

usatsi_10423605.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Nicklas Backstrom is trying really hard not to get frustrated with lack of goals

Nicklas Backstrom has made a career out of setting up other players, but what many forget is that he is a pretty darn good scorer in his own right. Just not these days.

Backstrom had three goals in the first six games of the season, but since then he has been held scoreless. His last goal game on Oct. 14 against the Philadelphia Flyers.

RELATED: LISTEN TO THE LATEST CAPITALS EXTRA PODCAST ON THE CAPS' WIN OVER MINNESOTA!

Offense, in general, has been hard to come by for the veteran center who also underwent a career-long seven-game pointless streak.

While Backstrom has managed to get back on the score sheet with three assists in his last five games, he still can’t seem to get a goal.

“Obviously you want to score,” Backstrom said. “That's a no brainer, but at the same time you've just got to stick with it. I mean, at least I created chances tonight.”

While the goals may not be there, however, the chances are. For Barry Trotz, that’s an encouraging sign.

“Backy was on the bench, I gave him a little tap I said you know the hockey gods will even that out,” Trotz said. “You probably could have had three tonight and he'll probably get one of those leaky lizards go through the legs or through the arms and one from a bad angle. They'll even it out for him.”

MORE CAPITALS: OVECHKIN GETS STITCHES AFTER GETTING HIT BY PUCK, BUT REMAINS INDESTRUCTIBLE

With Backstrom taking on a more defensive shutdown role this season, his offensive numbers have taken a hit. The Capitals, however, do not have the same scoring depth as in recent years and need Backstrom, still arguably their best center, to produce offensively in order to be successful. He is just too good of a player to not produce.

But given his recent play, Trotz is not all that concerned and believes the goals are coming. Backstrom seems to agree.

“The sun goes up the next day anyway even if I don't score,” he said, “So you've just got to stick with it, work hard and hopefully you'll get rewarded.”

Quick Links

Need to Know: Key for the Redskins—No mistakes

cousins_vs_min_2_usat.png
USA TODAY Sports

Need to Know: Key for the Redskins—No mistakes

NEW ORLEANS—Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, November 19, four days before the Washington Redskins play the New York Giants on Thanksgiving Day at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins kickoff, noon, NBC Sports Washington; Redskins @ Saints, 1 p.m., FOX

Days until:

—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 11
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 21
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 28

Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Saints

Will the Redskins commit to running the ball? Some of you will answer with a kneejerk “no” because they don’t think that Jay Gruden will do that. But just look back at the Rams and Raiders games, when they ran 39 and 34 times, respectively. If running is even moderately effective and if the score remains in a range where the Redskins can play ball control, Gruden is more than happy to let Kirk Cousins had the ball off. The Saints defense allows 4.7 yards per carry, 30th in the NFL so the effectiveness aspect should allow for running. Can the Redskins defense keep a cap on Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, and Mark Ingram long enough for Gruden to be able to stick with the run?

The Chris Thompson factor—Whether he is taking handoffs or catching passes, Thompson’s productivity has been a key for the Redskins. He averages 61 yards from scrimmage in their losses and 116 yards in their wins. Earlier in the season it was Trent Williams and Brandon Scherff getting out in front of Thompson on outside zone runs and screen passes. While they were out of the lineup, Thompson was largely stuck in the mud. With both back, maybe he can get some traction in the Superdome.

Can’t afford mistakes—Like most teams who lead their divisions, the Saints are very opportunistic when it comes to takeaways. They don’t have a large number of them, 13 (13th in the NFL), but they are taking advantage. They have scored eight touchdowns after turnovers, with two pick-sixes, a scoop and score after a fumble, and five TD drives. Kirk Cousins can’t afford to make a mistake, especially in his own territory.

Prediction—It’s not impossible to paint a picture where the Redskins win this game. But it would take something like we saw in Seattle, with some mistakes by the Saints (equivalent to the three missed Seahawks field goals) combined with a dash of late magic could get them past the Saints. The Redskins are 7-1 in the Superdome and Drew Brees has a career passer rating of 70.5 with eight touchdowns and 11 interceptions against Washington. Of course, many of the players responsible for those numbers have long since retired. But the reality is that the Saints are playing better than the Redskins and they’re at home. That means that the home team is likely to win.

Saints 31, Redskins 21

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it