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Etty Allen, mother of former Va governor, dies

Etty Allen, mother of former Va governor, dies

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Henriette ``Etty'' Allen, matriarch of a famed American football family and mother to former Virginia Gov. George F. Allen, has died. She was 90.

According to a statement from the Allen family, she died Jan. 2 after a long illness. A private funeral is planned for Tuesday in California.

The daughter of anti-Nazi resistance fighter Felix Lumbroso, she lived in occupied Tunisia during World War II.

After the war, she immigrated to Sioux City, Iowa, where she met and married George H. Allen, then the head football coach at tiny Morningside College.

Over the next four decades, Allen coached winning teams with the Los Angeles Rams and Washington Redskins and earned a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He died in 1990.

Her son Bruce Allen is now the Redskins' general manager.

Etty Allen was a stabilizing force in a family in which football preoccupied not only her husband but their three sons, George, Bruce and Gregory, according to a book written by her only daughter, Jennifer Allen, and published in 2000.

In the book, ``Fifth Quarter: The Scrimmage of a Football Coach's Daughter,'' Jennifer Allen described a bond she developed with her mother that was strengthened by their inability to crack the football fraternity the men in the family enjoyed.

Yet her mother was an avid and enthusiastic football wife and mom who could harangue opposing teams and game referees with language almost as colorful as that used in the locker rooms.

Though her husband was a friend of President Richard Nixon, it was her son George who diversified the family name when he entered the political arena.

His 1993 upset over a heavily favored Democrat in Virginia's 1993 gubernatorial election triggered the most extensive Republican expansion in Virginia since Reconstruction. Seven years later, Allen unseated Democratic Sen. Chuck Robb and was considered a serious contender for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination. But he fumbled away his Senate re-election in a gaffe-strewn 2006 campaign against Democratic newcomer Jim Webb that brought Etty Allen briefly into the headlines.

In a debate with Webb that September, Allen denied his mother's Jewish heritage when a debate panelist asked about it. Later, Allen and his mother told The Associated Press that she told him of her Jewish ancestry only weeks before the debate.

She said she had kept it secret from the family for decades, fearing they would suffer the same discrimination she had known in Nazi-occupied Tunisia. After tearfully disclosing her secret to her son George in the summer of 2006, she said, she made him promise never to disclose it, not even to his siblings.

Last year, Allen lost a second bid to win back his old Senate seat to Democrat Tim Kaine and announced afterward that he would not seek elected office again.

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The Dougie Hamilton-Alex Ovechkin drama continued in Game 6 and the internet has thoughts

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NBC Sports

The Dougie Hamilton-Alex Ovechkin drama continued in Game 6 and the internet has thoughts

Alex Ovechkin's assist to Brett Connolly in Game 5 started when Carolina Hurricanes defender Dougie Hamilton shied away from Ovechkin's imminent check.

To start Game 6, Ovechkin tried to ram Hamilton along the boards again, but Hamilton sidestepped him to get the puck to safety.

After Ovechkin tumbled to the ice when he missed the hit, he made his way back to the bench, when he appeared to, well, you decide.

Ovechkin's mocking did not go unnoticed by the broadcast crew on NBC Sports Network or by fans on Twitter. "And there it is, that's what Eddie was talking about," chuckled Pierre McGuire as Ovechkin appeared to raise his arms like a clucking chicken.

The Hurricanes would respond with a goal to even the game 1-1, but Ovechkin answered back at 15:12 of the first period on an assist from Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen to make it 2-1 Capitals.

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The baffling exclusion of John Carlson from the Norris Trophy finalists

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USA TODAY Sports

The baffling exclusion of John Carlson from the Norris Trophy finalists

The finalists for the Norris Trophy – awarded to the defenseman who demonstrates the greatest all-around ability in the position – were unveiled on Sunday. Somehow, John Carlson was not among them.

This is the second consecutive year Carlson was a deserving candidate and the second year he will not even be among the top three.

The Norris Trophy is voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association -- of which I am a member so I guess you can blame us -- but make no mistake, this is a snub in every sense of the word and a major oversight that Carlson cannot get the recognition he deserves.

Ballots will be made public after the awards are given out. Until then, we are not supposed to divulge exactly how we voted, but I will tell you that Carlson was in my top three, and he absolutely should have been a finalist this year.

If you had asked me prior to the 2017-18 season who the most important defenseman on the Caps was, I would have told you it was Matt Niskanen. I saw Carlson as an offensive-heavy player whose skills in his own zone were lacking. I had to eat those words later as Niskanen was injured in mid-October and missed the next month of the season. During that month, Carlson averaged 27:47 of ice-time per game, which led the entire league. He showed he could contribute offensively, defensively, on the power play and penalty kill. There was nothing he could not do.

Suddenly, the Caps’ top pairing of Dmitry Orlov and Niskanen was replaced by Carlson and whoever he was paired with. That continued into this season.

But while Carlson has reshaped his image in Washington, his reputation as an offensive first player instead of an all-around defenseman persists, and it cost him.

There is no set standard every voter sticks to when it comes to evaluating players for the Norris. You can look at whatever stats you want whether it is Corsi, Fenwick, points, PDO, defensive zone starts, high-danger chances for -- the list goes on. Here’s why Carlson was in the top three of my ballot: Not only did he play exceptionally well, but the Capitals relied on him more in more situations than any other team relied on a single defenseman.

Carlson finished the season ranked eighth in the NHL in time on ice per game at 25:04. Burns finished just ahead of him with 25:06. Both Giordano (24:14) and Hedman (22:46) played less.

Carlson was among the top 40 defensemen in shorthanded time on ice per game with 2:35, something only Giordano (2:40) could boast among the other finalists. Carlson was also first among all defensemen in power play time on ice per game with 4:05, significantly more than Hedman (3:19), Giordano (3:19) or Burns (3:17).

There is no situation in which the Caps are not comfortable putting Carlson out on the ice and no situation in which he is not expected to play heavy minutes. He has taken a bigger role defensively as the team’s top shutdown pair of Orlov-Niskanen has had a down year. Despite the heavier defensive workload, Carlson still managed to finish in the top four in points among defensemen with 70, a career-high.

I am not here saying that Burns, Giordano or Hedman are not deserving of being finalists. In fact, Carlson did not finish first on my ballot. It seems crazy to me, however, that he did not finish in the top three this season or last. All three finalists had strong seasons, but Carlson’s season was just as good and he was more heavily relied upon. He is one of the top offensive blueliners, but that’s not all he is.

Until he manages to overcome that reputation, which persists through no fault of his own, he will continue to be on the outside of the Norris race looking in. And that’s a shame considering how good he has been.

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