THW Live: Laine Injury; Resurgent Leafs; Hiding Caps

On this week’s The Hockey Writers Live podcast, we open up the show by discussing Jake McCabe’s thunderous hit which concussed Winnipeg’s star rookie Patrik Laine and how the Jets will move forward without the supremely talented youngster in their lineup.

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Judson Rempel (@RempelJudson) from THW joins me to debate if McCabe’s hit was clean or dirty, and if it’s possible that such an explosive collision can be avoided in the future. Judson has some interesting views to share; and he also does an excellent job breaking down how the Jets will fill the void left during Laine’s absence from the lineup.

Are the Jets good enough to make the playoffs, with or without Laine? I ask Judson exactly that; and see what he thinks the team will do at the trade deadline.

Laying in the Weeds

The Washington Capitals were the runaway President’s Trophy winners a year ago. Then they were ousted in the second round of the playoffs.

This season no one is much talking about the Caps, as the Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins have garnered more attention in the tough Metropolitan Division. Yet there Washington is, within striking distance of first place.

I discuss whether laying in the weeds suits the Capitals more than being the front-runners with long-time team beat reporter Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps). We also chat about Alex Ovechkin’s latest milestones, the play of Braden Holtby; and Vogel shares some great insight on what the Capitals’ brass thinks about Russian goaltending prospect Ilya Samsanov.

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Takeoff in Toronto

The Toronto Maple Leafs are in their bye week, but just prior the Leafs were playing their best hockey of the season, posting a 6-1-1 mark. Though not in a playoff spot now, the Maple Leafs are contenders for the second or third berth from the Atlantic Division.

It’s been some time since there was so much optimism in Toronto; and THW reporter Andrew Forbes (@AndrewGForbes) joins me to discuss whether that optimism is justified. We also analyze what Toronto management might do at the trade deadline, and why the backup goalie situation has been such a “circus” this season.

I also play a little word association with Forbes.

My question: Auston Matthews.

His response?

Tune in to find out.