Brooks Laich

Brooks Laich’s Capital guarantee: “We’re making the playoffs”


Joe Namath. Mark Messier.

Brooks Laich?

The Washington Capitals forward might not have the resume of those iconic athletes, but that hasn’t stopped him from wading into their territory. On Wednesday, Laich appeared on Washington’s 106.7 The Fan sports radio (with “The Junkies”) and guaranteed the Capitals would make the playoffs.

More, from DC Sports Bog:

Wednesday morning, the Junkies asked Brooks Laich which of those missed chances would smart the worst.

“We’re making the playoffs,” Laich responded. “We’re not talking worst-case scenario. We’re making the playoffs….There’s probably games in October that you wish you had or November or whatever, but over the course of 82 games your team identity is gonna be revealed. And either you are or you aren’t a playoff team. There’s really no gray area.”

Then it was pointed out to Laich that he had just guaranteed a playoff berth. He sort of laughed, but didn’t respond.

The Caps are tied on 88 points with Buffalo but hold eighth spot thanks to a superior win total (40 to 39) and regulation/overtime wins (36 to 32). Ergo, they control their own destiny — win and they’re in.

As for the games they’ll need to win? First, there’s Thursday’s massive tilt against Southeast Division-leading Florida, then the season finale against the Rangers at MSG on Saturday. The Caps are 3-2 against the Panthers this season (of note: Florida needs one point from its final two games to clinch a postseason berth) and 1-2 against the Rangers.

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane
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On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.