Joe Namath. Mark Messier.
The Washington Capitals forward might not have the resume of those iconic athletes, but that hasn’t stopped him from wading into their territory. On Wednesday, Laich appeared on Washington’s 106.7 The Fan sports radio (with “The Junkies”) and guaranteed the Capitals would make the playoffs.
Wednesday morning, the Junkies asked Brooks Laich which of those missed chances would smart the worst.
“We’re making the playoffs,” Laich responded. “We’re not talking worst-case scenario. We’re making the playoffs….There’s probably games in October that you wish you had or November or whatever, but over the course of 82 games your team identity is gonna be revealed. And either you are or you aren’t a playoff team. There’s really no gray area.”
Then it was pointed out to Laich that he had just guaranteed a playoff berth. He sort of laughed, but didn’t respond.
The Caps are tied on 88 points with Buffalo but hold eighth spot thanks to a superior win total (40 to 39) and regulation/overtime wins (36 to 32). Ergo, they control their own destiny — win and they’re in.
As for the games they’ll need to win? First, there’s Thursday’s massive tilt against Southeast Division-leading Florida, then the season finale against the Rangers at MSG on Saturday. The Caps are 3-2 against the Panthers this season (of note: Florida needs one point from its final two games to clinch a postseason berth) and 1-2 against the Rangers.