Capitals

Rockets' White a no-show at camp, cites anxiety

Rockets' White a no-show at camp, cites anxiety

McALLEN, Texas (AP) Houston Rockets first-round draft pick Royce White is a no-show at training camp and said he and the team are working on a plan to address his fear of flying.

The 6-foot-8 White was the 16th overall pick after one season at Iowa State. White suffers from anxiety and fear of flying. He says on Twitter that he's working with the team on an ``innovative plan'' to balance treatment with the NBA schedule.

``Anxiety isn't keeping me from camp,'' White wrote, ``taking a Proactive approach to my mental illness instead of reactive is.(hash)StayingAheadOfMyDisorder.''

White said he has an agreement with the team to take a bus to select games. KRIV-TV reported that the agreement is pending league approval. The Rockets would not comment beyond a statement that said they ``are committed to Royce's long term success and we will continue to support him now and going forward.''

White said he offered to buy the bus himself.

``I will not travel every game via bus,'' he wrote. ``It was decided that the less flying the less stress.''

The Rockets opened training camp this week in McAllen, near the Texas-Mexico border, the home of their developmental league affiliate.

White averaged 13.4 points, 9.3 rebounds and five assists at Iowa State last season. He initially enrolled at Minnesota, then left the program last year and eventually transferred after pleading guilty to theft and disorderly conduct in an incident at the Mall of America.

He's been open about his anxiety throughout his career and bluntly broke it down for reporters at his introductory press conference in Houston in June.

``Here's how it goes,'' White explained. ``I'm scared (going) to the airport, I'm scared going up, I'm uncomfortable in the air and I feel like a million bucks when we hit the runway.''

White was also absent from the Rockets' media day on Monday. The team made the short flight to McAllen later that day, and White started tweeting about his discussions with the team on Wednesday night.

``There is nothing but very positive strides being taken right now between I and the Houston Rockets to support health,'' he wrote. ``This innovative plan is being well thought out by both parties, when it's done I think an executable plan will be there...A Healthy plan.''

White added that ``my health now is great, the best its ever been.'' He said ``the long term is the goal here.''

The Rockets and White did not give a timetable for his return. Houston plays its first preseason game next Wednesday night, against Oklahoma City in McAllen.

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Blue Jackets troll Capitals on Twitter after retaking lead in Metro Division

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Twitter.com/@BlueJacketsNHL

Blue Jackets troll Capitals on Twitter after retaking lead in Metro Division

The Columbus Blue Jackets threw some serious shade at the Caps Tuesday night after their 7-2 blowout loss to the Predators.

The Jackets are now tied for the Metro lead after the Caps lost their third straight game, and they let them have it on Twitter.

That's a bold jab coming from the team that lost to the Caps in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs...

The GIF comes from Saturday night's overtime loss to the Jackets where Columbus celebrated Artemi Panarin's game-winner with Evgeny Kuznetsov's signature bird celly.

When asked about the copycat celebration last Saturday, Kuzy said, "That's fine. It's nice to get some people that think about me, same as in April last year.”

The Capitals meet the Blue Jackets again Feb. 12 where the only bird celly should come from Kuzy.

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Caps suffer third straight loss as they get rocked in Music City

Caps suffer third straight loss as they get rocked in Music City

The final score of a game can often be deceiving, but that was certainly not the case on Tuesday. The Capitals lost 7-2 to the Nashville Predators in a game every bit as one-sided as the score indicates. Viktor Arvidsson scored a hat trick and Nick Bonino added another two goals in a game that was well in hand before the end of the second period.

Here are three reasons the Caps lost.

Viktor Arvidsson

Arvidsson came into this game with 14 goals this season and 21 points in 23 games. He is one of the best players in the league that no one talks about and that was certainly on display in this game. He wasn’t a one trick pony either. His first goal came on the breakaway, his second was a deflection and his third was a shorthanded breakaway.

Arvidsson’s third goal

As one-sided as the game was, there was a moment in the second period when it looked like Washington was going to claw its way back into it. Down 3-0 in the second period, Nicklas Backstrom scored on the power play to make it 3-1. Less than five minutes later, T.J. Oshie drew a tripping call from Calle Jarnkrok. Suddenly it looked as if the Caps had a chance.

But once again, Washington had no answer for Arvidsson.

Backstrom tried to carry the puck into the offensive zone, but he was met and challenged by Arvidsson. Backstrom lost the puck and Arvidsson took off while Ryan Johansen grabbed the puck in the neutral zone. Johansen fed Arvidsson for the breakaway and he delivered the knockout punch.

Washington was eyeing a 3-2 game, but instead they suddenly found themselves down 4-1 and the rout was on.

Poor decisions

Give all the credit to Nashville for dominating this game, they dominated and deserved to win. Having said that, the Caps were clearly their own worst enemy in Nashville.

Tom Wilson carried the puck into the offensive zone in the first period. With no open passing lane, the only real option he had was to dump and chase or drive himself and pass back to the blue line. Instead, he forced a pass to Ovechkin who had to stop and reach back to grab the puck. He was also being covered by two players so it was no surprise when he turned the puck over. The resulting breakout led to a breakaway and Arvidsson’s first goal.

In the second period, Andre Burakovsky had the puck and looked like he had a lane to shoot or dive to the net. Instead, he pulled up and tried to cross the puck. The pass was easily picked off and Rocco Grimaldi was off in the other direction. He would finish off the play with a highlight-reel spin-o-rama goal, but it all started with a poor decision.

This game was full of those moments. Bad decision by the Caps and the puck was off in the other direction. The uglier the game got, the more Washington’s system and hockey sense went out the window. Two of Nashville’s goals came on the breakaway and one came on a two-on-one. Those type of odd-man breaks happen because of breakdowns.

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