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