Brooks Laich was asked following the Capitals’ 4-0 win against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night when he knew he would be in the lineup for the game. “Sunday, after the game,” he deadpanned, offering a reminder to reporters Laich’s attitude toward most injuries is akin to that of Monty Python’s Black Knight: It’s just a flesh wound.
“I felt good all things considered, I felt pretty good. In a limited role you control what you can,” Laich said. “Try to win your faceoffs, try to be solid defensively. When you get a chance with the puck, try to make a good play, your window of focus really shortens a little bit, but make the most of your opportunity.”
Laich, who injured his left knee on Sunday against the Bruins, played 9 minutes 28 seconds, including 1:47 on the penalty kill, in the win against the Panthers.
“Brooksie gave us everything,” Coach Dale Hunter said. “I tried to spot him on shifts but he played hard and won big faceoffs for us, killing penalties and did what it took. He’s a warrior.”
Washington’s coaching staff put him on the fourth line with Keith Aucoin and Mike Knuble to manage the versatile forward’s typically high minutes but he was still able to take faceoffs (he won 7 of 8) and contribute on special teams.
Laich didn’t realize that he would be playing less before the game started, but given the way things progressed he didn’t mind.
“I approached the game like it was any other game,” Laich said. “I’m not the coach but I thought everybody was playing so good there was no reason to disrupt anything. I thought Coach Hunter did a great job managing the bench.”
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