After a huge penalty kill, Brooks Laich was CSN Washington’s guest for the second intermission interview. Something about Laich just looked a bit off. Did he get a new haircut? Is his beard beardier than usual? I just couldn’t put my finger on it.
Then Dave Nichols of the District Sports Page pointed it out.
Tom Wilson‘s been his normal wrecking ball self tonight. Early in the game, he was ushered to the box along with Mark Fraser after both players committed roughing minors. The resulting 4-on-4 hockey led to a Karl Alzner goal.
Later in the period, Wilson laid out Eric Gelinas in the neutral zone. Gelinas’s airborne body then slammed into Brooks Laich. Ouch. I’m getting whiplash just looking at this.
Brooks Laich hadn’t scored since January 7. Since then the $4.5 million a year player had been a healthy scratch and now a fourth liner. That bottom line, though, is filled with rejected top-sixers rather than talentless scrubs — one member of the Sabres organization quipped that it was better than Buffalo’s first line. On Saturday night, that line — Laich, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson — added Washington’s fourth tally of the night, Laich’s first goal in two months.
“I sort of flashed back to the first goal I ever scored in the NHL,” Laich told reporters after the game. “It was in Montreal and I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I got back to the bench and Glen Hanlon he says ‘congratulations.’ I was like ‘dude, I can’t stop smiling.’ He was like ‘good, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.’ This one sort of felt like that.”
Brooks Laich and Julianne Houghhave been dating for a little over a year, and it seems to be going well despite it being a long-distance relationship– with Hough in Los Angeles and Laich in northern Virginia. Opposite coasts!
On Saturday, the couple, which I will refer to as Broolianne for the rest of this post, got to spend time together during Valentine’s Day– just because the NHL’s schedule-maker was kind to them.
During the day, Laich spent time at Hough’s home, and Broolianne took some lovely pictures for social media.
During a first-period power play, Brooks Laich battled with PK Subban for position in front of the Habs net. These types of little skirmishes happen all the time in hockey, but I’m writing today because Laich’s confrontation with Subban got particularly gruesome.
At one point, to clear Laich from the crease, Subban punched the Capital in the chest and knocked him over. Later, Laich got Subban back by pitchforking him in a sensitive spot. As Subban skated away, Laich performed an unscheduled inspection on Subban’s protective gear. Nutcracker.
Entering this season, Brooks Laich had played in just 60 of the Caps’ 130 games over the previous two seasons. So far in 2014-15, he has suited up for 23 of the Caps’ 38 games, including all of the past 17. This is noteworthy, as Laich had played in 17 or more consecutive games only twice since the start of the 2012-13 season (25 straight from Oct 1, 2013 – Nov 27, 2013 and 21 straight from Jan 2, 2014 – March 5, 2014).
Given how infrequently Laich has been on the ice lately, it’s understandable that some likely forgot, or even doubted, how effective of a player he can be when firing on all cylinders and groins (For the record, such doubts were not cast up in here). But the past 17 games have served as a reminder: A healthy Brooks Laich is a beautiful thing.
Capitals forward Brooks Laich had to run an errand in Arlington today. And he had two special helpers for his journey: Julianne Hough’s adorable dogs Harley and Lexi. This photo is notable because it appears the dogs might have helped Brooksie push the pedals and steer the vehicle. And that’s funny because hahaha c’mon, silly, dogs can’t drive cars!
[::Checks calendar:: … “The next Caps game isn’t until Wednesday? Oy vey.”]
One of the best parts of the Caps family skate Wednesday was when the NHL Network aired Brooks Laich skating with Hollywood girlfriend Julianne Hough. The couple held hands and giggled the entire time. They look positively blissful together. The honeymoon phase times 10.
At the end of the skate, the NHL Network caught up with Laich and Hough for what I believe was their first interview together.
Recently, Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz broke up the highly-successful “twins” duo of Joel Ward and Jason Chimera. Now, Ward is playing on the third line with Brooks Laich and Eric Fehr. Building good chemistry takes a lot of practice on the ice. But off of it, it appears Trotz is taking team building literally.
After practice, Ward, Laich, and Fehr were stacked on a cart like Lincoln logs and pushed back to the locker room.