Author: Joe Yerdon

Brooks Laich

Caps’ Laich says 92 points is their target for to make playoffs


Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich has an idea of what it will take to get to the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.’s Chuck Gormley spoke with the Caps’ alternate captain and gets their target number to shoot for to make a run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“Anything less than 92 you’re going to need a major stroke of luck to get in,” Laich predicted. “I think that’s the absolute cutoff point. As you get a point or two or three above that, your chances get exponentially better.”

If that point total sounds familiar to fans in Washington, it’s what the Caps finished with in the 2011-2012 season to get into the playoffs then. The Caps and Ottawa Senators each finished with 92 points that season, but the Caps had the tiebreaker to get the seventh seed. Washington went on to oust the Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs that season.

In seasons previous to that, the high-80s to low-90s were what got teams in the postseason. While the Eastern Conference has been bad this season, it’ll turn into “Lord Of The Flies” down the stretch as teams fight to get in the playoffs.

With the new wild card spots, it’ll open things up to be a wild finish for the final two spots. A race not unlike what we’ve seen in the past.

Sharks rookie sensation Hertl may resume skating this week

Tomas Hertl

The San Jose Sharks may get a jolt of good news soon.

Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said rookie forward Tomas Hertl may resume skating this week, as Kevin Kurz of shares. Wilson did not offer any further timeline for Hertl’s recovery.

Hertl injured his knee on Dec. 19 after a knee-on-knee collision with Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown and has not returned since then.

This season has been a breakout for the 20-year-old Czech. In 35 games, he had 15 goals and 10 assists and was leading the Sharks in goals scored for a time and was leading the discussion for the Calder Trophy through the first few months. Now that he’s closer to getting back on the ice, his return will act like a deadline pickup for the Sharks.

San Jose is currently in second place in the Pacific Division, seven points behind the Anaheim Ducks.

PHT Morning Skate: Lamoriello ready to buy at deadline

Lou Lamoriello

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.

Devils GM Lou Lamoriello knows his team is battling to make the playoffs and he’s ready to be a buyer, not a seller, at the trade deadline. (Fire & Ice)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $2,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday’s NHL games. It’s $10 to join and first prize is $400. Starts Thursday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

One columnist says Lightning captain Martin St. Louis needs to start thinking like a captain. (The Tampa Tribune)

A couple of Maple Leafs notes: Dave Bolland had a mild setback at practice yesterday. He’s still joining the Leafs on their road trip and is still day-to-day. (Canadian Press)

Leafs center Trevor Smith sees his recovery from a broken hand coming near its completion. (Toronto Sun)

The Olympics fired up Winnipeg Jets center Olli Jokinen to keep winning back in Manitoba. They’re in the mix for the postseason. (Winnipeg Free Press)

If you missed Buffalo goalie Jhonas Enroth’s save on Boston forward Loui Eriksson during the second period of the Sabres’ 5-4 overtime victory, you really need to get caught up on that. That’s an ice cold way to stop an Olympic teammate.

This story with Devils forward Dainius Zubrus discussing what’s going on in Ukraine is worth a read. While he was born in what’s now Lithuania, his family spent time in Ukraine growing up. (

After showing off a save, how about a look at Gustav Nyquist’s game-winning goal in overtime against Montreal.