Brooks Laich says Caps fans trump Habs fans


Verizon.jpgI’ve seen a hockey game in Montreal, and it was the most electrifying
sports experience I’ve been a part of. It was a Thursday night regular
season game against the Dallas Stars, and it was the loudest sporting
event I’ve ever been to. Louder than NFL, college football, you name it
the Bell Centre was much louder.

Brooks Laich says he’ll stick
with the Verizon Center as the best home crowd in the NHL. Per
Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Blog:

“It’s good,” he
said of the Bell Centre crowd. “It’s tremendous.
Personally, I think our building is right up there with any building in
the league, but it would be comparable to a Montreal or a Chicago. I
think those are maybe the three best, loudest buildings in the league.
But it’s a fun place to pay. I still like our fans and our building, but
this one’s right up there as well.”

Steinberg talked
to some Habs players and – no surprise – they will stick with their own
crowd as the best in the NHL.

Perhaps it’s because the first two
games of the series were so bad for the Capitals, up until the final 24
minutes of Game 2, that the Verizon Center sounded a bit duller than
normal. Contrast that to the Bell Centre; I had to adjust the setting on
my subwoofer at home because the crowd noise was rattling the floor
boards. No joke.

Caps fans will have a great chance tonight to
prove that they are in fact the loudest in the NHL. But best fans in the
NHL? Lets wait until the Capitals have over 50 years of history in
Washington to start that comparison.

NHL on NBCSN ’15-16 coverage begins tonight with doubleheader

Corey Crawford, Derek Stepan
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After months of waiting, we’re finally ready to begin the 2015-16 campaign and NBCSN will kick off its coverage with a doubleheader tonight.

The action will begin with the Chicago Blackhawks hosting the New York Rangers, starting at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Chicago has been called a dynasty by some for winning the Stanley Cup three times over the last six campaigns, but one thing that the Blackhawks haven’t done is successfully defend a title. The last team to do so was the Detroit Red Wings in 1997-98 before the salary cap era kicked off. That change was on display this summer as the Blackhawks were forced to move or otherwise walk away from Johnny Oduya, Kris Versteeg, Patrick Sharp, Antoine Vermette, Brad Richards, and Brandon Saad in the name of cap compliance.

Even after losing all those pieces of their 2015 championship team though, Chicago has emerged from the summer with much of its core intact. It also has some promising new players, such as 23-year-old KHL star Artemi Panarin, who is attempting to make the leap to the NHL after outscoring former teammate Ilya Kovalchuk on his way to leading SKA St. Petersburg to a KHL championship.

The New York Rangers should be a great first test for the Blackhawks as they begin their new quest. The Rangers advanced to at least the Eastern Conference Final in three of the last four years, but they haven’t earned a championship since 1994. With Henrik Lundqvist set to celebrate his 34th birthday in March, the Rangers’ window for winning the Cup in front of their all-star goaltender is closing and thus the stakes are high for New York this season.

Starting at 10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN will air the San Jose Sharks’ contest against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. This is the second straight year that these two teams have been matched for the opener, but this time it’s under much different circumstances.

A year ago, Los Angeles had its sights set on defending its title while the Sharks were seeking revenge after suffering a reverse sweep in the first round against the Kings. In the end, neither team had the season they were looking for as they both fell short of the playoffs.

For the Sharks, that miss ended a playoff streak that dated back to the 2003-04 campaign while Los Angeles suffered its first major setback since it celebrated its first championship in 2012. Both teams have to be hungry to bounce right back this season and given that each both of these squads are certainly capable of obtaining that goal. First though, they need to settle the latest chapter of their rivalry.

PHT Morning Skate: Remembering 10 years of Crosby, Ovechkin

Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Here’s a detailed look back at Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin‘s first 10 years in the NHL. (

Speaking of Crosby, he’s signed a multiyear partnership with adidas. (Newswire)

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will play a key role in easing Connor McDavid into the NHL. (Edmonton Sun)

After two polar opposite seasons, the jury is still out on Patrick Roy as a head coach. (Denver Post)

Marc-Andre Fleury enjoys pulling off pranks on his teammates. “I play better when I’m looser, laughing and having fun,” he said. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Art McDonald, a Canadian who won recently won a Nobel Prize, talked to the committee members about the Toronto Maple Leafs. (SB Nation)