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Morning Reading List: Pothier, Laich and Laing Profiles

(Mike Carlson - The Associated Press)

There's not much to say other than that Alex Ovechkin's celebration is "a done deal."

ESPN's Pierre LeBrun profiles Brian Pothier and the defenseman's comeback after 14 months away from an NHL rink. The story includes quite a bit of detail about the realization that one of Pothier's largest roadblocks was astigmatism and how his recovery continued after the eureka moment.

If you need a laugh this morning, meander over to the D.C. Sports Bog, where Dan Steinberg has a conversation with Eric Fehr about his hometown of Winkler, Manitoba.

Over at the Washington Times, colleague Corey Masisak takes a look at the MVP race.

In case you missed it, The Hockey News looks at what Brooks Laich means to the Capitals. Be sure to check out the video at the bottom of the article as several players talk about preparing for the playoffs.

The Hockey News' Adam Proteau picks NMVPs (Next Most Valuable Players) for each Eastern Conference team. For the Caps, he picks Mike Green. What do you think?

Lightning Cliff Notes
Seven of Tampa Bay's 12 games in March have gone at least to overtime, and the Lightning extended the game again last night in Montreal, where they fell, 3-2, to the Canadiens in the extra session.

The early part of the season wasn't kind to first-overall draft pick Steven Stamkos, but the rookie seems to have found his stride and confidence.

Stamkos has also written a weekly diary for The Tampa Tribune this season, and in his latest entry he talks about encouragement he's received from some of the league's veterans, like Curtis Joseph and Brendan Shanahan.

Here is the Lightning's take on the last chapter of the celebration, beginning with Rick Tocchet's appreciation for Bruce Boudreau's effort to apologize when the Capitals practiced at St. Pete Times Forum the next day.

In the System
Hershey needs to win just one of its nine remaining games to clinch a playoff spot. The Bears visit Binghamton tonight then host Bridgeport and Wilkes-Barre on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Tim Leone talks to Quintin Laing about how he suffered the torn spleen on his second shift against the Tampa Bay Lightning last week and how the fan favorite refuses to play the "what if" game.

The Bears named Dean Arsene their Man of the Year.

In preparation for the Frozen Four, the Washington Times talks to Caps prospect Joe Finley as his North Dakota Fighting Sioux hope to earn a trip to Verizon Center. Check the story out here.

By Katie Carrera  |  March 27, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
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Next: Caps Look to Ramp Up in Time for Playoffs


I cant believe somebody called Rachel a troll in that last thread. You people who obsess over how everybody else chooses to respond to negative posts are often calling the kettle black. geesh, rachels a troll....

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 27, 2009 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Good to hear some other hockey stories. It is truly amazing how Pothier has recovered and returned, and Brooks Laich has really stepped it up these last two seasons.

Should be a good game tonight, but hopefully the Caps will put it away. Good to be home again. Lets make an exciting final homestand boys before the playoffs.

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | March 27, 2009 7:00 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe Laing torn his spleen in his sencond shift! Then he played the rest of the game like that, and still didn't seem to have any problems. That's one tough guy!

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 27, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

@ludeman95: Amen to that. I think that's why we love laing as much as we do. (Of course, he didn't realize that anything was wrong, either.)

Pothier's really is a good story. I wouldn't be horribly surprised if he got a nod for the Masterton Trophy.

I hope we can take the Lightning down tonight. We've got to get some mojo going for the playoffs, and I'd like to lock up the division sooner rather than later, thanks terribly. That said, I'd also like to see the Erskine as forward experiment in practice. Just to see what happens. :)

Posted by: kittypawz | March 27, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

You going down for the practice? I'll be there.

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 27, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

There must be something in Washington's water that makes people act, well, kind of light-headed. Take the first paragraph of this blog: OV celebration is a done deal, as in we will not talk about it anymore (actually, it is being said for the last couple of days), but, wait, scroll down 8 paragraphs and ... what is that? OV's celebration?

Posted by: opita1 | March 27, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Read the comments on the Winkler/Fehr post - my hats off to you all!! :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | March 27, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

@ludeman95: Sadly, no. I wish I could. I think I meant I'd like to see them try it in an actual game, just to see what happens. Unfortunately, I work outside of Baltimore, so going down for practice is not an option. I might go tomorrow, though.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 27, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Erskine as forward... hmmm... Could be very, very interesting... Never let it be said Boudreau isn't a pioneer!

Posted by: irockthered | March 27, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Oh I see, Yeah I had off this week so the wife and I and the 5 month old are heading down there. This is going to be her second Caps practice, lol

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 27, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

@ludeman95: Practice is kind of fun to watch. This morning it'll be a morning skate, though, rather tha na practice, and I think those happen a little earlier. Check the scheedule on the Caps' website.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 27, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Sioux didn't fare too well in the WCHL tournament, suffering an upset loss to Minnesota-Duluth, who went on to win the tournament.

UMD's goalie is a good one to watch, though. He let up one goal in three tournament games, facing over 110 shots.

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 27, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

@Kittypawz..10 oclock, walking out the door right now

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 27, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

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