Tag: Brooks Laich

New York Islanders v Washington Capitals - Game Two

Now the Isles are upset at Brooks Laich, too


Things have reached a fever pitch in the Isles-Capitals series.

In the wake of Tom Wilson’s huge Game 4 hit on Lubomir Visnovsky — one that knocked New York’s veteran d-man out of action — the Isles expressed major frustration, with Kyle Okposo calling Wilson “an idiot.”

Now, they’re apparently upset with another Caps forward as well.

From Newsday:

The Isles, already upset over losing Visnovsky, were further incensed when audio of Caps forward Brooks Laich’s radio appearance on a Washington station surfaced on social media.

The NHL’s Player Safety department was informed of Laich’s comments, though such things usually warrant only a talking-to, not a fine or suspension. Wilson did not hear from player safety regarding the hit, so he will be in the lineup for Game 5.

In the interview, Laich said “What [the hit] did was Visnovsky got put out of the game and that puts them down to five ‘D’ in the second period.” Laich then added, “it’s a quote-unquote good penalty to take.”

Game 5 of the series goes tonight at Verizon. Needless to say, it’s going to be heated.

Caps’ Laich: ‘We looked like a slow team’ against Isles

New York Islanders v Washington Capitals - Game One

The numbers say that the New York Islanders ran away with Game 1 against the Washington Capitals in a 4-1 win. Apparently the eye test said the same thing to the Capitals.

Or would you call it the odometer, instead? Brooks Laich ranked among the Washington players who believed that the Isles skated his team out of the Verizon Center, as the Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt reports.

“The result is that we looked like a slow team,” Laich said.

Several Capitals expressed that belief, according to CSNWashington.com’s Chuck Gormley.

Speed wasn’t the only concern, mind you. There were more generic worries about “compete level” and likely other cliches you’d expect after a fairly one-sided bout.

On the bright side, the Caps aren’t overreacting to a tough loss, either.

The outlook for a long series wouldn’t seem so optimistic if Washington doesn’t put a better effort forward in Game 2 on Friday, though.

Pressing Playoff Question: Is this finally Alex Ovechkin’s time?

Alex Ovechkin

What a difference a year makes.

Around this time in 2014, Alex Ovechkin experienced a season so rotten his hair literally turned gray. The Caps missed the playoffs, people obsessed over his plus/minus rating and the Russian Olympic hockey team crashed and burned in Sochi.


Some paint Barry Trotz as the wizard who finally got Ovechkin to play along. Others say No. 8’s scoring stats really aren’t that different from 2013-14. Wherever you land in that specific argument, the tenor is far more positive regarding the Ovechkin this year than it was the last.

Much of sports writing revolves around praising or lambasting a star player when his team wins or loses — yet the dirty secret is that success or failure often boils down to the supporting cast.

So the biggest reason why this might be Ovechkin’s year isn’t because he stopped “gliding.” It’s because the Caps are the most competent and stable they’ve been since the happy days of the Bruce Boudreau era.

“This is a different team compared to the last couple years,” Ovechkin said, per CSN Washington. “A mature team, an experienced team.

“It’s a lot different.”

Simply put, Ovi’s getting a lot more help.

source: AP
Source: AP


Braden Holtby’s put together a borderline Vezina season; while Semyon Varlamov showed flashes of brilliance with Washington, the bottom line is that Holtby’s the best net option the Capitals have had since Ovechkin first put on that goofy eagle sweater.

The Capitals also invested big-time in their defense this offseason, and it’s paid off. Matt Niskanen is starting to feel it, with 11 of his 31 points pouring in since March. John Carlson’s enjoying easily the best season of his career, and Mike Green hasn’t been too shabby as he chases a new deal, either.

Washington’s offense isn’t as explosive as it once was, yet there’s reason to think that they can survive a slow night or two from their big guns. Ten different players scored at least 10 goals this year; 17 skaters scored at least 17 points. Marcus Johansson found the back of the net a career-high 20 times, and Troy Brouwer tied a personal best with 43 points.

Caps GM Brian McLellan says the club’s secondary scoring behind Ovechkin (and Nicklas Backstrom) could be vital for a successful Cup run.

“That’s going to be the key, I think, to winning a lot of the games,” he said, per CSN Washington. “Goals scored by third and fourth line guys at the right moment. A rebound goal, a traffic goal. I don’t think it’s total numbers, I think it’s more impact goals than it is anything else for those guys.

“We’re going to need all those guys to chip in – [Jason] Chimera, [Joel] Ward, Brooks Laich, [Curtis] Glencross – we’re going to need big goals from those guys to be successful.”

Overall, the Capitals have the most forward depth, best goalie and best defensive group since Ovechkin came to DC. They also have an experienced head coach in a wide-open Eastern Conference.

Will that be enough for Ovechkin to finally break through at the team level after all those years of frustration? A lot of things can happen in the postseason, obviously, but it’s been a long time since Ovechkin’s outlook was this optimistic.