You would have had to have a heart of steel - or no heart at all - to not be overjoyed for Quintin Laing. The Hershey Bears Captain scored his first NHL goal last night against the Devils. That is, his first goal in seven seasons playing pro hockey in the all sorts of leagues not called the NHL. Laing's only call up to the NHL was during the 03-04 season, when he played in just three games for the Hawks. With former Hershey Coach Bruce Boudreau behind the bench in Washington, Laing got his second shot at the Big Show just this year, and has earned the respect of his teamates with his grit.
From Tarik's article on Laing in last week's WaPo:
Laing got the call when checking-line center Boyd Gordon suffered an undisclosed injury. Laing said his wife screamed as he did his best to remain composed.And more:
Laing scored a career-high 15 goals for the Bears last season, although he pointed out that five of them were empty-netters. He was just as honest when asked why he hasn't gotten more chances to prove himself against NHL competition.
"I'm not the fastest skater and I don't have the greatest hands," said Laing, who was drafted in the fourth round by Detroit in 1997 and has played 432 American Hockey League games since. "But I think I make up for it with my instincts and hockey sense."
You have gotta be rooting for a guy who points out to a Washington Post reporter that his season total of goals is inflated. I am definitely rooting for him, and I hope the Caps can find a spot to keep him on the roster when Boyd Gordon returns.