Brooks Laich: “You can play against skill. You can defend against skill.”

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Brooks Laich is one of the heart and soul kind of players on the Capitals roster. The guy busts his butt and plays a tough game at both ends of the ice, just like how the Caps play the game now.

Laich tells Bruce Arthur of The National Post grinding out wins is a lot better than trying to out-skill teams in the playoffs and uses a rather awkward comparison to illustrate his point.

“See, I like to think — people say this guy’s so skilled, that guy’s so skilled, but to me, skill is the ability to win,” Laich said. “Who’s the most skilled guy in the league, the guy that you don’t want to play against? The most frustrating thing is going off the ice, looking over at the other team, and they’re saying, ‘We kicked your ass. You can’t beat me. You can’t beat me.’ And I could give a s—- over who can toe-drag or sauce-pass, skill is the ability to win. That’s what I think.

“Is Alex Kovalev skilled? Where did that get him? You know? You can play against skill. You can defend against skill.”

Winning is a skill? Interesting.

Name-dropping former Stanley Cup winner Kovalev will grab your attention, but it sounds like he’s referring more to how things used to be in Washington when guys like Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, and Nicklas Backstrom dominated the headlines and lost in the postseason.

Laich mentioning Kovalev is like having him mention Semin, and as Japers Rink pointed out last year, that comparison isn’t all that far off. Of course, if Laich thought that poorly of how things were going, it makes you wonder why he re-signed with the team for six years last summer.