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|Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:31:49 am Post subject: Nazi salutes or
|Of all the ways the Washington Capitals have tried to win in the playoffs Authentic Jonathan Drouin Jersey , none has been as effective as this.
They pushed the pace with speed and skill when Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom were part of the ”Young Guns.” They made every game a coin flip with tight, Dale Hunter hockey. Each time, an early exit followed.
This year is different. Suddenly, the Capitals are a suffocating defensive team that clogs the middle of the ice and makes even the fastest of opponents look slow.
The Vegas Golden Knights are the latest to get frustrated by Washington’s neutral-zone pressure that took a toll on Columbus, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay, paving the way for this run to the Stanley Cup Final. After cruising through three rounds with ease, nothing looks easy right now for Vegas because the Capitals have mastered the art of frustration, and are two wins away from hoisting the Cup for the first time.
”Offensive teams have certain tendencies, certain routes that they take through the neutral zone, plays they like to make, so if you can be on top of them and turn over some pucks, stifle them, make it hard for them to gain entry with possession, that frustrates skilled players,” defenseman Matt Niskanen said Sunday. ”If you can be in their face, just standing in the way, it’s amazing what that does.”
It’s amazing the transformation the Capitals have made since coach Barry Trotz challenged players late in the regular season to embrace this approach. It was clear as early as Game 4 of the first round that the 1-1-3 trap in the neutral zone had the ability to essentially shut down the opposing attack, and since the first two playoff games Washington is 10-2 when scoring first.
The Golden Knights have found how difficult it is to try to come back against the Capitals and need to adjust quickly down 2-1 in the Cup Final going into Game 4 Monday night. They have to make some adjustments before it’s too late.
”Our guys who have a lot of speed can go back deeper Su'a Cravens Jersey Elite , gather some speed,” winger David Perron said. ”Then the defensemen can try to freeze the first forechecker, kick it wide. These guys coming with speed, if they’re confronted, which they will be most times at the blue line, you can put it in and go on the forecheck. You can have guys hang close to the right wing or up top, and as the puck is coming your way, win the one-on-one battle with support. … We also have to try to not let them set up, so if there’s a turnover, a quick one, we can punt it up, go back on offense.”
The Penguins and Lightning tried that and couldn’t crack the Capitals well enough to advance.
”They’re really good at slowing you down,” Lightning forward J.T. Miller said during the Eastern Conference final. ”Right when you want to just chip it and go, there’s a guy, there’s a wall there, and guys are ready to go back and get it on the other side. … It’s just their ability to stand up and make you force plays because it looks like there’s more ice than there is, and then all of a sudden they do a good job of staying in front and retrieving pucks.”
Vegas is built on speed, but it’s hard to harness it if players can’t get blue line to blue line with the puck to create any offense. When the Capitals took a lead in Game 3 Jason Witten Jersey , they went into their now-patented scheme.
”It’s just kind of a group mentality to make life difficult on them,” winger Tom Wilson said. ”I think that’s when we’re at our best as a team is when we’re playing physical, we’re taking away time and space, making it difficult on their top guys.”
That difficulty wears on a team, and Trotz said it’s noticeable when an opponent tries to change its game and manage the puck differently to counterbalance the trap. When it works effectively, not only does it limit changes against, but it creates the kind of odd-man rushes that have paced Washington’s offense this postseason.
”It’s important to recognize moments when you can pressure, and we don’t want to get away from that, where we can send two guys and try to force teams into mistakes,” Niskanen said. ”If you can hold either the red line or the blue line with layers of support, you can force teams into turnovers, and we’ve done a good job of that.”
More Stanley Cup coverage: Jermaine Kearse was far from pleased last week when he heard the details of the NFL's new policy on the national anthem.
The veteran wide receiver and his New York Jets teammates couldn't be happier, though, to have the full support of acting owner Christopher Johnson.
"For me personally, I'm very appreciative of him," Kearse said after practice Tuesday. "I think he kind of gets it."
NFL owners voted last Wednesday to require players to stand for the anthem or stay in the locker room. Teams will be fined if players don't stand. Some players have been kneeling during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before games the last two seasons to protest police brutality and racial inequality.
"Honestly, I'm disappointed," Kearse said. "I think they're kind of missing the point. For us as a team Joe Carter Jersey , I think if you've paid attention, nobody on our team kneeled, but that doesn't mean we don't support the causes of why people are kneeling."
Johnson said shortly after the league announced the policy that he will not punish his players for any peaceful protests 鈥?and would pay any potential fines incurred by the team as a result of his players' actions.
"To me, honestly, the conversation about whether players are kneeling or not, I felt like that conversation was dying and it didn't get brought up until they decided to make the rules," Kearse said. "So, I think we're kind of getting away from the actual cause. I think we're starting to focus on the kneeling part rather than the cause behind it.
"I wish they would be more like Chris, to be quite honest, and support the players and actively be involved and have those conversations with their players."
Added coach Todd Bowles: "It's always nice to have the owner have your back. It's about the issues for us. We didn't have a problem a year ago. We'll continue to talk as a group, as a team and as an organization, and go forward from there."
Jets players say NFL owners 'missing point' with anthem rule.More from @DWAZ73: /t.co/fbmH4jkKAo" target="_blank">s/t.co/fbmH4jkKAo pic.OQp1Cy3C3N
鈥?AP NFL (@AP_NFL) May 29, 2018
Left tackle Kelvin Beachum echoed Kearse's sentiments about the NFL's new policy. Beachum and quarterback Josh McCown are part of the Players Coalition, an advocacy group of NFL players that has had discussions with league owners on social matters.
"It is disappointing, but it is what it is at this point," Beachum said. "We've been talking about this issue for a number of years and the league finally made a decision. We're going to still continue to do the work. Our owner supports us in doing that work and he's with us as we're doing that work. So we're not going to keep talking this game and keep talking about the anthem. We're actually going to do something about it and go find a solution."
Johnson met with the entire team last week and explained to the players why he voted in favor of the new NFL rule 鈥?only San Francisco's Jed York abstained 鈥?while also assuring them they would not be punished by the team if they did not adhere to the league's policy.
"He's very supportive of us," Kearse said. "I mean, whether guys choose to or not Adidas Brent Burns Jersey , he supports our decision 鈥?their decision 鈥?but like I said, nobody last year kneeled. The fact that he'll support us any way he can is a very gratifying feeling."
Johnson took over the day-to-day operations of the team last June from his brother Woody, who is serving as the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom in President Donald Trump's administration. Trump frequently has been critical of players who have protested during the anthem, so it would appear a tough spot for the younger Johnson while balancing business, politics and family.
But Christopher Johnson immediately earned his players' respect last year when he went up to each one in the Jets' locker room before the team's home opener against Miami in September and asked if he could stand with them in unity.
Johnson, the players and the coaches stood 鈥?arms locked 鈥?on the sideline before every remaining game. Several players pointed to the owner's actions as playing a large role in establishing cohesiveness on a team that stuck together despite a 5-11 record.
But Johnson's latest stance has become a polarizing issue with some Jets fans and even politicians saying the owner's support of a player potentially protesting during the anthem is misguided.
"It's great that he stuck his neck out there," linebacker Darron Lee said, "because I know a lot of people feel passionate about that."
New York Rep. Pete King wrote on Twitter on Saturday that it was "disgraceful" that Johnson would pay fines for players who would kneel during the anthem. King added that Johnson's decision was "encouraging a movement premised on lies vs. police."
"Would he support all player protests?" King continued. "Would he pay fines of players giving Nazi salutes or spew racism? It's time to say goodbye to Jets!"
Disgraceful that @nyjets owner will pay fines for players who kneel for National Anthem. Encouraging a movement premised on lies vs. police. Would he support all player protests? Would he pay fines of players giving Nazi salutes or spew racism? It鈥檚 time to say goodbye to Jets!
鈥?Rep. Pete King (@RepPeteKing) May 26, 2018
The Jets have not decided what they will do this year during the national anthem, but Lee said if he had to take "an educated guess," he thinks the team will lock arms again. Beachum and Kearse stressed that unity is the top priority with the Jets.
"I think it's very important that no matter what we do, that we do it together," Kearse said. "We're a locker room with different personalities, different thoughts, so not everybody thinks the same. Whate.