Nationals

Saban: Latest SEC games debunk predictions' value

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Saban: Latest SEC games debunk predictions' value

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Nick Saban interrupted the breathless pontification about a weekend that jumbled the Southeastern Conference and national title races with a brief message.

See, I told you.

Saban took the losses of top-5 teams Florida State and SEC foes Georgia and LSU as support for his oft-repeated contention that pundits' predictions aren't worth much in college football.

``There's a lot of parity in college football,'' he told a gathering of reporters on Monday. ``The teams that most of you in this room make head and shoulders above other teams, obviously shows you this last weekend how badly you can be mistaken. I know I can be mistaken and get criticized, but you guys are badly mistaken when you make teams that are like so much better than everybody else.

``This weekend kind of proved that your predictability is not very good. I think what it proved is the only thing predictable about college football is its unpredictability.''

Saban's top-ranked Alabama team returned from an open date Monday to a very different landscape - except at the very top. Some poll voters and college football observers are say the Crimson Tide are ``heads and shoulders above other teams.'' Saban can turn the Saturday surprises into a message for his own Tide (5-0, 2-0) leading up to a visit to Missouri (3-3, 0-3).

The gist: It can happen to you, too, if you let it. Linebacker C.J. Mosley thinks the message was received even before Saban addressed the team ahead of Monday's practice.

``We take it as a wakeup call to us that anyone can be beaten if we don't bring our A Game and be ready for everybody every week,'' Mosley said. ``We could end up in the same boat.''

Some of Alabama's veterans need only point to what happened at this point two years ago. That's when a 5-0, defending national champion Tide team stumbled badly in a loss at South Carolina. That team lost two more games, too.

Tide safety Robert Lester said this group is different.

``There's a lot more leadership,'' Lester said. ``And there's a lot more guys that don't want those feelings to come back as we had in 2010. Leaving South Carolina after a loss, it was horrible. I knew what it felt like and a lot more guys knew what it felt like. We don't want our younger guys to go through that and we definitely don't want to go through it again. So we're doing as much as we can to keep that from happening again.''

Now, Alabama takes on a Missouri team that is without quarterback James Franklin, who sustained a sprained left knee in a loss to Vanderbilt.

The Tigers will try to do something the first five opponents couldn't and at least put a scare in the Tide.

Alabama has lost two receivers and two running backs likely for the season with injuries. Saban said H-back Brent Calloway and backup quarterback Blake Sims both have worked at running back in the past and could be used at that position some if needed.

Alabama's performances have been fairly pristine, except for the kind of issues that Saban can use as object lessons. Like scoring field goals instead of touchdowns in some of the frequent red zone trips.

Then again, Alabama, Oklahoma State and Buffalo are the only teams who have scored on every trip inside the opponents' 20-yard line.

The Tide, Air Force and Louisiana Tech are the only major college teams who haven't thrown an interception.

Only three teams have committed fewer penalties. Plus, Alabama leads the nation in total and scoring defense.

No wonder Saban and elder statesmen like Lester mined the weekend off for reasons to be wary.

``We try to tell the young guys you don't want things like that to happen in your season, to open your eyes while you're trying to accomplish what you want to do,'' Lester said. ``Any time you lose a game like that, it sucks for the rest of the season.''

The Florida victory over LSU disrupted some of the anticipation for a Tide-Tigers rematch of the national title game on Nov. 3, but it still could decide the SEC West. Alabama doesn't play either No. 3 South Carolina, No. 4 Florida or No. 14 Georgia in the regular season.

``I love competition,'' Lester said. ``I would love to play great teams like that. We still don't know for sure if we might see one of them teams for the SEC championship if we make it.''

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Brian Dozier's power on display once again with moonshot HR in Colorado

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Brian Dozier's power on display once again with moonshot HR in Colorado

After a very slow start to the season, Nationals' second baseman Brian Dozier has been seeing the ball a lot better over the past few games.

On Monday, Dozier took Rockies pitcher Tyler Anderson deep in the fourth inning to give the Nationals a three-run lead, his third home run in the last four games.

He went deep against Miami twice over the weekend, both solo shots. The first came during Friday's 3-2 loss and the latter in Sunday's 5-0 victory.

This one, though, was a no-doubter. Take a look.

After staring for a brief second, Dozier didn't need to look any longer; he knew the ball was several rows into the seats. That altitude in Colorado definitely helped, as the home run landed 435 feet away.

Dozier has struggled to hit for contact thus far in 2019, posting just a .177 average entering Monday. But when the ball has hit the bat, it's traveled a long way.

For the Nationals sake, hopefully Dozier's power continues. They're counting on better production from the seven-year veteran than they have received thus far in 2019.

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NHL Playoffs 2019: When is Capitals-Hurricanes Game 7? how to watch, date, time, live stream, TV channel

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NHL Playoffs 2019: When is Capitals-Hurricanes Game 7? how to watch, date, time, live stream, TV channel

The Carolina Hurricanes held serve at home in Game 6, beating the Washington Capitals 5-2 to force a Game 7 in their first-round series of the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Hurricanes and Capitals each won three games at home, and with the Capitals hosting the Hurricanes in Game 7 on Wednesday, April 24, the defending Stanley Cup champs seem to have the home-ice advantage. The Capitals last faced a Game 7 in the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals. Andre Burakovsky scored twice and Braden Holtby pitched a shutout to send the Caps to the Stanley Cup Final.

A win over the Hurricanes at Capital One Arena on Wednesday night send the Capitals to the second round to face off against Barry Trotz and the New York Islanders.

The game time for Game 7 on Wednesday has yet to be announced. 

Capitals vs. Hurricanes Game 7 How to Watch:

What: 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. Eastern Conference First Round. Game 7: Washington Capitals vs Carolina Hurricanes
Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Time: TBD.
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington D.C.
TV Channel: TBD (Channel Finder)
How To WatchStream pregame and postgame coverage Game 7 of Capitals vs. Hurricanes on the MyTeams by NBC Sports app or tune into NBC Sports Washington.
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan FM)

Don't already have the MyTeams By NBC Sports App? Click to download here and stream the Capitals-Hurricanes live!

Capitals vs. Hurricanes Game 7 TV Schedule:

NBC Sports Washington Daily TV Listing

Tune into Capitals FaceOff Live 90 minutes before Game 7 puck drop, with an extended, 60-minute edition of Caps Pregame Live to follow. After the game, tune in to another extended version of Caps Postgame Live, and Caps Overtime Live, only on NBC Sports Washington.

Capitals vs. Hurricanes Game 7 Injury Report:

Capitals: Michal Kempny (torn hamstring, out for season), T.J. Oshie (broken clavicle, out)

Hurricanes: Andrei Svechnikov (Concussion, day-to-day)

Capitals vs. Hurricanes Game 7 Players to watch: 

Braden Holtby, G, Capitals

Holtby has been stellar in must-win games, but had a poor showing in Game 6. Can he pitch a shutout in Game 7 like he did a year ago? With the defense still figuring itself out, Holtby will need to unleash the beast0

Warren Foegele, F, Hurricanes

Warren Foegele has been a Capitals killer in the playoffs thus far, scoring three times and assisting on two others. If the Hurricanes eliminate the Capitals from the playoffs, it's going to be due in large part to Foegele's efforts.

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