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Rui Hachimura Out Indefinitely as Wizards Prepare to Open Training Camp
09/25/2021 1:42pm

Hachimura out indefinitely as training camp nears originally appeared on NBC Sports WashingtonThe Washington Wizards willopen 2021-22 training camp on Tuesday, but appear set to do so without Rui Hachimura, their projected starting power forward. Hachimura, according to the Athletic, is out indefinitely due to personal reasons.Personal reasons could mean a lot of different things and, given they are personal in nature, its both unfair to speculate and possible the reasons why will not be revealed publicly. But for the Wizards purposes, this puts them in line to begin training camp without one of their most important players, a trend that has in various ways plagued them in recent years.Last season, they started out with Robin Lopez away from the team and then had Russell Westbrook injure his quadriceps muscle. The latter helped contribute to a slow start to the season.Before the 2018-19 season, Dwight Howard showed up to training camp with a previously undisclosed back injury. It derailed his season and, by extension, any hopes the Wizards had of making the playoffs.Days before 2017-18 training camp, Markieff Morris had surgery to repair a sports hernia. And the year before, Ian Mahinmi hurt his knee during the preseason after signing with the team as their top free agent acquisition.How long Hachimura will be out remains unclear. Maybe he doesnt miss much time at all. But this also follows a personal trend for his career so far. Hachimura has missed about a quarter of the Wizards games through his first two NBA seasons, mostly due to non-basketball ailments like Covid-19 protocol, conjunctivitis in his eyes and an inadverdent kick to the groin by a teammate.Hachimura, 23, is gearing up for an important season as next summer he will be eligible for a contract extension for the first time. Thats a long way away, but for now the Wizards will surely be monitoring closely the status of one of their key players.

Juan Soto Eclipses Ken Griffey Jr. 22-Under Streak of Reaching Base Safely
09/24/2021 9:26pm

Soto eclipses Griffeys 22-under streak of reaching base safely originally appeared on NBC Sports WashingtonJuan Soto has entered some elite company that sees the 22-year-olds name alongside one of the better players in MLB history, Ken Griffey Jr.In Fridays game against the Cincinnati Reds, the Washington Nationals outfielder reached base safely for the 12th straight plate appearance, passing Griffey Jr. for the longest streak by a player age-22 or younger in the Expansion era since 1961, perESPN Stats & Info.Furthermore, its the longest streak by any young player in Nationals/Expos franchise history. However,Soto could make more historybefore the 2021 season ends since he has 108 total runs, which is 11 shy of Alfonso Sorianos franchise record from 2006.After a tough season that saw general manager Mike Rizzo hit the rebuild button following the trades of Max Scherzer, Trea Turnerand Kyle Schwarber at the deadline, many Nationals fans hope that Soto can carry this form into the 2022 season.Soto is now the face of the youth movement in Washington, and it wouldnt come as a surprise if he sets other records.

Here Are the Top 10 Rookies to Watch in the 2021-22 NHL Season
09/24/2021 8:30pm

2021-22 NHL season: Here are the top 10 rookies to watch originally appeared on NBC Sports WashingtonWith rookie training camp and prospect tournaments kicking off the starting of training camp season in the NHL, the buzz in the hockey world is focused on the youth.The future of the NHL has been on full display the last few days as young prospects are getting their chance to shine. There are some looking to solidify their spot on the depth chart while others are battling for one of the final spots on the roster.A rare occurrence, the 2021 draft might not have any participants in the NHL this season with the top players in the draft electing to go back to juniors or college for another year of development. There are a couple that are trying to make the team out of camp, but their respective organizations may decide for them to go back to juniors. That means this rookie class is shaping up to include mostly 2019 or 2020 draftees.With that, here are the top 10 rookies to watch for in the 2021-22 NHL season.1. Cole Caufield, Montreal CanadiensWhen it comes to the top rookie conversation, Cole Caufield is at the top of the list.The dynamic winger for the Montreal Canadiens made the transition from NCAA to the NHL look easy this past spring. After finishing his sophomore season at the University of Wisconsin where he won the Hobey Baker Caufield signed his entry-level contract ELC with the Habs and was an integral part of the unlikely run to the Stanley Cup Finals.The No. 15 pick in the 2019 draft saw more playoff games 20 than regular season games 10 in the NHL. He had four goals and an assist in his short regular season before posting 12 points in the postseason. Despite Montreal adding some depth pieces this offseason, Caufield has a top-six role with the team and will look to build on a very impressive end to the 2020-21 season.2. Trevor Zegras, Anaheim DucksGraced with perhaps the slickest hands out of any rookie, Trevor Zegras is set to make a bigger impact with the Anaheim Ducks. The center was taken as the ninth overall selection in the 2019 draft. He saw just 24 games in the NHL last season where he registered 13 points.The Ducks handling of Zegras has raised some eyebrows. In his limited time with Anaheim, he played wing over his natural position of center. The Ducks sent him back down to the AHL mid-season last year so he could continue to develop. It would have made sense if Zegras was struggling, but he was holding his own, playing an unnatural position. He also dominated the AHL 21 points in 17 games.Not only should Zegras be a top-six forward for a weak Ducks offense, but theres a chance he could beat out Adam Henrique for the top center spot. If the Ducks allow him, the Boston University product could thrive and be the Ducks top scorer this season.3. Spencer Knight, Florida PanthersLike Caufield, after finishing his sophomore season with Boston College, Spencer Knight signed with the Florida Panthers in the spring and saw some action in the NHL. He got four starts in the regular season, going a perfect 4-0 with a 2.32 goals against average.Knight even saw action in the playoffs, as he was tasked with keeping the Panthers alive after falling in the series 3-1 with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Neither Sergei Bobrovsky or Chris Driedger looked impressive enough for coach Joel Quenneville to trust them, so Knight became the first goalie ever to play in the NCAA Tournament and the Stanley Cup playoffs in the same year. He made 36 saves in a 4-1, Game 5 win before the Lightning eliminated the Panthers in Game 6.With Driedger now in Seattle, it opens the lane for Knight to compete for the No. 1 spot. Bobrovsky has not lived up to his $70 million contract and very well could lose the job to the No. 15 pick in 2019. With a strong team in front of him, Knight has the opportunity to be the top rookie goaltender this season.4. Moritz Seider, Detroit Red WingsThe No. 6 pick in the 2019 draft, Moritz Seider is coming over to North America to rejoin the Detroit Red Wing organization. Seider signed his ELC in 2019 and had a full AHL season in 2019-20 with the Grand Rapid Griffins, posting 22 points in 49 games, but found his way back overseas in Europe last season.Once COVID hit before the 2020-21 season, Seider planned to return to Adler Mannheim of the Deutsch Eishockey Liga DEL. But with COVID causing uncertainty for the DEL to play a season, he was loaned to Rgle BK of the Swedish Hockey League SHL. Seider notched 28 points in 41 games and was named the SHLs Defenseman of the Year.Whats crazy is that the German defensemans strength is not necessarily his offense. He plays a strong defensive game and his high hockey IQ allows him to find passing and shooting lanes. Detroit is extremely weak on the blue line and Seider could be thrown right on the top line.5. Quinton Byfield, Los Angeles KingsThe Los Angeles Kings have a number of intriguing prospects, but at the top of the list is Quinton Byfield.Selected with the No. 2 pick in 2020, Byfield played most of last season with the AHLs Ontario Reign, securing 20 points in 32 games. Byfield got a taste of the NHL, skating in six games with a single assist.Byfield is in a great situation in L.A. ahead of this season. Anze Kopitar and newly-signed Philip Danault have the top-two center spots locked up. That means the third-line center role is up for grabs and could be Byfields for the taking. Gabe Vilardi and Blake Lizotte will also compete for the role, but Byfield will slowly get to ease his way into the lineup and take on a bigger role as the season progresses.6. Jamie Drysdale, Anaheim DucksAnother Ducks prospect on the brink of becoming a full-time NHLer is Jamie Drysdale, who is primed for a spot on the Anaheim blue line.The offensive defenseman split his time last season between the AHL and the NHL. He registered 10 points in 14 games with the San Diego Gulls before getting called up and skating in 24 games with the Ducks, securing eight points.The right-side for the Ducks defense already consists of Josh Manson and Kevin Shattenkirk, so Drysdale might find himself battling for the third-line spot. However, the No. 6 pick in 2020 should see time on the top power play unit and that could help solidify, and increase, his playing time.7. Alex Newhook, Colorado AvalancheIts pretty unfair for a team as stacked as the Colorado Avalanche to have a top-end prospect like Alex Newhook as well as defenseman Bowen Byram, who very well could be on this list emerging into the lineup.The No. 16 pick in 2019 signed with the Avalanche this past spring after finishing his sophomore season with Boston College. After registering nine points in eight games with the AHLs Colorado Eagles, he was called up to the Avs, where he played in six games and had three assists.The Avs are going to need to make up the offense that was lost with Brandon Saad and Joonas Donskoi who signed elsewhere this offseason. Newhook will likely see a bottom-six role as either the third or fourth-line center, but could potentially bump into a second-line center role if coach Jared Bednar likes what he sees enough out of the young center and is willing to slide Nazem Kadri to the wing.8. Vasily Podkolzin, Vancouver CanucksThe Vancouver Canucks top prospect will be sporting the blue and green this season. After seeing three seasons with SKA Saint Petersburg of Russias Kontinental Hockey League, Vasily Podkolzin signed his ELC this summer.The physical forwards number dont jump out at you. He had 11 points in 35 games with SKA and over his KHL career, registered just 19 points in 68 games played. However, he was playing on arguably the top team in Russia as a teenager with a limited role.A feisty two-way player, Podkolzin will likely start on the third line for the Canucks, but dont be surprised to see the No. 10 pick in the 2019 draft work his way into a top-six role.9. Jeremy Swayman, Boston BruinsYoull notice that every one of these rookies on this list so far has been a first-round selection from 2019 or 2020. That trend stops here with a name not many hockey fans were familiar with until this past season.Jeremy Swayman is a fourth-round pick for the Boston Bruins from 2017. Playing college hockey at the University of Maine, Swayman had a quiet first two collegiate seasons before making headlines his junior season in 2019-20, winning the Mike Richter Award for top college hockey goalie and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker. He then signed with the Bruins that summer, starting in the AHL. Swayman was sensational with the Providence Bruins, going 8-1-0 with a 1.89 GAA before injuries to the Bruins forced Boston to call him up. He made the most of the opportunity with a 7-3 record, 1.50 GAA and .945 save percentage, even earning the backup spot in the playoffs ahead of Jaroslav Halak.This season, Swayman is in line to be the backup to new Bruin Linus Ullmark. But if an injury occurs or Ullmark slips, Swayman could repeat last season and take advantage of the opportunity.10. Marco Rossi, Minnesota WildIf youre searching for a player to root for this season, look no further than Marco Rossi.The No. 9 pick in 2020 by the Minnesota Wild contracted COVID last season while he was on loan with the ZSC Lions of Switzerlands National League. He ended up suffering long-term complications from the virus, and eventually was diagnosed with myocarditis inflammation of the heart muscle. He was shut down from skating for months, unable to do much training from doctors orders.But hes back and healthy now, and is looking to make an impact on the Wilds roster. While he skated in just one game with ZSC Lions, the Austrian forward previously netted 185 points in 109 games over a span of two seasons in the OHL with the Ottawa 67s, including leading all Canadian junior hockey in points in 2019-20 and winning the OHL MVP. There could be some hesitation to throw Rossi right into a full NHL schedule given how the last year has gone, but expect him to make an impact when hes given the chance.Honorable mentions: Matt Boldy Minnesota Wild, Bowen Byram Colorado Avalanche, Anton Lundell Florida Panthers, Connor McMichael Washington Capitals, Lucas Raymond Detroit Red Wings

NBA Denies Andrew Wiggins' Religious Exemption for COVID-19 Vaccine
09/24/2021 7:52pm

NBA denies Wiggins religious exemption for COVID-19 vaccine originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay AreaThe NBA has denied Andrew Wiggins request for a religious exemption from getting the COVID-19 vaccine.The NBA has reviewed and denied Andrew Wiggins request for religious exemption from the San Francisco Department of Public Healths order requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all participants age 12 and older at large indoor events, the NBA wrote in a statement. Wiggins will not be able to play in Warriors home games until he fulfills the citys vaccination requirements.In August, the city of San Francisco implemented a vaccine requirement for anyone 12 or older entering certain businesses, including large indoor events such as Warriors games at Chase Center.In March, Wiggins told reporters that he would not get the COVID-19 vaccine unless forced to.NBC Sports Bay Areas Monte Poole reported Thursday, citing sources, that Wiggins is in the Bay Area and is participating in individual workouts at Chase Center. But if the former No. 1 overall draft pick isnt fully vaccinated by Oct. 13, he no longer will beallowed in the building.The Warriors open the 2021-22 NBA season on Oct. 19 at the Los Angeles Lakers, but return home for their first game at Chase Center on Oct. 21 against the Los Angeles Clippers. Under the city of San Franciscos guidelines, Wiggins wont be allowed to play in any home games until he is fully vaccinated.If Wiggins decides to remain unvaccinated in the wake of the NBA ruling, he will miss all 41 Warriors home games. He would be allowed to play in all road games.As Poole wrote earlier this month, the city of San Franciscos vaccine mandate could prove to be a home-court disadvantage for the Warriors because there is an exemption for unvaccinated visiting players.This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Juan Soto's NL MVP Odds Take Incredible Leap With Recent Hot Streak
09/24/2021 5:26pm

Sotos NL MVP odds take incredible leap with recent tear originally appeared on NBC Sports WashingtonAs of 9:38 Friday morning, Juan Sotos odds to win the National League MVP improved to 450 on PointsBet Sportsbook, a 1,550-point jump over the last 48 hours, aided by theinsane tear the Nationals slugger has been on. With a little more than a week left in the regular season, Sotosodds to take home the award trail only former National Bryce Harper -250 and the Padres Fernando Tatis Jr. 325. Aweek ago, Sotosodds were 4000.More impressive than simply being in the conversation while playing on a Nationals team that has bottomed out since the July 30 trade deadline is the manner in which Soto has re-inserted himself into the picture. In early February, two months before season openers, he was the betting favorite to win the NL MVP with 750 odds. That number peaked at 600 in April before dropping all the way to 10000 on Aug. 18. In the month since, hes been on a mission. Its not that Soto was having a bad season before this stretch. Through Aug. 17, he was slashing .303/.439/.508 over 108 games. He had 19 home runs and 63 RBI, which had him on pace for about 29 homers and 95 RBI in a 162-game season.But in the 34 games since, hes accelerated that pace to the point hes already nearly hit both milestones through 143 games. With nine games remaining on the Nationals schedule, Soto has 29 home runs and 92 RBI. Since Aug. 18, hes slashing .395/.557/.719, bringing his season batting average to an MLB-leading .325, his on-base percentage to an MLB-best .432 and his slugging percentage to .557, which trails only Tatis, Harper and Joey Votto in the NL. Through five games this week, Soto is 10-for-17 .588 at the plate with six extra-base hits, including four home runs, seven RBI and seven walks, while striking out just once.Wake Me Up When September Ends is not on Juan Sotos playlist. pic.twitter.com/MZN5tp75CF MLB MLB September 24, 2021Sotos 1.029 OPS this season is second in the majors to Harpers 1.050. And while his home run total trails both Harper 33 and Tatis 40, he has a significant RBI edge over Harper 80 while trailing Tatis 94 by just two. Soto also has a league-leading 7.2 WAR and over 20 walks more than anyone else in the majors with 131.Soto might not be the favorite to win MVP today, but its clear the race is far from finished. Harpers Phillies are just two games behind in the NL East, so a strong finish from him along with a playoff berth may give him the edge. But nobody is hotter than Soto right now. If he continues at the rate hes going, hell make it an interesting decision for voters come seasons end.Odds provided by our partner, PointsBet

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Previewing Washington's matchup against the Buffalo Bills | Locked On WFT
09/24/2021 8:38pm

This is a big game for both Washington and Buffalo, as both teams sit at 1-1 overall on the season and won in Week 2 after tough losses to start their seasons.

WUSA9 Game of the Week: Yorktown Patriots vs Westfield Bulldogs
09/24/2021 8:17pm

Both Yorktown High School and the Westfield High School have a 2-2 overall record on the season ahead of this non-conference matchup.

NFL Week 3 predictions: Cardinals, Panthers, Broncos to cruise to 3-0?
09/23/2021 6:40pm

Were previewing and predicting the outcome of every Week 3 NFL game.

Capitals Training Camp begins
09/23/2021 5:42pm

Washington Capitals drop the puck on training camp Ovechkin, Wilson, Oshie sit down with us to talk about the season ahead

Washington Football Team partners with GrubHub for easier ordering at games
09/23/2021 10:53am

The Washington Football Team is the first professional sports team to partner with the food delivery app.

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