On Tuesday, the Washington Capitals returned to Verizon Center after ten consecutive days on the road. And they looked different. During warm-ups, the Caps wore bright green, holiday-inspired jerseys (which may or may not have clashed badly with their blue hockey pants). The typically plain green shamrock sweater design included a new design feature: plaid patterns up and down the sleeves.
The Washington Capitals have won 47 of their first 63 games. Their 98 standings points are most in the NHL. The second place team, the Chicago Blackhawks, trail the Caps by 13 points. All year, the Caps have exhibited a razor-sharp focus.
But they’ve also managed to keep things fun and light when necessary. Earlier this week, long-time Capital Brooks Laich and prospect defenseman Connor Carrick were traded away to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Andre Burakovsky helped keep the boys’ spirits up.
He’s still wearing a mouth guard wwith the Caps logo on it.
Wednesday night, Brooks Laich made his grand return to Washington, three days after being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. As has been customary for long-time players, the Caps aired a tribute video during the first TV timeout.
Laich didn’t have to do that, but that’s just who he was: a guy who would take that extra moment to make you feel special. Last night, just as a cathartic exercise, I asked readers to tweet us their moments with Laich over the years. The response was staggering. It really gives you an idea of how many people he inspired over the years. He will be missed.
Friday night against the Wild, the Capitals gave away Holtbeast figurines to everyone in attendance. The action figure barely resembles Holtby, a point Holtbeast pointed out to the media, but that didn’t stop his teammates from having fun with it.
Laich, who was accompanied by his fiancee Julianne Hough, and Oshie, who was joined by his wife Lauren, met Underwood (wife of Predators center Mike Fisher) backstage after the show. Hough published a photo of the meeting Friday.