We’re a little late to the party here, but District Sports Page conducted a roundtable with staff writers and friends of the site to discuss pertinent issues surrounding the 2014-15 Washington Capitals.
Our panelists: Dave Nichols, Editor-in-Chief; Katie Brown, Staff Writer; Eric Hobeck, Staff Writer; J.J. Regan, Contributor; Abram Fox, former contributor, Harry Hawkings, Editor at Rock the Red.
Part I: Grade the Caps offseason and their biggest acquisitions
Part II: What is your single biggest area of concern?
Part III: What do you expect out of Alex Ovechkin this season?
Part IV: Are you satisfied with the goaltending situation?
Part V: Over/under on games Brooks Laich plays? [Ed. The survey was distributed before Laich's current injury. Some answers came in before, some after.]
Dave: 45 games. Just when it looked like Laich was finally getting his wheels back after the long recovery from groin surgery, he takes a hard (but not flagrant or in anyway dirty) check in the left shoulder and is back on the injured list. It sucks, because the player the Caps signed to a six-year deal is just not that same solid two-way player anymore. Not even close.
They say that getting injured is a repeatable skill like anything else, and Laich seems to have mastered it. At some point, accumulation of injury is going to rob Laich of his usefulness in the NHL, if it hasn’t gotten to that point already.
Katie: I’m hoping his upper-body injury (looked like his shoulder) sustained against the Panthers on Saturday is relatively minor. I think everyone breathed a sigh of relief that it wasn’t his groin, which appears to be holding up well so far. I’d bet the over he dressed for 60 or more games this season.
Eric: I’ll put the over-under at 65 and take the over.
J.J.: 55. He says he’s healthy, but we’ve heard that before. Laich has had almost no impact at all in the first four games with only one assist. Is he actually healthy? Who knows? But it is a safe bet he won’t be healthy for 82 games.
Harry: If I worked for Bodog, I would set the over/under at 50.5. He certainly does not look as fragile in the early going and has reportedly been pushing his surgically repaired groin muscle all summer long. I would probably take the over if I were a betting man if for no other reason that Laich would probably play until he could not physically skate at this point. He wants to be a part of it that badly.