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Mathieu among 4 ex-LSU football players arrested

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Mathieu among 4 ex-LSU football players arrested

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) Former LSU football standouts Tyrann Mathieu and Jordan Jefferson were among four ex-players arrested Thursday after police found them with marijuana at Mathieu's apartment, police said.

Lt. Don Kelly, a Baton Rouge Police spokesman, said officers were called to the apartment complex about 3:30 p.m. after receiving a complaint about a man forcing his way through the security gate before going to Mathieu's apartment.

``Officers immediately smelled a strong odor of marijuana and obtained consent from Mathieu to search the apartment,'' Kelly said.

Inside they found Jefferson and two other men - Karnell Hatcher and Derrick Bryant - as well as a marijuana grinder, digital scale and 10 bags of high-grade marijuana. Kelly said seven of the bags were found inside Bryant's book bag.

Mathieu, 20, of New Orleans, and Jefferson, 22, of St. Rose, La., were booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on charges of simple possession of marijuana. Hatcher, 22, of Delray Beach, Fla., was booked with second-offense simple possession of marijuana and Bryant, 22, of Lawrenceville, Ga., was booked with possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Mathieu, a former Heisman Trophy finalist and cornerback known as the ``Honey Badger,'' has no criminal record but has well documented drug problems that led to his dismissal from the Tigers in August. He had enrolled as a student at the school following two weeks of rehab under the care of former NBA player John Lucas. He also had talked about possibly returning to the team for the 2013 season with two seasons of eligibility. He is also eligible to apply for the NFL draft in April.

Jefferson, the Tigers' former starting quarterback, had returned to Baton Rouge to finish his degree after playing with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. He also was a free agent signee with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before joining the Alouettes.

Jefferson had been suspended for the start of his senior season in connection with a preseason bar fight near campus.

Lance Unglesby, Jefferson's lawyer in the misdemeanor criminal case, said a discovery hearing in that matter is scheduled next week. He said his client has always maintained his innocence in the bar fight.

``My opinion that Jordan is a fine young man remains the same,'' Unglesby said.

Unglesby said he had not yet been provided with any details of Jefferson's latest arrest, but stressed, ``All individuals are presumed innocent and I look forward to the opportunity to examine the facts of this case to find out what really happened.''

It was not immediately known whether Mathieu, Hatcher or Bryant had lawyers.

A spokeswoman for the university did not immediately respond to messages left by telephone and email.

Hatcher was a linebacker for the Tigers and finished with 133 career tackles, 3.5 for a loss and two forced fumbles.

Bryant, a backup safety, finished with 28 tackles, 2.0 for a loss and one sack.

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Las Vegas changes iconic welcome sign to include no capital letters

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Twitter/City of Las Vegas

Las Vegas changes iconic welcome sign to include no capital letters

The Washington Capitals official #ALLCAPS hashtag started in 2017 during a Caps-Penguins game after the Pittsburgh Penguins' official Twitter account decided to tweet in all lowercase letters during the game. 

Now, as the Caps look to face the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final ahead of Game 1 Monday, Vegas has followed suit by changing their iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign to include only lowercase letters, a jab at the Capitals #ALLCAPS.

Additionally, the City's official Twitter account has changed their handle to "the city of las vegas" without any capital letters and the hashtag #nocaps.

It will be interesting to see how the Capitals' official Twitter will respond...

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Stanley Cup Final 2018: X-factors that could swing the series

Stanley Cup Final 2018: X-factors that could swing the series

The Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights have met only twice in their history. Neither team was expected to get to this point so you can go ahead and throw away the stats, the matchups, the data and the history. A new story will be written in the Stanley Cup FInal.

Who will ultimately win the Cup? Here are four factors that could ultaimtely swing the series.

1. Goaltending

The Caps have faced elimination only twice in the playoffs and Braden Holtby did not allow a single goal in either game. He enters the Stanley Cup Final having not allowed a single goal in 159:27. Andrei Vasilevskiy began to take over the series with his performance in Game 3, Game 4 and Game 5, but Holtby outplayed him to finish off the series in Washington’s favor.

Marc-Andre Fleury, meanwhile, has been the best player in the playoffs. Not the best goalie, the best player.

Through 15 games, Fleury has a .947 save percentage and four shutouts. As good as Vegas has been this postseason, Fleury has stolen several games for the Golden Knights.

Both of these goalies are certainly capable of stealing away a series for their respective teams. Which one will outplay the other?

2. Time off

Rust is a real thing in hockey. Just any team when they come off a bye week. When the Caps and Golden Knights take the ice on Monday, May 28, it will be the first game for Vegas since May 20. That’s over a week off.

Yes, getting rest at this time of the year is important, but too much rest leads to rust and that should be a major concern for Vegas, especially for a team that was playing so well and has so much momentum.

In the Eastern Conference Final, the Caps stunned the Tampa Bay Lightning by winning both Game 1 and Game 2 in Tampa. Could they do it again with a rusty Vegas team? Will the long layoff cost the Golden Knights one or even two home games to start the series?

3. The McPhee factor

Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee was the Caps’ general manager for 17 years starting with the 1997-98 season. He was fired in 2014, but was ultimately responsible for building the core of the Washington team that is now headed to the Stanley Cup Final.

But that also means he knows those players very, very well.

Nicklas Backstrom, Travis Boyd, Andre Burakovsky, John Carlson, Christian Djoos, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, Chandler Stephenson, Jakub Vrana, Tom Wilson, Braden Holtby, Philipp Grubauer and of course, Alex Ovechkin were all drafted by McPhee. Jay Beagle was also signed by as an undrafted free agent.

A general manager does not sign or draft anyone without knowing a good deal about the kind of player they are. Does that give McPhee a bit of an edge when it comes to facing the Caps?

4. Speed

The Golden Knights are fast. When the expansion draft was all said and done it was clear McPhee had targeted two things specifically: defensemen and speed. The result is an exceptionally fast Golden Knights team that no one has been able to keep up with so far.

Vegas' speed mixed with the goaltending of Fleury has proven to be a lethal combination. Their mobility makes it hard to get the puck from them or even keep it in the offensive zone. Once they get it, it’s going down the ice very quickly and you better keep up with them or it's going to end up in the back of the net. Once they build a lead, it is very difficult for teams to dig their way out as evidenced by their 10-1 record this postseason when scoring first.

Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh were both fast teams as well and the Capitals were able to combat that with strong play in the neutral zone. The 1-3-1 trap has given opponents fits and generated a lot of odd-man breaks for the Caps. Will it be as effective against a speedy Vegas team?

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