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NHL and players still talking

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NHL and players still talking

Perhaps the only thing more annoying than watching the NHL and its players haggle over how to divide $3.3 billion is seeing NFL types tweeting erroneous information.

Early Saturday night former NFL quarterback and current NFL analyst Boomer Esiason tweeted, “My sources telling me, #NHL good to go. Let’s get it on boys! #NYR.”

About an hour later, Philadelphia television reporter Howard Eskin tweeted, “Starting to hear strong word that #NHL could cancel season in next 24 to 48 hours. Gary Bettman thinks too many issues to put together deal.”

“Just rumors,” an NHL player told CSNWashington.com when asked for the latest from New York.

While Esiason is an avid hockey fan and Eskin a trusted source for information on the Philadelphia Eagles, neither spent Saturday night in Manhattan, where representatives from the NHL and NHLPA met for more than 10 hours trying to end the 110-day lockout.

Under the guidance of federal mediator Scot L. Beckenbaugh the two sides were still meeting face-to-face at 11 p.m. Saturday night.

The sticking point continues to be the owners’ proposed salary cap of $60 million for next season. The players have been pushing to raise that ceiling to $65 million but have been met with strong resistance.

Based on projected revenues, a $60 million salary cap could require players to place about 8.4 percent of their salaries in escrow in the first year, while a $65 million cap would mean about 15.7 percent in escrowed salaries, with that figure declining each season.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has set a Friday deadline to either come to an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement or cancel the season, but many believe a decision on the season could come in the next 48 hours.

If the NHL can settle its dispute in the coming days there remains hope of completing a 50-game season. If a deal is reached closer to Friday, the league will plan a 48-game slate.

Early projections were that teams could play division rivals seven times and other conference foes twice each in a shortened schedule, while other proposed schedules had four games against division opponents and three against other conference foes.

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NHL Power Rankings: Caps’ offense and defense are going in different directions

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USA TODAY Sports

NHL Power Rankings: Caps’ offense and defense are going in different directions

If someone had asked you before the season to guess whether the Caps would look better offensively or defensively at the start, most people probably would have picked defense.

With defensive guru Todd Reirden at the helm, Braden Holtby in net and a top four headlined by John Carlson who is starting to establish himself as one of the league’s top blue liners, plus an older offensive core with Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie all over 30 years old, you certainly could be forgiven for thinking the offense would have more growing pains in the first month of the season than the defense.

And yet, three weeks into the season, the opposite has been true.

CHECK OUT THIS WEEK’S NHL POWER RANKINGS HERE 

Take a guess as to which team has the top offense in the NHL. Toronto? Tampa Bay? Actually, it’s the Caps.

Washington ranks first in the league with 4.14 goals per game. Where they have struggled of late has been on the other end of the ice where the Caps are allowing 3.86 goals per game, good for only 28th in the league.

Friday’s game against the Florida Panthers was a horrible defensive game in which the Caps allowed five regulation goals and lost in a shootout. The problem was not that they allowed five goals, it’s that all five came from the slot directly in front of the net.

There were no deflections, no unlucky bounces, none of those chance hockey plays that make you throw up your hands and say, nothing they could have done about that one. No, there were just five goals scored in high-danger areas as the Panthers picked the defense apart.

Defensively, the Caps had no control of the front of their own net and that’s a problem.

Washington has allowed at least four goals in all four of their losses this season. Having a dominant offense does not matter nearly as much if the defense cannot keep up.

The Caps are starting to fall back in the rankings after three losses in four games. Where do they fall this week?

FIND OUT IN THE LATEST NHL POWER RANKINGS

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Capitals vs. Canucks: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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USA Today

Capitals vs. Canucks: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Washington Capitals (3-2-2) head to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada after an overtime/shootout loss against the Florida Panthers last Friday. 

The Caps are determined to avoid the devastation they felt in the first period when they gave away four goals to the Panthers. They will need to focus in the power plays and avoid penalties at all costs.

Many fans were looking forward to the reunion with former player Jay Beagle, who is now centerman for the Canucks, but he is unfortunately out on injury. However you can look out for Caps Nic Dowd, who will have his own homecoming game against his former team. 

Here is everything you need to know about Capitals vs. Canucks which takes place at 10:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington.
 

CAPITALS vs. CANUCKS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals vs. Vancouver Canucks, Game 8 of the 2018-19 NHL Regular Season

Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

When: Monday, October 22 at 10:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: The Capitals vs. Canucks game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports Washington Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals vs. Canucks on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Caps 24/7 Radio, 106.7 The Fan FM

CAPITALS vs. CANUCKS SCHEDULE

9:00 PM: Caps Faceoff Live
9:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live
10:00 PM: Capitals vs. Canucks
12:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live

CAPITALS vs. CANUCKS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Lars Eller, F, Capitals: In his last game, he had a three-point night with three assists. He is a messaive help and shined within the trio of Vrana and Connoly on Friday.

Tim Schaller, F, Canucks: He was struggling in the preseason but came back with a vengeance. He assisted with a penatly kill and is a key component in fourth line. 

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