Capitals

AP Source: Arizona fines Dockett '6 figures'

AP Source: Arizona fines Dockett '6 figures'

PHOENIX (AP) Arizona defensive tackle Darnell Dockett has received a ``six-figure'' fine from the Cardinals for his behavior in the waning seconds in a 7-6 loss to the New York Jets on Sunday, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed Friday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the punishment had not been made public. The exact size of the fine was not known and it was uncertain whether the punishment would impact Dockett's participation Sunday in Seattle.

Dockett refused to go along with a coach's directive to allow the Jets to score late in the game so the Cardinals could get the ball back and go for the tying touchdown.

He indicated in a tweet Friday night that he was appealing through the players' union.

``Thank God for the (at)nflpa,'' Dockett wrote, ``that's all I got to say... I ain't got no worries.''

The fine first was reported by XTRA-AM 910 sports talk show host and Cardinals reporter Mike Jurecki.

The punishment stems from a directive from the coaching staff to allow the Jets to score when they had the ball deep in Arizona territory in the final minutes. Dockett refused and got into a heated on-field argument with safety Kerry Rhodes about it.

The issue became moot when the Jets' Shonn Greene purposely downed the ball at the Arizona 1 and ran out the clock.

Defensive coordinator Ray Horton told reporters Friday that he was the one who suggested to coach Ken Whisenhunt that the Jets be allowed to score. Whisenhunt has declined to discuss the situation, calling it an internal matter.

The emotional confrontation between Dockett and Rhodes came as the team headed toward its eighth consecutive loss. The prospects that the team would score in the final seconds with no timeouts were obviously dim, because it was one of the Cardinals' worst offensive performances in franchise history. With Ryan Lindley making his second start, the Cardinals tied a franchise low with five first downs and were 0 for 15 on third-down conversions.

Whisenhunt refused to replace Lindley with John Skelton, who was benched three games earlier. But Skelton will return as starter against the Seahawks.

Dockett said earlier this week he had apologized to Rhodes and the two had agreed to move on. But Dockett emphatically said he had never quit in a game and never would.

``It's something that I don't believe in, something that I didn't understand,'' Dockett said then. ``It was frustrating at the time. At the end of the day, I am never, never going to lay down and quit. I've been playing football for over 20 years. I've given this organization, I've given Florida State, I've given my high school everything I've got. I love the game. I play with passion and I'll never quit.''

The emotional, 6-foot-4, 290-pound, 31-year-old lineman is in his ninth NFL season, all with Arizona. He made the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2009.

He earns $3.4 million this year on a contract that runs through 2015.

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Braden Holtby puts loss to Tampa solely on his own shoulders

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USA TODAY Sports

Braden Holtby puts loss to Tampa solely on his own shoulders

The mood in the Capitals locker room following a 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday was one of frustration. Forty minutes of strong play from Washington amounted to nothing because of a disastrous opening first period in which the Lightning jumped out to a 3-0 lead.

No one in the locker room was more frustrated than Braden Holtby.

"Obviously you don't want to go down three," he told reporters after the game. "That's on no one else but me. The third goal, especially the third, fourth goal, that's the difference in the game. I thought we played a really strong game against a really good team. We should have got a better result and that's on me why we didn't."

Tampa scored three goals in the first off of only eight shots. For the game, the Lightning managed to pierce Holtby four times off of only 19 shots.

RELATED: WHY THE CAPS LOST TO THE LIGHTNING

Frustration seemed to boil over on the fourth goal when a normally stoic Holtby was visibly upset after allowing Nikita Kucherov to beat him on a breakaway in a play similar to what we saw in the All-Star Game.

See for yourself:

"The key to getting better is learning from your mistakes and obviously I didn't do that," Holtby said. "I was just trying to play it patient. I wasn't trying to cheat towards that move and he came at it a different way. That's on me for not recognizing it. That's not a goal I can give up in that situation after our team battled the way they did, especially in the third."

The frustration Holtby feels likely is not the result of one goal, but the culmination of a recent slump that continues to plague the Vezina winner.

Holtby has lost four straight starts and has given up at least four goals in each of those games.

While Holtby was quick to take the blame for Tuesday's loss, head coach Barry Trotz was quick to defend his netminder.

"No one takes the loss," he said. "We all take a loss. I take a loss, the group takes a loss and Braden's part of the group. ... He's had a little tough stretch. It's no different than, we've got guys that haven't scored in 15, 20 games. It's no different than a player."

The challenge now is overcoming that slump.

For a slumping skater, Trotz could try different line combinations or play someone in different situations over the course of the game. Getting a starting goalie out of a slump, however, is more difficult. Most of the work has to be done in practice with the hope that it will carry over into the next game.

"You analyze how the goals are going in, what you're doing differently," Holtby said. "There's always some stuff that you can't control and stuff that you can and it's focusing on those contrallables that you can make a difference at. Like the first goal in Chicago, the last two goals here, those are goals that I could and should stop. You get to practice the next day and you focus on that and work hard until you figure it out so you don't do it again."

MORE CAPITALS: CHECK OUT THE 3 STARS OF THE GAME FROM CAPS-LIGHTNING

Part of the problem in Washington is that team defense is the Caps' biggest weakness. For most of the season, and even in years past, Holtby has made up for much of the team's mistakes on the backend. Now that he is slumping those mistakes become much more glaring and costly.

"The goaltenders in this league are erasers," Trotz said.

Lately, Holtby has not been able to erase those mistakes.

But the team has already moved to address the defense. Brian MacLellan added a puck-moving defenseman in Michal Kempny to help the team get the puck out of the defensive zone more quickly. Waiving Taylor Chorney could also signify another move may be coming before Monday's trade deadline.

As for Trotz, even during the slump, he made clear his confidence in Holtby has not wavered.

"He has been a rock since the day I've been here the last four years and he's been an elite goaltender and I look at him that way."

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2018 Olympic Hockey Results: Czech Republic eliminate U.S. men in shootout winner

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USA Today Sports

2018 Olympic Hockey Results: Czech Republic eliminate U.S. men in shootout winner

GANGNEUNG, South Korea -- Pavel Francouz stopped all five shooters and Petr Kouka scored the shootout winner as the Czech Republic eliminated the United States with a 3-2 victory in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

Jan Kovar and Tomas Kundratek scored in regulation for the Czech Republic, which was fresher after winning its group and getting a bye into the quarterfinals. The U.S. looked fatigued after facing Slovakia in the qualification round and was outshot 29-20.

Ryan Donato and Jim Slater scored for the U.S, which again was led by its youngest players, including speedster Troy Terry. U.S. goaltender Ryan Zapolski allowed three goals on 29 shots and one in the shotoout, while Francouz stopped 18 in regulation and overtime.

Koukal was the only player to score in overtime. Chris Bourque, Ryan Donato, Marc Arcobello, Terry and Bobby Butler couldn't beat Francouz.

RELATED: OVECHKIN HAS LITTLE DESIRE TO WATCH 2018 WINTER OLYMPICS