Brooks Laich’s Return Proving Vital for Capitals


Oct 14, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals center Brooks Laich (21) skates with the puck against the San Jose Sharks at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Brooks Laich was placed on injured reserve in the beginning of November after sustaining a left shoulder injury on Oct. 18 against the Florida Panthers.

Although he wasn’t placed on the IR immediately after the injury, Laich played in just one game between suffering the injury and being placed on the injured reserve list.

Two weeks ago, when the Washington Capitals were struggling to put together a string of wins, I pointed out that when Laich returns to the ice, fans should expect a boost in the team’s performance.

Well, that is exactly what has happened since Laich returned to action on Nov. 28.

More from All Over The Hill

After failing to record a point in his first two games back, Laich has tallied four points in the last four games, including one goal and a team-high three blocked shots in Tuesday night’s 5-3 win in Tampa.

Laich got things rolling against Vancouver with a goal, but the Capitals went on to lose 4-3. Since then, the Caps have won three straight games and Laich has made an impact in all three games.

In Washington’s 2-1 win over Carolina, Laich failed to record a point but made his presence felt in other ways. He led the team in shots on goal with three, blocked one shot and had three hits while compiling a +/- of +1.

In the team’s 4-1 win over New Jersey, Laich had his most complete game since returning with one goal, one assist, three shots on goal and one blocked shot.

And on Tuesday night, Laich gave Washington the lead for good with a go-ahead goal in the second period off an assist from Joel Ward. Up 3-2, the Caps would go on to score another goal in the third before Tampa cut the lead to 4-3 with just two seconds remaining. That was until Alex Ovechkin rocketed a shot on an empty net as the puck dropped in the final two seconds to give Washington a final 5-3 win.

There’s no doubt that the Washington Capitals were missing a piece or two just a few weeks ago. But with Brook Laich back on the ice, you can see that chemistry returning and more consistency from the Capitals.

Brooks Laich and the Caps will look to extend their winning streak to four on Thursday at home against Columbus.