Capitals

Seattle's playoff road history not a pretty view

Seattle's playoff road history not a pretty view

RENTON, Wash. (AP) While they are one of the hottest teams going into the postseason, there's a lot of past playoff futility for the Seattle Seahawks to overcome - nearly three decades worth.

Seemingly unbeatable at home, the road - especially in the postseason - has been a different tale for the Seahawks. It's been 29 years since Seattle last won a playoff game on the road. They've lost eight straight road playoff games since winning at Miami on Dec. 31, 1983, when only nine players on their current 53-man roster were even born.

On Sunday, Seattle (11-5) travels to the East Coast to take on another hot team, the Washington Redskins (10-6). The Seahawks have won five in a row, and seven of their last eight; Washington brings a seven-game winning streak into the game.

``If you want to be a good team you definitely got to be able to win on the road,'' Seattle defensive end Red Bryant said. ``You never get a scenario exactly how you want it unless you fortunate enough to be like Atlanta.''

The Falcons earned home field throughout the NFC playoffs by finishing 13-3. After being the only team to go 8-0 at home, the only way Seattle can return home for a postseason is if it somehow ends up playing Minnesota for the NFC title.

``In terms of us going forward, we've got to go on the road and we're looking forward to it,'' Bryant said.

There was a reason Seattle coach Pete Carroll hoped his team could get at least one home playoff game - the Seahawks have some forgettable road playoff losses.

After beating Miami in the `83 playoffs, the Seahawks were routed 30-14 by the Los Angeles Raiders in the AFC championship game despite beating the Raiders twice in the regular season.

Seattle was routed at Miami in 1984 and in 1987 fell 23-20 at Houston in overtime after rallying to tie the game in the final minute of regulation. Seattle won the AFC West for the first time in 1988, only to get top-seeded Cincinnati in the playoff opener and a 21-13 loss.

After a lengthy drought with just one playoff appearance, the Seahawks started their run of success in the middle of 2000s with a wild-card berth and a trip to Green Bay in 2003. Shaun Alexander scored with 51 seconds left to pull Seattle even at 27 and force overtime where, after winning the coin toss, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck told referee Bernie Kukar, ``We want the ball and we're going to score,'' as a playful jab to former teammate Brett Favre.

Hasselbeck then threw an interception on the first possession of overtime that Al Harris returned it 52 yards for a game-winning touchdown.

There was another overtime loss in 2006, this time at Chicago, and losses to Green Bay (2007) and again to the Bears (2010) to complete the eight-pack of road woes.

Carroll said the challenge this week is not getting wrapped up in playing on the road.

``There will be a feel about the playoffs, there's always a kind of air about it that you can sense it's different, but the key is not allowing that to factor in to what it really takes to prepare well and not miss the message,'' Carroll said. ``They will be as excited to play, and I think everybody is going to have great focus this week just because it is the playoffs, but that's something we're trying to create on a regular basis so that when we get to this time we've already been there done that.''

Seattle got a significant break in the schedule by landing the late afternoon Sunday game on the opening weekend. The Seahawks are following their normal regular season practice schedule and continuing with a trend of flying to the East Coast two days before kickoff that Carroll started in his first season.

Washington cornerback Josh Wilson knows the difficulty of making that West-to-East trip. He played for the Seahawks from 2007-09 and will now face his former team on Sunday.

``This game being at 4:30 actually may help them a little bit,'' Wilson said. ``It's definitely tough when you have that 1 o'clock game. It feels like about 10 o'clock to you. You wake up three hours before the game, so it's about 7 o'clock in your mind. It's tough to travel that long distance.''

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Caps leave All-Star Game with plenty of highlights, but no wins

Caps leave All-Star Game with plenty of highlights, but no wins

ST. LOUIS -- There was no All-Star championship for the Metropolitan Division All-Stars this year. The Metro was not able to defend its crown in 2020 as it fell 9-5 to the Atlantic Division in the first game of the All-Star Game tournament on Saturday.

Despite the early loss, the Capitals certainly left their mark on the event. Here were the highlights:

An ovation for Oshie

T.J. Oshie began his NHL career in St. Louis and remains a fan favorite there even now in the midst of his fifth season in Washington. That was evident when Oshie was introduced to the crowd to thunderous applause.

“I think it's a pretty cool story,” Oshie said. “It's something that I'm going to enjoy telling the kids and grandkids down the road. But I think the coolest part for me was just the cheers from the fans when my name was called a couple times there. I enjoyed playing here. I love playing in D.C. though, but I had some good experiences here, some heartbreaks, some pretty good teams we played on. Just to get back here, just kind of crazy that my first All-Star Game ended up being in St. Louis. It was a great weekend, it was fun, the fans were awesome as always.”

The starting lineup

Todd Reirden went with what he knew to start the game as Oshie and John Carlson both started the game with Braden Holtby in net. The only non-Cap to start was New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal.

The Barzal, Oshie, Carlson trio seemed to find some chemistry through the game and Oshie had nothing but positive things to say of the speedy forward after the game.

“Obviously his skill level's off the charts, just skating, his stickhandling and vision on the ice,” Oshie said. “Obviously we would've liked to put up some more goals, but it's nice trying to get open and have him find me than chase him around the ice and just try to not get made a fool of. It was awesome. He's a great kid. It was nice kind of getting to know him off the ice here these last couple days.”

While Oshie wished for more production, that line actually acquitted itself nicely. Oshie recorded one goal and one assist, Carlson had one goal and Barzal had two assists.

Carlson scores a milestone

The Atlantic Division jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but Carlson scored the first goal of the game for the Metro.

Holtby broke up a scoring chance for the Atlantic as he blocked a centering pass with his stick which sparked the breakout in the other direction. Carlson and Barzal had a 2-on-1 opportunity and Barzal set up Carlson for the shot past a helpless Frederik Anderson. Oshie recorded a secondary assist on the goal.

That was not just the Caps’ first goal of the game, it was the first goal by a Caps defenseman at the All-Star Game in franchise history, according to the team. Quite the milestone.

“That’s great,” Carlson said. “I guess I had no idea.”

Oshie scores in St. Louis

I mean, he had to, right? His first All-Star game coming in St. Louis, there was no way Oshie was going to walk away from this game without scoring.

The Metro Division cycled in the offensive zone and Seth Jones dropped the puck off to Oshie near the blue line. He cut up the middle then fired a shot to the corner to beat Anderson, making him the eighth player in Caps’ franchise history to score at an All-Star Game.

Coach Osh in the house

Oshie’s family has always been the talk of Washington because of how adorable his daughters are and that was on full display again on Saturday. But it was Oshie’s dad who stole the show.

Oshie’s father suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. That makes traveling very difficult. After Oshie’s goal, however, the broadcast cut to Oshie waving up to his father who had been able to make the trip to St. Louis.

“It's always great to have Coach Osh around,” Oshie said. “He missed our fathers' trip this year, it's kind of hard for him to travel, but we were able to make it work for him to come to St. Louis where a lot of the people you see working down here behind the scenes probably know him better than they know me, so he got to see some old friends. Just special to have him here to witness my first All-Star Game in person.”

Oshie added, “There's certain milestones that I've made in my career that I want him to be a part of if he's able to make it and this was one of them He came to St. Louis quite a bit when I played and he has a lot of friends here, a lot of people that treat him really good as well. This was something that I didn't want him to miss."

Holtby ends on a high-note

Let’s face it, the All-Star Game does not favor the goalies. A 3-on-3 tournament is meant to promote as much scoring as possible. As a result, it is often a tough night for the netminders and that was true for Holtby who made five saves on nine shots in his single period of play. But Holtby was able to end his night on a high note with one of the top saves of the game.

David Pastrnak set up Shea Weber on the far-side for what looked like a lay-up on Holtby, but Holtby was able to stretch the pad for the fantastic toe save to deny Weber.

“It felt good to make a save,” Holtby said.

“It's difficult, but it's fun too,” Holtby said of the 3-on-3 format. “It's challenging. I think guys are starting to figure it out a little bit more with the cross-ice pass and stuff. But it's fun to be a part of.”

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Oshie gets warm All-Star welcome on St. Louis return, scores with dad in attendance

Oshie gets warm All-Star welcome on St. Louis return, scores with dad in attendance

Former St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie was welcomed back to Enterprise Arena fondly by the NHL All-Star crowd that included his family.

At the end of Oshie's entrance on to the ice, the camera showed plenty of Blues players cheering for him. In seven seasons with St. Louis, Oshie played 443 games and tallied 310 points (110 G, 200 A) and a +71 plus/minus rating. He even served as an alternate captain for his final two seasons before being traded to the Capitals for Troy Brouwer, Pheonix Copley and a 2016 third-round draft pick. 

That wasn't all for Oshie's All-Star performance -- he scored 5:29 into the first period to give the Metropolitan Division team a 3-2 lead.

Oshie is the eighth Capitals player in franchise history to score in the NHL All-Star Game.

Oshie's family, including his dad, Tim, affectionately known as "Coach Osh," was in attendance to witness his first All-Star appearance, making the moment even more special.

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