Let me start this post with an official apology for using “the” before D.C. United and secondly for referring to Coach Jim Larranaga by his official government name James. Okay, now that I’ve cleared that up let’s get down to business here’s my “ins.”
The Washington Capitals are maintaining their (in) status beautifully, and with their Sunday afternoon victory against the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, it marked the team’s eighth consecutive win. With an increasingly stingy Capitals defense and a newfound ability to put tight games away, it doesn’t seem as though this team plans on cooling off anytime soon.
The win also took the Caps up to 90 points leaving them only one point shy of the Philadelphia Flyers for the Eastern Conference lead.Deep in talent, it appears that the strength of this team is rooted in its ability to wear teams down with the superior skating on multiple lines and of course the stable of goalies.There’s still much to be proven but for now this team is scorching hot and once again on my list.
Charlie Davies and D.C. United are (in), and even though there was a 2-2 tie in Saturday’s game the team was able to come away with the Carolina Challenge Cup title. Davies started and scored a goal in the game, his performance may have solidified his role as a starter on this squad.
This pre-season has been very impressive for United, with the team posting a record of 2-0-1 in the tournament in Charleston, S.C., and 7-0-2 overall in preseason. The regular season starts this weekend Ben Olsen and the gang will be matching up with Columbus Crew. This will be a big game for the team to start out the season on the right foot and distance itsefl from the disappointing season of a year ago.
A new coach, some new players and what would seem to be a new attitude will go a long way, but it’s still Olsen’s first season so expectations should be realistic. He will need time to build the team back to where it was in the early 2000s.
Moving on to baseball, pitcher Jordan Zimmermannn and skipper Jim Riggleman and the Washington Nationals are in.The team is playing very well. Bryce Harper was sent down to Hagerstown to the minors but not before he showed that rare ability to be a superstar for this team in the future.
Things have been looking up for Jordan Zimmermann. He is showing really good form and seems to have completely bounced back from his Tommy John surgery. The Nationals will rely on Jordan to be one of several over-achieving right-handers in their pitching rotation this season. He threw five scoreless innings on Sunday that led to a Nationals’ win. .
The Nats finished last in the NL Est last year and will need to see if the team is better without the services of Adam Dunn. Jayson Werth was signed to a big contract and comes in with a solid bat and impressive defensive skills in the outfield. They should be better this year, it will be because Mike Rizzo has made some effective moves to help manager Jim Riggleman.
For the Hoyas, point guard Chris Wright will play in the NCAA tournament he was cleared to practice fully with the team. The news gets better. They don’t play until Friday, giving Wright all week to figure out how to use that non- shooting hand.
They come into the NCAA Tournament as a six seed but have yet to win a game without the services of Wright, so if he can get on the floor and be effective with that injured hand the Hoyas may stay in at least past their first game.
As for the Patriots, they will have their work cut out for them right away playing against Villanova.Villanova lost its last five games but still made it into the tourney as a nine seed, while Mason comes in just one seed better as an eight seed.
If the Patriots win their first game, they will likely match up against overall tournament No. 1 seed Ohio State, which will be a daunting task, But hey that’s why the game is played. Anything can happen and this Mason team is poised and ready to make a run.
Of course I have to send a quick shout out to my Alma Mater, Penn State. They played their way into the Big Ten Championship game, earning the right to play for it all in the NCAA Tournament.
We are Penn State! Of course they are always on my (in) list. I know I’m bias but hey I love me so Nittany Lions.