The Washington Times - February 3, 2012, 06:16PM

Brooks Laich doesn’t want to speak for Alex Ovechkin and whether the Washington Capitals’ captain will change his game at all after a three-game suspension. For what it’s worth, Ovechkin said he didn’t know if the most recent ban would change anything.

But Laich doesn’t think he should.


“Ovi is Ovi. Nature vs. nurture, nature’s going to win,” Laich said. “He’s a competitor. He’s a fierce competitor on the ice that guys don’t want to play against. You can’t take the physical nature out of that guy.

“I don’t think Alex is a dirty player. And I don’t think Alex thinks he’s a dirty player. If it’s a blatant run a guy from behind then you might have to curb your game a little bit. But he accelerates to finish a check and he’s a big, physical guy.”

Ovechkin has a reputation as at least a guy who plays on the edge a lot of the time. But Laich wonders if Ovechkin’s imposing size (6-foot-3, 230 pounds) contributes to that.

“Maybe if that’s a smaller guy it’s not such a big hit and people don’t talk about it,” he said. “I don’t think Alex is going to change his game. He’s not bred to play a non-physical let-up type game.”