Ryan Madson is expected to be the Angels’ closer if he’s healthy for Opening Day following Tommy John elbow surgery that wiped out his entire 2012 season and general manager Jerry Dipoto says the right-hander is “on or ahead of schedule.” Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that Madson threw off a mound…
Sean Davis wore No. 21 at Maryland to honor late Redskins great Sean Taylor. But after getting selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, he ran into an issue.
No. 21 already belonged to fellow safety Robert Golden, so Davis improvised. As he showed at rookie minicamp on Friday, he is now wearing No. 28. Why? He shared on Twitter that he wanted to honor another great former Redskins defensive back -- Darrell Green.
@Steel_City513 Darrell Green— s e a n D A V I S (@umdsfinest21) May 5, 2016
Pittsburgh doesn't need Davis to produce like Green right off the bat, but he could end up with a starting spot in the secondary. The Steelers ranked 30th in the NFL in pass defense last season and, paired with fellow draftee Artie Burns out of Miami, the team will likely be looking to them as rookies.
The Caps have stayed pretty consistent with their offensive lines this postseason, but if Friday's practice is any indication, that's about to change. Head coach Barry Trotz changed his offensive look as his team prepares for a critical Game 5 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Here's a look at the top three lines from practice on Friday:
Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Andre Burakovsky - Nicklas Backstrom - Marcus Johansson
Jason Chimera - Jay Beagle - Justin Williams
Evgeny Kuznetsov took line rushes on the top line at practice with Nicklas Backstrom moving down to the second. Trotz has matched his top line against the top lines of both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh this postseason with success...at least defensively. Sidney Crosby has only one point this series, but the trade-off has been less offensive production from the Caps' top weapons. T.J. Oshie managed a hat trick in Game 1, but since then Oveckin, Backstrom and Oshie have combined for only three points.
With both the power play and the secondary scoring dried up as well, the Caps need to find some way to spark their offense. Switching up the lines appears to be Trotz's solution.
"We've got last change so they give me a little different matchups," Trotz said. "We don't have anything to lose right now."
As the Caps return home for Game 5, they will get the last line change, allowing Trotz to get the matchups he wants more easily. If he does find success, it will be difficult to replicate that in Game 6 as Pittsburgh will get the last change, but right now the Caps are just focusing on getting to Game 6.
The move allows Trotz to continue matching Backstrom against Crosby while freeing up Ovechkin and Oshie. It also could spark more offense from Kuznetsov.
A year after a breakout postseason performance, Kuznetsov has been largely absent throught the playoffs with only two points, none of which came at even strength.
When asked about the move, Kuznetsov said he was comfortable playing with Ovechkin and it would be an easy adjustment for him.
"We know each other and we know what we need to do on ice and all," Kuznetsov said. "Maybe some small areas we will correct a little bit, but it's still same hockey. We just have to play our game."
Williams also moves down to the third line after a surprisingly rough postseason performance.
"I know I'm counted on to support this team offensively and defensively among other things so I certainly put onus on myself to be better," Williams said.
Williams has contributed four points in the playoffs, but he's also a career low minus-5 and has 12 penalty minutes in just 10 games.
The third line may change a bit for Game 5 as Mike Richards was not at practice. According to the team he was under the weather, but Trotz said he should be OK for Saturday. Whether he would take Jay Beagle's spot at third line center or move down to the fourth line remains to be seen. Richards has also underachieved this postseason with zero points.
"Using the other side of your brain once in a while when you get someone different in the lineup," Trotz said. "That's really what we're trying to do tomorrow."
MORE CAPITALS: Trotz named Jack Adams finalist
Rookie minicamp for the Pittsburgh Steelers opened on Friday, which meant the first look at second-round pick and former Maryland Terrapin Sean Davis in black and yellow.
As shared by the team's official Twitter account, below is Davis tracking a ball during a drill. And it looks like he'll be wearing No. 28, which is a departure from the No. 21 he wore at Maryland
Pittsburgh made the secondary a priority in the 2016 draft, taking defensive back Artie Burns of Miami in the first round and Davis in the second. And it's not out of the question that one or both could start when the season begins.
That will be determined in time. And there's a lot of it between now and the opener.