Capitals served well by depth of talent

Phil Jackman

April 23, 1992|By Phil Jackman

Reading Time, Two Minutes: Remember Earl Weaver's "deep depth" when he was pushing the buttons for dominant Oriole teams of the 1970s?

A facsimile of those bottomless pits of reasonably good talent is off to a good start in the NHL playoffs by the name of the Washington Capitals.

When the Caps won their second straight game over defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh the other night, they ended up scratching two guys who played all season, Nick Kypreos and Todd Krygier.

Still, they hit the Penguins with four forward lines, three turning in goals, the fourth holding its own when elbows began flying. The Caps also had to pick and choose from among eight bona fide big-league defensemen.

It's likely Randy Burridge, who was the team's top point man when injured March 1, might be gone indefinitely with a reinjured knee, but there's always John Druce to take his place on one of the scoring lines. Recall, Druce was a huge star in the team's charge to the Patrick Division crown two years ago.

Heading into tonight's Game 3 in Pittsburgh tonight (Ch. 20, 7:30), the only place Washington appears thin is in goal, where Don Beaupre is at the top of his game. There's no experience behind him, however.

* Ye Olde Blast visits merry old England again May 19, taking on Aston Villa of the first division in an indoor game at a new 10,500-seat arena in Birmingham. The MSL is hopeful that city might consider joining Sheffield as expansion teams for the 1993 campaign.

* Here it is a week short of the fifth month of the year with the big money tournaments just starting and Fred Couples has already banked $1 million plus. It was just four years ago when Curtis Strange became the first PGA Tour player to earn $1 million in a single season. Couples has been in the top six in 20 of his last 25 tourneys.

* Time was when radio rights for exhibition football in this town could be obtained for a large pizza. When New Orleans and Miami visit Memorial Stadium Thursday, Aug. 27, and with the game on national television (ESPN), WMIX-FM will carry the game, shelling out about $30,000 for the privilege.

* Anyone who has ever seen Key Biscayne, home of most of the Ori

oles family when the team trained in Miami, has to shudder at the thought of the once island paradise being scarred by a tennis stadium to house the International Players Championships. Think it as constructing a sewage treatment plant on the east rim of the Grand Canyon.

* Two gents with local ties, Steve Eisenhauer of Navy and the late Alan Ameche of Wisconsin and the Baltimore Colts, are among the inductees into the GTE Academic All-American Hall of Fame.

* "For years," groans Arnold Palmer, "I was always asked if I thought I could win. Now, everybody asks me if I think I will be able to make the cut. I'm not sure I like the latter."

The Kemper Open has latched onto U.S. Open champion Payne Stewart and last year's sudden-death playoff loser Jeff Sluman for its 25th anniversary tourney May 25-31 at Avenel in Potomac. Defending champ Billy Andrade will be back and the tourney committee announced that 33 area charities will benefit by $300,000 this year.

Meanwhile, the area will be abuzz with golf activity all next month with the Mazda LPGA Championship, the tour's first $1 million event, playing the Bethesda Country Club May 11-17. Latest into the 144-player field is new Hall of Famer and last year's runner-up Pat Bradley and the tour's hottest player this season, Dottie Mochrie.

* Judging from some of the NBA games I saw on the telly this season, I think the league office should have rewarded, not fined, five players for fighting last week. At least it indicated they care.

* Some hockey players would look upon it as a huge and successful career if they got to play 200 games in the National Hockey League. Tuesday night, Bryan Trottier was in his 200th playoff game as a Pittsburgh Penguin and longtime New York Islander. Larry Robinson (Canadiens and Kings) is up ahead with 228 games played in the postseason.

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