Brooks Laich says Caps fans > Canadiens fans
Before the Caps left for Montreal, I asked Brooks Laich what it's like playing in front of the Bell Centre crazies.
"Fantastic place to play," he said. "They're nuts. It's almost like a soccer stadium."
Loudest rink in the league, right?
"It's one of the loudest places," he said. "Obviously I'm biased, but I think our building is the best. I really think our fans are fantastic, and I think they get themselves involved in the game more than maybe fans around the league. But definitely comparable to our building."
I mean, totally, completely straight face, he said that the Bell Centre is "definitely comparable" to the Verizon Center. That's called sticking up for the home team.
Then the Caps went to Montreal, and the noise was just immense. One fan told me she had to turn down the speakers in her home theater. Reporters said their ears were buzzing for hours. The noise was inescapable, even through the TV, at least until the Caps started pulling away. But when Laich went on TSN, he wasn't willing to cave in.
"It's good," he said of the Bell Centre crowd. "It's tremendous. Personally, I think our building is right up there with any building in the league, but it would be comparable to a Montreal or a Chicago. I think those are maybe the three best, loudest buildings in the league. But it's a fun place to pay. I still like our fans and our building, but this one's right up there as well."
Right up there with the Verizon Center. Yup, those Montreal fans, they're really making strides. True or not, I love it.
The Canadiens, of course, had a slightly different point of view when they were in D.C.
"What do you think I'm gonna say?" Hal Gill said. "Of course it's louder in Montreal. They have the best fans in hockey in Montreal. But yeah, it's a good building here."
"I mean, it's an energetic building," Mike Cammalleri said of Verizon Center. "Nothing compares to Montreal. They're real good hockey fans here. I'd call 'em great at home."
"They Rock the Red, is that what it is?" Gill asked. "They Rock the Red here. It's a pretty good building to play in."
So they're not quite as impressed as Laich. As for the Caps' expectation from Verizon Center tonight?
"Should be absolutely bonkers in there," Mike Knuble predicted, via NBC Washington.
This week's Washingtonian also had a great piece on four of the best-known Caps fans, which prompted Bruce Boudreau to say "we have the best fans in the league." Even better, Laich knows about Goat.
"Even sitting on the bench you can hear this guy yelling -- in a building of 18,000 people," Laich said.
One of the profiled fans was the much-discussed Capstronaut, who has never looked cooler than in this video.
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