Skip to content

Brian McNally

Articles by Brian McNally

Philadelphia Flyers center Vincent Lecavalier, left, celebrates his game-winning goal with defenseman Kimmo Timonen during overtime of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Washington. The Flyers defeated the Capitals 5-4. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Dmitry Orlov loses cool, Caps lose lead and game to Flyers

Orlov scored two goals and had his team on the verge of moving into a playoff position for the first time in six weeks. But then his career day suddenly turned into a nightmare and there was no one to blame but himself. Published March 2, 2014

Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green (52) looks on from the bench during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Reinforcements arrive as Caps hit the stretch run

Washington gets a boost with the return of defenseman Mike Green (concussion), who missed the last six games before the break, and center Mikhail Grabovski (left ankle), who missed the last eight games. That's two players who see lots of ice time and play a variety of roles. Published February 26, 2014

Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin (8) and Nicklas Backstrom (19) celebrate a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during third period NHL hockey action in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday Oct. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jason Franson)

Behind the scenes of the Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom press conferences

One player looked relieved, if tired. The other still appeared to be in shock. The Capitals' two stars returned from the Winter Olympics in Sochi in different states of mind on Tuesday. Alex Ovechkin, though disappointed his team failed to medal, received a far bigger scare when his father, Mikhail, suffered a heart attack on Feb. 16. Nicklas Backstrom, on the other hand, looked little better than he did two days ago in Sochi. Published February 26, 2014

Buffalo Sabres center Brian Flynn (65) gives chase to Washington Capitals defenseman Jack Hillen (38) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Buffalo, N.Y., Saturday, March 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)

Return of Caps defenseman Jack Hillen closer, but still in question

Capitals defenseman Jack Hillen is not ready yet to declare a return after Tuesday's rehabilitation game with AHL Hershey. Hillen, 28, sustained a right tibial plateau fracture on Oct. 3 against Calgary and has missed the last 57 games. He began the year as a third-pair defenseman on the left side next to rookie Connor Carrick. Published February 26, 2014

Martin Erat played 46 playoff games for the Nashville Predators before being traded to the Washington Capitals. (Associated Press)

A bright spot in a rough season for Caps forward Martin Erat

It was another rough blow in what has been a difficult season for Capitals forward Martin Erat. But a quarterfinal loss by the Czech Republic to the United State in Sochi was quickly erased by happier news from home: The birth of his daughter. Published February 26, 2014

Washington Capitals defenseman Jack Hillen (38) celebrates his goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, April 13, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Caps defenseman Jack Hillen close to return from broken leg

The goal for Capitals defenseman Jack Hillen was to return to his native Minnesota over the NHL’s Winter Olympic break and make sure the progress he has made recovering from a broken leg did not erode. Apparently, Hillen accomplished that and more after he returned for five practices with Washington last week. On Tuesday, the Caps assigned Hillen to AHL Hershey, where he will be on a long-term injury/illness conditioning loan. Published February 25, 2014

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, left, and center Nicklas Backstrom do sprints during a Capitals hockey practice, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom back with Caps and in need of quick recoveries

Capitals stars Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom returned to Kettler Iceplex on Tuesday for their first practice with their NHL teammates as the league returns to action following a three-week Olympic break. But with a Stanley Cup playoff push looming, each man must find a way to quickly recover. Published February 25, 2014

FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2013, file photo, Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman throws to first to put out a Miami Marlins batter during a baseball game in Miami. Zimmerman has a new piece of equipment in his locker--a first baseman's mitt. The Nationals' longtime third baseman will take some grounders on the opposite side of the diamond during spring training. Manager Matt Williams says he expects to use Zimmerman at first for a few games this season. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

Nats third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will see some time at first base in 2014

He still rolls his eyes at the term, but Ryan Zimmerman remains the face of the Nationals. Nothing else about the franchise has been as steadfast since the team arrived in the District in 2005 than the man who has occupied third base for almost a decade. The day may come soon, though, when Zimmerman has to switch positions. Published February 18, 2014

Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche, left, talks with second baseman Anthony Rendon during a spring training baseball workout, Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, in Viera, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Nats first baseman Adam LaRoche ready for a rebound

Nothing seemed to go right for Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche in 2013. After exploding in May, a rare strong beginning to the season for a notorious late starter, LaRoche faltered. For three months he struggled to find the form that led to a brilliant 2012. His weight decreased almost to 190 pounds, what he weighed as a teenager and into his early 20s. That sapped some of his power. So did bone chips in his elbow that finally became noticeable in September. LaRoche needed offseason surgery to correct that problem Published February 17, 2014

Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams, left, talks with relief pitcher Ryan Mattheus during a spring training baseball workout, Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, in Viera, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Nats manager Matt Williams and baseball's unique silent language

Nationals manager Matt Williams spent a second day this week perfecting his own unique language. Williams and new third base coach Bobby Henley spent a few minutes on the field at Space Coast Stadium going over signs. It was another minor detail that Williams views as crucial in the long run to his team's success. Published February 17, 2014

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg delivers against the Cleveland Indians in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, June 16, 2013, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Nationals' Stephen Strasburg transitioning from phenom to veteran

Knowing his way around isn't a problem for Stephen Strasburg anymore. This week marks his fifth spring training in Viera, which makes him, if not a veteran, at least a comfortable presence as Washington begins preparations for the 2014 season. He's been through this before. Published February 16, 2014

Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa (8) strikes out in the eight inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Second base "open competition," says Nats manager Matt Williams

Danny Espinosa is the most intriguing player at spring training for the Nationals. The 26-year-old, once expected to be a stalwart at second base in Washington until a disastrous 2013 derailed his career, hopes to win his old job back. And while Anthony Rendon looks to be the favorite after getting his feet wet in the big leagues last season, new manager Matt Williams is open to giving Espinosa that chance. Published February 16, 2014

Matt Williams turns after showing the back of his newly-donned jersey, after he is introduced as the new manager of the Washington Nationals baseball team, during a news conference at Nationals Park, Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

For new Nats manager Matt Williams, it's a start

Nationals manager Matt Williams did not get much sleep the night before taking the field with his new team for the first time on Saturday morning. By 5 a.m., his nervous energy with nowhere else to go, Williams arrived at the clubhouse at Space Coast Stadium. Published February 15, 2014