The newest Washington National has yet to make it to orientation, so he asks … Can somebody explain to me what natitude is?! — Denard Span (@thisisdspan) November 30, 2012 Sure, Denard. It’s the way the Nationals channeled their inferiority complex into a marketing tool. Sadly, however, the team won the division last year…
The Capitals’ top line got the better of the Penguins’ top line in Game 1, but don’t expect Pittsburgh to avoid that matchup going forward. Head coach Mike Sullivan saw plenty to like from his line’s performance.
Barry Trotz has shown all season that he likes putting his top line out against his opponents' and it has worked thus far in the postseason.
Sullivan, however, isn’t concerned.
“No, I’m not going to avoid it,” Sullivan said when asked if he would try to free his top line from the Caps’. “We don’t mind that matchup. I think Sid’s line can play against anybody and he's done that all year long and they've produced.”
But they didn’t in Game 1.
The Penguins’ line of Connor Sheary, Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist tallied zero points and each player finished with a minus-3 on Thursday. It was much the same for the Caps who were able to completely shut down the top line of the Philadelphia Flyers in round one, holding Brayden Schenn, Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds to only five total points in six games.
The key for the Caps has been going power vs. power, matching their top line of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie against their opponent's’ top line. It is a strategy that has worked on both ends of the ice (see Oshie’s hat trick in Game 1).
Despite the lack of production, however, Sullivan remains pleased with the top line’s performance.
"Even though they didn’t score the other night doesn’t mean that they didn’t have quality chances or have a fair amount of offensive zone time so we liked a lot of what Sid’s line did and we feel as though if they continue to play the game the way that they're playing they're going to end up on the score sheet.”
MORE CAPITALS: Wilson explains 'bluff' hut on Sheary
The Redskins made a draft day trade with the Saints for the second year in a row.
When Washington was on the clock for their fourth round pick, No. 120 overall, they made a deal with New Orleans. The Saints move up from the 152nd pick to the Redskins’ pick. The Redskins went back to the Saints’ pick, which is in the fifth round, and took New Orleans’ fifth-round pick in 2017.
The Saints took linebacker David Onyemata out of Manitoba, Canada with the pick.
The Redskins now have five more picks in this draft, two in the fifth round, one in the sixth, and two in the seventh.
And by getting the fifth-round pick for next year they recoup the selection they sent to the 49ers last year in exchange for tight end Derek Carrier. They now have eight picks in 2017, one in each round and two in the sixth. They got the extra sixth with a trade down in the first round on Thursday.
The Ravens targeted playmaking wide receiver Chris Moore with their second pick (107th overall) in the fourth round. While the Ravens expect wide receivers Steve Smith and Breshad Perriman to return from season-ending injuries in 2015, Moore could earn a role in the rotation and should add depth to a position where injuries have been a problem.
During his college career, Moore had 26 touchdown catches and excelled both as a deep threat receiver and as a possession receiver. His 21.1 yards per catch average last season ranked eighth in the nation, as Moore finished with 39 receptions for 823 yards and seven touchdowns for the season.
The Ravens were also attracted by Moore’s size -- 6-foot-1, 205 pounds. Moore showed a willingness to catch balls in traffic at Cincinnati, and he also broke tackles that led to long runs after the catch.
The Ravens also signed deep threat receiver Mike Wallace during free agency, so on paper, quarterback Joe Flacco will begin training camp with a diverse variety of weapons. Big plays were sorely lacking in the Ravens’ passing game last season, but Moore could play a part in changing that.