User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Laich injured 10 min. into 1st Capitals practice

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - Amid bright expectations and newfound stability, the Washington Capitals opened training camp Thursday. It didn't take long for the mood to change.

Advertisement
Roughly 10 minutes into the opening practice, forward Brooks Laich - coming off an injury-ruined season - left the ice at Kettler Iceplex, saying he had a ``flare-up'' of a strained hip flexor suffered a week ago on his first day in Washington after a summer of successful rehab of a pulled groin.

Laich, one of the Capitals' locker room leaders, was anxious for the start of camp after playing only nine games last year.

``The ice here is a lot softer than the ice I skated on back home (in Saskatchewan), and when I skated here I just tweaked it a little bit,'' Laich said. ``It's completely nonrelated to anything I went through last year and on the other side of my body.''

Laich's status is day-to-day. Neither general manager George McPhee nor coach Adam Oates sounded particularly concerned.

``Hopefully it's a day or two,'' McPhee said.

While the injury may not be serious, it is symbolic of a star-crossed team that has consistently underachieved in the postseason.

Franchise cornerstones Nicklas Backstrom, 25, Mike Green, 27, and Alex Ovechkin, who turns 28 on Sept. 17, have helped propel Washington to five division titles in the last six years but with no trips to the conference finals. Last year's 5-0 loss to the New York Rangers at home in Game 7 of the opening round after leading the series 2-0 was perhaps the team's most embarrassing playoff pratfall.

``We've proven (to) ourselves that we're a good team. But we haven't proven we're a great team,'' Green said. ``The only way to do that is to win a Stanley Cup.''

Washington hopes that stability will help achieve that goal. The team underwent a radical makeover in the middle of the 2011-12 season when Dale Hunter replaced Bruce Boudreau as coach. There was another difficult transition when Oates took over last summer, with little preseason to install his system due to the NHL lockout.

``Last couple of years we've had a little bit of chaos in there as far as knowing where you fit in on the team, knowing where your role is,'' forward Troy Brouwer said. ``This year with very limited spots on the team, everyone kind of knows where they fall in and what's expected of them even before camp starts.''

On the ice, Washington will look for improvement from young goalies Braden Holtby, 23, and Michal Neuvirth, 24, under the direction of Olie Kolzig. The former Caps great was promoted to head goaltender coach after two seasons with the team in a developmental role.

Many of the Caps expressed their approval of the realigned NHL. Washington will play in the Metropolitan Division along with traditional rivals including the New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Philadelphia Flyers.

The Capitals open the regular season on Oct. 1 on the road against the NHL champion Chicago Blackhawks, a prospect that doesn't please Brouwer, a former Chicago player who still resides in the city.

``I spent a lot of the summer trying to avoid Chicago,'' Brouwer said. ``The worst thing that could happen to me this summer was having to play them opening night and see the banner.''

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
News: Grand Salami - December
Gaudreau helps Flames rout Ducks, 8-3
Koivu lifts Wild over Oilers 2-1 in OT
Simmonds' 2 goals lead Flyers to win
Copp, Jets surprise Blackhawks late
Di Giuseppe helps Canes nip Lightning
Canadiens top Kings in shootout, 5-4
Oilers' McDavid leaves game versus Wild
Nielsen admits to 'butterflies' for debut
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NHL Pro Hockey Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NHL Hot Streaks
6-3, +576 Last 9 G-Plays
5-2, +355 L7 NHL Guarantees
3-1, +235 L4 Selections
22-13, +1,118 Last 35 Picks
4-2 Record Yesterday
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2016 NHL SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 1104
Don Anthony + 130
ASA + 55
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Gary Bart + 224
Bruce Marshall + 200
Scott Rickenbach + 179
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 190
Stephen Nover + 72
   
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 747
Stephen Nover + 584
Scott Rickenbach + 447
Yesterday's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Rickenbach + 386
Gary Bart + 305
ASA + 100
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Gary Bart + 550
Stephen Nover + 310
ASA + 100
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership