Q: Is there a Washington player whose inner strength surprises you?
Ovechkin: We all have a character, all of us. But the most unusual is [Quintin] Laing. He blocks shots, any shots. Sometimes it is impossible even to imagine, is he going to block this one too? A charismatic fellow.
By TIM LEONE, Of The Patriot-News Sept. 19, 2008 11:21AM:
After a storybook 2007-08 season, Quintin Laing found he'd become a prominent Saskatonian, which is what residents of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, are called.
"A lot of people back home were coming up saying they watched me in games," Laing said. "They wanted to hear stories, mostly about [Alex] Ovechkin. Once you start telling the stories, you realize it was a pretty special year."
Heart-warming special for anybody familiar with the earnest and classy left winger, who'd spent most of his previous seven pro seasons in the minors. Laing grabbed an unexpected roster toehold with the Washington Capitals, played 39 games in which he impressed with his shot-blocking valor, scored his first career NHL goal, and was nominated for the prestigious Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
But last season is history. Caps players reported for 2008-09 training camp today and begin on-ice sessions Saturday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va.
"I'm going to have to have a really, really good camp to stick," Laing said. "That's what I'm going to have to do."