Beninati: State Of Shock

Beninati: State Of Shock

April 28, 2010, 11:41 pm

By Joe Beninati

As I write this I must admit that I am in a state of shock. Even though the Capitals only gave us a glimpse of their powerful selves in this series, I remained convinced that they would break through at the opportune moment and advance in these playoffs by the skin of their teeth. With a great deal of sadness, a record setting season has come to an end far too soon.

There will be much hand wringing and soul searching done in the next few weeks and months until the puck is dropped again in Washington.

This will sting the entire organization. The expectations were so high, and to fall so far in the first round has to feel like the worst set back in franchise history. The Canadiens deserve a great deal of credit for their stunning comeback. They probably won't receive enough credit because most people will want to blame the home team for its collapse.

That blame is deserved. The highest scoring offensive team in the NHL mustered a measly three goals in the final three games of the series. Jaroslav Halak was brilliant and should be recognized as a playoff hero now in Montreal, where they've had their share of postseason success.

Defensemen Hal Gill and Josh Gorges were exceptional, and Mike Cammalleri delivered key goals and big point totals at the opportune times. But for Washington's lethal power play to go dormant for an entire series, it's hard to make excuses.

I fully expected the Caps' top offensive talents--Alex Ovechkin, Nick Backstrom, Alex Semin and Mike Green--to click before it was too late. Unfortunately it left all of us, and those four players, feeling let down.

I thank all of you for watching us so passionately on CSN this year. Whenever someone stops me at an airport or inside a mall or at the grocery store, and wants to talk about the Caps, you managed to flatter all of us associated with Comcast SportsNet's coverage of the Washington Capitals. I wish this disappointment never happened, and I hope you will keep the faith. This empty feeling will last for a long while, but there will be brighter days ahead.

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.


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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