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Dan Daly

Dan Daly

Dan Daly has been writing about sports for the Washington Times since 1982. He has won numerous national and local awards, appears regularly in NFL Films’ historical features and is the co-author of "The Pro Football Chronicle,” a decade-by-decade history of the game. Follow Dan on Twitter at @dandalyonsports –- or e-mail him at [email protected].

Articles by Dan Daly

Rookie Braden Holtby, sporting a 1.95 goals-against average and .935 save percentage in the postseason, has been a stalwart for the Capitals. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington TImes)

DALY: It's time for fate to smile on Capitals

So it all comes down to 60 minutes for the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers — unless, of course, it all comes down to 114 minutes, 41 seconds, the way it did in Game 3. The big question is: Will the final score be 3-2 or 2-1? In this series, it seems like it's always one or the other. Published May 10, 2012

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin cuts up ice in the first period as the Washington Capitals take on the New York Rangers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series at  Verizon Center in Washington, on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

DALY: A series destined to go the distance

Six games aren't enough for Washington Capitals and New York Rangers, just as six weren't enough for the Caps and Boston Bruins in the first round. And why should they be? Some series are just destined — required, almost — to go the distance. Anything less would shortchange the players, the fans and maybe even history. Published May 9, 2012

Bryce Harper's response to being hit by a pitch on purpose? Two hits, including a double, and stealing home. (Associated Press)

DALY: Hamels flunked out of 'old school'

Cole Hamels didn't mean any harm, mind you, when he massaged Bryce Harper's back with a fastball Sunday night on national television. The Philadelphia Phillies lefty was just going retro — kind of like, well, "Mad Men" does. Published May 7, 2012

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan should have plenty of reasons to smile while trying to find ways to use Robert Griffin III against NFL defenses. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

DALY: Happy days are here again - and it's only minicamp

A quarterback like Robert Griffin III can make a coach like Mike Shanahan feel young again. You could see it in Shanahan's eyes Sunday as he talked about the new face of the Washington Redskins franchise. You could hear it in his voice, too. You might even describe him as giddy (to the extent that any going-on-60 coach can be that). Published May 6, 2012

Washington Capitals center Brooks Laich (21) and New York Rangers left wing Carl Hagelin (62), of Sweden, crash into the net as Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30), of Sweden, looks on during the second period of Game 4 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series, Saturday, May 5, 2012, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

DALY: The glitz gone, these Caps are merely . . . admirable

The Washington Capitals aren't as photogenic as they used to be. We may never, for instance, see Alexander Ovechkin score another goal while lying on his back. But what they've evolved into is much more pleasing to the eyes. They've become, in baseball parlance, a tough out. Published May 5, 2012

New York Rangers right wing Marian Gaborik (10) celebrates as he scores on Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) in the third overtime period as the Washington Capitals lose to the New York Rangers, 2-1, in playoff NHL hockey at the Verizon Center, Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 3, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

DALY: For the Caps, a loss that felt like two

Nothing good ever happens to the Washington Capitals after midnight. That's been pretty well established over the decades, hasn't it? The four-overtime game against the New York Islanders in 1987, the quadruple-OT game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in '96, the triple-OT game against the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2003 (if, indeed, it reached the witching hour) — all crushing losses, two of them season-enders. Published May 3, 2012

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, left, poses with Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, right as he is selected by the Washington Redskins as the second pick in the first round of the National Football League Draft held at Radio City Music Hall, New York, N.Y., Thursday, April 26, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

DALY: Let's hope Redskins' love affair with RG3 is a long one

Now that he's gotten his first intoxicating whiff of Washington — and the idolatry that goes with being the Redskins' quarterback — I have a few things to say to Robert Griffin III. That is, if my voice can be heard beyond the wall of handlers that surround him like so many offensive linemen. Published May 2, 2012

Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III is selected by the Washington Redskins as the second pick in the first round of the National Football League Draft held at Radio City Music Hall, New York, N.Y., Thursday, April 26, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

DALY: In getting QB, fate finally smiles on Redskins

A year ago this week, as the 2011 draft approached, I wrote that the Washington Redskins desperately needed to "get lucky." At that point, they'd been down for so long that luck seemed to be their only salvation — or at least the quickest way to restore their tarnished reputation. Published April 26, 2012

Boston Bruins center Chris Kelly (23) skates away as Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70); center Marcus Johansson (90) and left wing Jason Chimera (25) celebrate the Capitals' 2-1 win in overtime in Game 7 of the first-round playoff series, in Boston on Wednesday, April 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

DALY: Have the Capitals finally grown up?

Unlike that scene in "Glengarry Glen Ross," you don't get a set of steak knives — or anything else — for finishing second in a Stanley Cup playoff series, no matter how memorable it is. All you get is the hurt that comes with knowing that you fell short, that the other team advanced and you didn't. Published April 25, 2012

Receiver/kick returner Desmond Howard didn't make a splash with the Redskins like he did with Green Bay, when he was named MVP of Super Bowl XXXI. Among his highlights that day was this 99-yard kickoff return. (Associated Press)

DALY: Heisman winner comes along at a crucial time for Redskins

The last time the Washington Redskins drafted the Heisman Trophy winner — Desmond Howard 20 years ago — he held out and missed all of training camp. Howard's agent, Leigh Steinberg, thought his client deserved to be paid a little more than the typical fourth selection because of his marketability and name recognition. The Redskins resisted this notion, and the stalemate dragged on through August. Published April 25, 2012

Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner (27) mixes it up with Boston Bruins left wing Milan Lucic (17), next to Bruins' Zdeno Chara (33), of Slovakia, during the third period of Game 3 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series, Monday, April 16, 2012, in Washington. The Bruins won 4-3. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

DALY: Even as defending champs, Bruins can be had

Let's not dwell on all the other seventh games in the Caps' sordid history. It takes the focus away from where it should be: an absolutely glorious series between two evenly matched teams playing at the limit of their capabilities — or darn near. Published April 23, 2012

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) (left) comes over to celebrate with Caps left wing Alexander Semin (28) as he scores to bring the Capitals up 2-1 in the second period as Washington took on Boston in game four of the National Hockey League's first-round playoffs at the Verizon Center in Washington on Thursday, April 19, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

DALY: Playoff hockey doesn't get much better than this

So now we have a three-game series between the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins. What's not to like? For over a week these two teams have been exchanging goals, blows, dirty looks --- everything but phone numbers --- and they're all tied up, 2-2. Does anybody really want to see it end any sooner than it has to? Published April 19, 2012

Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand, left, Dennis Seidenberg (44) and David Krejci (46) scuffle with Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner (27) and John Carlson (74) during the third period of Game 3 of the first-round playoff series, Monday, April 16, 2012, in Washington. The Bruins won 4-3. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

DALY: Capitals must rise above it when going gets 'stuff'

"Stuff happens in the playoffs," Karl Alzner said Wednesday, after the Washington Capitals were done banging the puck around at Kettler Iceplex. Oh yes, stuff does. Lots of stuff. After-the-whistle stuff. Before-the-puck-is-dropped stuff. While-the-officials'-heads-are-turned stuff. And let's not forget that old standby: after-the-game-is-over stuff. Published April 18, 2012

Capitals goalie Braden Holtby allowed twice as many goals in Game 3 as he had in the first two games combined(Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

DALY: Thin line between victory and defeat for Caps

You get the sense every game in this Washington Capitals-Boston Bruins series is going to be like the first three. The pattern has been established – as it so often is in the playoffs. Let's face it, there isn't much that separates these teams, the second and seventh seeds in the Eastern Conference. Published April 17, 2012

Alex Ovechkin, shown celebrating a goal in the 2008 playoffs, and the Capitals have failed to move past the second round in each of the past four seasons. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

DALY: Is window closing on Caps' chance at making big noise?

Four Aprils ago, when the Washington Capitals made the playoffs for the first time in the Alex Ovechkin era, the possibilities seemed endless. Not just hockey possibilities, Stanley Cups and the like. I'm talking about the opportunity for the Capitals — a team that played its games on ice — to move way up in the D.C. sports pecking order. Published April 16, 2012

Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez gets a playful punch  from a coach after working seven shutout innings against Cincinnati. Gonzalez added to the Nationals' pitching dominance of late, as the starters haven't allowed a run in the last three games. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington TImes)

DALY: Nationals have feel of a winner from the start

The Washington Nationals opened the home season Thursday with the usual bells and whistles. You had the Marine Corps Band in all its melodiousness. You had an American flag, bigger than a StrasBurger, unfurled in the outfield. You had a quartet of jets buzzing the ballpark. You had a volley of fireworks to finish the pregame festivities. And then, of course, you had baseball. Fifty-six-degree baseball. Published April 12, 2012

New York Rangers' Ruslan Fedotenko (26) is tripped as he goes between Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, left, and Dennis Wideman, right, during the third period of an NH game on Saturday, April 7, 2012. The Caps won 4-1. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

DALY: Capitals must stay a desperate team

Beginning Thursday night in Boston, the Washington Capitals have a huge mountain to climb, one taller, even, than Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara. But that's good. In fact, that's very good. Published April 9, 2012