Beninati: Lengthy Shootout Win

Beninati: Lengthy Shootout Win

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Caps fans love it when a lengthy shootout goes their way and tonight's game gave them an awful lot to appreciate. This game had so many twists and turns. Let's work backwards from the end of the game, back to the opening period.Semyon Varlamov was exceptional in the shootout. His cat-like reflexes were on display as eleven Islanders tried to beat him and only Jeff Tambellini succeeded.The Caps were also stymied byDwayne Roloson at the other end. Alex Semin scored in round two for the home team and then Chris Clark rifled home the eventual game winner in the 11th round. Before that an Islander had the game on his stick, eight straight times to no avail.The Islanders never give up in a hockey game, so it was no surprise to see them rally to tie the game late in regulation. Trent Hunter's 30-foot slapshot was overpowering with 2:08 left, giving the New Yorkers a power play goal that forced overtime. What else is new when these two teams play? Seven of their last nine meetings have not been settled in regulation.Alex Ovechkin would have loved to play in this one. It was a wide open offensive showcase from the beginning. I don't expect Alex to play in this weekend's games. But he had to pleased when his buddy Alex Semin scored just eight seconds into the game with an evil slapshot. That marker tied the Caps record for fastest goal from the start of a game, equaling the late Gaetan Duchesne's goal against St. Louis in March of 1987.The Islanders took that early uppercut and came back with a few big punches of their own. Three goals on just five shots prompted an early exit for Jose Theodore. The only goal I didn't care for was the one by Matt Moulson. Theodore left a bad rebound off the initial shot for Mark Streit which was not a tough one to handle.

Lifting Theodore sparked the Caps to rally for their veteran netminder. A young goalie eventually proved to be the hero on a night when Verizon Center was shaking at games end. See you on CSN for Friday's game with Minnesota.

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VIDEO: Trent Williams walks gingerly while helped to locker room after injury

VIDEO: Trent Williams walks gingerly while helped to locker room after injury

Left guard Trent Williams was injured late in Washington's 20-17 loss to Detroit on Sunday, a development perhaps lost in shuffle of the Redskins' final drive as they attempted to tie or win the game. 

Williams was helped off the field and brought to the locker room, where he was gingerly escorted by the team's medical staff to be examined further. 


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Five observations from Ravens' woeful Week 7 loss to Jets

Five observations from Ravens' woeful Week 7 loss to Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, N. J. – The Ravens blew yet another late lead and thanks to a woeful second-half perofrmance, dropped their fourth consecutive game.

Here are the five observations from the Ravens' 24-16 loss to the Jets:


1. The Ravens have so many issues and injuries, beating any opponent would be a struggle.

The Jets (2-5) had lost four straight, but they outplayed the Ravens, who have lost four straight for the first time ever under coach John Harbaugh’s.

Seven key Ravens were out with injuries – Steve Smith Sr., C. J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs, Marshal Yanda, Ronnie Stanley, Elvis Dumervil, and Shareece Wright.

But the Ravens weren’t playing well offensively, even before the injuries began to pile up. In this game, the defense gave up 101 yards rushing to Matt Forte. The Ravens are fortunate to have a bye in Week 8, because they need it. But if they don’t play better, nothing will change.

2. The Ravens can no longer blame their one-dimensional offense on Marc Trestman.

The Ravens finished with just six yards rushing. Yes, just six yards.

Trestman isn’t calling plays anymore after, being fired as offensive coordinator. But they reverted back to bad habits in Marty Morhinweg’s second game as offensive coordinator. Running back Terrance West was bottled up by the Jets’ defense, and the Ravens were shutout in the second half when they became pass-happy and ineffective.

Without starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley (foot) and right guard Marshal Yanda (shoulder), the Ravens’ offensive line was outplayed. But if the Ravens don’t become a better offensive team after the bye, the losing will continue.

3. Injured arm or not, Joe Flacco’s two interceptions cost the Ravens dearly.

Flacco throw back-to-back interceptions on two straight series in the third quarter, leading to 10 points for the Jets. Up to that point,

Flacco had thrown the ball fairly well playing with a sore shoulder. But if he’s going to help the Ravens win, Flacco needs to do more than just play hurt. He needs to play well. His inconsistent play, not just in this game, but all season, has helped put the Ravens in their current situation.

4. Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick likely reclaimed his starting job.

Fitzpatrick (9 for 14, 120 yards) entered the game late in the second quarter after Geno Smith went out with a knee injury.

Fitzpatrick was not spectacular, but he avoided mistakes and helped move the offense. That means Fitzpatrick likely remains the Jets’ guy, and he may have to anyway if Smith is seriously injured.

5. A strong game by Ravens wide receiver Mike Wallace was wasted.

Wallace (10 catches, 120 yards) had an excellent game, but he did not have enough help. The Ravens need other wide receivers to make more plays, but part of their success depends on Flacco playing better as well.