Capitals

Manning goes with glove as weather gets frightful

Manning goes with glove as weather gets frightful

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) There's a new ``Gloved One'' - in Denver, at least.

Ripping a page from Michael Jackson's playbook, Peyton Manning has practiced for and played in the last two games with a sticky-feeling, orange-and-grey glove on his throwing hand.

Sure, Manning has earned his fair share of curious glances for donning cold-weather gear when the temperatures are in the 50s, as they were Tuesday at practice.

But in getting ready for the playoff push, which could include two games in sometimes-snowy Denver, Manning is leaving no stone unturned. And, as if on cue, a strong arctic storm is expected to roll into Denver on Friday night, bringing snow and bitter cold. The high for Saturday's playoff game against Baltimore is forecast to be 20 degrees.

Manning, who won his only Super Bowl playing barehanded in a rainstorm in Miami in 2007, said he hasn't given much thought to whether the glove would help him more in cold or wet conditions, each of which can make the ball harder, more slick and more difficult to grip.

``I really have not thought about it that analytically, if that's the word,'' Manning said. ``It's a glove.''

Of course, if Peyton Manning is wearing it, it's more than a glove - it's a topic of conversation.

A creature of habit who hasn't worn anything on his hands before this season, Manning conceded the glove is a concession to the altered feel of his grip, especially in cold weather, after the multiple neck surgeries he underwent during his season out of football.

``I certainly don't think I would have had to wear the glove had I not been injured last year,'' he said. ``It's part of my injury, some things that I've had to adjust. I'm in a different body, some things are different for me, so that's the reason for that as much as anything.''

Manning could certainly use any edge he can get in cold weather.

He is 0-3 in playoff games in which the temperature at kickoff is less than 40 degrees. His numbers in those games hardly resemble the norm for a four-time Most Valuable Player with more than 59,000 yards to his credit. In the losses - 41-0 at the Jets, and 24-14 and 20-3 at New England - Manning has gone a combined 64 for 120 for 612 yards with one touchdown and seven interceptions. In two of the losses, his passer rating matched the temperature - never climbing out of the 30s.

To be fair, the last loss came a full eight seasons ago, in the divisional playoffs against the Patriots. Also, Manning has more than his share of cold-weather success in the regular season, going 7-5 with five 300-yard games. That includes Denver's regular-season finale against Kansas City on Dec. 30, the second game in which he tested out the glove, and the first NFL home game he's ever played with the temperature under 40. His former team, the Colts, played in a dome.

``For wearing it for the first time in my entire football career, I guess you could say it's been OK the past two weeks,'' Manning said after that game.

More than OK. Manning's completion percentage was 5.8 points higher and his passer rating was 19.2 points better with the glove than without. (Small reminder: The opponents in those two games finished a combined 7-25.) Some observers, quick in the past to point out that Manning's passes have often flown with a bit of a wobble, have noticed less of that since he donned the glove.

``I love the glove, love the glove,'' tight end Jacob Tamme said. ``There's no difference. Other than seeing it, I would never know that he's got it on. So, whatever works.''

Which is sort of coach John Fox's attitude, as well.

``I think a lot will be made of that,'' Fox said. ``I think a lot of people can relate to that. If it gets cold out, you wear gloves. I don't think it's a big factor. I think it's a lot about nothing.''

And though Manning has been preparing for cold weather for about a month now, he prefers not to talk about it much.

``You've got to play, whatever it is, so that's not something you think about,'' he said.

Notes: RB Willis McGahee returned to practice after spending seven weeks on recallable injured reserve with a torn ligament in his right knee. He would be eligible to return to the active roster if the Broncos make the AFC title game. ... CB Tracy Porter missed practice. He suffered a concussion Dec. 23 against Cleveland. ... PR Trindon Holliday is undefeated this year. He was cut by the Houston Texans when they were 5-0, then picked up by the Broncos a few days before they started their 11-game winning streak.

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How to watch Capitals vs. Avalanche: Time, TV channel, live stream

How to watch Capitals vs. Avalanche: Time, TV channel, live stream

The Washington Capitals bounced back from a disappointing loss to the Nashville Predators, where they gave up four leads in a 6-5 contest, with a commanding 4-1 win against the Dallas Stars on Saturday night to end a three-game losing skid. Now, they welcome the Colarado Avalanche to town Monday night. 

The Avalanche have gotten off to a perfect 4-0 start this season, a record which was preserved in a 3-2 overtime win against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night. Ex-Capitals left winger Andre Burakovsky netted the game-winner while goaltender Pavel Francouz stopped 34 of 36 shots. 

Washington's John Carlson notched a goal and an assist while Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his second goal of the year in the win against Dallas, while Ilya Samsonov impressed in his second career start in net. He's now stopped 49 of the first 51 shots faced in his young NHL career. The Caps will look for their key contributors to perform against the undefeated visitors.

Here's everything you need to know about Monday evening's game, with the opening face-off coming at 5:00 p.m. live on NBC Sports Washington.  

Capitals vs. Avalanche: How to watch

What: Washington Capitals vs. Colarado Avalanche, Game 7 of the 2019-20 NHL Regular Season

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington D.C. 

When: Monday, Oct. 14, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: The Capitals vs. Avalanche game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports channel finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals at Predators on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

RadioCaps 24/7 Radio

CAPITALS vs. AVALANCHE TV SCHEDULE

4:00 PM: Caps FaceOff Live

4:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live

5:00 PM: Avalanche @ Capitals Live

7:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live

8:00 PM: D.C. Sports Live

8:30 PM: Caps Overtime Live

Capitals vs. Avalanche Injury Report

Capitals: D Michal Kempny, hamstring injury, day-to-day

Avalanche: C J.T. Compher, lower body, day-to-day; D Ian Cole, hamstring, day-to-day

CAPITALS vs. Avalanche PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Michal Kempny, D, Washington Capitals: The defender could make his season debut as he recovers from a hamstring injury. He felt good after an optional practice on Sunday and said if he doesn't play Monday, he'll be back soon enough. His return will bring a boost to the defensive backline for the Caps. 

John Carlson, D, Washington Capitals (2 G, 8 A, 10 Pts): Carlson has been quite the provider from up top on offense, leading the NHL in assists along with points leader Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers. Nobody else has more than four assists on the Capitals. 

Andre Burakovsky, LW, Colarado Avalanche (2 G, 2 A, 4 Pts): Burakovsky not only scored the game-winner Saturday night against Arizona, but also nothed an assist and had four shots on goal. After spending his first five seasons in the nation's capital, the Avalanche traded second and third-round picks in the 2020 NHL Draft and forward Scott Kosmachuk for his services in June. 

CAPITALS vs. AVALANCHE SERIES HISTORY 

Number of meetings: 85

All-time series record: Caps lead 44-32-9

Last meeting: Caps won 4-3 (OT) (4/7/19)

Last 10: Caps lead 9-1

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Nationals CF Victor Robles closing in on a return to the lineup

Nationals CF Victor Robles closing in on a return to the lineup

He has not played since Game 2 of the National League Division Series when he pulled up because of a hamstring strain after crossing first base. The strain was described at the time as “mild.” Robles has been working toward a return since then.

“We're going to run him a little bit [Sunday],” Davey Martinez said Sunday on a conference call. “He's got to get some treatment, and then we'll see [Monday]. He'll participate in BP and do a little bit more running, and we'll see where we're at [Monday].

“I'm not going to anticipate anything until he comes in [Monday], but he's progressing, and hopefully he'll be ready [Monday].”

Michael A. Taylor replaced Robles in center field. He hit an important solo home run Saturday and is hitting .300 in the postseason. He also made a significant judgment error in the outfield which allowed the Cardinals’ lone Game 2 -- and series -- run to score.

Martinez made it sound like Taylor’s time as the starting center fielder is over when Robles is ready to return.

“Victor has been in center field all year, and he's played really well for us,” Martinez said. “When he's healthy, he'll get a chance to play. But like I said before, we want him to be at 100 percent. So until then, we'll see what happens here in the next day or so.”

Few other changes are expected Monday. Stephen Strasburg will start. Kurt Suzuki -- despite his lack of postseason hitting and trouble throwing out runners -- should be behind the plate.

Reliever Roenis Elías, who has not thrown a pitch in the major leagues since Sept. 5, may be in the mix Monday because Patrick Corbin’s bullpen appearances are now on hold prior to his Game 4 start.

“Moving forward, Elias is going to have to get those big outs against the lefties here in the next couple days,” Martinez said.

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