Capitals

Stony Brook defeats Hartford 73-59 in America East

Stony Brook defeats Hartford 73-59 in America East

STONY BROOK, N.Y. (AP) Jameel Warney scored 17 points and Stony Brook raced to a big halftime lead in a 73-59 victory over Hartford Saturday in America East action.

Three Stony Brook starters joined Warney in double figures as the Seawolves (12-4, 3-0) roared to a 37-18 halftime lead. Hartford (10-7, 3-1) went scoreless for nearly six minutes in the first half and never cut the deficit to single-digits.

Besides Warney, Dave Coley and Tommy Brenton scored 16 points apiece, with Brenton taking 10 rebounds for a double-double. Carson Puriefoy finished with 15 points.

Evan Cooper led Hartford with 18 points, 12 coming on 4 3-pointers. Mark Nwakamma (10 points) was the only other Hawk in double figures.

Stony Brook was 24 for 42 from the floor (57.1 percent), Hartford 22 for 60 (36.7 percent). The Seawolves outrebounded Hartford 36-23, and sank 22 of 34 foul shots to Hartford's 7 of 9.

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The baffling exclusion of John Carlson from the Norris Trophy finalists

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USA TODAY Sports

The baffling exclusion of John Carlson from the Norris Trophy finalists

The finalists for the Norris Trophy – awarded to the defenseman who demonstrates the greatest all-around ability in the position – were unveiled on Sunday. Somehow, John Carlson was not among them.

This is the second consecutive year Carlson was a deserving candidate and the second year he will not even be among the top three.

The Norris Trophy is voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association -- of which I am a member so I guess you can blame us -- but make no mistake, this is a snub in every sense of the word and a major oversight that Carlson cannot get the recognition he deserves.

Ballots will be made public after the awards are given out. Until then, we are not supposed to divulge exactly how we voted, but I will tell you that Carlson was in my top three, and he absolutely should have been a finalist this year.

If you had asked me prior to the 2017-18 season who the most important defenseman on the Caps was, I would have told you it was Matt Niskanen. I saw Carlson as an offensive-heavy player whose skills in his own zone were lacking. I had to eat those words later as Niskanen was injured in mid-October and missed the next month of the season. During that month, Carlson averaged 27:47 of ice-time per game, which led the entire league. He showed he could contribute offensively, defensively, on the power play and penalty kill. There was nothing he could not do.

Suddenly, the Caps’ top pairing of Dmitry Orlov and Niskanen was replaced by Carlson and whoever he was paired with. That continued into this season.

But while Carlson has reshaped his image in Washington, his reputation as an offensive first player instead of an all-around defenseman persists, and it cost him.

There is no set standard every voter sticks to when it comes to evaluating players for the Norris. You can look at whatever stats you want whether it is Corsi, Fenwick, points, PDO, defensive zone starts, high-danger chances for -- the list goes on. Here’s why Carlson was in the top three of my ballot: Not only did he play exceptionally well, but the Capitals relied on him more in more situations than any other team relied on a single defenseman.

Carlson finished the season ranked eighth in the NHL in time on ice per game at 25:04. Burns finished just ahead of him with 25:06. Both Giordano (24:14) and Hedman (22:46) played less.

Carlson was among the top 40 defensemen in shorthanded time on ice per game with 2:35, something only Giordano (2:40) could boast among the other finalists. Carlson was also first among all defensemen in power play time on ice per game with 4:05, significantly more than Hedman (3:19), Giordano (3:19) or Burns (3:17).

There is no situation in which the Caps are not comfortable putting Carlson out on the ice and no situation in which he is not expected to play heavy minutes. He has taken a bigger role defensively as the team’s top shutdown pair of Orlov-Niskanen has had a down year. Despite the heavier defensive workload, Carlson still managed to finish in the top four in points among defensemen with 70, a career-high.

I am not here saying that Burns, Giordano or Hedman are not deserving of being finalists. In fact, Carlson did not finish first on my ballot. It seems crazy to me, however, that he did not finish in the top three this season or last. All three finalists had strong seasons, but Carlson’s season was just as good and he was more heavily relied upon. He is one of the top offensive blueliners, but that’s not all he is.

Until he manages to overcome that reputation, which persists through no fault of his own, he will continue to be on the outside of the Norris race looking in. And that’s a shame considering how good he has been.

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NHL Playoffs 2019 Roundup: Bruins, Sharks force Game 7

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NHL Playoffs 2019 Roundup: Bruins, Sharks force Game 7

With the first round starting to come to a close, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vegas Golden Knights had a chance to advance to the second round Sunday, while the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks needed a win to hang on. It was both teams facing elimination that were able to come out on top.

Here's how Sunday's Game 6 matchups stacked up.

Bruins stave off elimination with 4-2 win

After Friday's Game 5 victory, it looked like the Toronto Maple Leafs may possibly overcome their previous woes against Boston. However, with their backs against the wall, the Bruins were able to come back and force yet another Game 7 between these rivals.

Morgan Reilly was able to put a one-timer past Tuukka Rask to put the Maple Leafs up 1-0 early, but two minutes later, Brad Marchand struck on the power play to even the score. Soonafter, Torey Krug fired home a rebound on another power-play opportunity to put Boston up 2-1 heading into the second, where Jake DeBrusk extended the lead by two.

Auston Matthews scored his fifth of the playoffs to cut the lead to one, and he now has points in four straight games through this series. The Maple Leafs continued their comeback bid as the final frame died down, but Brad Marchand was able to fight past defenders and secure the win with an empty netter.

Rask finished with 22 saves, and Frederik Anderson stopped 38 of 41 shots. The Bruins and Maple Leafs will meet in yet another Game 7 Tuesday, as has been the case between the two teams in the playoffs over the years.

Sharks stun Golden Knights in 2-1 OT win

As if the intensity of the playoffs alone wasn't enough, Sunday's thriller between the Sharks and Golden Knights put fans all over the NHL at the edge of their seats. The score was deadlocked for five periods before the Sharks finally trimphed to see another tilt with Vegas.

The game was scoreless until the final nine seconds of the first period, where Logan Couture beat Fleury with a quick shot to make it 1-0. Jonathan Marchessault struck in the second period to tie things up at one. Both Martin Jones and Marc-Andre Fleury were having strong performances that kept the game even, and the score would last to force double overtime.

Despite 59 shots on goal and a power-play chance in double overtime, Marc-Edouard Vlasic would find Tomas Hertl open on the PK, and he was able to carry the puck up ice and score shorthanded to win the game for San Jose.

Jones was easily the first star of the night with 58 saves, while Fleury finished with 27 saves on 29 shots. As Hertl promised, the Sharks will head to Vegas for a decisive Game 7 Tuesday.