Take 5, with Brooks Laich

Posted on January 14, 2013 by Mike Vogel

We’re back with another edition of Take 5 today, chatting with center Brooks Laich. Eight years ago on Saturday, Laich became a member of the Washington Capitals organization, as he was traded from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Peter Bondra. After winning a Calder Cup championship with the Hershey Bears in 2006, Laich has been a fixture in the Washington lineup, playing in his 500th NHL game earlier this season. Here at Capitals Voice, we sat down with Brooks to talk a little baseball, where he likes to go in Washington, the TV channel he can’t live without, and more.   1. Are you a baseball fan, and if so, what is your favorite team? Brooks Laich may be from Saskatchewan, but when it comes to baseball, his team calls Ontario home. Like many Canadian players that follow America’s summer pastime, Laich is a huge supporter that plays its home games at Rogers Centre in Toronto. One especially good memory for Laich came during his formative years, when Joe Carter broke the hearts of Philadelphia Phillies fans and made the Jays the champions of the baseball world. Brooks Laich on baseball: “Big Time (baseball fan), favorite team is the Toronto Blue Jays. Laich on most memorable baseball moment:  “I think everyone (Jays fans) would say Joe Carter yanking one off Mitch Williams to win the World Series. I was 10 years old (at the time the Jays won in 1993). Laich on his baseball influence: “My grandma is the biggest Blue Jays fan. She never misses a game ever.  I remember getting decks of cards that were Blue Jays, Blue Jays posters, all sort of things (from her). She’s a huge fan.”  2. What is your favorite place in Washington? While Laich enjoys time at home, a rarity during the off-season for any player, his favorite spots in the D.C. area angle toward the food variety. To be more specific, if you have good sushi at your establishment, there’s a decent chance number 21 might be knocking on your door. From northern Virginia to Georgetown, it would seem that Brooks knows where to find his favorites. Laich on where he likes to go in D.C.: “I’d like to say my house (laughs). I love being at home. But if I’m going to go out somewhere, we don’t have much sushi back in Saskatchewan so I like going for sushi here in town. Couple of good places, Buddha Bar ,  Sushi Rock in Clarendon is a really good spot, and Mate in Georgetown. 3. What is one television channel you can’t live without? It should surprise no one that follows Brooks Laich, a guy that lives and breathes the game of hockey, that his favorite television channel has a specific hockey focus. Sadly, it’s not a channel easily accessible in the United States. But when at home or north of the border for a game, there’s a good bet that Laich will be watching. Laich on his favorite television channel: “TSN. The Sports Network, the Canadian version of ESPN and it basically covers nothing but hockey.” 4. What was your worst road trip, either in the minors or junior? For those not familiar with Western Hockey League geography, teams are spread out from Washington State and Oregon all the way to Manitoba. Any player that came up through the WHL can win almost any road trip from hell story with a player from anywhere else. Laich played with Moose Jaw and Seattle during his time in juniors, and as you might imagine, has some long-lasting (some might say scarring) memories of early days in the game. One particularly nasty trip came to mind for Laich, from his days in Seattle with the Thunderbirds, when Brandon, Manitoba was the destination. Laich on his worst road trip in juniors: “That’s a good one. We pulled a 24-hour overnighter from Seattle out to Brandon. You sleep on the bus, you wake up, you sleep on the floor on the bus. It’s just a long, long time. They feed you little crappy subs and you stop at some little gas station to pick up little snacks. Whatever you can do to make it through. That’s probably the worst. 24 hours and spending the night on the bus is probably the worst. That’s straight through. They stop and change drivers, I think they can go eight or nine hours and they have to stop and change drivers. It was a pretty grueling trip. 5. What, to date, is your best moment in hockey? While Brooks Laich hopes the best is yet to come in the hockey moments category, there’s little doubt he’s enjoyed the journey along the way so far. But nothing beats the first time you step on NHL ice and fulfill a lifelong dream. That moment came on February 3, 2004, as Laich earned a recall to Ottawa from the American Hockey League’s Binghamton Senators. He made his NHL debut that night in New Jersey against the Devils. Just 15 days later, he was traded to Washington in a deal that sent Peter Bondra to the Senators. Laich on his favorite hockey moments: “There’s been so many. You remember your first shift, your first game to realize your dream and say you’ve been in the NHL. That’s pretty special. But there’s been so many highs. I don’t know if I could really pick one, I really don’t. If we won a Stanley Cup, that would be it but we haven’t yet. I guess I’d have to pick my first NHL game.” 

next up:

Caps fall in Ottawa 5-2

January 14, 2013

Craig Anderson posted his 29th win of the season in net for Ottawa Wednesday night as the Capitals fell to the Ottawa Senators 5-2 at Scotiabank Place in Kanata, Ontario. Ottawa got the scoring started in the first period when Erik Karlsson scored first for the Senators, his 13th goal of the