Brooks Laich left Verizon Center on crutches and wearing a brace on his left knee. Still, the Capitals
winger forward remained hopeful that the injury was not too serious.
Laich got crunched along the end boards by Dennis Seidenberg with about eight minutes remaining in the second period of Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Bruins. Laich needed to be helped to the dressing room by head athletic trainer Greg Smith and defenseman Karl Alzner.
A few minutes later, Laich, who ranks sixth on the team in scoring with 28 points, came onto the ice during a television timeout and took a twirl. But he promptly returned to the room and did not play another shift.
“I wasn’t able to finish, which was disappointing,” Laich said as he left the arena. “But that was more a precautionary note. I’m going to get some ice on it and see how I feel when I get up. We’ll see tomorrow. I’m not a doctor, but with these things sometimes there’s some swelling and you’ve got to wait to see what happens. But I don’t think it’s anything serious. In the past I’ve been a fast healer. We’ll see when I wake up.”
Despite the injury, Laich maintained his trademark sense of humor. He joked that the injury was to his elbow and that he was headed home to do some squats. He also tried to convince reporters that he was fine by taking a step without assistance from his crutches.
Asked why he tried to return to the game, Laich turned serious again.
“A lot of times, if you block a shot you get a stinger,” he said. “I thought that’s maybe what it was, that I hit a nerve or something and it was a bit of stinger. I took some time in the locker room and came out, but it was just a little too uncomfortable at the time. If I wasn’t going to be any service to the team, then I was going to be a detriment to the team.”
It’s unclear whether Laich will miss any playing time. If he does, however, it could be a blow to a team that’s already missing first line center Nicklas Backstrom (concussion) and No. 1 defenseman Mike Green (abdominal surgery).
“We’re going to see tomorrow,” Coach Dale Hunter said of Laich. “He’s day-to-day right now. Brooksie is one of those guys that tries to do anything for the team.”