Ovechkin Should Win Hart; Caps Re-sign Laing; Caps Re-Runs Air Next Week

June 17, 2009 | Ed Frankovic

NHL Award Show in Vegas

Alexander Ovechkin has already won the Richard Trophy for the leading the NHL in goals (56) during the 2008-09 season and on Thursday night in Las Vegas the Great #8 will seek to add the Hart Trophy (NHL MVP) and Pearson Award (NHL’s most outstanding player as voted by fellow members of the NHL Players Association) to his trophy collection. I’m not in Vegas to wager on this but my money is on Ovechkin to capture both awards over Evgeni Malkin of Pittsburgh and Pavel Datsyuk of Detroit.

Mike Green, who told the Washington Post and Washington Times yesterday that he was suffering from an undisclosed illness in addition to shoulder trouble in the playoffs and that he would take better care of himself next season, is up for the Norris Trophy against Nicklas Lidstrom of Detroit and Zdeno Chara of Boston. Green had an incredible regular season scoring 31 goals and adding 42 assists in just 68 games plus he broke the NHL consecutive game goal scoring streak by defensemen with tallies in eight straight contests. My money is on Chara to win this one ever so closely over Green. By the way, if you follow my blogs then you know that “the mysterious illness” Green likely suffered from was mononucleosis as reported by Bruce Boudreau on TSN earlier in the month (you can read that blog here).

Also, for those interested in watching the award show with a bunch of Caps fans, my fellow bloggers and all around good guys John Press (Japers Rink) and Greg Wyshynski (Yahoo’s Puck Daddy) are hosting a party at Bailey’s Pub and Grill in Ballston Mall. For info on it click here. It sounds like it will be a great time and these guys know hockey and are both very personable.

Caps Re-Sign Quintin Laing

The Capitals re-signed penalty killing and shot blocking specialist Quintin Laing to a one-year contract today. It is a two-way contract in that Laing’s pay is based on whether he is up with Washington or down with Hershey in the AHL. Here is the press release from the Caps great PR staff:

The Washington Capitals have re-signed left wing Quintin Laing to a one-year contract, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. In keeping with club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Laing, 30, played one game for Washington last season. He was recalled by the Caps from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League on March 19 and played the entire game (10:19) at Tampa Bay despite suffering a torn spleen on his second shift in the first period. Laing ended the game with a +1 rating.

The 6’2”, 210-pound native of Rosetown, Saskatchewan, spent most of the season with the Calder Cup champion Bears. He tallied 25 points (9g-16a) in 55 regular-season games before his recall. Laing missed more than two months with his spleen injury, but he returned to the Bears during the Calder Cup playoffs and had two goals and two assists in nine games.

Laing was drafted by Detroit in the fourth round of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, 102nd overall. He has played in 43 career NHL games (40 with Washington and three with Chicago) and has one goal and six assists. He was signed by Washington as a free agent on July 18, 2006.

Caps Re-Runs Next Week

Want something good to watch on television next week? I suggest you turn into Comcast to catch the replays of 5 Caps classic games from this past season. You can see Alexander the Great rally Washington over the Rangers in Madison Square Garden in December, then see the Great #8 score his goal of the year against Montreal in February, next catch games 5 and 7 of the Caps-Rangers series, and close it out with the Caps Game 6 win over the Penguins in overtime. Here is the lineup courtesy of the Caps PR department’s blog, Welcome to the Show (click here):

The below games air during Caps Week, June 22-27. All games begin at 7 p.m. following Geico SportsNite.

June 22, Capitals at Rangers: Biggest Comeback in Team History (12/23/08)

Alex Ovechkin and Shaone Morrisonn led the team to this incredible come-from-behind victory, the team’s first in Madison Square Garden in five years.

June 23, Canadiens at Capitals: Ovechkin Shines in Capitals Shootout Victory (2/18/09)

The Capitals took the shootout victory as Ovechkin tallied one of the most amazing goals of his career.

June 25, Rangers at Capitals: Game 5 of the First Round Series (4/24/2009)

Down 3-1 in the first round, Matt Bradley scored twice and Simeon Varlamov posted another shutout.

June 26, Rangers at Capitals: Game 7 of the First Round Series (4/28/2009)

With a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals on the line, Varlamov led the team to a Game 7 victory.

June 27, Capitals at Penguins: Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals (5/11/2009)

Facing elimination again this postseason, Dave Steckel led the team to overtime victory to force a Game 7.

If Comcast had televised Game 2 of the Penguins series instead of Versus Caps fans likely would have be getting the Great #8’s hat trick in which Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby complained to the referees about a “second wave” of hats coming down on the ice.

No, I’m still not happy about the Penguins Stanley Cup victory and apparently neither is Boudreau or several Caps according to this post. Ataboy Bruce!