And now, a hockey stick in the glass
The negative of the Caps' West Coast road swing is that you need to drink more coffee in the morning. The positive is that there are fewer people awake enough to take photos of their television after John Erskine's stick gets stuck in the glass. I think it was Erskine, anyhow; I was half-asleep myself. (UPDATE: The Caps won the game, 6-1, over the Avalanche. A commenter below requested the score. Granted.)
Of course, an hour or so after this stick incident, the Caps had lost 17 different d-men due to injuries, penalties, in-game suspensions, water breaks and equipment malfunctions, which meant that Brooks Laich had to spend some time on the blue line. When you're a budding folk hero and extreme fan favorite, filling in on defense will not hurt your cause.
"I've played a little bit of defense before," Laich said after the game, playing it cool. "I don't know, I know what our d-men do. It just comes from being a student of the game. I play power play, I play penalty kill, I've been here five years, I'm an experienced guy, I know our systems and once you just play a heady game out there, it's not that hard to play."
Laich now joins Tyler Sloan, Sergei Fedorov, Lorenzo Alexander, Nyjer Morgan and zero members of the Washington Wizards as recent D.C. sports stars who have played both offense and defense.
By the way, when I was talking to Matt Bradley the other day about Quintin Laing's toughness, he made sure to point out that Laich also qualifies in this category.
"Obviously there's some things that I don't care how tough you are, you can't play through, right?" Bradley said. "If you have a pulled groin, your groin's pulled. It doesn't matter how tough you are, you can't play through that. Bumps and bruises, things like that, some guys are able to play through that: guys like Lainger, Brooksie. I mean, you never see Brooksie missing a game, and believe me, the way he plays, he has a lot of pain that he deals with. But he just does it. It's a real good character trait to have, especially in hockey."
I did love the security guard in the stick-in-glass incident. "Please do not touch that stick protruding from the glass in front of your face. Kindly just pretend that nothing out of the ordinary has happened." Can you imagine what Redskins officials would do if that happened at FedEx? Talk about getting poked in the head.
Here, by the way, is the hit that KO's Mike Green. Video via Puck Daddy.
And in other news, via Mike Holden, Yahoo Sports believes the Caps are struggling.
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