perreault-game-winner

Photo credit: Hannah Foslien

When George McPhee traded 19-year-old Filip Forsberg for Martin Erat last year, the Washington Capitals acquired a 32-year-old veteran who should have fit in nicely with their top-six. This season however, Erat — who has a $4.5 million cap hit — plays under ten minutes a night on the team’s fourth line. With the surprise signing of Mikhail Grabovski during the offseason and Tom Wilson’s great play during the preseason, the Caps had to shed salary ahead of their season opener to make room for The Ten Train. So they dumped Mathieu Perreault to the Anaheim Ducks for a fourth round pick and an AHL player.

As I said that day, moving Perreault was curious considering the team’s lack of depth at center and his success over the last three seasons. And through two games this season, he has been — gulp — Anaheim’s best player.

Saturday night against the Minnesota Wild, Perreault scored his first point (an assist) and first goal as a Duck. His goal was the overtime game-winner.

First, Perreault collected a primary assist with a sick pass from behind the net to Jakob Silfverberg.

In overtime, Perreault scored with a nifty backhand move on a breakaway. There were five seconds left in the game. Clutch.

It’s really, really early in the season, but Perreault so far has more points (2) than Tom Wilson and Martin Erat combined (0).

Maybe GMGM made a mistake.

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GIFs by welshhockeyfan

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  • Owen Johnson
  • a caps fan

    i liked matty p but he was never that great of player as a cap. maybe the change of scenery and team helped him step up his game. like you said too, still to early to tell… erat needs to move up, and i don’t like mojo playing on the top line, i think brower should move up, they need someone to do the dirty work on the top line. move erat to the 2 line and mojo down to 3……. keep up the good work rmnb, love your site.

  • Dick Gayson

    He’s got something to prove; to the organizations past and present that he is more than what they perceived him to be. Wouldn’t be surprised to see his average points raise by a few but that’s about it. Maybe he leads the team in points and gets a promotion. Maybe he tanks under pressure and maybe gets traded again. If we give Oates a few games to realize we need Erat on the top 6 and maybe Wilson picks up his game and makes this whole deal worth it. Too many maybes to say anything.

  • beny485

    you were our Matty
    you were our Matty
    you made us happy when games where grey
    you never knew how much we liked you
    why did we trade our Matty away

    parody of you are my sunshine

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    <3

  • mucha563

    At first, my reaction to seeing Perreault leaving the Capitals was sadness. That is until I read he went to the Ducks. Capitals are my favorite team but since I live on the west coast near Anaheim now, I cheer on the Ducks. So now I get Boudreau and Perreault so I feel a little better. Thankfully, the Capitals and Ducks rarely play against once another because I would feel very conflicted.

  • Annie Lockyer

    I loved Matty P just because of his possession numbers last year alone. And his goal celebrations. No hockey player I’ve known has ever been so happy about winning. I have friends who are caps fans today solely because of how much that adorable little munchkin cared about winning. He played with so much heart and Anaheim (that desolate Joshua tree-ridden desert craphole) is lucky to have him.

  • Dan

    Never that great of a player as a Cap? 2012 he had 30 points in 64 games, 2013 he had 17 points in 39 games on pace for low 40s. He has gotten consistently better every year not to mention the heart he plays the game with and his natural skill has probably made him one of our better players overall. He was constantly placed on lines with checking roles and never really given a shot at being anything more then a 3rd line center between Ward and whoever else. Now that he is getting a chance he is showing people that he has always been more then what the caps used him as.
    Bottom line, Bad trade and wasted talent.

  • serpent

    So where’s the Perry Celly?

  • Sabrina

    i’m glad to see matty getting the TOI, love, and respect he deserves. At least someone seems to appreciate him. Go Matty P! We miss you!!!

  • Owen Johnson

    Actually another huge mistake I noticed last night was the fact that we traded we traded Cody Eakin, now Dallas’ 2nd line center for a rental player.

  • 5manfront

    Come on mah dude. Eakin is “in the mix” as 2nd line center in Dallas. They are kind of in the same boat we were prior to acquiring Ribeiro: a lot of guys capable of playing center, but none of which REALLY a legitimate #2. Not McPhee’s fault that Ribeiro wanted a 5 year deal, and didn’t seem to want to budge much from that (which is his prerogative). I liked Eakin, but I’d still make that trade for Ribeiro today. And give Matty P another dozen games or so. He’s always had issues with sustained offensive output over time, and tends to have hot streaks when he first gets in, followed by rather cold ones which usually caused his demotion in lines and/or to the pressbox.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Yeah I gotta ditto what 5manfront said. That Eakin is playing on the second line is not in itself an indication that he is an excellent player. A) Dallas is not known for forward depth, and B) he may not shake out there in the long term.

    I’m not a Ribeiro guy, obviously, but the Caps got good value off him last season– he overperformed his talent big time.

  • ringtail

    I think GMGM made a mistake but in fairness to him, Matty P had a “play me or trade me” attitude. I miss him but I bet he is happier playing in Anaheim instead of sitting on the bench in DC. And it’s not like players don’t come back – Eric Fehr was only gone a year.

  • OlietheGoalie

    Sigh. Of course. Of course!