- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 13, 2004

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:

LAICH RECALLED — The Caps recalled center Brooks Laich, who was acquired in the Feb. 18 trade that sent Peter Bondra to Ottawa, from Portland of the American Hockey League. Laich, 20, was scoreless and had a minus-5 defensive rating in 11 games for the Pirates. However, he had 15 goals and 18 assists and a plus-3 defensive rating in 44 games for Binghamton before the trade.

Laich, needed because center Trent Whitfield suffered an upper body injury during Wednesday’s 6-0 loss to Buffalo, is the 15th player recalled this season from Portland, including current Caps Rick Berry, Josef Boumedienne, Owen Fussey, Darcy Verot and Whitfield. Washington sent defenseman Shaone Morrisonn to the Pirates.

THERE’S NO O IN CAPS OR HAWKS — Washington, which traded its four top scorers (Robert Lang, Jaromir Jagr, Sergei Gonchar and Peter Bondra), and Chicago, which dealt leading scorer Steve Sullivan, have been left virtually punchless. No team in the league has a leading scorer with less points than the Caps’ Jeff Halpern (32).

MARCH MADNESS — The Caps already have more losses (five) in six games this month than they did in 14 games last March (7-3-1-3). Washington hadn’t lost more than five regulation games in March since 1999.

David Elfin

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