Capitals

Denver rallies to down Bayhawks

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Denver rallies to down Bayhawks

ANNAPOLIS, MD - Midfielder Kyle Dixon scored four goals and piled up seven points, but it was not enough as the Chesapeake Bayhawks fell to the Denver Outlaws, 15-13, before a crowd of 10,420 last night at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Dixon fired in a pair of 2-point goals, increasing his Major League Lacrosse single-season record in that category to 14.

Attackman Brendan Mundorf totaled five points on three goals and two assists while goalie Jesse Schwartzman made 15 saves as Denver rallied from an early five-goal deficit to capture the third regular season championship in franchise history. Rookie attackman Mark Matthews had three goals and an assist for the Outlaws (11-3), who set a franchise record for victories and earned top seed for MLL Championship weekend.

Thats a very talented offensive team and you have to cover them for 60 minutes, Chesapeake head coach Dave Cottle said. Im disappointed that we didnt keep playing at the level we did during the first quarter for the rest of the game.

Denver will face fourth-seeded Long Island (8-6) in the opening semifinal (1 p.m.) on Aug. 25th at Harvard Stadium in Boston. Chesapeake (10-4) receives the second seed and will take on No. 3 Boston (9-5) in the second semifinal (4 p.m.).

For the rest of the game story, visit TheBayhawks.com.

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Barry Trotz explains why returning from a bye week is harder than you think

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USA TODAY Sports

Barry Trotz explains why returning from a bye week is harder than you think

The biggest storyline surrounding the Capitals coming out of the bye week is how much the team seems to hate lengthy breaks.

By now you probably have heard Washington has lost three straight out of the bye. In addition to that, there have been three stretches this season in which the Caps have had to wait at least five days for their next contest. They lost two of those three games and they did so in decisive fashion.

Caps played Oct. 21, lost next game on Oct. 26 at Vancouver 6-2
Caps played Nov. 25, lost next game on Nov. 30 vs. Los Angeles 5-2
Caps played Jan. 2, won next game vs. St. Louis 4-3 in overtime

This also is not a new problem. Coming out of the bye week last season, Washington lost its first two games back and then went on to lose eight of 14 before they finally got back on track.

RELATED: WHERE DO THE CAPS LAND IN THE LATEST NHL POWER RANKINGS?

But why? Aren’t breaks in the schedule a good thing? After all, the bye week was negotiated for by the Players’ Association.

On Tuesday after practice, Barry Trotz tried to explain the difficulties of returning from the bye.

“The best way I can describe it is it's not different than someone going on a 2-week vacation. You come back to work and the first couple days, not really productive, right?

“You know how it is, when you get back, it's hard to get back in that routine.”

The bye week in hockey is different than what we see in football. In addition to no games, the players do not even practice. They do not get the benefit of a having a week of practice before the next game like in the NFL.

This year in Washington’s case, the Caps did not even get a chance to practice before returning to game action as they were forced to cancel practice the day before their game in New Jersey due to travel issues.

“You lose a little bit of that edge, a little bit of that sharpness,” Trotz said. “You lose a little bit of everything and then when it's over 20 guys, then all of a sudden it's difficult.”

Evgeny Kuznetsov also noted how the team struggles in January and February as an additional explanation.

“Physically we're pretty good and emotionally we're pretty good,” he said. “It's just those moments. If you look at the last 3 years I've been here, it's every year the same [expletive], same time. Always those 10-15 games in late January, early February it's always been wasn't great for us.”

MORE CAPITALS: TROTZ LIKES WHAT VRANA BRINGS EVEN IF THE ICE TIME ISN'T THERE

You do often hear about the “dog days” of a season when it suddenly becomes hard for teams to stay motivated every single night with half the season still to go. Now add in a bye week and you can understand why it may be hard for the players to ramp up the intensity level.

The added obstacle for Washington is they now face another break with the All-Star Game. Thursday’s game in Florida will be the team’s only game in a nine-day period.

With the Metropolitan Division standings as tight as they are, the Caps likely cannot afford another stretch of eight losses in 14 games like they suffered last year.

It’s interesting to see a team struggle after having too much time off. It’s a problem most people reading this probably wish they had. But it’s one that’s not quite as easy to overcome as you may think.

“I just think from the last couple years with the breaks in it, you understand that it's not just, hey you had a break, you should be fresh when you go on the ice,” Trotz said. “Unless you've played the game, it's hard to explain to people.”

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2018 NBA trade deadline: Clippers don't appear close to trading DeAndre Jordan

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USA Today Sports

2018 NBA trade deadline: Clippers don't appear close to trading DeAndre Jordan

For months it seemed like the Los Angeles Clippers trading All-NBA center DeAndre Jordan was a foregone conclusion, as he's on an expiring deal and while their season had gone awry. But now it is not quite that simple with just over two weeks remaining before the Feb. 8 NBA trade deadline.

The Clippers are actually in the playoff hunt now after winning 12 of their last 17 games. They were 11-18 before that stretch but now sit 23-23 and ninth in the West, one spot out of the playoffs. Considering they are doing all of this without Patrick Beverley and Danilo Gallinari, and the Clippers' future doesn't seem too bad.

RELATED: OUBRE IS CHANGING WIZARDS' OUTLOOK

There is also not a strong market for Jordan at this point. On Monday, Marc Stein of the New York Times reported the Portland Trail Blazers have expressed interest, but that no significant offers have been made. 

PODCAST: MIDSEASON AWARDS FOR MVP, BEST WIN AND MORE

The Clippers will have a more difficult decision to make than many thought they would. Do they attempt to re-sign Jordan this offseason in hopes of building off their surprising success, or do they trade him within the next several weeks to build for the future?

Jordan, 29, is having another strong season with 11.8 points, 14.9 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game. His age is a consideration, as any team that signs him next will be on the hook for his early 30s. Jordan's game is predicated on playing above the rim and that may not age well.

Jordan was long considered one of the biggest names to be available at this year's deadline and the Clippers are still listening to offers, but the reasons for them to not trade him are starting to add up. 

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS