Caps Open Season With High Hopes - part 1

Last Friday evening, the Verizon Center was brimming with higher expectations than in seasons past as they faced Philadelphia. The area appeared packed like never before for a pre-season game. It was apparent that the Caps have plenty to look forward to this season. The Caps won the game and showcased some of the young talent of the future with a big tough center in Beagle and a steady top blue line defenseman in Alzner. See more at this best seo hosting

Beagle's size bodes well for the future. His style of play would create the perfect contrast to Backstrom. Federov doesn't have many years left and Beagle could fill a role not seen in a Caps uniform since Dale Hunter, but first he'll need to hone his face off and passing skills. If he could become a 15 goal and 50-65 assist center a season and play the PK, it would be create even more match up problems for teams in the future. Rebound goals would come as long as Beagle plays near the net.

The Caps boast the most depth and talent they've had in a very long time. A lot of young talent and prospects have landed in the Southeast Division making it a very competitive division. The Caps should be poised to capture the division title once again this year.

Bumping up against the league maximum in salary cap, the Caps were forced to send the likes of Alzner, Beagle, and Bourque back to Hershey. Alzner illustrated how ready he was to play at the NHL level vs. Philly. He's already utilizing his size as he moves the opposition out of the crease and can move the puck up ice too. Of all the recent defensemen to rise through the Caps ranks since Scott Stevens, Alzner looks the most ready to play at the top level from the start of his career.

Ovie is ready for another great season and hopefully with a healthy Semin should produce plenty of scoring. Federov should once again steady Semin with Backstrom and Ovie posing a challenge to all teams. Chemistry along the forwards and lines is one of the greatest challenges the Caps face in the first half of the season.

Caps Open Season With High Hopes - part 2

Most likely captain of the team Clark will skate with the third line and Nylander, but this poses an unbalance of sorts along the lines. Although Kozlov is a favorite of Ovenchkin's, Kozlov's skill set doesn't mesh well on the first line. Kozlov doesn't do enough dirty work to allow Backstrom and Ovechkin to use their skills. If there's one thing fans have discovered about Ovechkin it's his unselfish ability to place the team first and put winning first above all else.

Clark may not be the ideal candidate on the top line, but until a better complimentary player emerges he fits nicely. A top line of Ovechkin, Backstrom, & Clark would allow a second line of Semin, Federov, and Fehr. This is a make or break year for Fehr and placing him on the second line to demonstrate his ability to consistently play at this level or be demoted, scratched, or cut. Moving Kozlov to the third line would be no insult because on most teams would covet a top line of Kozlov and Nylander. A third line of Flash/ Laich, Nylander, and Kozlov would appear to also fit well as Nylander would be afforded the luxury of skating and Kozlov the ability to find the soft spot in the open ice to shoot and also have Flash's speed on break aways or Laich's pesky skill around the net. The fourth line would possess the PK unit with Steckel and Gordon along with either Bradley or Brashear on a given night. More about book of mormon tickets stubhub here.

Having the consistency from the first line is important, but equally so is understanding there needs to be a one two scoring punch forcing the rest of the league which line will be uncovered against a weaker defensive pairing. But unlike any point in Caps history they now have a third scoring line and the defenseman to clear the zone, push the puck up the ice and join the attach when needed. It all starts Friday night in Atlanta as the season begins.

Mock Draft: Philadelphia Eagles - The DC Sports Page

To continue our own mock draft, the Philadelphia Eagles are on the clock now with the 19th Pick in the draft.

The Eagles have some very obvious needs. The Eagles need a wide receiver badly, but the last time the Eagles drafted one was Mitchell which seem like eons ago. They appear to loathe blowing a pick on a WR and a position that usually takes two years to mature and three years in the league before making a giant leap. For more see the phantom of the opera tickets london.

There are plenty of WR's in a solid but not too spectacular class. Will they take a WR or go in a different direction?

Most likely the Eagles will choose to opt away from the WR position and players such as Limas Sweed and DeSean Jackson. With Dawkins increasing the overall average age of the defense alone the Eagles may consider taking Phillips at safety. Mayo at ILB would also be a consideration due to his tenacious ability and versatility. He'd make a defensive coordinators dreams come true by adding an extra dimension to making a designed play in the book a reality. Taking a LB over an OL would seem over kill at this point as the Eagles constantly look to protect their QB and rightfully so with McNabb.

Ultimately, the best OT's are off the board and the Eagles who know how to get pressure on the QB may look at DE. The Giants have shown the path to success and for a team that cut "The Freak" Jevon Kearse a pass rushing defensive end would be a great fit. Calais Campbell the last of the top DE's would be a great fit opposite Cole. The Eagles boast a proud rich tradition of DE's from Reggie White to Clyde Simmons and Hugh Douglas. Having two book end pass rushers wreaking havoc on teams would bring back a dominating Eagles identity in the NFC East Division.

Tampa Bay is now on the clock with the 20th pick.

Mock Draft: Pittsburgh Steelers - The DC Sports Page

To continue our mock draft, rotating the picks among the bloggers, the Pittsburgh Steelers are now on the clock with the 23rd pick in the draft.

As a Patriots fan I never thought I'd utter these words, but: I miss Bill Cowher. Nothing against Mike Tomlin, who I thought did a fine job in his first year as a head coach, but Cowher not only was a good coach, but was always entertaining to watch on the sideline. Whether he was jawing with one of the refs over a blown call (with the requisite spit spraying out from his mouth every couple of words) or staring down one of his players after a boneheaded mistake, you could bet that Cowher would do something interesting or funny just about every week (remember when he stuffed that photo in the ref's pocket to protest the lack of a twelve men call?). In fact, he was so charismatic and famous that my non-football-watching wife even knew who he was, though I believe she used to refer to him simply as "Angry Man." Personally, I always thought that he looked like a cross between Popeye and J. Jonah Jameson, but I digress. Let's face it, the NFL is a bit less interesting without him. Now on to the pick. You can take internet wayback time machine.

Pick #23: Mike Jenkins, CB S. Florida
Heading into the draft, the Steelers most pressing needs are at offensive line and cornerback, but with a veritable run on offensive tackles occurring in the DC Sports Page mock draft, and the lone first-round-worthy interior lineman Albert taken just a few picks ago, the Steelers are best served by taking the best CB available, Mike Jenkins of S. Florida. In fact, many mock drafts have projected Jenkins going in the top-15 picks, and ahead of Flowers, so this is good value as well. Jenkins is a big, physical bump-and-run type corner who should be able to come in and immediately compete for playing time in the Steelers nickel and dime packages, and also push aging starter Deshea Townsend. So with back to back cornerbacks just taken, the Tennessee Titans are now on the clock!


Moss Portis and Fletcher Steal Victory from Lions

It was another day at the office for Portis and Moss who contributed 126 yards rushing and 140 yards receiving. Moss provided some breathing room with an 80 punt return for a touchdown. Three big plays stood out to winning today's game which included Santanna's two big plays one for a receiving td and his punt return. The other big play was Fletcher big hit on the Lions fourth down late in the game, which sealed the victory.

Although the Skins have become more comfortable in the running game and short passing game, the last few weeks have shown great weaknesses in the intermediate and any attempt in the deep passing game. Campbell took the ball in the second half with no one else in the back field. The result was chaos as a jail break occurred and another bad play for the Skins. For Campbell and the offense, someone else must step up as a threat opposite Moss as better teams come up in the next portion of the schedule. The team still needs to work on pass blocking with three and four receiver set plays and five to seven step drops for Campbell. For more, you can see matilda the musical tickets nyc.

Zorn also chose to kick a fifty plus yard field goal attempt rather than punt and pin the Lions back or going for it on fourth down with either choice forcing the Lions back deeper in their own territory than after a missed kick which transpired. It will be interesting to see if the results in the deep kicking game today bear any consideration in future games for Zorn.

On defense it was another day at the office for the linebackers led by Fletcher along with another stellar performance by Landry. Only Evans recorded a sack on Orlovsky. The front four gave Orlovsky plenty of time as if a bust in Canton was waiting for him. A lack of any pressure has to be a concern as three division games along with games against the Steelers and Ravens lay ahead.

In the end, the Skins found a way to win against a team they were supposed to beat. It was an ugly win that has the pundits wondering if the Skins are for real and asking how they can look so good against a good team one week and bad versus mediocre teams another week? It will be another tough test with the Steelers coming to town on Monday night to face the now 6-2 Skins!