Capitals

Washington State suspends star WR Wilson

Washington State suspends star WR Wilson

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) Washington State star receiver Marquess Wilson was suspended on Monday for an unspecified violation of team rules, and will miss Saturday's game against No. 17 UCLA.

Cougars oach Mike Leach declined to say why Wilson was suspended, although he said the punishment would last at least a week.

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reported Monday that Wilson stormed out of a team practice early Sunday evening.

Washington State (2-7, 0-6) was blown out 49-6 at Utah on Saturday for its sixth consecutive loss. Afterward, Leach complained that the effort of his players was ``bordering on cowardice.''

``That could have been a zombie convention,'' he said of his team's play immediately after the game.

Wilson, a junior, has been the target of Leach's criticism for much of the season, and has recently been demoted from his starting position despite leading the team in receiving. Wilson has caught 52 passes for 813 yards and five touchdowns this season.

Last season, he caught 82 passes for 1,388 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Leach said Wilson's return was up in the air.

``It would depend on circumstances and we'd have a discussion,'' Leach said.

Leach was asked if the public criticism of his players might be counter-productive, and replied that he had in the past considered replying with ``yes or no'' answers to most questions.

``Typically if I am asked a question, I'll give an honest answer,'' Leach said Monday. ``Evidently there is some dissatisfaction with that.''

In response, Leach answered several reporters' questions with vague and positive comments.

``Everybody on the team is a great partner, win or lose,'' Leach said at one point.

``There's a lot of love in the room, totally,'' he said.

Earlier Monday, quarterback Jeff Tuel said the coaches were trying to get more effort out of the players.

``I think it's obvious at some points in the (Utah) game we could have got better effort,'' Tuel said.

``It's tough to put a finger on what makes this team play well some weeks and not well other weeks,'' Tuel added.

Tuel said he felt ``disbelief'' when he heard Wilson walked out of practice Sunday.

Tuel said the coaching staff has been pushing Wilson hard.

A players' only meeting was planned to discuss issues with the team heading into the final three games, Tuel said.

``There's a lot of flak coming in from the outside about this program,'' Tuel said. ``You are not going to break us as players.''

Linebacker Travis Long declined to discuss the Wilson situation.

Asked if Leach took some getting used to as a coach, Long said: ``Yeah, it takes you a little while to get used to him. It's not that big a deal, because he is the coach.''

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Alex Ovechkin scored the goal that sent the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Final

Alex Ovechkin scored the goal that sent the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Final

On June 4, 1998, Joe Juneau scored the biggest goal in the history of the Washington Capitals.

In Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final, Joe Juneau attacked the crease and shot in a rebound past a helpless Dominik Hasek in overtime to defeat the Buffalo Sabres and win the Eastern Conference.

That goal sent the Capitals to its first and, before 2018, only Stanley Cup Final.

Alex Ovechkin’s name was already etched in the history books for the Capitals several times over, but on Wednesday he added it again with the biggest goal of his career. His goal in Game 7 stood as the game-winner meaning it was the goal that sent the Capitals to their second Cup Final.

You can watch it here:

It did not come in overtime and was not quite as dramatic as Juneau’s. In fact, no one knew the significance of the goal at the time. It came just 62 seconds into the contest. It was a significant goal, but no one realized right away that it would be an historic one.

How fitting is it that Ovechkin scored the game-winner? Ovechkin who this team was built around, who reignited the franchise and built Washington into a hockey city. After all the criticism over the years, all the talk about how he can’t win, all talk about how the team should take away the C and all the talk about how the Caps should trade him and start over, this goal was not just a moment of history, but one of vindication.

When we look back on Ovechkin’s career, at all the individual awards and accomplishments, this one single goal will stand above the rest. This was the biggest game of his career and he scored the biggest goal of his career just 62 seconds in.

There’s one way he can top that: lead the Caps past Vegas for their first Stanley Cup.

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5.24.18: Rick Horrow talks with Andy Bush, EVP Global Events Octagon Worldwide

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USA TODAY Sports

5.24.18: Rick Horrow talks with Andy Bush, EVP Global Events Octagon Worldwide

Sports professor Rick Horrow talks with Andy Bush, EVP Global Events at Octagon Worldwide and wraps around the world of sports business for this week.

By Rick Horrow

Podcast Editor: Tanner Simkins

LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST HERE.