Caps beat Canes 3-2, Perreault’s Proboscis Pummeled

Perreault

Photo credit: Gregg Forwerck

Ouch. (Photo credit: John Carlson)

Ouch. (Photo credit: John Carlson)

The yuletide has receded, and the Washington Capitals have gotten back to work. Meeting the Carolina Hurricanes in snow-covered Raleigh, the Caps were out to test their mettle following that shootout loss to Pittsburgh on the 23rd.

Mathieu Perreault crashed the net in the first period, turning a sublime, unguarded puck from Alex Semin into the night’s first goal. In the second, Jussi Jokinen exploited a bad Caps line change to sneak one past Semyon Varlamov. Minutes later, Alex Ovechkin stormed through neutral ice and set up David Steckel to make the score 2-1. In the late second period, a bounce went finally went the right way for Ovi, who submitted the Caps third and final goal. The Canes attempted a comeback led by Jay Harrison/Tuomo Ruutu’s goal, but couldn’t get all the way. Caps beat Canes 3-2.

  • Let’s get right down to it. Carolina’s Tim Gleason demolished Mathieu Perreault with a savage hit in the first period. Perry didn’t see Gleason coming, Gleason’s skates left the ice, Gleason targeted the head. As Matt Hendricks interceded, Perry lay bleeding profusely on the ice. MP85 did not return to the game, and we learned per Mike Vogel that his French Canadian schnoz has been broken. Gleason earned a charging penalty and a game misconduct, and it’s likely Colin Campbell will weigh in on the matter soon, too.
  • Perry’s exit spoiled the fun of that dynamic 28-21-85 line, who were on ice for no even-strength chances against. Despite  BBBB’s frequent line-fiddling, we hope to see these three reunited soon.
  • Alex Ovechkin had 8 shots on goal and another 3 blocked. He was on ice for 11 of the Caps’ powerplay scoring chances. He scored the game-winning goal, assisted offensive powerhouse David Steckel in his goal, and generally looked dashing out there. Release the kraken.
  • The Capitals outchanced the Canes 27-17. That so of those chances became goals is a testament to the solid work in net by goalies Cam Ward (27 saves) and Semyon Varlamov (33 saves).
  • Carolina’s “Let’s! Go! Canes!” horn sounds like a molested goose. We’ll take Sam Wolk any day.
  • The third period could have been a disaster if not for some excellent penalty killing by the Caps. The Ruutu goal, scored just 30 seconds in, was followed closely by a too many men penalty and then a high stick from Karl Alzner. The Caps allowed the Canes a lot of zone time, but kept them scoreless with the advantage.
  • Speaking of PK, Mike Green and Scott Hannan were on the ice for all five Canes PP scoring chances. Yeesh.
  • Even with Matthew Perot missing two-thirds of the game, Andrew Gordon got only 6:48 of ice time. That’s a full minute shorter than “Stairway to Heaven”. Not a lot of time to make an impression.
  • No empty net goal? Denied!

We are encouraged by Alex Ovechkin’s offensive breakout and eager to see it continued. The Capitals don’t seem to be encumbered by any Christmas baggage. Leading into the biggest week of hockey until the playoffs (from the media’s perspective at least), the Caps are full steam ahead.

Habs at home on Tuesday and then the Winter Classic on Saturday. Beat dat beat.

Additional reporting by Neil Greenberg.

  • Tim

    I disagree about the hit on Perrault. It was a hard hit, and he left his feet, but he did not target MP’s head, and shouldn’t be suspended. MP’s head primarily got hit because he was bent forward somewhat and Gleason is already 4 inches taller. Gleason did deserve the penalty he got, but no more – unless it’s a fine.

    Other than that, the PP was finally looking like the Caps’ PP, Ovie was looking quite a bit like his old self, and Backstrom is getting his game back. I’m looking forward to the next few games – I think we’ll see the Caps we’re used to!

  • http://www.calacirian.org sonja

    Nope. Gleason deserves a suspension. My mom was watching the game with us. She is not a Caps fan, per se. Although she was rooting for them because we are (she’s a Bruins fan). She called shenanigans on the clear shoulder and elbow jam into Perreault’s face … plus … it was intentional, it was done with the puck nowhere in sight, and it was a very large player picking on a smaller player … all reasons for a suspension, simply because those are the reasons that were given for suspending Ovechkin last season.

  • Tim

    Sonja, you’re way off on the hit. The puck was about 10 feet away when MP got hit (he had just shoveled it into the corner), there was no elbow involved (it came up after the hit had been made), and the intent was to level MP, not to injure him. Gleason is totally undeserving of a suspension.

  • Abhi

    I just want to point out that I have eaten deer jerky at the start of every game that the Caps have won since the end of the losing streak. Looks like time for a new, somewhat gruesome tradition.

  • Peter Hassett

    Apparently, commenter Tim IS Tim Gleason.

  • Tim

    Actually Peter, no. There’s no need for the sarcasm. I was discussing this hit during the game on a site full of Caps fans (Japers Rink, I know you know of it) and that was what EVERYONE there saw.

  • Peter Hassett

    Just joking, Tim. I do appreciate the insight.

  • Manda

    Hendricks’s eye + Matty P’s schnozzola= Building America’s hockey face!

  • Pingback: Mathieu Perreault's Face | Capitals Outsider

  • http://twitter.com/jennrubenstein jenn

    “offensive powerhouse David Steckel” – i just love that line!
    hope perreaultchocino heals swiftly!

  • http://www.calacirian.org sonja

    Heh … Tim, you just made my point for me. You must be Tim Gleason! ;)

    P.S. I saw what I saw … apparently you saw something different. But I’m not “way off” … sorry buster.

  • DarkStranger44

    @Manda

    And don’t forget Ovi’s teeth!

  • Red Army Soldier #1337

    Yeah… that wasn’t an elbow.

    It was a shoulder. connected with the stick, AND the visor. looks like it smashed down on his face to cause it.

    first thing that came to mind was OHH 2-5-10 and a 2 gamer!!! and then i saw the blood. ah well.

  • http://www.capssnaps.com/ Chris

    I agree with Tim. Gleason wasn’t targeting the head and he didn’t leave his feet. It looked it his shoulder inadvertently hit Perreault. Remember, Gleason is four inches taller than Matty P.

  • http://thesports007.com D’Ann – txstarsgirl

    Yikes..I was hanging out at my bar after work watching the game with a few displaced Caps fans (yep in Texas!!) and we def grossed out a few non-hockey fans with the blood on the ice tonight. Nice work. Gleason is a punk either way (Stars HATE him) but I don’t think he intended to target the head..I think it was just a hit gone unfortunately wrong. Hope Matty P is better soon and back on the ice for the Caps…I will see you all on Tuesday..woo hoo!!!!!

  • Kris D’Arienzo

    I didn’t see Gleason leave his feet.
    I did count “one-one-thousand-two…” after MP85 dumped the puck.
    I didn’t see any elbow rise before contact.
    I did see Gleason lean DOWN before the hit and lead with his shoulder (legal).
    I didn’t see MP85 admiring the puck.
    I did see Matty leaning forward while skating off the wall, (not smart).

    To me, I think Gleason took too much advantage of his height difference. At that speed and in those circumstances I don’t think that Perry’s head was targeted. BUT if you are gliding into a hit, you are responsible for point of contact. Being short doesn’t make the player solely responsible for any injury they might incur.

    Also, it’s clear that the injury on this play was not the result of the player-to-player contact. But Gleason’s shoulder still got MP’s head and Timmy had opportunity and time to level the rookie without head contact.

    Based on that I’m fine with the on ice call. Until the NHL starts reviewing calls IRT I’m begrudgingly okay with calling plays and discipline based on “results.” If I were making the call after all the footage, Tim Gleason gets 5 and that’s that.

    Also, I’m fine with Henricks’ behavior ONLY because 999 out of 1,000 clean hits don’t leave your teammates clutching their face and kicking their skate tips into the ice (I don’t think anybody saw the blood at that point). Just getting wiped out and embarrassed is no reason to fight. Bottom line, it wasn’t a dirty play at all, but it wasn’t a well executed (meaning head contact was very avoidable) hit either.

  • Nick

    Poor Matty P. I am glad he is not seriously hurt

  • Faith Jasso

    Hey this is for john carlson, is that varly in the background. And poor perreault