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.

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“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.”