bakersfield

Saturday night is Charlie Sheen night in Bakersfield

The Bakersfield Condors scored 3 straight goals for a 5-4 comeback win against the Idaho Steelheads on Friday night. In case the fans didn’t get enough of it, the two teams renewed pleasantries on Saturday night. Same teams, same place, same bat channel. The joys of the ECHL. The Condors have clinched a playoff spot in the ECHL’s Western Conference and current sit in the 5th spot 3 points ahead of the Utah Grizzlies.

Why are we talking about the ECHL you ask? Well, when a team announces a Charlie Sheen night in honor of the troubled actor, they’ve earned themselves a little love. Of course, “troubled” is the nicest adjective we can use here—and we’re using the term “actor” loosely, but both currently apply.

Here’s a description of the creative promotion the Condors were hosting this evening at Rabobank Arena in beautiful Bakersfield, CA.

* Wear a fedora, or dress like any Charlie Sheen movie character and receive admission for two and a half bucks ($2.50).
* Bring a clean drug test and receive free admission.
* 2-for-1 Tiger Blood Icees and snow cones for the kids.
* The first 1,000 males will receive a Charlie Sheen face on a stick mask.
* Follow the Condors on twitter and we’re confident you won’t be nearly as entertained as if you followed Charlie Sheen on twitter. However, the Condors are inviting everyone to sign up to follow the Condors on twitter, and if we beat Charlie’s Guinness World Record of reaching one million followers in less than 25 hours and 17 minutes, we’ll let Charlie rename the team, as he seems to have a lot of creative ideas lately.
* Bring $2 million (reportedly as much as Charlie doesn’t earn with each cancelled episode) and you can own the Condors!
* Charlie’s dubbed “Goddesses” (Natalie Kenly and Rachel Oberlin) have been named as honorary captains for the game. We’re guessing the Steelheads won’t mind if they get to hang out on the bench.
* A rock band from Mars will play in front of the arena on the plaza before the game.
* Before this game, the Condors aren’t going to practice, attempting to channel Sheen’s no-rehearsal-required spirit. After all, to quote the great Allen Iverson, “We’re talkin’ about practice?!”

“We picked this date for the Charlie Sheen Night because we figured St. Patrick’s Day was a Holiday that Charlie enjoyed celebrating,” said Condors President Matthew Riley. “We would invite him come up to the game and participate in a ceremonial puck drop and just have fun for the night with our fans. We’ll even give him the ticket special for dressing up like himself.”

“And oh yeah, to stick with the Charlie Sheen theme, we plan on ‘winning’ the game.”

Unfortunately, neither Charlie Sheen, nor promotional St. Patrick’s Day jerseys were able to get a huge boost at the gate. In the most important number for the owners in Bakersfield, the attendance was 5,501 on Saturday night. The number was a slight boost from their 4.996 average crowd—but only last night they had 6,811 people in the stands. A boost is a boost—but probably not what they were expecting. Oh, and for the hockey fans, the Condors won again by a score of 2-1.

The Caps say they’ve ‘matured’ and have ‘good poise’ now — we’ll see tonight

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 20:  Joel Ward #42, Alex Ovechkin #8, Nate Schmidt #88 and Brooks Orpik #44 of the Washington Capitals take a break on the bench as head coach Barry Trotz (L) and assistant coach Blaine Forsythe (R) oversee the action against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on November 20, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Capitals defeated the Avalanche 3-2.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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The Washington Capitals — desperate for a win tonight in Pittsburgh — are vowing to stick to the plan, keep their composure, and not let a certain 21-year-old netminder get into their heads.

“I think that’s where this team has matured,” said coach Barry Trotz, per CSN Washington. “We have good poise. You’ve seen that all year with our team. We don’t get rattled often. We do get, I would say, very determined at times and we’ve shown a lot of resiliency all year. That’s why we were able to have the record we did. We didn’t let things bother us too much. And we’ve got a good leadership group that when things maybe aren’t going the way you want, they seem to be able to put it back on the rails for us. I think that’s the growth of our team the last two years.”

In Game 3, the Caps had every reason to feel like the hockey gods were out to get them. They put 49 shots on Penguins goalie Matt Murray, but were only able to beat him twice. They lost, 3-2, and now must win tonight in order to avoid falling into a 3-1 series hole.

In Game 4, the Capitals will have a major advantage, as their opponents will be without two of their top defensemen, Kris Letang (suspended) and Olli Maatta (injured).

So not only is it a game the Caps need to win, it’s a game they’ll be expected to win.

That means pressure.

And pressure, sometimes, can lead to panic.

According to Trotz, the Caps used to be guilty of exactly that. They’d change the plan when things didn’t go their way. They’d play too much as individuals. They’d play right into the opposition’s hands.

But not anymore.

“I think what this group has learned is that you stay to the plan, you execute and do the job well,” said Trotz.

“If you do that, it will turn your way.”

No hearings scheduled for Boyle on Hickey hit, or Hickey on Drouin hit

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Doesn’t look like there’ll be supplemental discipline coming from Tampa Bay’s crazy 5-4 OT win over the Isles at Barclays last night.

Per the Times, both Brian Boyle and Thomas Hickey have avoided hearings for their big hits — Boyle’s on Hickey, Hickey’s on Jonathan Drouin.

An NHL spokesman has confirmed to PHT that no hearings have been scheduled.

Both hits went unpenalized, but were focal points of Tuesday’s game.

The impact of the Hickey hit forced Drouin from the contest for a lengthy period of time, though Drouin did return to set up Nikita Kucherov‘s game-tying goal with under a minute remaining in regulation.

Boyle’s hit on Hickey was followed by Boyle scoring the game-winning OT goal roughly 10 seconds later.

It also led to Isles head coach Jack Capuano venting his frustrations in his postgame presser.

“It’s a direct shot to the head,” Capuano said, per ESPN. “I mean, probably going to get suspended a game. That’s what I mean. The whole game, it shouldn’t come down to that. [Referee] is standing right there. I’ve watched it numerous times now. Those are the types of hits that we’re trying to eliminate from our game.

“It’s just too bad that it had to end that way. It’s frustrating because it’s right there. The play is right there. He’s looking right at it. The league can look at it if they want, but I’ve watched it four or five times, maybe more, and it’s just frustrating it had to end in that particular way with a head shot.”

Capuano didn’t have an update on Hickey following the contest.

Game 4 of this series goes on Friday at Barclays, so there could still be developments forthcoming. The league holds the right to schedule a hearing later (should it be deemed appropriate), and there will likely be an update on Hickey in the coming days.

Related: Islanders believe Boyle should be suspended for hit before OT goal

Report: Ducks sign ’15 first-rounder Larsson

SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 26:  Jacob Larsson poses after being selected 27th overall by the Anaheim Ducks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Though it’s yet to be announced by the club, Swedish d-man Jacob Larsson has reportedly signed on with the Anaheim Ducks — the club that selected him in the first round (27th overall) of the 2015 draft.

Larsson, 19, is set to join Anaheim’s AHL club in San Diego, per Hockeysverige. The Gulls are currently in the midst of the Calder Cup playoffs, embroiled in a series against Ontario.

Larsson came into the ’15 draft fairly highly touted. He was pegged by Central Scouting as one of the top-10 international skaters available, and ended up the seventh defenseman off the board (after Noah Hanifin, Ivan Provorov, Zach Werenski, Jakub Zboril, Thomas Chabot and Noah Juulsen.)

Per Hockeysverige, Larsson is still under contract to SHL club Frolunda for another year, and will be loaned back to the club for the ’16-17 campaign.

Ergo, this trip overseas appears to be so Larsson can get a taste of pro hockey in North America.

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoffs schedule for tonight

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There’s just one game scheduled for tonight, but it should be an exciting one and as you’ve likely guessed, you will be able to watch it via the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.

Washington at Pittsburgh (8:00 p.m. ET)

Pittsburgh holds a 2-1 series lead, but this game in particular will be a big test for the Penguins as they’ll be without defensemen Kris Letang (suspended) and Olli Maatta (upper body). The contest will air on NBCSN and if you want to stream it, you can do so by clicking here.

In the meantime, here are some relevant links:

If there’s an expansion draft, which goalie should Pittsburgh protect?

Penguins bring up Sestito and Oleksy

Video: Letang suspended one game for late hit with ‘significant head contact’ on Johansson

With Letang suspended, Schultz out to ‘prove a lot of people wrong’ if he gets the call in Game 4