Capitals

Beninati: Immediate Dividends

Beninati: Immediate Dividends

Thursday, March 4, 2010 11:25pm

By Joe Beninati
Capitals Play-by-Play

Throughout his pro career Scott Walker has been in the right place at the right time, and he sure was again in the third period this evening when the Caps needed a spark from their new teammates. Walker crashed the net two times for backhand goals in the final frame to help put away the pesky Tampa Bay Lightning.The home crowd at Verizon welcomed Walker, Joe Corvo, and Eric Belanger with open arms after they were acquired yesterday at the trade deadline. Three and a half weeks had passed since the Caps last had a home date on the schedule and they were ready to make an impression.

Eric Fehr handcuffed Lightning goalie Mike Smith to open the scoring. But Tampa's power play has been ridiculously sharp against Washington this year and Steve Downie kept them hot with a nasty deflection past Semyon Varlamov. Then it was time for the Mike Knuble show in period two. Knuble worked a two-on-one to perfection with Brooks Laich for one of his tallies. And doubled up with a beautiful follow up to give the Caps some breathing room at 3-1.Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louiswere their old dynamic selves tonight and because of that the Lightning were always in this game. Lecavalier drilled two sharp looking snap shots past Varlamov and St. Louis was as clever a set up man as you will find with three assists, that could have easily have been six.Nicklas Backstrom, normally an outstanding feeder in his own right, turned into a shot blocking machine while killing a penalty in the second period. The Swede demonstrated a great deal of courage standing in the way of two powerful blasts from Kurtis Foster, within 20 seconds of each other. The fans went nuts and deservingly so.

The stage was set for a thrilling third period, and that was where Walker made himself right at home in front of the Tampa net. He's a player that performs with a hunger for success that's contagious.

So the homestand gets off to a flying start and the Rangers visit on Saturday. We all continue to be spoiled by all these wins and hope they keep piling up all the way through June.

Quick Links

Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

The Stanley Cup is not the only trophy that will be awarded at the end of the Stanley Cup Final series between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights. The Conn Smythe will also be given to the player deemed the most valuable to his team during the playoffs.

Who will that player be?

It's not hard to figure out who the frontrunner is right now. Marc-Andre Fleury hasn't just been the best goalie in the playoffs, he's been the best player with a dominant postseason in which he has posted a .947 save percentage and four shutouts. He has been so dominant, he could win it even if Vegas loses the series.

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

The last player from the losing team to win the Conn Smythe was Jean-Sebastian Giguere from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 2003.

But what about the Caps?

Alex Ovechkin is the leader of Washington and has been absolutely dominant throughout the postseason. He even scored the series-clinching goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Surprisingly, however, Ovechkin does not lead the team in points through the playoffs. Evgeny Kuznetsov holds that edge with 24 points to Ovechkin's 22.

Will their offensive dominance propel them to win the Cup and the Conn Smythe? Will a different player emerge as the hero of the series?

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

MORE CAPITALS PLAYOFF NEWS:

Quick Links

Need to Know: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

alex_smith_otas_2_ap.png
Associated Press

Need to Know: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 26, 17 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.  

Note: I am vacationing in the Outer Banks this week. In this space, I’ll be presenting some of the most popular posts of the last few months. I hope you enjoy these “best of” presentations and I’ll see you folks when I get back. 

Contract makes Alex Smith a Redskins for at least three seasons

This post was originally published on March 19. 

When the Redskins traded for Alex Smith on January 30, news also broke that he had agreed to a four-year extension with Washington in addition to the one year left on his contract with the Chiefs. While we got some top-line numbers on the deal, we have gone since then without any details. 

Until now. 

The details show a deal that has a slightly higher cap hit in 2018 than was on his original Chiefs contract and the numbers rise gradually over the life of the deal, which runs through 2022. 

Smith got a $27 million signing bonus and his salaries for 2018 ($13 million) and 2019 ($15 million) also are fully guaranteed at signing making the total $55 million (information via Over the Cap, which got data from a report by Albert Breer). 

But there I another $16 million that is guaranteed for all practical purposes. On the fifth day of the 2019 league year, his 2020 salary of $16 million becomes fully guaranteed. He almost assuredly will get to the point where that money will become guaranteed since the Redskins are not going to cut him after one year having invested $55 million in him. So the total guarantees come to $71 million. 

His 2021 salary is $19 million and it goes up to $21 million in 2022. There have been reports of some incentives available to Smith but since we have no details we’ll set those aside for now. 

The cap hits on the contract are as follows: 

2018: $18.4 million
2019: $20.0 million
2020: $21.4 million
2021: $24.4 million
2022: $26.4 million

The Redskins can realistically move on from Smith after 2020. There would be net cap savings of $13 million in 2021 and $21 million in 2022. 

The first impression of the deal is that the Redskins did not move on from Kirk Cousins because they didn’t want to guarantee a lot of money to a quarterback. The total practical guarantee of $71 million is second only to Cousins’ $82.5 million. It should be noted that Cousins’ deal runs for three years and Smith’s contract is for five. 

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