Laich wouldn’t entertain the thought and guaranteed that the Capitals will make the playoffs. (Read and listen to his full comments over on the D.C. Sports Bog.) So, of course, he was asked about that assurance after practice this morning at KCI. Laich didn’t back down from his statement.
“I have a belief we’re going to be in the playoffs and that’s it,” Laich said. “I don’t want to discuss any scenario that we’re not. My belief is that we’re going to be in the playoffs.”
Some of the Buffalo Sabres were asked about Laich’s guarantee this morning and responded as one might expect.
“We’re not playing against him and I don’t think he’s Mark Messier,” Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller said via the Buffalo News, referring to the Hall of Famer’s guarantee of a Game 7 win by the Rangers in the 1994 Eastern Conference final. “So I think he’s searching for a spark for his team. They should be desperate right now too so I just think they’re looking for little things.”
Miller didn’t stop there.
“I don’t think anybody in this locker room would go as far as to start to do that,” Miller said. “It gets to be distracting. Hopefully it’s a huge distraction to them. Some guys don’t react well to that. Guys might tighten up. Maybe their young goaltenders aren’t going to react well to a guaranteed victory by their veteran guy. You start thinking about it.”
Laich knows what’s on the line as the Capitals prepare for two final regular season games and given his competitive nature, his confidence in the team isn’t surprising.
“I don’t know how you can be in this business if you think otherwise,” Laich said. “You play with confidence always and you always believe in your group I don’t know how you can be here without that.”