As you probably know, the Toronto Maple Leafs placed former Capital Brooks Laich on waivers at the very beginning of this season. The Leafs then ultimately made the decision to demote him to their AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies.
Laich’s career with the Marlies started strange. The team played their first two regular season games and Laich did not play in either. I surmised that he was probably not happy with his demotion and now a few months later we have more evidence to back that up.
Tuesday morning the Capitals announced that they have called up forward Travis Boyd from AHL affiliate Hershey Bears. This is Boyd’s very first NHL call-up in his second season playing with the Bears.
In 53 games with Hershey this year, Boyd has registered 43 points (11 goals and 32 assists), good enough for second on the team in points. He recently represented the team in the AHL All-Star Game along with teammate Chris Bourque.
At the end of Development Camp last summer, Barry Trotz promised Boyd an opportunity to make the Capitals out of Training Camp. Nearly six months later, Boyd has finally earned a look from the big-league team.
The St. Louis Blues aren’t exactly having the easiest year, especially with the recent firing of their head coach, Ken Hitchcock. But even though the team might be struggling, Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko made sure to create a great moment for a big fan on her birthday. Tarasenko surprised 11-year-old Arianna Dougan with a trip for two on the team’s charter for a two-game road trip to Arizona and Colorado. Tarasenko won the trip during the Blues’ live auction Casino Night. Tarasenko first met Arianna last November.
Dougan was diagnosed with neuroblastoma (a type of childhood cancer) when she was only three. After relapsing four times, Arianna’s mom told NHL.com that she is close to being cancer free once again.
Two tough beats over the weekend have done little to quell the good feelings surrounding the Washington Capitals. Last week it was Chris “Freakshow” Meloni rocking a Caps hat. Today it’s the DC progressive metal band Periphery, who are currently on tour in Japan. Good hometown boys done good, they’re rocking Caps gear while traveling abroad.
Capitals goalie prospect Ilya Samsonov blanked Traktor Chelyabinsk in a 1-0 shootout win on Friday night, closing out the regular season for Magnitogorsk. Samsonov made 31 saves over 65 minutes of regulation and overtime, and stoned two out of Traktor’s three shooters in the shootout.
Early in the game, Metallurg was off to a slow start. Samsonov possessed the necessary mix of skill and luck to prevent what easily could have been a 3-0 Traktor lead by the start of the second.
After two back-to-back road games, the Capitals returned home on Sunday evening. Lauren and Lyla Oshie were enjoying the beautiful DC weather and playing in the front yard when TJ Oshie drove up.
Lyla was incredibly excited for “Papa” to return home, immediately running towards the car yelling “Papa!! Hiii! Hiii, Papa!”
TJ responded excitedly with a request, “Give me a hug!”
Friday after practice, Dmitry Orlov gave away one of his ORLOV-branded sticks to a four-year-old Caps fan. Beyond being a kind gesture, Orlov appears to have received a brand new shipment of twigs which he used during the team’s back-to-back away games over the weekend.
During the first period, NBC zoomed in on Alex Ovechkin on the bench, capturing the stick rack in the background.
Saturday night, longtime Dallas Stars play-by-play man and cancer survivor Dave Strader returned to the booth after a 283-day absence.
Last May, Strader visited several doctors in New York after feeling sick. Strader had his gall bladder removed, but doctors discovered that he had cholangiocarcinoma, an inoperable bile duct cancer. Strader started chemotherapy treatments and has been battling ever since.
“It’s something I’ve been working toward this whole season, and my doctors said this fits in the schedule, so here we go,” Strader said to the Dallas Morning News’ Mike Heika. “We have tried several different treatments, and the doctors said this could help as much as anything else I could do.”
Despite missing the entire 2016-17 season, Strader seamlessly stepped back into the booth Saturday as if nothing ever happened. Strader expertly called an Antoine Roussel hat trick and Jamie Benn’s game-winning overtime goal. After the Stars 4-3 win, the players gave an emotional tribute to Strader by raising their sticks in the air towards the play-by-play booth.
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