Sunday, November 7, 2010

Comcast SportsNet Announces 2010-2011 College Basketball Schedule

Per the Comcast SportsNet Marketing Department:

Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, the region’s premier source for television and online sports coverage, has announced its 179-game schedule of 2010-11 NCAA men’s and women’s basketball coverage, which begins with the Maryland men’s season-opening game against Seattle University at Comcast Center on Monday, Nov. 8, at 8 p.m. A special college basketball edition of Washington Post Live will air prior to the game at 7:30 p.m.

The region’s top men’s teams take center court on Comcast SportsNet in November to start the season, including Maryland, Georgetown (Nov. 12 at Old Dominion), Virginia (Nov. 18 at Stanford) and Virginia Tech (Nov. 21 at UNC Greensboro). Early season match-ups also feature Old Dominion, James Madison (Dec. 2 at Longwood), William & Mary and VCU, who face each other in Richmond on Dec. 4.

Comcast SportsNet’s comprehensive 129-game men’s college basketball schedule features the nation’s leading conferences, including the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), Pac-10 and the Atlantic 10 (A10). As the official network of the ACC, Comcast SportsNet will provide 19 of the conference’s top weekly match-ups throughout the season as part of ACC Sunday Night Hoops.

This season’s ACC men’s coverage on Comcast SportsNet includes 39 games, with Maryland scheduled to appear 11 times, including key games against rivals Duke (Jan. 9) and North Carolina (Feb. 27). Virginia is slated for nine games on the network and Virginia Tech will appear five times. Comcast SportsNet will provide live coverage as these teams go head-to-head when the Hokies host the Cavaliers on Dec. 5 and the Terps take on the Cavaliers on Jan. 27.

Comcast SportsNet, the official network of the CAA, will air 21 games featuring conference teams this season, highlighted by George Mason, Towson, Old Dominion, James Madison, VCU and William & Mary. The network will also feature area teams as part of its A10 men’s schedule, which includes three games each for George Washington and Richmond. Comcast SportsNet will also deliver conference tournament coverage of the A10 in March.

Comcast SportsNet’s coverage of women’s college basketball, which features expanded coverage of the ACC and CAA, begins on Dec. 5 when Old Dominion hosts Tennessee. The 50-game schedule picks up again when Maryland travels to Duke on Jan. 6, which marks the first of four regular-season appearances on the network for the Terps. Virginia will make four regular-season appearances on the network and Virginia Tech will be featured twice. Comcast SportsNet will also carry all of the action from the ACC tournament, including the championship game on March 6.

The CAA women’s basketball schedule on Comcast SportsNet this season includes several teams in the region, including Old Dominion, James Madison, Towson, VCU and William & Mary. In all, the network will air 14 games featuring CAA teams. Comcast SportsNet’s live-game coverage will also include the conference’s tournament final on March 13, as well as the tournament finals from the Big 12 and PAC-10.

Top Game Notes for Capitals vs. Flyers

Today’s Storyline
Crazy eights: Entering tonight’s contest against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin both have eight goals apiece, which is tied for sixth in the NHL and makes Washington as the only team in the league with two eight-goal scorers. The duo has combined for seven goals in the last four games for the Capitals, who enter tonight’s game just one point behind the Flyers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

NOTE OF THE NIGHT
Green light – Mike Green and John Carlson are tied for the lead among Capitals defensemen with eight points each. That makes the Caps one of two teams (Chicago) with two defensemen with at least eight points (entering Saturday’s games). Last year, Green had more than three times as many points (76) as the next closest Capitals defenseman (Tom Poti, 24).

FIVE MORE NOTES NO MEDIA PERSON SHOULD BE WITHOUT

Second that – The Capitals have outscored their opponents 12-0 in the second period in the last three games. Washington has scored 16 goals in their three-game winning streak, 12 of those 16 goals coming in the middle stanza.

Young in Net – With Braden Holtby’s NHL debut Friday night – a win in 10 minutes of relief work – the Caps have now had three of the nine youngest goaltenders to appear in the NHL this season.

Tall hands – Alexander Semin scored Washington’s fourth shorthanded goal of the season Friday night, which leads the NHL and matches the Capitals’ total number of SHGs all of last season.

Goal streaks – Mike Green and Alexander Semin have each scored goals in three straight games, matching Alex Ovechkin for the Capitals’ longest goal streaks this season.

Flying past Philly – The Capitals were 3-0-1 versus the Flyers last season, outscoring Philadelphia 21-13 and have won three in a row (two at Verizon Center).

Capitals assign Marcus Johansson to Hershey Bears

Per the Washington Capitals Media Relations department:

The Washington Capitals have assigned center Marcus Johansson to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.

Johansson (YO-hahn-son), 20, has a goal in six games for the Capitals this season. He missed the last six games due to injury but took warm-ups with the team last night and has been cleared for game action. He will join Hershey in Charlotte for the Bears’ game there on Sunday.

The 6’0”, 197-pound center was Washington’s first selection, 24th overall, in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What Happened to the Islanders?

On Oct 13, I went to the Capitals-Islanders game at the Verizon Center with a good friend of mine who happens to be an Islanders fan.

He's born and raised in New York, so we try to go to one Caps-Isles game a year. So far, each one has ended well for me; we've gone to two, and the Caps have one both.

The most recent meeting ended in a 2-1 win for the Caps thanks to a late power play goal from Nicklas Backstrom. I was not surprised by the close score as the Islanders have played the Caps extremely tough in the Alex Ovechkin era.

Though the Islanders lost two nights later in Pittsburgh to the Penguins, 3-2 in overtime, they rebounded with quality wins in their next three games over the Colorado Avalance, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Tampa Bay Lightning.

The wins over the Leafs and Lighting both came on the road and in overtime, and handed the Leafs their first loss of the season and the Lightning just their second.

I couldn't help but get a little excited.

As any long time hockey fan knows, the New York Islanders are one of the more storied franchises in the National Hockey League. From 1974-1988, the Islanders made the playoffs every season including five consecutive trips to the Stanley Cup Finals from 1980-84 that saw the Islanders win four straight Cups from 1980-83.

The Islanders are one of only two franchises in NHL history to make five straight appearances in the Finals, the other being the Montreal Canadiens who actually accomplished that feat twice.

The Islanders have also had eight former players or coaches inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Al Arbour, Mike Bossy, Clark Gillies, Denis Potvin, Billy Smith, Bill Torrey and Bryan Trottier were members of all four Cup winning teams, while Pat LaFontaine is the most recent inductee, having been honored in 2003.

At 4-1-2 after the three straight wins I thought "How cool would this be? One of the leagues former giants returning to prominance at a time when the league is making it's return to mainstream status."

The Blackhawks did it last year breaking their 49 year Stanley Cup drought.

Well, that feeling of optimism has quickly faded.

On Thursday night, the Islanders lost to the Ottawa Senators, 4-1, for their sixth straight loss. It was also the Islanders third straight blow out loss as they lost Wednesday night in Carolina, 7-2, and Saturday in Philadelphia, 6-1.

The Islanders have lost their last three games by a combined score of 17-4, and have trailed by multiple goals before notching their first in all three.

The Islanders fell behind the Flyers 4-0, the Hurricanes 5-0, and Thursday night to the Senators 3-0.

This recent run of futility cannot be blamed solely on goaltending as Dwayne Roloson and Rick Dipietro have each started three times.

What is it that is ailing the Islanders? Not special teams as the Islanders have scored six power play goals during the six game skid while only allowing four.

Wait. Really?

I thought winning the special teams battle usually guarunteed a win?

Well, in most cases it does, but not this one.

I don't know exactly what is going on here. Maybe John Tavares is keeping Doug Weight out to late at night and Grandpa Dougie isn't getting his proper rest.

Sorry Weight. I know that was a cheap shot, but you are 39 while little Johnnie is only 20.

Whatever the reason for the Isles current struggles, they need to fix it.

For a league trying to re-establish mainstream status, it wouldn't hurt for one of it's past giants to re-emerge.

Attention Capcentre readers

I have made a change to the site. You can now leave comments on my posts without needing a google e-mail account. I am going to be posting content regularly in the near future, so your comments are appreciated, and welcomed.

Thanks,

Justin