Brooks Laich

Laich says Capitals have “no reason” to hang their heads


Losing a triple overtime game must be a serious punch in the gut. At the same time, it’s tough to blame Washington Capitals center Brooks Laich for sticking up for his team despite their heartbreaking 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers, as he told Stephen Whyno.

“Laich said this was a great game, no reason for Caps to hang their heads.”

The rugged Capitals forward points out that the Capitals laid it on the line – literally and figuratively.

“You look around the ice and probably half the players on the ice have blood on their jerseys by the end of it,” Laich said.

Fellow hard-working forward Joel Ward echoed Laich’s thoughts.

“Any game is fun in the playoffs; it sucks [when] you lose. That’s just the nature of the beast,” Ward said. “I thought we played pretty [well]. We had some chances. It was just, they put the last one in.”

Ward’s final sentence might seem kind of obvious and simple, but it really didn’t capture the feel of the outcome (and perhaps the outcome of most marathon OT games). It’s a huge blow to the team that loses such a contest, yet it’s tough to beat up on either side too much.

Especially since “half” of the players left the game bloodied to begin win.

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
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Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.

On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.

But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.

The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.

Panthers’ Crouse is going back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One
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Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.

Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.

Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.

“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”