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BY RICH GOLDBERG (@GoldyStats)
Here are five stats that help put the Capitals' Game 1 win over the Penguins in perspective for fans:
Streak over: T.J. Oshie entered Game 1 with a 0-5 record when scoring a goal in the playoffs. It took a hat trick to make that record 1-5. Oshie has 6 goals in 6 games (regular season/playoffs) against the Penguins this season.
Nothing new: The Penguins may have a 7-1 playoff series record against the Capitals, but they cannot win Game 1. Pittsburgh is 1-8 in the opening game of a postseason series against Washington. The Penguins have lost 7 straight Game 1 road games against all teams since 2001.
Hit parade: Alex Ovechkin is known for his goal scoring, but it’s his force and might swaying the way for the Caps. Ovechkin led the team with 7 hits in Game 1. He’s first on the Capitals with 35 hits this postseason and ranks 4th highest in the NHL.
Back to 0: Here are the Penguins power play goal totals against the Rangers last round: 1, 2, 1, 3 and 1. Against the Capitals it was 0. Thursday marked the first time in 6 playoff games the Penguins did not score a power play goal, going 0 for 2.
Two-ray! We had seen this before. Braden Holtby starts, allows 2 goals in a playoff game, Capitals lose. Thursday though, marked the first time in the last 14 games Braden Holtby allowed at least 2 goals in a playoff start and Washington won the matchup.
With many anticipating the possibility of a big first-round move by the Redskins, they ended up making literally the smallest move you can possibly make.
While they were on the clock with the 21st pick in the draft the Redskins made a deal to move back one spot. The Texans moved up to pick No. 21 and gave the Redskins their first-round pick, No. 22, and their 2017 sixth-round pick.
The Texans took Notre Dame wide receiver Will Fuller with the 21st pick and the Redskins took wide receiver Josh Doctson out of TCU. Both teams seemed to be happy with their picks. So the question is, why did they make the trade? The reasons for making big moves up and down the board are usually obvious; one team wants a particular player, the other team is willing to stockpile some additional picks for moving down. But a one-slot move?
For their part, the Texans said that did not want to risk losing out on Fuller.
"He was a guy that we felt strongly about," Texans GM Rick Smith told the Houston media on Thursday night. "We didn’t want to take a chance on not getting him. We were aggressive. We went and made the move.”
The Redskins’ official explanation did reveal much.
“There was a lot of phone calls being made and Bruce and Scot were talking to a lot of different teams and a lot of different options,” said head coach Jay Gruden. “That’s the best one that we felt was available to us.”
If this was indeed the best deal on the table then the other possibilities must have been pretty lopsided in favor of the other team. One theory floated in the media room at Redskins Park last night was that the Redskins were trying to buy more time to make a larger deal (perhaps with the Cowboys, who said they tried to move up to get quarterback Paxton Lynch). When the deal fell through, this theory goes, they settled on Doctson.
One thing is certain—the Redskins had to be willing to risk losing Doctson to the Texans. If he was far and away the best player on their board, why would they risk losing him for a sixth-round pick next year.
The deal does make the Redskins’ 2017 draft slate nearly whole again. Last summer they traded their fifth-round pick to the 49ers in exchange for tight end Derek Carrier. Now they are back up to seven picks with none in the fifth and two in the sixth.
BALTIMORE – This is an anniversary I’d rather forget. Many people are writing about the fanless game that took place one year ago today, and I should be one of them.
I was there. I saw it.
I remember the same details everyone else does. Chris Davis throwing balls into the empty stands, Caleb Joseph pantomiming signing autographs, and the fans at the nearby Hilton cheering.
But, for me, that week was one of the worst experiences of my life.
As a 36-year resident of Baltimore, I had seen many things, but on the night of April 27, when the Orioles scheduled game with the Chicago White Sox was postponed because of the riots, I tried to get home as quickly as I could.
My home, in Baltimore’s Bolton Hill neighborhood, is just over a mile from where much of the rioting occurred, and I needed to be home.
Without traffic, I’m home in 10 minutes, and at the beginning of my trip, I thought I’d easily do that. There was no traffic on the streets, but halfway home, I saw a line of police dressed in riot gear, and I had to make a detour.
A detour past smashed windows and some ransacked stores.
I sped through a couple of red lights and heard a radio report that stores in my neighborhood had been looted. Just then, I saw some kids walking down the street with boxes, presumably of stolen goods.
I made it home safely, but later found that my car hood had been damaged. Some kids jumped on it, I guess.
The next few days were awful.
While I waited for news on the fate of the scheduled Orioles games, neighbors went to the nearby stores to help them clean up.
And, after the fanless game was played, the Orioles prepared for their hastily scheduled series in Tampa Bay where they would be the home team.
It would have been interesting to see that, but I was needed at home.
For several days after the riot, there was a 10 p.m. curfew, and police helicopters continually circled about our house. I can still feel the noise a year later.
The Fifth Regiment Armory is a few blocks away, and when the National Guard was deployed, that’s where they went.
It was disturbing seeing armed tanks not only downtown when I went to get a haircut and go shopping, but more upsetting seeing the Guard riding around my neighborhood.
In the last 12 months, crime in our neighborhood and the city is up, but our neighbors, many of whom are close friends, haven’t abandoned their homes.
It’s a neighborhood with many advantages. It’s close to downtown, restaurants and attractions, full of people who help each other in times of need.
A year later, the Orioles and Chicago White Sox, the team they faced in that game are playing again tonight. I’ll be happy to concentrate on that game instead of the one everyone remembers.