Brooks Laich has dealt with more than his fair share of injuries over the past few years and he’s not sure when his current shoulder problem will be behind him. He already tried to return from the injury once on Nov. 7, but his comeback lasted a single game. After that setback, the 31-year-old forward has been proceeding with caution.
“I can’t keep going … not scared, but timid a little bit, because my body isn’t ready to be out there in the contact and the compete level I’m used to,” Laich told the Washington Post. “Just hope that it gets a little better each day, then one day I’ll find myself back in the lineup.”
Laich has played in just six of Washington’s 18 games this season. He’s been taking shots during practice, but doesn’t feel 100% in that regard yet.
Capitals coach Barry Trotz thinks getting Laich back would help the team assemble four effective lines and he hopes Laich will be available for Saturday’s game against Buffalo. After the delays Laich has suffered along the way though, it’s hard to count on that.
“I don’t want to be a detriment to my hockey team by going back on the ice in a shape that I can’t fully compete,” Laich said. “It’s very tough mentally to sit and wait for this thing to get better, but I try to remind myself that it’s not a groin injury, it’s a shoulder. I can still skate and participate in practice and hopefully I’ll be back soon.”
Brooks Laich is ready to return from injury.
On Friday, the oft-injured forward will play for the Caps when they take on the Blackhawks in Chicago, the team announced. Laich played in Washington’s first five games of the season — during which it went 3-0-2 — before suffering a shoulder ailment that sidelined him on Oct. 19.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of lift, if any, Laich can provide his slumping team. The Caps have lost five in a row and blew a lead late in Tuesday’s 4-3 OT loss to the Flames, allowing Markus Granlund to even the score with under six minutes left in regulation.
Prior to getting hurt, Laich was averaging just over 15 minutes per night and had just one point, but did lead all forwards in blocked shots and took a decent number of faceoffs.
Brooks Laich has missed the last four Capitals games with a shoulder injury. And it sounds like he’s going to miss a few more.
“We’re probably looking at sometime next week now,” coach Barry Trotz said today, per CSN Washington. “It’s a little longer than he thought it would be. It’ll be 100 percent when he gets back.”
Laich is no stranger to missing games due to injury. The 31-year-old forward was hoping things would be different this season, saying in September that, with his groin issues behind him, he felt “5 years old again.”
Alas, now he’s got another issue (though the general sense is this won’t be a long-term thing.)
Washington (4-3-2) plays Saturday and Sunday, in Tampa Bay and home to Arizona, respectively. “Sometime next week” could include Tuesday at home to Calgary or Friday’s game in Chicago.
A couple of brief Capitals notes:
1. On veteran forward Brooks Laich, who was hurt Saturday versus Florida…
Per CSN Washington:
Laich will not join the Capitals on their three-game trip to western Canada, but could be cleared to play when they return, coach Barry Trotz said Monday.
“Not too serious,” Trotz said, “but serious enough where I don’t think he would be effective enough for us in the three games.”
Jay Beagle will apparently return from injury and take Laich’s spot on a line with Andre Burakovsky and Marcus Johansson.
2. On forward Tom Wilson, who hurt his ankle this summer…
Per Monumental Network:
Washington reassigned Wilson to AHL Hershey on Monday afternoon after practice so he can practice with the Bears this week and suit up for Hershey this weekend.
Wilson is expected to play in the Friday and Saturday games for Hershey. The soonest you can expect to see the rugged right wing in action for Washington would be that Oct. 29 game against Detroit at Verizon Center, the Caps’ first game back from the road trip.
The Caps play Wednesday in Edmonton, Saturday in Calgary, and Sunday in Vancouver.
Capitals forward Brooks Laich appeared to suffer a left shoulder injury late in the third period of Washingon’s 2-1 shootout win over the Florida Panthers Saturday night.
Laich received a shoulder to shoulder hit from Panthers’ Shawn Thornton and went straight to the Capitals dressing room.
Washington coach Barry Trotz did not see the play and, according to The Washington Post, thought it was a knee issue, since that Laich had taken several pucks off his leg while blocking shots.
“He had hurt his knee blocking a shot two games previous, and I thought it hit him on the same spot,” Trotz said. “When he went off someone told me it was upper body, not lower body.”