Capitals

Anderson, Boston College beat Providence 71-68

Anderson, Boston College beat Providence 71-68

BOSTON (AP) Ryan Anderson had a pair of layups off Joe Rahon's passes in the closing 2 minutes and finished with 24 points to lift Boston College to a 71-68 win over Providence Saturday afternoon in the 107th meeting between the schools.

Olivier Hanlan added 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Eagles (6-5), who posted their fourth win in five games.

Bryce Cotton led the Friars (8-3) with 33 points and Kadeem Batts scored 14 with seven boards before fouling out with 5:01 to play.

With Boston College clinging to a 64-63 lead, Anderson sneaked inside all alone and Joe Rahon found him for a layup with 1:30 to play. Hanlan added a free throw 20 second later after Cotton missed a 3, giving the Eagles a 67-63 edge.

Cotton hit two free throws to cut it to 67-65, but Rahon drove the lane with the shot clock winding down and fed Anderson again with 23 seconds to play. Hanlan's two free throws sealed it.

The schools have played every season since 1953-54 - except in 2005-06.

After Anderson's two free throws cut the Friars' lead to 42-40 with 15:06 to play, neither team held a more than a one-possession lead over the next 10 minutes.

Patrick Heckmann's 3-pointer from the right corner broke a 56-all tie and Hanlan followed with a free throw, giving the Eagles a 60-56 lead with 5:01 left.

The Friars had kept it close because of Cotton, who scored 12 of their 14 points during a 7 1/2-minute stretch midway through the half.

After Cotton scored on a drive, Anderson answered for BC with a reverse layup, making it 62-58 with just fewer than 4 minutes left. But Ladontae Henton scored on a short jumper in the lane for Providence on the next possession.

Hanlan then hit two free throws for BC with 2:42 to go, pushing BC's lead back to four points before Cotton nailed a baseline 3 on the next trip down the floor.

The pace slowed down and so did the scoring early in the second half. Both teams relied on half-court offense, running the shot clock down low on most possessions that were fairly unsuccessful.

The Eagles missed eight of their first nine shots to start the second half, but trailed by only two with just under 15 minutes to play because the Friars were shooting nearly as poorly.

Neither team held more than a two-possession lead in the opening half. BC had opened a 25-19 edge on Anderson's free throw with 7:23 to play, but Providence scored 12 of the next 16 points to grab a 31-29 lead on Batts' two free throws with just fewer than 4 minutes left. Cotton nailed a pair of 3s in the spree.

It stayed close the rest of the way before Henton's two free throws with 38 seconds left sent the teams to intermission tied at 36.

In the opening minutes, Providence came out in a zone, but quickly changed to man-to-man defense after the Eagles got a couple of easy chances.

The Eagles wore black patches with the initials `LG' in honor of 26-year old Lisa Gallup, who died after a battle with cancer this week. She's the daughter of assistant athletic director Barry Gallup.

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Barry Trotz finds contract he was looking for, expected to be named New York Islanders new head coach

Barry Trotz finds contract he was looking for, expected to be named New York Islanders new head coach

Barry Trotz did not remain unemployed for very long.

Trotz, who led the Capitals to the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup title, resigned from his post less than a week after the team's championship parade in Washington, D.C.

But the former bench boss appears to be headed to New York to become the Islanders new head coach, according to Darren Dreger of TSN.

Trotz's contract was expected to expire at the end of the 2017-18 season, but upon winning the Stanley Cup, an automatic two-year extension was triggered, raising his $1.5 million yearly salary by $300,000. But Trotz wanted to be compensated as one of the top five coaches in the NHL.

While the terms of his deal have yet to be finalized, according to Elliotte Friedman, Trotz's deal could be in the 5-year, $20 million range.

With the Islanders, Trotz inherits a team that finished 35-37-10 last season under head coach Doug Weight, despite having John Tavares, one of the best centers in the NHL, and several young studs like Mathew Barzal, Jordan Eberle, and Josh Ho-Sang. But Tavares enters the offseason as a free agent, and many teams will be looking to pay top-dollar for his services. 

Trotz will report to Lou Lamoriello, who was named the Islanders' president and general manager in May after spending three seasons in the same role with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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The Caps' Cup-winning roster is a lesson in building through the draft

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The Caps' Cup-winning roster is a lesson in building through the draft

Every year, the Stanley Cup-winning team shows the importance of building through the draft. This year, that team is the Washington Capitals.

With the NHL Draft starting on Friday, let’s break down the Capitals roster from the playoffs to see just how it was put together.

Acquired by the draft: Nicklas Backstrom, Madison Bowey, Travis Boy, Andre Burakovsky, John Carlson, Christian Djoos, Shane Gersich, Philipp Grubauer, Braden Holtby, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, Alex Ovechkin, Chandler Stephenson, Jakub Vrana, Nathan Walker, Tom Wilson

Acquired as a free agent: Jay Beagle, Alex Chiasson, Brett Connolly, Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik, Devante Smith-Pelly

Acquired by trade: Lars Eller, Jakub Jerabek, Michal Kempny, T.J. Oshie

The first thing to note is that the vast majority of Washington’s roster is made up of draft picks. Specifically, the majority of the Caps’ top six on offense, three of its top six defensemen and both goalies were drafted by the team.

Of the free agent signings, only two were big money players in Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik. In 2014, defense was a major question mark for the Caps and Brian MacLellan made a splash as the new general manager by signing both blue liners to big deals. The majority of the signings, however, are cheap, low risk and high reward players.

Finally, the trades include players who filled obvious needs. The Caps needed Oshie to shore up the top six, Eller was brought in to be the third line center, Kempny stepped in as a top-four defenseman and Jerabek was brought in for defensive depth.

So what does this show us?

First, the draft is absolutely critical to building a team’s core. True superstar players are hard to come by. Once a team gets one, they do everything they can to keep them. The draft is a team's first opportunity to acquire a certain player and, if they have superstar potential, sign them long-term. John Tavares this season looks headed to free agency and the buzz around him stems from the fact that he is very much the exception, not the rule. The base of the Caps’ Stanley Cup team was built by drafting star players like Ovechkin, Backstrom, Kuznetsov, Carlson, Holtby, etc.

This also shows the importance of the draft for depth. In the salary cap era, teams need to find enough cap room for their stars and their depth players. Having young players is absolutely critical because their low cap hit allows for the team to sign the expensive stars and make the important addition in free agency  or by trade. This is a formula that only works if those young players are productive as well.

Players like Vrana and Burakovsky, for example, played big roles in the playoff run, but also carried low cap hits.

So the Caps built a core through the draft and filled key roles with trades and mostly cheap free agent signings.

There is no formula for how to win a Stanley Cup, if there was everyone would do it, but this is about as close as you can come to one. A team has to draft very well and then build around those draft picks to be successful. You cannot hope to build simply through trades and free agency because of the cost. Trades always require sending an asset the other way and very often that asset turns out to be prospects or draft picks. Free agency, meanwhile, requires team overpay for top targets leading to serious cap trouble down the line.

There are always trades and free agent signings that prove to be important, but those are only pieces to a much large puzzle. To win a Stanley Cup, you have to build through the draft.

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