Stephen Drew has been sidelined by post-concussion symptoms since March 7, but the Red Sox shortstop has been cleared to resume baseball activities after being examined by a specialist in Pittsburgh. There’s no timetable for his return to game action and Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that once Drew does resume playing in…
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.
The Ravens will be on the clock early again on Friday night, scheduled to pick fifth in the second round, at No. 36 overall. After taking Notre Dame tackle Ronnie Stanley with their first pick at No. 6 overall, the Ravens could turn to the defense in the second round, and there is a lot of defensive talent still on the board.
Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said on Thursday night that the Ravens expect to get a first-round talent with their second pick.
"We love the top 36 players in this draft," DeCosta said. "So we're going to get an outstanding player. ... We're very, very confident that at 36 we're going to get a guy that we feel like is a first-round type talent."
So who might that be? Here, in alphabetical order, are a few candidates that could be in play when the Ravens are on the clock:
CB Mackensie Alexander, Clemson
The Ravens couldn't trade up for Jalen Ramsey, so they remain in the market for cornerback help. Alexander has shutdown capabilities though there are concerns about his height (5-10) matching up with elite receivers on the outside. Ravens assistant GM Eric DeCosta predicted a run on cornerbacks between picks 25 and 40, and Alexander figures in that equation.
OLB Kamalei Correa, Boise State
An early entry to the draft, Correa had 12 sacks as a sophomore at Boise State and then seven this past season. Correa (6-3, 243) has played defensive end and linebacker but is considered best suited as an edge rusher in a 3-4 defense.
CB Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech
Kendall is about to become the fourth Fuller brother to be drafted, and he could find his way back to his hometown Ravens. A knee injury early last season knocked Fuller out of the first round, but he's a first-round talent when healthy and would be a nice fit for the Ravens.
LB Myles Jack, UCLA
Wait a minute, he's still around? Yes, Jack had been mentioned as a Ravens first-round pick in many mock drafts, but concerns about his knee -- which he exacerbated by mentioning the possibility of microfracture surgery -- sent him tumbling down draft boards. Still, he's a potential top-10 talent who is still available.
DE Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky
Spence is the type of edge rusher the Ravens have said they covet. He had eight sacks as a sophomore at Ohio State. But off-the-field issues remain his biggest question mark; he was booted from Ohio State because of failed drug tests and tried to boost his draft stock by transferring to Eastern Kentucky, where he recorded 11 1/2 sacks last year.