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Despite other worthy candidates, Alex Ovechkin glides past competition
8 May 2013 | No Comments | By Alena Schwarz, Senior Writer
This year’s Hart trophy for the most valuable player is a no-brainer. All bias aside, Washington’s Alex Ovechkin is the clear winner. For one of the first times since being elected captain, Ovechkin has stepped up into his leadership role. Ovechkin’s statistics show that he’s deserving of the reward. He scored 21.9 percent of the team’s regular season goals with 32, and added 24 assists to boot. Of those 32 goals, 16 came on the power play and four were game-winners. Without Ovechkin’s leadership and clutch goal scoring, Washington wouldn’t have made the strong playoff push that it did. However, it’s important not to overlook the other […] Read the full story »

Columns, Slapshots, Sports »

1 May 2013 | No Comments | By Alena Schwarz, Senior Writer
Playoff is by far the most exciting kind of hockey. Really, there’s no more coveted trophy than the Stanley Cup. It takes 16 wins to be named the best team in the league and in such a physically demanding sport, only the strongest of the strong deserve the honor. Starting with the Eastern Conference, here’s a breakdown of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs: No. 1 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. No. 8 New York Islanders There is no reason why Pittsburgh shouldn’t come out on top of this matchup. The Penguins were victors in four out of five games against the Islanders this year. Especially […] Read the full story »

Columns, Slapshots, Sports »

Caps rise to Southeast Division title
24 Apr 2013 | No Comments | By Alena Schwarz, Sports Editor
I wrote on Feb. 7 that the Washington Capitals wouldn’t be successful this season. As a Caps fan, I’ve never been so happy to be proven wrong. So what changed? Well, for starters, Adam Oates’ system finally started clicking.  The players believed in the system, learned the system, and locked it down. Another key factor is the power of Braden Holtby. The young goaltender is easily the best goalie Washington has had in a long time. Holtby is second in the league in shutouts with four and 17th in save percentage with .919. While his 2.61 goals against average isn’t as great it could be, statistics don’t […] Read the full story »

Columns, Featured, Slapshots, Sports »

3 Apr 2013 | One Comment | By Alena Schwarz, Sports Editor
The Washington Capitals have a history of anti-climactic trade deadlines. But this year was different for all the wrong reasons. At the 2013 deadline, Washington traded Swedish prospect Filip Forsberg to the Nashville Predators for forwards Martin Erat and Michael Latta. It’s not a bad trade on paper, but after even basic analysis, this is a terrible idea. First of all, Latta is an AHL-level player. And Erat, he’s a right wing with four goals and 17 assists so far this season and minus-7 rating. Erat is under contract through 2015-16 season, but at 4.5 million cap hit a year, he isn’t the cheapest player. And at […] Read the full story »

Columns, Featured, Slapshots, Sports »

What’s wrong with the Southeast
5 Mar 2013 | No Comments | By Alena Schwarz, Sports Editor
The Southeast division has a reputation of being the weakest division. This season it’s especially bad. But why? It certainly isn’t because of scoring. The Southeast has the current goal-scoring leader in Steven Stamkos from the Tampa Bay Lightning, who is also the second-highest points-scorer in the league. Tampa’s Martin St. Louis is second in assists, and Carolina’s Eric Staal and Alexander Semin are second and third respectively in plus-minus. The reason falls to goaltending. There’s only one stat in which there’s a Southeast goaltender in the top 10 and that’s Carolina’s Dan Ellis at ninth in the league in save percentage with .923. Not an impressive […] Read the full story »

Columns, Slapshots, Sports »

27 Feb 2013 | One Comment | By Alena Schwarz, Sports Editor
The Chicago Blackhawks are the NHL right now. They are killing the competition with a dominant 35 points and the next highest scoring team is Anaheim with 29 points. This is also the team that, over the weekend, set a new NHL record for the number of games a team starts the season without a regulation loss. Chicago broke the record with its 17th win and still have yet to break the streak 19 games into the season. The Hawks are also riding a six-game win streak and are 9-0-1 in their last 10 games. This team looks pretty much unbeatable. And as was said in an […] Read the full story »

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13 Feb 2013 | No Comments | By Alena Schwarz, Sports Editor
While on the East coast, the Western Conference teams are often forgotten, but right now, they are tearing up the National Hockey League. Chicago has yet to lose a game in regulation and is 7-0-3 in their last 10 games. With 23 points, they are leading the league and don’t look to be slowing down any time soon. Patrick Kane and captain Jonathan Toews lead the team in points with 20 and 13 points respectively. Kane also leads the team with nine goals. Another Western Conference team soaring right now is the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks, led by former Washington bench boss Bruce Boudreau, are 7-2-1 in […] Read the full story »

Columns, Slapshots, Sports »

6 Feb 2013 | No Comments | By Alena Schwarz, Sports Editor
With the NHL officially back in action, it’s time for a new column devoted to the great sport of hockey. I’m a Washington Capitals fan. Technically born in Baltimore but raised in D.C., I’m a Washington sports girl to the end. That being said, this column is devoted to all hockey. But since most people reading this column are likely Capitals fans, I’ll start with them. Despite the poor start to the season, Washington is not out of luck yet. This team had six days to learn a new system from a new coach. Not to mention many of these players hadn’t played since last May. Then […] Read the full story »