Laich has missed the entire season with a strained groin muscle suffered in Switzerland during the lockout. There still is no time frame for his return.
"It's been a lot of work," Laich said ahead of the Capitals' game Tuesday against the Southeast Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes. "It's been the hardest thing I've ever gone through. Physically it's a lot of work, but mentally probably even more draining. But hopefully it's all for good. We have a great medical staff that's really helped me and pushed me in the right direction. Hopefully I'll be back out soon."
|Laurent Dauphin, Chicoutimi, QMJHL|
NHL Central Scouting has advised all NHL personnel to keep an eye on four 2013 draft-eligible players shooting up the ranks for the month of March.
In addition to profiling many of the top prospects on the radar, it's always interesting to learn of those performers improving to the point of getting special attention, as is the case each month when Central Scouting provides team scouts and GMs a cheat sheet of such performers.
This month, Central Scouting has targeted right wing Zach Nastasiuk of the Owen Sound Attack in the Ontario Hockey League, center Laurent Dauphin of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and center Nicolas Petan of the Portland Winterhawks and defenseman Dillon Heatherington of the Swift Current Broncos in the Western Hockey League.
Nastasiuk, Dauphin and Heatherington, who were regarded as 'B skaters' in February, were upgraded to 'A skaters' this month. Petan jumped from a 'C' rating to 'A'.
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The busy travel and game schedule of National Hockey League players typically means things like birthdays and holidays with friends and family are missed.
"There's a lot of times where when we come here or they come to California, it's a back-to-back game or you don't really have time to enjoy it, so it was fun," Saku said. "Obviously it's a big day for him, 30th birthday; just goes to show how time flies. It feels like he just came over here and now it's already 10 years."
DALLAS -- After missing 16 games with a broken bone in his foot, Ray Whitney will return to the ice for the Dallas Stars on Tuesday against the Nashville Predators at American Airlines Center. It will be Whitney's first game since Feb. 1 against the Phoenix Coyotes.
"It [the process] has been long. It's the first time I've had a broken bone, so it's been longer than expected, but I've had enough of riding the bike," Whitney said. "I'm excited to get back on the ice and see if we can't get a good push here in the last half."
Granlund, the Wild's first-round pick (No. 9) in the 2010 NHL Draft, is playing his first professional season in North America after starring in his native Finland the past three seasons. Adjusting to the speed and size of the ice sheet in the NHL has been an issue for Granlund, as well as playing against bigger and more physical competition.
The highly skilled center has played in 19 games this season, scoring one goal and assisting on five, but has been a healthy scratch each of the past two games and in four of Minnesota's last eight overall.
After watching Ottawa Senators Kaspars Daugavins crazy, yet unsuccessful shootout attempt last night vs. the Boston Bruins, Cisco NHL Live asks the fans to vote for the best shootout goal since the tiebreaker was introduced to the NHL. We've narrowed the list to these five beauties:
November 11, 2005
April 9, 2009
December 10, 2010
January 17, 2010
December 14, 2010
With 11 games on Tuesday's schedule, Cisco NHL Live with Steve Mears and EJ Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will preview them all and give you a look at pre-game skates in our Ice Pass. We'll also have bench boss of the Chicago Blackhawks, Joel Quenneville, on the show to talk about their great streak to start the season.
We'lll also get live pre-game updates from our Cisco NHL Arena Cam in Pittsburgh for the big Eastern Conference matchup between the Penguins and Bruins, Washington for the Capitals-Hurricanes division rivalry, and Minnesota to preview the Ducks-Wild. NHL Network analyst Darren Pang will drop by the show to talk about the Blues-Sharks rematch and if he would have been able to stop Kasper Daugavins' shootout attempt.
Don't forget to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, keep an eye on this Senior Reporter's dance moves in his EJ5, with a shootout theme, and stick around for the shootout as EJ picks all 11 games being played on Tuesday.
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Defenseman Radko Gudas, called up by the Tampa Bay Lightning from Syracuse of the American Hockey League on Monday, will make his NHL debut Tuesday when the Lightning visit the Florida Panthers.
Lightning coach Guy Boucher said he was hoping Gudas would bring a physical presence to the Tampa Bay lineup -- he's fourth in the AHL with 207 penalty minutes, along with leading the league with a plus-32 rating.
"He's got a major upside in terms of his physicality," Boucher said. "He's one of those guys that will be compared to [former New York Islanders defenseman Darius] Kasparaitis, if you remember him. He's a major menace and threat on the ice. He hits guys extremely hard at moments they don't expect. He's a warrior. What's good, too, is that the last two years he's made his game a little calmer in the sense that he chooses those moments now a lot better than he used to."
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The old saying in hockey is 'weather the storm.' I put the notion in their heads that we don't want to weather the storm, we want to push just as hard and matched their work ethic. I thought our guys exceeded that in the first period.