Capitals

Holden Kushner's Nationals Minute

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Holden Kushner's Nationals Minute

Thursday May 6, 2010 12:51 PMUpdated: 10:07 PM

By Holden Kushner
CSNwashington.com

A Day In The Life of Making Nats Minute

3:40 PM: Walk into Nationals Park in new sneakers, nice shorts and my favorite Tommy Bahama shirt.

3:41 PM: Head to the Braves locker room to find Bobby Cox to get a tutorial on how to get ejected from a baseball game. Cox has been ejected more than any other man in the history of the game.

3:45 PM: Cant find Bobby Cox. Want him to give me a video tutorial on how to get ejected, but I know he doesnt like to talk about it. So I give a head nod to Chipper Jones and keep walking out of the locker room.

3:45:23 PM: I have no idea if Jones even acknowledges my presence. Obviously I care.

4:01 PM: After a 15 minute cat nap in the bullpen, I track down General Manager Mike Rizzo. Yours truly asks him about John Heymans SI.com report that the Nats are going to hire uber-phenom Bryce Harpers coach so they can assure themselves that Harper is comfortable when he is taken first overall in the June draft.

4:02 PM: Rizzo tells me the report is explicative. Lets just say false. I concur. By the way, this is the same reporter that reported Jerry DiPoto was going to be the next General Manager of the Nationals days before Rizzo got the job.

4:03 PM: Time to stop B-S-ing and get to work. I have a video to shoot.

4:06 PM Talk to Bobby Cox in the Braves dugout for about 10 minutes. We talk about how D.C. can be a baseball town if the Nationals get to the postseason a couple of years in a row. He also asks me how Im doing.

4:06:21 PM: Im doing well.

4:15 PM: Cant ask Bobby Cox to do the video tutorial. I know it will upset him because he doesnt like to talk about it. He reminds me of my Grandfather. I wuss out on asking the question.

4:16 PM: I say adios and head to the Nats dugout.

4:23 PM: Danny Rouhier and I do our stand-ups as we get ready to shoot this:

4:37 PM: Out of nowhere a security guard tells us he doesnt have a tazer and nobody in the Park has one. He has no idea we arent talking about moronic Philly fans.

4:38 PM: The same security guy jokes that hes tazed his wife for making a bad dinner. Not exactly PC, but really funny. I get the sense its a good thing he doesnt have a tazer and has never had one.

4:40 PM: John Lannan agrees to star in our video. He asks a good question: Holden, who let you on the field?"

4:41 PM: I ponder who actually did allow me on the field and why they agreed to do so.

5:21 PM: Grab Adam Dunn out of the dugout after batting practice. He thinks we are doing a boring interview on defense.

5:23 PM: Dunn learns were doing a spoof and decides to tell us about the pee test he needs to take immediately. Hes accommodating, gives us a sound bite and leaves with a smile.

5:27 PM: Ian Desmond agrees to be a part of our endeavor. We talk about how he learned to use his glove by putting it on his left hand and not on the right. Brilliant!

5:28 PM: Desmond tells me, This better not jinx me on defense.

5:30 PM: I tell Danny goodbye and walk up to the press box with camera manproducer Brian Jackson.

5:40 PM: Stuff my face with the media buffet.

7:00-End of the game: Watch the Nats lose in extra innings. Zero errors by Desmond. Whew!

11:45 PM: Watch the video, pass out and sleep.

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NHL Power Rankings: Not every night is a big-time game for the Capitals

NHL Power Rankings: Not every night is a big-time game for the Capitals

There was a lot of excitement to start the season for the Caps. First, there was the home-opener and the banner raising against the Boston Bruins. Then there was a trip to Pittsburgh to take on the rival Penguins. After that, it was a Stanley Cup Final rematch against the Vegas Golden Knights.

And all of that was followed up with a trip to Newark.

CHECK OUT THIS WEEK’S NHL POWER RANKINGS HERE

With all due respect to New Jersey, given the slate the Caps faced to start the season, it was no real surprise to see the team struggle to get up for Thursday’s game against the Devils, a game in which the Caps were blown out 6-0. Of all the games Washington faced to start the season, the trip to New Jersey was definitely the least exciting.

But not every game is going to be a big rivalry matchup or a playoff rematch. With every team gunning for the Caps, they better make sure they can get themselves ready for the grind of an 82-game season that won’t always feature a big-time matchup.

A trip to Newark may not be flashy or exciting, but it still counts as two points.

The Caps dropped the game in New Jersey and lost a tight contest against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Where do they stand now after two straight losses?

FIND OUT HERE IN THIS WEEK'S NHL POWER RANKINGS

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The five key plays in the Redskins’ win over the Panthers

The five key plays in the Redskins’ win over the Panthers

Every play in an NFL game is important but some matter to the outcome more than others. Here are the key plays in the Redskins’ 23-17 win over the Panthers.

1. Q1, 10:41 — Tress Way punts 51 yards to CAR 21, D.J. Moore to CAR 22 for 1 yard (Shaun Dion Hamilton). FUMBLES (Hamilton), RECOVERED by WAS-Jeremy Sprinkle at CAR 21. Sprinkle to CAR 22 for -1 yard. 

The Redskins did not get off to a promising start on offense as they went three and out on their first possession and punted. Panthers rookie D.J. Moore fielded the punt and tried to find some running room. He found Hamilton, who stripped the ball away and Sprinkle pounced on it.

It only took one play for the Redskins to cash in as Alex Smith found Vernon Davis wide open—as in nobody else in the picture open—for a touchdown to put the home team up 7-0. 

2. Q1, 8:50 — Alex Smith pass short middle to Jordan Reed to WAS 45 for 7 yards 

The Redskins were looking to add to their lead on their possession following the Davis touchdown. On third and eight at their own 38, Smith threw for Reed in the middle of the field. The pass was high and inside, forcing Reed to jump, reach back and stab the ball with his right hand. It was a true one-handed catch because he never touched the ball with his left hand. 

The only thing Reed did wrong on that play was to signal for a first down. It was short, but Smith got the first with a sneak on the next play. Some Adrian Peterson runs and a 21-yard pass from Smith to Davis helped get the Redskins down to the two-yard line. On third down from there, Smith found Paul Richardson for a TD to make it 14-0.

3. Q2, 11:32 — Cam Newton pass short middle to Moore to WAS 37 for 17 yards (Josh Norman). FUMBLES (Norman), RECOVERED by WAS -Mason Foster at WAS 33. 

Norman got his first interception since 2016 earlier in the second quarter but the offense couldn’t do anything with the possession. The next time the Panthers had the ball, Newton went to Moore on a crossing Pattern. He had some running room and it looked like the Panthers would advance well into Redskins territory. But as defenders converged on Moore, Norman reached in and stripped the ball out. “He never saw me coming,” said Norman. Foster recovered, and the Redskins drove for a field goal to go up 17-0. 

4. Q4, 13:43 — Alex Smith sacked at CAR 46 for -6 yards (Julius Peppers). FUMBLES (Peppers), recovered by WAS-Trent Williams at CAR 46. Williams to CAR 38 for 8 yards.

The Panthers had rallied to make it a one-score game at 17-9. On third and seven from the Carolina 40, Smith was immediately swarmed by the pass rush. The ball popped out and it fell into the hands of Williams to the left of the scrum. Going on sheer instinct, Williams headed upfield. Starting from six yards behind the line of scrimmage Williams rumbled eight yards for a net gain of two. That’s not much but it was enough to have Jay Gruden send Dustin Hopkins into the game to attempt a 56-yard field goal. The boot just made it over the uprights and Hopkins’ career-long kick had the Redskins up by two scores at 20-9. 

5. Q4, 0:38 — Cam Newton pass incomplete short right to Jarius Wright.

After the Redskins kicked a field goal to go up by six, Newton led a final drive that kept everyone on edge. Starting with 3:15 to play, Newton was sharp, completing six of seven passes for 50 yards to move the Panthers from their own 16 to second and five at the Washington 16. The Washington defense finally stiffened, and Newton’s next three passes fell incomplete. The last one went harmlessly to the ground, not particularly close to Wright or any other receiver. The Redskins and their fans could finally exhale and celebrate. 

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