ARLINGTON, VA–The Washington Capitals continue their informal practices as Brooks Laich, Tom Poti, Joel Ward, Cam Schilling and Joey Crabb made their season debuts at Kettler Iceplex today.
Brooks Laich was playing in Switzerland during the lockout and wouldn’t talk about on if he suffered any injury while playing there.
“I feel healthy…I feel good,” Laich said.
He skated for approximately an hour, most of it with no power since the power went out at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, before the informal practice started today. He got off the ice once the informal practice started.
“Just getting in a little extra work,” Laich added. “Just making sure that everything’s good to go. Nothing major.”
Laich though had some strong comments about the lockout.
“I’m honestly really embarrassed by the lockout, personally embarrassed…I feel like we just punched our sport in the face.”
Laich also talked about how much this fan base means to him.
“We have a tremendous fan base and we are so so lucky to play in front of this group of fans…It is just simply awesome.”
The Caps who participated in the informal practice were Matt Hendricks, Jason Chimera, Jack Hillen, Karl Alzner, Jay Beagle, Joey Crabb,Tom Poti, Mathieu Perreualt, John Carlson, Braden Holtby, Cam Schilling, Troy Brouwer, Mike Ribeiro, Alex Ovechkin, Jeff Schultz, Joel Ward, John Erskine & Marcus Johansson.
Mike Green has been skated, but was not here today. Nicklas Backstrom also did not skate after seeing a specialist yesterday in Michigan.
“He’s a tough kid,” Laich said on Backstrom. “I think people underestimate how tough Nicky is…he’s one of the toughest guys on our team.”
Laich also said that he hasn’t talked to Backstrom in a few days, but heard “good things” from players about his health.
Tom Poti, who hasn’t played in almost two years due to a groin injury and a fractured pelvis, skated today.
“That’s all I’m asking for is a chance,” Poti said.
Capitals General Manager George McPhee said Poti is a “long shot” but everyone is hoping for the best. Poti said the Caps support has been “unbelievable” and “it definitely helped to know that I had their backing”.
Poti also said that “sometimes it’s better” to jump right into regular season games without doing a rehab stint in the AHL.
One interesting side-note is that Poti actually skated with Adam Oates about 20 years ago when Oates skated with Poti’s high school team in Boston while being injured from the Boston Bruins.
Listen here to what Brooks Laich, Tom Poti, Karl Alzner & Joel Ward had to say following practice today.
Brooks Laich Practice Audio Part One
Brooks Laich Practice Audio Part Two
Tom Poti Practice Audio
Karl Alzner Practice Audio
Joel Ward Practice Audio