The Capitals’ road to a seventh straight playoff berth got a little steeper on Sunday with the news that Brooks Laich will be visiting groin specialist Michael Brunt Monday in St. Louis and may require a procedure that knocks him out of the rest of the regular season.
Laich, 30, underwent surgery on his groin last season, playing in just nine games. This season he has missed 18 games, including Sunday’s 4-2 win against the Maple Leafs.
“He might have a little procedure based on what he had done over the summer,” Capitals coach Adam Oates said. “We’ll find that out [Monday].”
Asked if Laich would be sidelined the remainder of the season if he has the procedure, Oates said, “I don’t know for sure. We haven’t been given a timetable, but I did here we’d have to make the playoffs [for Laich to return], but not for the rest of the [regular season].”
Laich has eight goals and seven assists in 51 games this season. He was playing on the Caps’ top line as recently as Friday night and apparently tried to talk his way into playing Sunday.
“We talked and we shot Brooksie down,” Oates said. “He wasn’t feeling good and he’s going to St. Louis to see the same doctor.”
With Laich out, the Capitals will rely on newcomers Dustin Penner and Evgeny Kuznetsov to get into the playoffs. Washington is currently two points behind the New York Rangers for the final wild card spot.