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Afternoon Reading: Laing Looks to Rebound

[Ed. Note: Better late than never? Our preseason futility will only be matched by our regular-season awesomeness.]

The Caps pulled out a close one in Buffalo last night, winning their first preseason game, 4-3 in OT. Semyon Varlamov was sublime -- for two periods. Then he allowed three goals on six shots in the third. Get the lowdown here.

Boudreau on the win:

* Quintin Laing, the shot-blocking sensation who tore his spleen last season, is back in action and he's got a good shot to make the roster (or at least take a few trips up to Washington this season):

With Eric Fehr and Tomas Fleischmann ailing, Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau has said there could be at least one opening for a player such as Laing to seize a spot on the team's opening night roster.
"If we end up needing a fourth-line, third-line type guy, it probably does" go to Laing, Boudreau said. "We've got six games to shake it all out."

Story's here if you haven't gotten a chance to check it out.

Odds and ends:

* Tarik's back on the beat writer grind. Next stop, Chicago, to take on the Blackhawks. (Tomorrow night, 8:30 p.m.)

* In case you missed it, the Bog was Caps central yesterday. Here's what Ovie had planned for his 24th birthday, and here's D.C.'s most unique goalie mask. Also, Boudreau hates cheese.

* "Good to see Eric Fehr out there sporting a non-neon jersey." (Caps' Mike Vogel)

* Caps are the beast of the East, whatever that's worth. (The Hockey News)

* Neil Patrick Harris punches a Rangers fan on How I Met Your Mother (great show; highly recommend it.) (Puck Daddy)

* More on the Sneakerball. (Washingtonian)

* Ted talks goalies. (Ted's Take)

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  September 18, 2009; 12:02 PM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's Lineup: Caps at 'Hawks

Comments

Gotta love a guy like Quintin Laing. I hope that he gets his shot.

Posted by: _Mark | September 18, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

http://sabres.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?catid=668&id=46672


highlights from last night, wasnt sure if these were posted anywhere

Posted by: _stevo | September 18, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

He's the best PKer we have. He is willing and very able to go down and block shots from the point. I think we need him in our lineup a lot more than not this upcoming season to improve the PK. With us taking penalties the way we do, if we had a good PK unit it wouldn't be as crucial to stay out of the box and we could take a few roughing penalties in the game to protect our players w/o having to worry about them scoring so much. I like Laing a lot on the PK and I hope he gets to stay up here and help out in that regard. I actually thought I saw something stating that somebody last night went down to block a shot on the PK. It might have been Knuble. Gotta love it. Stop those shots from the point!

Yet another reason I believe our D will be better, because we have more defensive minded forwards. This can't be understated.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 18, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Been to tons of regular season games and playoff games. Heading to first preseason game Wednesday, what's the atmosphere like?

Posted by: mwalk1 | September 18, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

As a Caps fan I love Laing as much as anyone. High energy, shot blocker and a terrific penelty killer. He's all upside in my opinion.

On another note I am concerned about the 2nd line scoring. With Fehr and Flash ailing, who slides into the RW slot? Clark or Laich? or Clark and Laich with Semin? I love Clarkie, but he can he be relied upon to score? I understand that we have plenty of offense but how to spread it out is my concern.

Posted by: broud0 | September 18, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Great news about Laing. Hope he has a great season.

Off topic, Chris Clark is about to be a guest on Mike Wise's radio show (106.7). Can't wait to hear what the captain has to say about the team and the upcoming season!

Posted by: wocoliz | September 18, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

On another note I am concerned about the 2nd line scoring. With Fehr and Flash ailing, who slides into the RW slot? Clark or Laich? or Clark and Laich with Semin? I love Clarkie, but he can he be relied upon to score? I understand that we have plenty of offense but how to spread it out is my concern.

Posted by: broud0 | September 18, 2009 1:05 PM |

Laich-Bmo/Nyls-Semin sounds good to me.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 18, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

switch Laich and Semin ^.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 18, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Dion Phaneuf is a worthless punk. He's lucky Okposo isn't more seriously hurt. I'd like to see a suspension. If not, then Iginla needs to watch out. I think they only suspend Brashear for hits like that though.

Posted by: lornemyoung | September 18, 2009 8:04 AM |

RE; Fanny's hit on Okposo.

Why would he get suspended for a perfectly clean shoulder check? Yeah...it was a little brutal for a pre-season game, but it was clean. Okposo is a big guy himself, when/if the Isles ever face the Flames this season, it will be an awesome game to watch.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 18, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

PS; Theo Fleury scored a goal in that game.

Where's Hunter when you need him?

Posted by: richmondphil | September 18, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Dale probably went to the Flyers/Maple Leafs game last night since they played in his home town.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 18, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Remember, those of you that have Directv, tune into CSH-CH tomorrow @ 8:pm. They are showing the Caps vs Hawks game. From what BB said on the little b-day thread for Ovi, it doesn't sound like he will be playing in the Chicago game either.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 18, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Actually the game starts @ 8:30.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 18, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

from a previous thread:
i'm throwing in my two cents on the captain debate.
i'm not trying to take over this thread with banter on captains

Ovi as captain:
IMO - not yet
i think his personality is still a little to immature for being a captain
at 24 (with money to burn) his life outside of hockey is more about him (this is not a bad thing)
(this is the same reason why I think crosby and toews probably should not be captains yet
striving to be the absolute best player you can be does not make you a leader – just as being the best player in the world doesn’t make this so
being a captain usually means being the one that talks to the media. Where Ovi speaks his mind and is very entertaining – I don’t believe he is at the point to (experience wise) to say/do the things you would want as an organization
being a leader also requires the ability to learn each of your teammates personalities and how to motivate them (both on and off the ice). I don’t think Ovi has these skills or the patience to learn them yet
I wouldn’t want any additional responsibilities that come with being the captain of the team to interfere with Ovi’s drive to be a better player on the ice

I do believe that as time goes on he can/will gains these skills and become a long time captain of the Caps

I don’t know enough about BMo or knuble to know if they would be a good fit for that role right now.
I do like how laich conducts himself and believe he would make a good captain now (I have no clue as to how he is off the ice in the locker room though)

With all that said – Clark is the captain and I see no reason for that to change as long as he is wearing a caps jersey

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 18, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I also don't want re-ignite this thread but I agree with capt_Kirk. Ovie likes being free to say what's on his mind. He likes being a bit of a bad boy with his wit. And tho' he is always good at talking with the media postgame, he keeps his comments succinct. He doesn't elaborate much, probably a mixture of game mode focus, exhaustion, and language. I always appreciated how a lot of the guys stepped it up with the media when Clark wasn't in the lineup. I am sure the team will sort it out with very little difficulty.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | September 18, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1

What is the channel # for CSN Chi on directv?...I looked it up on Directv guide on their website but see a blank in the schedule...is it 666 or 666-1?

Posted by: NJNJ | September 18, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

yeah, what channel is it on???

Posted by: rachel216 | September 18, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Clark stays as Captain. The call for Ovie is too soon. Like several others have said, he lacks the maturity needed. Do you recall the video of him nearly decapitating himself and one of his buddies in the golf cart? That is not the example needed. He is, by most opinions, the greatest player in the game, but that does not mean the greatest person for the job. Give him a few more years and he'll look great wearing the"C".

Posted by: gonchpup | September 18, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

As a Caps fan I love Laing as much as anyone. High energy, shot blocker and a terrific penelty killer. He's all upside in my opinion.

Posted by: broud0 | September 18, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Can you clarify what you mean that he is "all upside"? You do realize that he is 30 years old. He is a fourth liner with a role on the PK. I don't really see him being much more than a player who sees spot duty (or perhaps a more regular presence with the injuries to Flash and Fehr to start the season) on the fourth line with a role on the PK.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 18, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

LOL I forgot about the golfcart incident. Pretty funny but you are right. I'm having trouble imagining Clarksie wildly riding a golfcart. Without question Ovie is a leader on the ice. I am ready to see them play.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | September 18, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

hey freakingand peakin good thing BB knows alot more about what the caps need than u do

Posted by: wendel2 | September 18, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of captains, NHL Network just played Red Wings-Blackhawks playoff game Apr 11, 1965. Living in Detroit then, I probably watched on Ch 9 in Windsor, ON. Anyway, clearly the two best players, Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull, were neither C nor A for their teams. Wings capt was Alex Delvecchio and A were Norm Ullman (had a hat trick that game) and Marcel Pronovost. Hawks capt was defenseman Pierre Pilote. Mikita was an A and I didn't catch the other A.

Point being - it isn't the skill that determines the capts and assts, and that hasn't changed for a long time. Another example is the Pocket Rocket, Henri Richard, I think was Habs capt after Jean Beliveau, and Montreal had many better players (Lafleur, for one).

I like Clark, Ovie and Knuble.

And I vote to keep Aucoin instead of laing. I'm in the minority there I think.

Still in the 90s here. Went to the beach today and the ocean is like bathwater. Doesn't feel like hockey yet. Sept here is just August with a new name.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 18, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Clark stays as Captain. The call for Ovie is too soon. Like several others have said, he lacks the maturity needed. Do you recall the video of him nearly decapitating himself and one of his buddies in the golf cart? That is not the example needed. He is, by most opinions, the greatest player in the game, but that does not mean the greatest person for the job. Give him a few more years and he'll look great wearing the"C".

Posted by: gonchpup | September 18, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

You have that backwards... you give him the C now because hopefully having that reponsiblilty will speed up his maturation process. Gretzky and Lemieux all became captains almost immediately and so did Crosby. Having Clark continue wear the C at this point, after winning two Hart trophys as a league MVP is almost a slap in the face of OV.

Posted by: joek443 | September 18, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Kessel finally done. Traded to the Leafs for 2 1sts and a 2nd. Jesus Overpay. Then they signed him to a 5 yr/27 mil contract.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 18, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

joke443:
i'll use your logic the next time i have a performance review at work.

me: "just promote me now - it will speed up my growth into the position!!"

my boss: "wtf? what are you smoking? i'll be asking someone from HR come by to pick up a urine sample from you"

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 19, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

LMAO.. by that logic Chris Clarks must be the BETTER player... only a MORON would think that

Posted by: joek443 | September 19, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

how did the greats like Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman and Joe Sakic become captains when they were in their early 20's? because of their "leadership skills"??

no, because they were by far the best players on their teams. heck the Pens gave Crosby the C even when they have a player with comparable talent in Malkin. these leadership skills come into play when you have guys like Langway or Hunter and Clark is no where near their level. when you have a player head and shoulders better than anyone else on the team such as OV and he's not the captain, you have to start questioning his dedication and work ethic... any of you gonna start doing that??

Posted by: joek443 | September 19, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

joke443:
how could you ever conclude that clark must be the better player?
striving to be the absolute best player you can be does not make you a leader – just as being the best player in the world doesn’t make this so
clearly it was not stated that the best player should be captain - i believe that is your position.
again using your logic - our troops should be lead by the best military man - no the president.
being the best at something (on a team or in company office) does NOT automatically make you the most qualified to be a leader.
i never said that Ovi couldn't perform this function - only that i do not believe he is ready. the only point you keep making is that the best player on the team. LMAO at you LYAO

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 19, 2009 1:57 AM | Report abuse

Just read the THN article. So Adam Proteau predicts that "the weakest division in the league" will have three teams in the playoffs.

Yet again, even when doing "well" in Proteau's predictions the Southeast is misrepresented.

Posted by: guiliano89 | September 19, 2009 2:29 AM | Report abuse

Sorry - should clarify that Proteau predicts the Southeast will have three teams in the playoffs, but still calls them "the weakest division in the league." Joke.

Posted by: guiliano89 | September 19, 2009 2:30 AM | Report abuse

Wonder if GMGM is making the trip to Chicago tomorrow? I hope nothing happens to set him off again and start going after Chicago GM's again! Of course maybe that's the reason Tallon was fired a bit ago. They knew they better get him outta there before GMGM shows up. He'll kick all their @ss'! LOL!

GMGM is our enforcer!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 19, 2009 4:00 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1
Guy Lafluer better than the Pocket Rocket? I don't think so!

Posted by: fatboy08 | September 19, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

@joek443
Was it necessary to call someone a "Moron"?

If Clark returns to form this year he deserves to remain the Captain. And he should stay the Captain as long as he is a regular in the lineup. This will allow our younger players to grow into the Captaincy. If OV never wears the "C" I think it will be alright. Don't you think he has enough responsibility already?

Posted by: fatboy08 | September 19, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Some are calling for Ovie to wear the "C" by comparing him to Mario, Crosby, Gretzky... Perhaps some organizations have different perceptions of the captaincy role as well as we do. Besides the obvious argument between us fans, you need to take into account the fact that there is so much we do not know behind the scenes. I just trust in the fact that the Caps organization makes their decisions based on more than "who's better". As far as Crosby is concerned, how many fans here constantly write in comments questioning his leadership qualities and mock him as the Captain. If he were a Capital, would you want him to be our leader?

Posted by: gonchpup | September 19, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Why are some of you so consumed with the captain issue? It is up to the team, in the case of the Caps it seems to be BB's responsibility, to select their leader. The fans arguing the choice is silly, none of us have any idea what goes on behind the scenes. Argue if you must, but calling each other names simply shows immaturity.

Posted by: hock1 | September 19, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Just read interview with Jagr in czech newspaper. He said that he spoke with Nylander two times during last month and Nylander wanted to go to Omsk, he already organized necessary things, family stayed in Sweden and was already decided to play with Jagr. But finally Omsk did not make agreement with Caps concerning money...Jagr is really disappointed with this, he said that is not his thing and that is better not to care about anything in Omsk. He also mentioned that next year he would go back to NHL for one year. Lost note was that there is still a chance about Nylander playing in Omsk but it is question of money and caps should decrease their financial requirement. we will se...

Posted by: honzabrezina | September 19, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

@ hock1: you can't possibly expect maturity from some people on this message board. as for fans debating about all things Capitals that we have no hand in is the nature of the beast. it doesn't make it any easier stomaching some of these peoples' comments but eh, we only hope that they can take it as well as they dish it out. otherwise, they're just a$$hats who live in the basement of their parents' house. other than being able to hide on these message boards and lob insults and harsh critiques towards anyone who disagrees with their fanatical opinions, they have nothing better to do.

bottom line, i agree with you, hock1. the team has chosen Chris Clark as their Captain. barring his departure or retirement, who are we to be demanding someone else be named Captain. for the record, having Cindy as Captain and the way he behaves only reinforces my belief that with that title should come a level of maturity, which he clearly does not have. i wouldn't want people criticizing Ovi for being Captain and there he is canoodling with 5 girls or nearly decapitating himself and a colleague/friend on a go-cart before a game. I know how that would play out.

Chris Clark is our Captain. He isn't going anywhere....

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | September 19, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

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