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After 11-game absence, Laich returns for Caps

Dec 23, 2013, 10:56 AM EDT

Brooks Laich AP

Brooks Laich is back.

That was the word out of Washington on Monday as Caps head coach Adam Oates confirmed that Laich would dress tonight when Washington takes on Anaheim at Verizon.

Laich, 30, has missed the last 11 games with a groin injury suffered in late November. The veteran forward appeared hampered at times with the ailment and, as a result, had just four goals and six points through the first 25 games of the year, averaging 17:52 TOI per game while posting a minus-9 rating.

It’s unclear who Laich will replace in the lineup, though several reporters are suggesting he’ll take the place of Aaron Volpatti on the bottom forward unit.

  1. lowenni - Dec 23, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    He better be on the fourth line, because besides playing well defensively he hasn’t done anything. The second line is clicking and Brouwer is finally producing, and as much as I hate him we shouldn’t waste Erat’s skill on the 4th line and replace him with Laich. But knowing Oates and his poor assessment of talent and performance, I wouldn’t be surprised if he put Laich in the top 9. The lines should read:

    • jb8588 - Dec 23, 2013 at 12:01 PM

      Erat playing center has just been strange to say the least. Also, continuing to play Tom Wilson on the fourth line certainly doesn’t help his development. His talent alone should warrant him to at least third line duties for right now…possibly even for the second line.

      • jpelle82 - Dec 23, 2013 at 12:19 PM

        what talent? the talent of hitting people? laich should take wilson’s place on the 4th line, he’s worthless out there. volpatti has twice as many goals as wilson and triple the amount of experience out there.

      • jb8588 - Dec 23, 2013 at 3:46 PM

        The talent that made him the mid first round pick that he was. If you were playing on any team’s fourth line, of course you won’t be able to put up as many points as if you were playing with more skilled guys. And yeah…you can say Volpatti has “triple the amount of experience”, but considering Volpatti is 28 and Wilson is 19…that’s a laughable comparison.

  2. lowenni - Dec 23, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Yes, Erat playing center has been different but he’s actually been playing well there and had two assists his last game and 5 in his last 5. It isn’t worth moving him now when that line is one of our best. Wilson has potential but his offensive ability really isn’t anything special yet (although I do agree it’s a waste of his development time). He doesn’t have a single shot on goal in the past twenty-five or so games, which is pretty scary, but I’m not sure his skills warrant him as a top-9 player yet. David Clarkson started his career out as a 4th line enforcer, and given time to develop he turned out well.

  3. rockthered1286 - Dec 23, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    “Laich returns” articles can be copied/pasted about 3-4 times per season to save time.

  4. dipthatchip - Dec 23, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    didn’t even notice him out of the lineup. 21 and 52 are such a waste of cap space it’s maddening.

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