Mathieu Perreault

Photo credit: La Presse

During last night’s home opener the Washington Capitals struggled in their second straight game, falling meekly to the Winnipeg Jets by a score of 4-2. After somewhat high expectations entering the season, the Caps have now been outscored 10-5 by the opposition and faltered in many aspects of the game.

New Capitals head coach Adam Oates has responded by benching several players, most notably first line winger Marcus Johansson. The former first round pick saw only 50 seconds of ice time in the third period. Also in Oates’ dog house is 25-year-old center Mathieu Perreault.

Through the first two games of the season, Perreault, coming off a career-best year during which he tallied 16 goals and 30 points, has seen 3:52 of ice time against the Lightning and 4:58 against the Jets. After last night’s game the diminutive fourth-line forward, frustrated about his limited role, opened up to Marc Antoine Godin of the French-language website La Presse.

“Whomever the coach is, every year it is the same story, and the GM doesn’t seem willing to change anything,” Perreault told Godin as translated by friend-of-the-blog Lindsey Novak. “Trade me if I am not part of your plans.”

“It’s hard on my morale,” Perreault continued. “I try to stay positive, but I do not want to endure it for two more years.

Perreault, who played for IFK Helsinki of the Finnish SM-liiga during the lockout, received more than 20 minutes of ice time per game overseas. “I come back and it’s not like I’m even part of the team,” said Perreault. “I’m just asking for a little more ice time.”

Oates, for that matter, seems open to doing so if the opportunity is right.

“I would say he’s played pretty good,” Oates told reporters Wednesday morning after an optional skate. “I think he’s a good player and I’m still learning him. The better he plays, the more he stands out, the more he’ll play.”

With the team playing from behind so much early on in the year, Oates explained that he has primarily focused on getting the top two scoring lines out on the ice.

When pressed on Perreault’s limited role, Oates responded: “You gotta look at the guys in front of him. I can’t put him in front of Mike Ribeiro or Nick Backstrom so he’s going to just have to wait his turn, do the little things, and keep improving his game. If I can find him minutes, I’ll definitely do that.”

Meanwhile Perreault, who says that these are the fewest minutes he’s played in his career, will try to stay optimistic and wait for an opportunity. If the Caps can actually hold a lead, that might happen.

Thanks to HFBoards’ member Marc the Habs Fan for first posting. Translation by Lindsey Novak.

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  • deserves more time then mojo thats for sure

  • kila

    Is it just me or does everyone else get a little nervous when Mojo gets out on the ice?

  • Well that makes my next article that much easier to write, I was going to say the exact same thing. Predicted this last year, too.

  • Robert

    Realistcally, who, other than leonsis and mcphee, had somewhat high expectations for this team this season?? Can’t possibly be based on them not fixing any holes on this team. besides playing Matty more, the next best step is to not play holtby unless absolutely necessary.

  • You sure that’s the correct translation RMNB?

  • Oh god, here we go again.

  • I think Matty P is a major asset to the caps. Last year when we played the bruins in the regular season we were dealing with a lot of injuries and Hunter (or was it still Boudreau then?) gave him the extra ice time and he really stepped up – he even got his first career Hat trick. I’d be sad to see him go.

  • mojo is the reason why ovi and nicky couldnt get nothing going yesterday…i always get nervous when hes out there because everytime he gets the puck its usually a soft turnover

  • are you kidding me? Perreault is one of the few who always hustles…always works hard on the ice…and usually, at least last season, good things happened when he was on the ice. Hope he gets the ice time — he’s earned it!

  • I was thinking this very same thing after the first couple of lines. The team released 20 plus goal scorer, but replaced him with an assist man…We kept all subpar d-men and picked up another. Goodbye Knuble – replaced by Joey Crabb. Here yet again is a another player saying “me Me”. People get caught up on that Boston game of last year….It was one game….He is no better than a third or fourth line guy…Oates is right, who does he replace? Johansson and Perrault are the same guy….Undersized and not physical….More examples of George McPhee philosophy…But we keep them because people wont give us enough in return…Thats a hoot

  • JH

    What a whiner. Show you deserve the spot.

  • CNep

    Holtby is the best goalie on the team. You’re right about Matty P. though. He needs to be switched with Mojo on the PP and be put down low and him or Hendy needs to play with Ovi and Backs and also be put on the PP.

  • I forgot my actual point which is who thought this team was better than last years? How does RMNB justify that we are a better club? I’d like to see that analysis…

  • bggb

    Let’s not get carried away.

    Primary blame for Backstrom & Ovechkin’s struggles lies with Backstrom and Ovechkin. This dates back to last year at least.

  • Lets be real…The blame for this team lies with McPhee and Leonsis. To have two franchise players for close to five yers together now and do nothing to put better pieces around is a joke! Semin was ok, but as you see, he made to much and was sent out. In his place, did we get legit goal scorer or scorers? Nope, Names like Hillen and Crabb…More fourth line fodder and 8th defensemen…Ribeiro would have been a nice peace if say you kept Semin or acquired a legit scoring wing. Unfortunately, if we cant steal from a team (Eakin for Ribiero) this chicken crap front office wont make a deal. Go back on your trade deadline line deals and see what we got? Perhaps the only big name was federov, but much like George does, he acquires over the hill or lower line guys (Arnott, etc)…Yet the champion kings got character guy Mike Richards, Jeff Carter at deadline and win…Pittsburgh has nuts enough for James Neal. You have to have rocks to be a GM or owner that wants to win a cup.

  • Well the last article like this one (Neuvirth) was a mistranslation..

  • It’s only a few games in and you say this..

  • If you think Perreault can’t (or doesn’t) hustle, then you never saw him play in Hershey or in the QMJHL. Last season was the first one in which he made the team straight out of camp. Lots of people put their faith in MoJo and said he would completely outshine MP all season long. Wrong. The complaints about playing time are justified. If all Oates can say is something lame like, “Oh, I’m still learning him, if he plays better he’ll play more,” I’d have an issue with that, too. You had the whole LOCKOUT to learn your players. That lack of feedback isn’t fair to anyone, let alone MP. Bruce would at least tell MP what he was doing wrong, or not enough of, and be specific about it.

  • Wing

    I’m new to hockey and only went to two games last year. The Caps won both, and I was really impressed with Mathieu.I didn’t understand why he wasn’t in the playoffs. I think they would have done better if he had been there. I agree that coach Oates had all the lockout time when he could have been watching tapes from the past year to see how each player worked.

  • no hes exactly right an old sergei federov was the best winger ovi ever played with that says alot about the front office

  • Green Brouwer Ranger

    Im not saying that he shouldnt be given more ice time… However, this is the last thing this team needs right now, people need to buck up, shut up and get their crap together or else this season is gonna be a painful one that is over in a blink.

  • Kstew – is that you?

  • My poor Quebecoise cousine! Mattie should get more ice time. How many forwards have a hat trick to their credit? Just because he’s small, doesn’t mean he can’t be a ninja. Hockey is soft hands, trickery, and finesse, not just intimidation and slap shots.

  • Simon Braun

    If Perrreault is saying “me Me”, then he’s just following the example of Ovechkin, who is always all about “ME”, both in his 7-year refusal to evolve his play to benefit the TEAM and in his “look at me, me, me” chest thumping goal celebrations. . . among other things.

    However, I think that Perreault isn’t asking for more than a fair chance. He’s been very patient and played well in the limited ice time he has received. Wasn’t he promised top 6 playing time last summer? If the Caps can’t keep their promise to play him, then they should trade him.

  • Absolutely.

  • Give it time, we’re only 2 games in LOL. Semin was actually the best winger until he got lazy.

  • Even if you spend 700 bucks on a translation.. It could be spent in the wrong place. That being said you can never be 100% sure with any media source. Neuvirth himself said your translations were wrong.

  • Our translation was perfect, beyond reproach. You may be a flat-earther, but the rest of us revolve.

  • I never said that you are wrong with your translation and you call me a flat-earther, that one you are. I like to question all sources, no one can be 100%. Aristotle always liked to question everybody about the earth being flat, it’s no different in this translation.

  • I agree with Mordy. Let’s not hit the panic switch just yet. This team looks more out of sync than anything. Having to learn a new system in 6 days will do that. I think that the condenced season will make it a lot tougher on the Caps because of it.

  • Yeah dude. Although Holtby was pretty awful in the first game, he was the only one (along with Hendy) keeping us in the game against Winnipeg.

    Also, did you not watch the playoffs last year? The dude can go into beast mode at the drop of a hat.

  • Tonight Neuvy is in net, Matty P gets more ice time and Caps win. #Fact

  • He has no reason to be happy about his limited ice. That said, he shouldn’t mouth off to the press about it.

  • Pingback: DMV: By The Beard Of Espinosa | Mr. Irrelevant, a D.C. Sports Blog by the Brothers Mottram()

  • RichmondPhil

    It’s absolutely hilarious to me to see these people try to bash ted. Yeah, the marginal mid-market owner who bleeds money and spends to the cap ceiling deserves blame! Instead of acting like all the other mid-market teams, he spends like he’s the Rangers. The people who bash Ted have absolutely no idea what’s going on. Blame him for intervening in Ovi’s retarded contract, blame him for keeping GMGM around this long, but you cannot blame the guy for giving his management the green light to spend money, something Caps fans have taken granted of. News flash, Ted has no reason to spend as much money as he does on payroll, and he owes you nothing. But he does because he wants a winning team. Ted will not automatically make Ovi more than a one trick pony. He will not automatically help our sad transition game.

  • My thoughts exactly! Complaining to the media isn’t the way to go.

  • Fedor

    Though I like Matty P, hockey is first and foremost a sport of intimidation, not finesse. Any move can be broken up if trhe opposition is not intimitated by the physical strength and knocked off their game. Physical intimidators are usually guys who quietly turn the game in their team’s favor.

  • cfdsiv

    Grow a foot and put on 40 pounds.

  • 28IS(still)GREAT

    Semin “got lazy”? Really!? What nonsense! Prove to me quantitatively that he “got lazy”.

    I’d also accept as proof an accurately translated transcript where Semin admits as much. And by “accurately translated” I mean one Aristotle himself wouldn’t question.

  • I love you.

  • Supporting Semin.. You’re a canes fan?

  • Even Aristotle wouldn’t question that his point production has been trending downwards. Lazy in hockey stands by that definition. Btw Aristotle is a philospher and I hope you know what that means LOL.

  • I agree that I’d like to see his minutes a bit higher than they’ve been. When he was a regular on the I-83 shuttle, he played like he was allergic to chocolate every time he put on a red sweater. He could still use a few more plates of Cincinnati 4-way, but man, can that kid scoot.

    HOWEVER. Whining to the media about his ice time and asking for a trade in print is not the way to get more ice time. Backstrom he’s not; Ribeiro he’s not; and if Coach Oates thinks he needs his bigger names out when the Caps are trailing, well, coach’s decision. And having zero points, 4 PIMs, a -2 rating, and a grand total of 3 shots in 3 games, certainly makes that decision a lot easier.

  • shazam

    Perreault works hard, clearly has some skills, but he gets pushed around, takes stupid penalties, and only shows flashes of brilliance between stretches of nothing. He’s good with the stick but he can’t hit and can’t contain big skaters so even his defense isn’t that great. Too bad because he can be fun to watch on occassion. That said he’s not exactly good enough to be complaining… Most teams probably wouldn’t give someone his size a shot. Also Mojo has been ridiculously terrible this season. Same size problem, only he used to use his speed and make crafty plays… Now everyone in the league knows that his only move is a drop pass. He seemed pretty promising a season or two ago… Hope he turns it around

  • Every single time I’ve gone to a practice at Kettler, Perreault has been among the first players on the ice and one of the last players off. He always works hard and there’s no reason he shouldn’t be rewarded for that. I would be angry too, if I was putting in that much practice time and getting next to no ice time as a result, especially considering the great season he had last year. Why is Johansson, our playoff (and for that matter, regular season) goat, being played so much, especially with Backstrom and Johansson? How to logic, Oates.