Beninati: No Letdown For Caps

Beninati: No Letdown For Caps

Saturday, January 23, 2010

By Joe Beninati

Wow! That was an exceptional week of hockey. The Caps showed me something very special this evening. Any club would have been set up perfectly for a letdown after disposing of their arch rival 48 hours ago. After producing wins over Philly, Detroit and Pittsburgh, the home team had enough left in the tank to hold off a hard-working Phoenix team.

Let's give credit to the Coyotes before we heap praise on the Capitals. For a team saddled with so many off-ice distractions concerning their ownership, Dave Tippett's team sure doesn't let it affect them on the ice. They work their tails off, they're well-coached, they have an imposing netminder, and they received a pair of goals from Lauri Korpiskoski, but they still came up short. The main reason why is named Alex Semin. He has been blessed with an insane arsenal of skills, and when he puts his mind to it, he can dominate a game like few others. He had the puck on a string all night long. When it was all done, he factored in on all 4 DC goals, scoring one of them with his patented wrist-shot from close range.

The Washington power play received a work out this evening, and as usual they helped deliver in the clutch. Two more power play goals from the number one ranked unit in the NHL put the home team ahead. For a while, it appeared as if Phoenix forward Vernon Fiddler would ruin those extra man opportunities all by himself. Michael Neuvirth robbed him on a short-handed breakaway in the first period. The young Cap's goalie looked very secure late in regulation when the Coyotes were buzzing around the crease. The defense was stable in front of Neuvirth, only looking scrambly a couple times.

The word of the day for the Capitals was patience. They knew the Coyotes were going to be bunched up tight defensively. Washington did not fall into the Phoenix trap. They kept their poise and remained patient, and that type of safe performance earned them a win. Great to see Eric Fehr and Brooks Laich convert on the power play. Nice to see John Erskine back on the blue line. This club is the talk of the NHL right now, and it's thrilling for all of us at Comcast SportsNet to be part of it. See you Tuesday on CSN Plus from Long Island.

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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.


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

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, follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler