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Brooks Laich: 'My face just went numb'

Brooks Laich, who has missed the past three games with injuries to the left side of his face, said he plans to skate with his teammates at the morning skate tomorrow before deciding whether he's able to suit up against the Senators.

"When I got hit, my whole side of my face just went numb," Laich said of getting struck by a deflected puck in practice last week. "Obviously my head was ringing a little bit. But I've had a lot worse pain. But I've never had anything where I couldn't feel it. So that was a little bit scary."



The winger said this is actually the second face injury he's sustained. In fact, the last time (prior to this stretch) in which he was sidelined due to injury came during the 2003-04 AHL playoffs, he said, when he was struck by a Lawrence Nycholat slap shot. At the time, Laich was playing for Portland and Nycholat was playing for Hartford.

When Laich returns, he'll do so with a full cage attached to his helmet. But he plans to eventually resume playing without eye protection.

"My eye doesn't really look that pretty, but there's no problem with my eyesight," he said. "As soon as I can get the cage off, I'll get it off. It's sounds dumb, but I wish I would wear a visor and protect the eyes. Maybe if I had a visor, this wouldn't have happened. But I don't know. I don't see myself wearing a visor. They get in the way a little bit."

Laich also said he doesn't think the injury will affect his go-to-the-net style of play.

"If I want to keep getting paid, I know where I have to go," he said. "It's not going to change my game or make me gun shy. I'm sure the first shift I get back out there, I'm going to go racing toward the net. I miss playing hockey."

Seeing his consecutive game streak snapped at 257, he cracked, hurt almost as much his face.

"I hate missing hockey games," he said. "I can't stand it. I love to play hockey and I love to play for the Capitals. I don't ever want to watch from up top. With that comes streaks. If I hadn't been healthy-scratched by Glen [Hanlon] three years ago, I would have been somewhere around 400 games. It's almost a pride thing to play every single day whether you're bumped and you're bruised, to play through it."

"It sucks," he added, "when it's out of my control."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 29, 2010; 12:45 PM ET
 
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Next: Bruce Boudreau doesn't expect Brooks Laich to play before the weekend

Comments

He's pretty tough

Posted by: sroessle | March 29, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I would sit him out till the playoffs

Posted by: joek443 | March 29, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, you can see the blood in the white of his eye which always freaks me out a little bit. But its real nice to know his vision is good. And he's got such a great attitude and sense of humor about the incident. Staying a little late taking extra practice is not a thing to feel bad about. (BTW, sorry Bruce, it's still a pretty face.)

Posted by: md268 | March 29, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Not a freak accident at all... if he was wearing a visor/half-shield it wouldn't have hit his face

Posted by: gfsportsfan | March 29, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Not a freak accident at all... if he was wearing a visor/half-shield it wouldn't have hit his face

Posted by: gfsportsfan | March 29, 2010 12:56 PM |

Well, since the majority of pro hockey players don't wear visors...yes...yes, it would be a freak accident.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 29, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Also, I love that shot at Hanlon. The "limbo" period between Wilson and BB was a head-ache.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 29, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

A little dig at Hugs. I Laich it!!

Looking forward to his return.

Posted by: JillC | March 29, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

I can't calculate for the whole league, but 10 of 16 Caps forwards (http://capitals.nhl.com/club/roster.htm) wear visors, and 5 of 8 d-men wear visors. So as far as the Caps are concerned, the majority of the players DO wear visors.

Anyway, my point is Laich's injury could have been easily avoided by wearing a visor and leaving stupid Canadian tough-guys don't wear visor ideology in the past.

IMO, tough guys aren't the guys who don't wear visors, it's the dumb guys who don't wear visors. There isn't a single legitimate reason out there to not wear a visor.

Posted by: gfsportsfan | March 29, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

It's ok Brooksie, you're still pretty!!! Get well and return soooooon.

Hope the Caps show up to play a full 60 mins tomorrow.

Posted by: instinct227 | March 29, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

@ IMO, tough guys aren't the guys who don't wear visors, it's the dumb guys who don't wear visors. There isn't a single legitimate reason out there to not wear a visor.

Posted by: gfsportsfan | March 29, 2010 1:08 PM

Brooks says he doesnt wear it because it "gets in the way a little bit".
He is just old school and is not use to wearing a visor (or not comfortable with it) , it has nothing to do about being or not being tough.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | March 29, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I think all the players should live in a enclosed bubble until the playoffs start...forfeit all games....we cant afford injury.

Get horn guy to guard the bubbles and blow three times to signal an attempted escape.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 29, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

ah, that doesn't look so bad. not gruesome or anything. i bet it hurt like hell though, i got hit softly by a puck to the cheek in a men's league game last night and that sure did smart

Posted by: hockeypunk | March 29, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Brooks says he doesnt wear it because it "gets in the way a little bit".
He is just old school and is not use to wearing a visor (or not comfortable with it) , it has nothing to do about being or not being tough.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | March 29, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Gets in the way of what? Flying pucks to the face?

There is a certain (large) group of pro-hockey players out there who still hold the belief of the past hockey generation that only pu****s wear visors. Brooks is from Saskatchewan, a hot bed of NHL tough guys. Western Canadian (Saskatchewan, etc) hockey is a much rougher breed of hockey than parts of eastern Canada and beyond. Nothing against him, but I'm sure the tough guy concept of not wearing visors was instilled in Brooks since he started playing hockey in Western Canada.

Posted by: gfsportsfan | March 29, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Wow he's still lovely and handsome. All's good. Brooksie's a big part of the team and we need him back ASAP.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 29, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Brooksie, you're still as handsome as ever. We can't wait to see you back on the ice. Go Caps!

Posted by: Irreverent_inDC | March 29, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Ovie wears a visor and...well, let's just say it doesn't seem to be an impediment. Since there is no rule that they have to wear them, it comes down to personal preference. Personally, I think it's dumb not to wear one but I don't play hockey.

Get well soon Brooksie -- we miss you!

Posted by: AmyS1 | March 29, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I've worn both a cage, a visor, and no eye protection while on the ice. My visor is fairly large to where it almost covers my cheekbones. The plus side is the edge of the visor is low enough to be outside of my peripheral vision. Personally I find the cages hard to see through, but Bauer has their new cage where the wires are flattened to be less vision-obstructive.

With the way helmets are being constructed and the amount of ventilation they provide, having a visor doesn't make my head overheat any more than skating without one. I have no fogging issues and vision is not an issue. If I miss the net, it's not because of eye protection.

Posted by: sandyflee | March 29, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

brooksie...from those of us who enjoy watching you play....wear the visor....put in the mouthpiece and STAY away from John Carlson...at least for a while - the team isn't playing the same without you....

Posted by: outrbnksm | March 29, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

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