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Brooks Laich says Caps fans > Canadiens fans


(By Toni L. Sandys - TWP)


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.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 23, 2010; 1:42 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , Media  
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Next: NFL draft beats Caps TV ratings

Comments

HA! That guy in the upper left giving two thumbs up cracks me up for some reason.

Posted by: fushezzi | April 23, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

O WOW Steinberg, what jounalism! What do expect Brooksie to say? All is right with the world and having been to BOTH arenas, Montreal's atmosphere is better than ours. We have too many bandwagoners right now. The "fans" that sit in the Verizon Center tonight don't know the game...or most of them don't. We're not as bad as Atlanta where they ANNOUNCE when icing happens (embarassing), but we don't have the knowledgeable fan base that these Canadien teams do. It's easy when we're winning....go back a few years (before Brooksie got here) and remember we were a half empty house.

Posted by: caphcky | April 23, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

"I am SO sending this to the Bog tomorrow." Nice.

Posted by: c5karl | April 23, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

some of you really need to get over the whole "bandwagon fans" thing...are you saying you'd rather the caps play in a half-empty arena in the playoffs? or have a vast amount of the opponents' fans in our building? it just comes off as whining and complaining about the very same people who want the same result as you..life goes on..so seriously..just shut it

Posted by: jdwood84 | April 23, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"some of you really need to get over the whole "bandwagon fans" thing...are you saying you'd rather the caps play in a half-empty arena in the playoffs? or have a vast amount of the opponents' fans in our building? it just comes off as whining and complaining about the very same people who want the same result as you..life goes on..so seriously..just shut it"

Mr. Wise, aren't you still on the air right now?

Posted by: Section117 | April 23, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

We have too many bandwagoners right now. The "fans" that sit in the Verizon Center tonight don't know the game...or most of them don't"

and you know that to be true because...? you've quizzed a representative sample of those in attendance and made a statistical estimation of the knowledge of fans? or you are just talking out of your a$$ based upon something you read on the internet?

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | April 23, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"some of you really need to get over the whole "bandwagon fans" thing...are you saying you'd rather the caps play in a half-empty arena in the playoffs? or have a vast amount of the opponents' fans in our building? it just comes off as whining and complaining about the very same people who want the same result as you..life goes on..so seriously..just shut it"

For now, I'm going to give these bandwagon fans a pass. They just better be around if/when Ovi is gone, which hopefully won't be for another 15 years.

That being said, just wanna say Congrats Goat! Fellow Sunrise Sixer FTW!

Posted by: paperboy76 | April 23, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

the caps should be an elite team for a good number of seasons coming up..i just don't want to hear the same complaints about "bandwagon fans" year after year...did you ever think maybe leonsis is building a fanbase here? i don't like bandwagon fans anymore than the next guy, but judging every single new fan as bandwagoners is absurd..i would assume a good amount are in it for the long haul

Posted by: jdwood84 | April 23, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

That being said, just wanna say Congrats Goat! Fellow Sunrise Sixer FTW!

Posted by: paperboy76 | April 23, 2010 3:31 PM

Right on, and thank you! Hope the Sunrise Six can have a reunion tour this year. Heh!

Posted by: Goat_74 | April 23, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

fwiw,On NHL-Live yesterday, a reporter who has been attedning different arenas during the playoffs, cited Verizon Center as having the best atmosphere of the buildings he'd been to, including Montreal's.

Posted by: Hattrik | April 23, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I've seen the Capstronaut a bunch of times at Rocket and this video is spot on. He gets absolutely loaded during games. He has a special straw he drinks out of.

Posted by: HogsHaven | April 23, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"and you know that to be true because...? you've quizzed a representative sample of those in attendance and made a statistical estimation of the knowledge of fans? or you are just talking out of your a$$ based upon something you read on the internet"?

Because I've been a season ticket holder for over 20 years and its very easy to judge the knowledge of those in attendance by listening to them talk around me in my seats and around the concourse and the reaction to the action on the ice.

Its easy to be a Caps fan these days. I ask people where were they before the lockout?.....your witness!

Posted by: caphcky | April 23, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Their bldg holds 4k more fans than ours.
So technincally they are louder overall in dbs. But I'd bet on average we're louder.

Oh & we're not overall a bunch of turncoats & classless like they are when things get tough.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 23, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

"Oh & we're not overall a bunch of turncoats & classless like they are when things get tough.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 23, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse "

Ha. FAIL.

Posted by: Section117 | April 24, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

@caphcky

Where was I before the lockout? Hmm--with a four year old in another state. And I had never watched hockey before.

Where am I now. A returning STH at Verizon with a nine year old who started playing hockey as a Mite shortly after we moved to this area. I started watching hockey because my son began to play and I met people who were Caps fans who told me we should go to the games. That was 3 seasons ago. We are Caps fans for life.

The bandwagon meme is ridiculous. This town is becoming a hockey town and kids are growing up trying to be like Ovi and others on this team. As Caps fans we should enjoy this prosperity and attention.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | April 24, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

"but we don't have the knowledgeable fan base that these Canadien teams do."

I don't know if you watched Game 6...but the Candien fans were screaming for calls any time their players were touched. It's the nature of being a fan. They also yell when an "almost" goal is scored, a 2-on-1 break, etc. This isn't just "new Caps fan" zeal...it even happens in the hockey Mecca of Montreal.

Posted by: Ovech-can-do-it-all | April 28, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

The point is to not be a bandwagon fan. This means you don't cheer for the Caps just b/c it's where you currently live or b/c they're good. The best Caps team was in the 90's and then 3 years later the building is empty. I'd question how many people would show if the team didn't make the playoffs.

Posted by: Messier11 | April 30, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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