Brooks Laich’s return should bring intensity to Capitals

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“What they say is you have to be totally comfortable that you can launch yourself into a pile and come out with a puck,” Laich said. “You can’t go on the ice trying to tiptoe around, dip your toe in the water. In that case, you’re not ready to play.”

But Laich said over the weekend nothing was physically stopping him from jumping into game action. He’s prepared for and welcomes the “baptism by fire” that comes with the first few days back in the lineup.

“I’m going to come in and do the same things I’ve always done: skate, be on the body, shoot the puck, be around the net, hopefully help out on special teams,” Laich said Tuesday morning.

Backstrom cautioned that it will take a couple of games for Laich to adjust to playing Oates‘ system. After watching it for so many games, Laich is not worried.

“I think I’ve got a pretty good feel for how it works having the bird’s-eye view for a little bit,” he said. “But it’s different when you play, the feel of the game.”

That isn’t something that should take too long to recapture. And with it, Laich could bring the Caps some needed intensity.

“Brooksie’s always ready to play. That shows intensity,” forward Matt Hendricks said. “I think having Brooksie in the lineup is just a big piece to the puzzle for us.”

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