Capitals

Tapley, Franklin lead No. 20 SDSU over Tritons

Tapley, Franklin lead No. 20 SDSU over Tritons

SAN DIEGO (AP) The San Diego State Aztecs had some fun late in an exhibition game against Division II UC San Diego, leaping and bumping hips after consecutive dunks by Jamaal Franklin and Chase Tapley gave them a 30-point lead.

Tapley scored 15 points, Franklin had 13 and transfer JJ O'Brien added 10 as the Aztecs beat the Tritons 80-56 on Monday night.

It won't be anywhere as easy on Friday night, when the 20th-ranked Aztecs open the season against No. 9 Syracuse in the Battle on the Midway on San Diego Bay.

Now comes a game on the flight deck of a decommissioned aircraft carrier, against a tough opponent and whatever Mother Nature throws at the teams.

``Syracuse is obviously a formidable challenge,'' SDSU coach Steve Fisher said. ``We talked about their length and size and their 2-3 defense that makes it hard to get inside. We'll have our hands full from that standpoint but we're going to come out and play very, very hard. We have a good team.''

The Aztecs outrebounded the Tritons only 35-33.

``The thing we must get better on is defensive rebounding,'' Fisher said. ``We have to rebound the ball. If we don't do that on Friday, we're in big trouble.''

The Aztecs got some looks against the 2-3 zone

``Again, it's a whole different animal when they're 6 inches taller,'' Fisher said. ``We've got a handful of set plays, quick-hitting set plays against the zone. ... I know they'll create some opportunities for us and then we'll have to make some shots.''

After reaching the NCAA tournament for the third straight season, the Aztecs return four starters and welcome a highly touted recruiting class that includes three Division I transfers and three freshmen.

Drew Dyer led UCSD with 13 points.

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Capitals stars react to losing Barry Trotz as head coach

Capitals stars react to losing Barry Trotz as head coach

LAS VEGAS—Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom weren’t expecting to lose their head coach less than two weeks after winning the Stanley Cup.

But business is business, Ovi said, and Barry Trotz is handling his by attempting to capitalize on claiming the championship.

“It’s sad,” Ovechkin said on the red carpet at the NHL Awards, where he accepted his seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy on Wednesday night. “Obviously, we won together.”

The Caps’ captain also thanked Trotz for directing him—and his teammates—to new heights.  

“First of all, [I want to] thank him for a great job to be our coach, to be our dad, to give us a chance to win,” Ovechkin said. “But then again, it’s a business. You never know what’s going to happen. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be fine and I wish him luck.”

Backstrom, meanwhile, said he was caught off guard by Trotz’s decision to step down over a contract stalemate with the team. Trotz asked for $5 million per for five seasons; the Caps balked over the terms Trotz’s camp sought.   

“I was a little surprised, obviously,” Backstrom said. “I heard the scenario.”

Like Ovechkin, though, Backstrom praised the job Trotz did during his four-year tenure.

“He’s done a great job in Washington,” Backstrom said. “We obviously have him to thank for a lot. He’s done a tremendous job of schooling us and winning a championship. No one is going to take that away from him.”

Trotz’s next move is unclear, but he’s a free agent and currently eligible to negotiate with any team. The Islanders are the only team with an opening for a head coach.

As for Washington, GM Brian MacLellan said that associate coach Todd Reirden will get the first crack at replacing Trotz.

Ovechkin said he thinks Reirden would be a good fit.

“We all respect Todd,” Ovechkin said. “We all like him. Again, it’s not our thing to say who’s going to be head coach, but if it’s going to be Todd, it’s going to be fun.”

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A drawing of the moment Ovi lifted the Stanley Cup makes the moment joyful all over again

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Daniel Duffy on Twitter/@RealArtOfWords

A drawing of the moment Ovi lifted the Stanley Cup makes the moment joyful all over again

How do you make a photo of Alex Ovechkin hoisting the Stanley Cup for the first time even more memorable?

You make it out of all the Capitals' game scores this year, of course.

Capitals fan and artist Daniel Duffy (@RealArtOfWords) posted a phenomenal finished piece commemorating the Cup win on Wednesday, June 20. It's a little meta and astounding to look at, but very fun to try and read. If you want to relive the glory that was the parts of the 2017-18 Capitals season, check out the piece.

The piece, which appears to be done in a traditional medium like pen or marker, holds the team faced, arena played at, and final score of every game. It uses six colors and over sixty lines of text. Ovechkin roars as he holds the Stanley Cup overhead, the white away jersey shaded with bits of grey text. It takes a skilled eye to sort text and colors into shapes and shading, but Daniel did a fantastic job! It's awesome to see a fanbase create different interpretations of iconic moments. We'll surely see more of Ovechkin in this moment.

Just as we thought we were going to get tired of the celebration, fans find new ways to surprise us. Stay creative, Caps fans!

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