(All pics by Kyle Mace at Sweetest Hockey on Earth)
Welcome to the Washington Capitals, Fists of Fury edition. A few key pieces are essentially dead right now, and some others are playing like they are, so these holes will be filled by kids from Hershey, which is what they are there for.
I know you are all smart and cool people who keep up to date on our minor leaguers, but if you are at all behind in this I do not blame you, as there are like a million of them. In case you are wondering who in the world this is on your ice, here is a quick rundown!
Name: Joel Rechlicz
How to Pronounce That: WRECK-lish
Nicknames: Reck, Wrecker, Recking Ball
Number: He’ll be wearing #54 for the Caps tonight.
Hair: Medium-longish at the moment, but it’s the beard you have to watch out for.
In a Nutshell: Joel Rechlicz fights. A lot. He’s leading the AHL in penalty minutes currently, would be leading the NHL in penalty minutes if he played there, and has had 12 fights this season in 27 games. What’s more, he actually wins those fights, D.J. King. Fear of spiders is called arachnaphobia. Fear of tight spaces is called claustrophobia. Fear of Joel Rechlicz is called logic.
His Style: Joel Rechlicz doesn’t do the stupid jersey-grabby, spin-around-for-ten-seconds-and-then-shake-hands fights. Oh no. He enjoys minutes-long marathon bouts. He also enjoys punching with his tongue out–watch for this–and taunting from the bench. He’s everything you want when he’s on your team, and everything you hate to play against when he’s not–this guy is there to make you mad and then punch you in the face if you’ve got a problem with it.
Why He’s Getting a Shot: Dale Hunter’s expressed a desire to add toughness, and Rechlicz is about as literal as you can get with that one. He is toughness in person form. Don’t expect much in the way of skill from him, but judging from the ridiculous nonsense Tampa Bay tried to pull last time we played them, he may be a good addition for tonight.
Caps He’s Fought: Donald Brashear, John Erskine.
Oddity: Rechlicz plays with a wooden stick. Presumably nothing else would survive his sheer power.
Will He Play? Yes! Rechlicz is in, Beagle is out tonight, and will also be traveling with the team for the game against the Panthers. Hey Steve Downie, want to pick on a guy who’s never had a fight, huh? Try that with Joel Rechlicz around.
Question of the Day: Will Recker have more punches thrown than total seconds played tonight? Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen.