[AP Preview - WashingtonCaps.com Preview]
If last night's soliloquy didn't get you fired up for tonight's Caps/'Canes game, I guess nothing will (but be sure to check back around lunchtime - but not after you've eaten - for a little something special).
Anyway, the injuries to Chris Clark and Boyd Gordon have necessitated a call-up from Hershey, and it's Quintin Laing. I was curious to see if Bruce Boudreau would look to replace the injured regulars with a similar type player (is it a too bad Brian Sutherby's no longer around?) or someone with a little more offensive punch, and I guess we got our answer (and will have to wait to see if Chris Bourque can get more NHL ice time under Gabby than the 8:19 of ice per game that Glen Hanlon gave him).
Laing is a 6'2", 175-pound winger who is, per his TSN.ca scouting report, "an extremely industrious forward" who "[h]as the size scouts love from the wing position" and is "a sound player without the puck." However, he "[c]ould use his size more to punish opponents" and "[d]oesn't own soft hands or a goal-scorer's mentality." Sounds like he'll fit right in. In 19 games for Hershey this season, he has two goals, five assists and is plus-eight, and if you're wondering why a 28-year-old has played in only three NHL games in his career, I'm sure Q will make it pretty evident pretty quick. On the plus side, however, he knows Boudreau's system.
The last time the Caps visited Carolina, they turned in one of the worst performances in a season full of stinkers, losing 5-0 in a game that might not even have been as close as the score. But Bruce Boudreau's Caps are 1-0 against Carolina courtesy of a big 5-2 win last Saturday night, so let's hope the Caps can get back to scoring - and winning - in Raleigh.
Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:
The Board of Governors has approved a new schedule matrix that will ensure that everyone plays everyone at least once a year. "The NHL: Where The Only Constant Is Change."
Hart: J.P. Dumont (G, 3A, +2, 4 SOG, killer name)
Ross: J.P. Dumont (4 points)
Norris: Zdeno Chara (2G, 5 SOG, 4 hits)
Vezina: Roberto Luongo (26-save shutout win)
Richard: Zdeno Chara (2G)
Calder: Tobias Enstrom (G, 2 SOG, 3 blocked shots)
Aiken: Martin Gerber (L, 6 goals allowed on 35 shots against)