“Thank you, hockey gods!” (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)
Fifty-seven days and 28 games into the 2013 regular season, Washington Capitals forward Jason Chimera finally scored his first goal on the year. And not a moment too soon.
A year ago, Chimera had a career best season tallying 20 goals and 39 points. This season, Chimera has bounced around the Caps line,up, seeing time with fourth-line grinders like Jay Beagle as well as second-line duty with playmakers like Mike Ribeiro. Regardless of who he played with, the goals didn’t come — until Sunday.
As Troy Brouwer skillfully forechecked behind the Sabres net midway through the second period, he sent a no-look backhand pass to the slot that found Chimera for a wide-open one-timer.
“It’s embarrassing to see a zero next to your goal column for that long,” Chimera told reporters after the game. “It was nice to get a goal for sure.”
How bad did the goalless streak play on Chimera’s mind? The 33-year-old Edmonton native started parking in a different spot in his driveway, hoping a break in his routine would lead to a goal.
“Well I thought I was playing really good,” Chimera explained. “It’s just one of those things where I had a ton of chances and goaltenders made world-class saves on me all the time. Back in my younger days, I might have been more pissed off about it. But having kids at home humbles you. You kinda reset yourself.”
The worst part about the drought was the fact that Chimera’s teammates started feeling sorry for him.
“At first everyone [made fun of him]. And then we laid off,” Brouwer said according to Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski. “You don’t want to mess with a guy like that too much.”
After the goal, the chirping returned. “I think [Ribeiro] even went and got the puck for him,” Brouwer added.
The change in luck might have also come from another source. Chimera’s intense mug was featured on the Caps tickets for St. Patrick’s day.
Photo credit: @CapsRocket91
Now that Chimmer is back in the scoresheet, he’s got his mind on bigger and better things.
“It’d be nice to get on a roll and get 20 for sure,” Chimera said with a smile. “The hockey gods work in funny ways.”
Sure. Now everybody go shave their head in honor of Jason’s first goal this season. Maybe that good juju will net him 19 more.