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Brooks Laich: hot seat for Boudreau is "totally unjust"

(By Richard A. Lipski - TWP)

Before he was apprehended by the authorities, Brooks Laich was spitting fire on Wednesday's Mike Wise Show, continuing his preseason of molten quotes meant to shame anyone who doesn't dream constantly of worldly excellence into game shows and a mid-afternoon six pack of pumpkin ale.

Seriously, Brooks Laich really, really wants to win. A lot.

"Every year it's Stanley Cup or bust," he said. "There's no consolation, getting to the playoffs or getting to the second round or third round and losing. As far as I'm concerned, if you lose in the first round or in the Stanley Cup Finals, you still lost. The ultimate goal is to win the Cup, and anything other than that is unacceptable. Otherwise, what's the point in playing? There's no consolation in getting to the Stanley Cup and losing, because you still come up empty handed. Every year the goal is to win the Stanley Cup, and anything other than that is unacceptable."

And as for the talk that Bruce Boudreau is on the heat seat, you can sort of see where that would come from, because you figure this team has a limited window in which to collect hardware, and you only get so many bites at the apple, and sometimes if it's not working out you need to hear a different voice in the dressing room, and....

"That's totally unjust," Laich said. "Bruce doesn't play the game. Bruce is the coach, he sets the game plan for us to execute. He's not the guy that's out there trying to score a goal or trying to make a pass or trying to make a hit. He does his best. He's the most prepared guy you'll ever meet, and I would bet every cent I've ever owned on that. You will never lose a hockey game [under Boudreau] because of under-preparation. He cares more about his players and about his team than any other coach in the National Hockey League. You can quote me on that.

"You'll never find a guy who's more emotional about hockey, more passionate about it. So any criticism towards him, I'd like to have words with the person that says that, because I think it's totally unjustified. All the blame should fall on us as players, the people who play the game."

And hey, at least there was some consolation in being the NHL's best team last regular season, showing the league and the continent how much talent this team has and proving over 82 games that....

"I didn't enjoy my summer because of the fact that we won a President's Trophy," Laich said. "My summer was bitter and sour because we didn't win the Stanley Cup. It is a nice feather in your cap, it is an accomplishment, it's not something that happens every day, but ultimately what does it get us at the end of the day? It didn't get us much."

Well, sure, but at least the team still has its vibrant young core and its up-and-coming crop of young talent, a core that has stuck together and grown together and still has so much potential and so much talent that it seems....

"I get sick of answering that," Laich said. "You know, it's not ok. People say ok, you're gonna be good next year, it's ok. That's over and done with. I've been here five years. This is my sixth year with Washington, and I have no championships. It's starting to get old. As players, that's what we play for. That's all we want. I've been chasing the Stanley Cup since I was born. That was 27 years ago. Every year it just keeps getting more and more frustrating, you get more and more hungry, you want it so bad. But that's why I stick around here. I believe in our players, I believe in our coach. There's too much belief to just let it go away."

By Dan Steinberg  | October 7, 2010; 4:04 PM ET
Categories:  Caps, Media  
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I will read an article on women's bowling if I know Brooks Laich is quoted in it. He is by far #1 in my quotable athletes power rankings. Even above Ochocinco.

Posted by: TheGreat8 | October 7, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I will read an article on women's bowling if I know Brooks Laich is quoted in it. He is by far #1 in my quotable athletes power rankings. Even above Ochocinco.

Posted by: TheGreat8 | October 7, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

If guys like Semin and Green had Laich's fire to win, the Caps would have won a couple of Cups by now...........

Posted by: poguesmahone | October 7, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I started hating Laich a bit. Why? He always says the right words, that's why. Too politically correct, or whatever, but sometimes something is wrong about it. He is Gabby # 2, in 20 years he'll be somebody's Coach, you can quote me on that. At least Gabby was in a Slapshot movie.

Posted by: CodePoetry | October 7, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

When I didn't think I could like Laich any more, he comes out and does this and makes it happen. Go Brooksie! DROP THE PUCK!

Posted by: LloydChristmas | October 8, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Gotta win the cup this year Brooksie! Put all the haters who say Boudreau and this team can't get it done to bed!

Posted by: seth_malaguerra | October 8, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Perfect! Now the Gabby haters are coming out against the one Cap who has shown the fire needed to win.

CodePoetry, go have that chat with Brooks. Oops, sorry, he would probably be changing your tires.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | October 8, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

that's interesting. In one breath you have Laich who defends his coach passionately. In another breath you have players like Green (and Laich also in the past) who have hinted that perhaps they don't play the right way and they've taken things for granted and they haven't adjusted their style for the playoffs. Green in fact just said that they need to play the right way and not worry about wins and losses right now. Couldn't agree more.

But if the coach isn't responsible for his own players, who is? I don't buy that players are responsible for themselves 100%. That's why players respond differently to different coaches. You need guidance and leadership at the top. And if a player isn't playing the way his coach wants him to play, then it behooves the coach bench him to send a msg or just dump him.

methinks Brooksie's fire is a little misplaced. Show it more on the ice, less in the press.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 8, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Brooksie is an example of what most hockey players are. Down to earth, humble guys.

Posted by: chopin224 | October 8, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

The BB bashing is idiotic. Kudos to Laich for defending the coach against the detractors.

In 2.7 years under BB, the Caps have:
1. Gone from the worst team in the NHL, to making the playoffs with a spectacular spring.
2. Easily won the division, and gone to rd 2 of the playoffs.
3. Handily won the Presidents Trophy.

The only real blemish is the choke job vs MTL last spring. And that still really hurts but the Habs also took out Pitt in the next round so it isn't like we were the only team to get punked.

It is the ultimate in short-sightedness and stupidity to throw the coach under the bus for last year's playoffs. I don't want a return to the Hanlon days, Schoenfeld days, or Cassidy days.

Posted by: calhokie | October 8, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey brooksie...great job defending your coach, he is the best for this team and I would love to hear phoney ted or GMGM come out and flatly say,,"Bruce is our coach and isn't going anywhere". Then it would mean something. I like that you think anything less then the cup is unacceptable but all talk and very little production in those playoffs are two different things. TRY SCORING SOME F-IN GOALS IN THE PLAYOFFS. And when they start, smack sasha upside the head and wake him up too !!!!!! Go Caps !!!!

Posted by: klangley69 | October 8, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Man I love Brooks Laich!

Posted by: capscoach | October 8, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

So... the coach "doesn't play the game" and "sets the game plan for us to execute." He's also "not the guy that's out there trying to score a goal or trying to make a pass or trying to make a hit. He does his best."

Is Brooks arguing Glen Hanlon did a good job, too?

Posted by: capscapscaps2 | October 9, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

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