Washington Capitals center Brooks Laich could play another decade in the NHL and never again showcase the puck-stopping maneuvers he exhibited during one shorthanded sequence in his team's loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Nov. 20.
|"We need that type of player. To sacrifice your body to block the puck is the hardest thing you can do. I think in any sport to sacrifice your body like that is the hardest thing you can do. It's great." |
|-- Capitals captain Chris Clark, on teammate Brooks Laich |
With less than nine minutes remaining in the second period, the Capitals were faced with a two-man disadvantage for 1:24. It was at that point that Laich did his best impersonation of an All-Star caliber goalie, providing the Caps' Brent Johnson with some incredible support.
With 7:49 left, Los Angeles center Jarret Stoll took a wrist shot from the high slot that slammed off the shins of a sliding Laich. Just 35 seconds later, Kings rookie defenseman Drew Doughty took a wrist shot from the just inside the right circle that Laich blocked with his left hand -- he had no choice since he was without his stick.
When there finally was a stoppage in play, Laich skated over to his bench to take a much-deserved rest. During his recovery, teammates Nicklas Backstrom
, Alex Ovechkin
, Donald Brashear and several others took turns expressing how appreciative they were of Laich's amazing shift on the penalty-kill. The Caps would suffer a 5-2 loss, but Laich's effort certainly didn't go unnoticed.
"If I'm not blocking shots, I'm pretty much useless out there," Laich told the Washington Post. "At the time it was still a pretty close hockey game (1-1)."
Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau was upset that Laich's tremendous effort wasn't rewarded with a team victory.Contact Mike Morreale at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Mike G. Morreale | NHL.com Staff Writer