Last night, the Washington Capitals suffered as devastating a defeat as a sports team can experience. The Caps had the best record in the National Hockey League and were expected to skate past the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs. After all, the Canadiens had barely made the playoffs.
The Capitals took a 3-1 in games after winning two in a row in Montreal. But they then lost three games in a row, including two at home where they had been almost unbeatable. The losses were down to a horrible goal drought on the part of the highest scoring team by far in the NHL.
Brooks Laich, a star center for the Caps and scorer of the only Caps goal in Game 7, was driving home following the defeat when he noticed that a car had pulled over to the side of the road on the Roosevelt Bridge. A mother and her daughter were standing by the car.
Post-game blues notwithstanding, Laich stopped to see if he could help. The mother, Mary Ann Wangemann, told him she had a flat tire. She told Laich she had called AAA but that it had a backlog and wouldn’t be able to assist for a while. She asked if Laich would stay with them until AAA arrived, since they were in a vulnerable position.
Laich asked if Wagemann had a spare tire. When she said she did, he took off his coat and, with traffic zipping by at high speeds, began changing the tire. He was wearing his post-game suit.
Wangemann and her daughter are Caps fans, in fact they were driving home from the game, and she recognized Laich. While he worked, Laich talked hockey with the two, apologizing for the defeat and expressing hope that management won’t break up the team.
Caps fans will be hoping that any player moves the club makes don’t involve Brooks Laich.
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