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Laich: Missing playoffs ‘might’ve been greatest day going forward’ for Caps

Aug 6, 2014, 5:40 PM EST

Brooks Laich Getty Images

Last season, the Washington Capitals missed the playoffs for the first time since 2006-07. That disappointment led to coach Adam Oates and longtime GM George McPhee being fired and turned the offseason into a bit of a tumultuous one.

If you ask Caps forward Brooks Laich about last season, he’s looking on the bright side of life as Dan Rosen of NHL.com shared.

“My honest opinion is not making the playoffs last year might have been the greatest day going forward for our organization, because I really think it made us all take a look in the mirror and at our failures and why we are failing,” Laich told NHL.com. “If we would have made the playoffs and lost in the first or second round it would have been the same old story, but you wouldn’t have had that hard, brutally honest look at yourselves to realize why you are failing.”

To say the Caps have been treading water in the postseason the past few years may sound cruel, but when you don’t get past the second round six straight seasons, maybe that’s the right way to put it.

Going through a season that saw virtually everyone’s production drop is a painful way to make change happen, but now the Caps will look forward to Barry Trotz and GM Brian MacLellan trying to get the team to their first Eastern Conference Final since 1998.

  1. lowenni - Aug 6, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    Totally agree, that’s why I wasn’t upset at them missing the playoffs this year, they really needed that to wake them up. this team needed a change of culture and the new GM MacLennan realized that and has totally brought it about–hiring Trotz, shoring up defensive depth, and wanting to instill good values in the team. I’m excited about the Caps again, the core is still young and we have the best prospects we’ve had since Ovi, Semin and Backstrom were the “Young Guns”. I’m expecting a period of assimilation and growth with Trotz, but I think the Caps will finish strong and make the playoffs this year. A healthy Brooks Laich will certainly help that.

  2. bohman88 - Aug 6, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    I can’t say I disagree. Sucked not being in the playoffs, but change was needed. I know we made some questionable offseason decisions, but nonetheless, it needed to be done.

  3. kotteintheslot - Aug 6, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    My brother-in-law said he hoped we missed the playoffs about half way through last season and it angered me, but I believe he is right along with Brooksie. Sucks but it is true. It is what we needed and hopefully brought about the right change.

  4. ronniethec - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    Bottom line: they are the Capitals. Could be worse. They could be the Sharks.

  5. gkc3 - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    Just another example of how GM MacLellan was right when he said “we need Brooks Laich” Brooks really is a great leader and a big part of this team

  6. sgtr0c - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    How would he know? What is his basis for proof? What if they fail worse? Every person in professional sports make these comments in the off season for reporters and fans, but there is no way to know. Good luck Caps for the up coming season, and everyone in pro sports who speculate on the future season to be played.

  7. 7mantel - Aug 6, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    But now if they fail again what then ? Failure should never be a good thing !

  8. stixzidinia - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    The Caps are only just now realizing they needed a look in the mirror? That explains a lot actually.

  9. quinner17 - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    Get news cuz caps will miss again

  10. AlexOvechkinMinus35 - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    Pathetic

  11. govtminion - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    I see what he’s getting at, and I hope he’s right that this will help them refocus and move forward, but… looking at 16 teams in the East, and where they’re at, I’m having trouble seeing how they fit into the top eight at the moment. Time will tell, I guess, but they still don’t really have a setup that to me says “playoff team” compared to eight other Eastern teams right now- certainly not one that survives the first round.

  12. cdalton2690 - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    I agree with Laich that this team needed something bad like missing the playoffs to try and turn things around. Hopefully the offseason additions will be helpful, and hopefully Trotz can turn this team around. However, I don’t see them being set to be a top team in the east to compete with the likes of Boston, Montreal and NYR. I don’t think they made enough changes to be a true threat in the east but we can hope they are headed in the right direction.

  13. wethog66 - Aug 7, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    Greatest is not a word I would use in describing the Caps missing the playoffs, but I agree with Laich that missing the playoffs could be a much needed wakeup call for the Caps cmuch hyped core.

    No more excuses. The core, led by OV, are out of excuses. Time for them to grow up and assume full responsibilities for their play.

  14. capsrockva - Aug 7, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Can’t wait to see how Trotz and Ovi get along Ovi needs to more a 2 way player

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