jeff-schultz-not-awkward

Photo: Debora Robinson

Last summer, the Washington Capitals bought out the final season of Jeff Schultz’s four-year, $11 million deal. The 6’6”, 227-pound defenseman fell out of favor with Caps brass, and the Calgary, Alberta native asked for a trade. When they couldn’t find a willing partner, they bought him out. The Caps ended up using Sarge’s $2.75 million cap hit on Mikhail Grabovski, and we all said goodbye. It was time.

Over the summer, Schultz signed with the Los Angeles Kings. He didn’t make their team out of training camp, so he spent the entire season with American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs. He put up pedestrian numbers there–two goals and 11 assists– but Sarge has never been a stellar boxcar stat guy. On Monday night, with Robyn Regehr injured, Schultz was given a jersey by Kings coach Darryl Sutter. He looked like a changed player.

It was weird– and not only because he was playing his first NHL game since DC against Bruce Boudreau, Mathieu Perreault, and the Anaheim Ducks.

Sarge played well. He played rugged. Yes, rugged. I saw him clear the crease with authority and play with more tenacity along the boards. He had some nice stick work. He also seemed lighter on his skates.

I know Teemu Selanne is like 1,000 years old, but Sarge beat him in a foot race for an icing! I couldn’t believe it.

Sutter rewarded Schultz with ice time in the final minute. He did so many things. Like I said, it was weird.

After the Kings won 3-1, NBCSN’s Brian Hayward spoke to Conn Smythe winning goaltender Jonathan Quick. The first question was about Jeff Schultz and how awesome he did.

“He was great,” Quick said on national TV. “He stepped in and played great for us. He logged a lot of big minutes, PK, stuff deep down in our end. Obviously they have a lot of big guys that are good around the net and he handled it well. It was great.”

“It’s been a couple years since I’ve been in the playoffs,” Schultz later said to The Orange Country Register’s Rich Hammond. “There’s no other place I’d rather be, trying to help the Kings go as far as we can.”

While the Kings were outshot 19 to 9 with Sarge on the ice, that followed the trend of the game: Anaheim more than doubled up the Kings in shots 37-17. That does not take away from the fact though that Mr. Nasty played some big minutes against some of Anaheim’s best players.

After washing out in Washington, I’m happy for Schultz. He’s always had a bunch of talent and the right tools to be a dominant defenseman. That’s why he was a first-round pick.

After last night’s game ended, I spoke to Chris Gordon. After a few jokes, I said to him, “that’s exactly the type of player we need in Washington.”

Props to Sarge for using the new coaching and opportunity available to him to make us feel that way. Hard work always pays off.

Mr. Nasty might win a Stanley Cup.

jeff-schultz1

jeff-schultz2

Blood on his jersey!

jeff-schultz3

jeff-schultz4

Quick talks about Sarge.

Tagged with:
 
  • ringtail

    I wish Sarge the best but don’t you have to play in a certain number of regular season games to get your name on the Cup?

  • Unofficial Capital

    I miss Sarge.

  • 5manfront

    No. In fact I think you only have to get like 3 games in the SC Finals to get on it.

  • JH

    Let’s not get misty-eyed here. Everyone wanted him gone. He was slow. I’m happy for him,though.

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

    I don’t. I wish him all the best and glad he played well last night. But he NEEDED a change. He was downright awful his last couple seasons here.

  • Katie Brown

    One game of the Cup Final or 41 regular season games. He’s got this.

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

    Mr. Nasty forever

  • Troy

    I think our coaching was more awful. There’s a reason these players go elsewhere and play well… It’s kind of saddening actually :,(

  • ringtail

    Seriously? Well good for him if that come to pass. Isn’t life strange. Sometimes in a happy way.

  • Troy

    Can’t win a cup if you can’t win the west….. (Insert Blackhawks here)

  • Sarge is a bender

    A little bit of bend in those ankles, Sarge. Need to tape them ankles buddy!

  • Owen Johnson

    I’m not disputing Oates was more awful. But Schultz made Erskine look like the Flash when he was here.

  • Lawrence

    Mr. Nasty looks so weird in an LA jersey.

  • VeggieTart

    Too bad he didn’t play well in DC. He might not have gotten bought out.

  • Lawrence

    I don’t miss Sarge at all. He was so bad for us, both in salary and in play. He has been pretty bad for LA too, minus this game of course. He has been with their AHL team most of the year, no?

  • Owen Johnson

    Or maybe at least gotten a trade partner.

  • yv

    J. Schultz pulled an amazing game considering that it was his first NHL game in year for the Kings and immediately in playoffs. The NBC (regular Ducks) commentators called his name and complemented every time he was on ice.

    In other interesting news, PHT has mentioned in their article after watching disastrous PP in the league, and Rangers (and Red Wings, who dressed 7 left-handed Dmen) specifically, that “…It was this: If you’re a right-handed shooting defenseman that can play a regular number of five-on-five minutes and help a team’s power play, you’re going to be a hot commodity this summer…” It looks like it practically pointing on former partner of J. Schultz, Mike Green, with whom he posted an out worldly +50. If new Caps GM will decide to make a trade, it seems MG52 would be highly desirable. Or maybe Caps will appreciate more now what they have?

  • Graham Dumas

    This is the only reason I’ll feel OK about it if LAK beat Anaheim. That, and I <3 Quick. Not like in a Holtby-fangirl sort of way. But <3.

    Seriously, Ducks, pick it up!

  • Graham Dumas
  • Simonezero

    This makes pulling for the Kings… difficult. I don’t hate Schultz. Just hard to think of double nickel winning the cup.

    Seeing a little Jonathan Quick on RMNB is also nice, not gonna lie.

  • Sarah
  • Sarah

    As my Dad says, you never get so wet you don’t dry off. ;)

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

    Ooooo, that’s deep!

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

    Yeah, Sarge was literally the thing everybody wanted to talk about last night. It was so so so so weird. So was the beard. Everything was weird.

    On your other comment, I’m not sure MG52 is highly desirable with durability issues and a $7 mil cap hit.

  • Sarah

    You don’t want to think too hard if you’re going to be a Dallas-DC sports fan.

  • Yonder

    Attaboy Sarge!

  • yv

    MG52 is slightly above 6M$. Considering how much crazy money many teams throwing now on Dmen, like Flyers on 36yr Streit 4 yr for 21M and 6 yr for 30M on A.MacDonald, or 30yr old Girardi 6 yrs for 33M, MG could be quite an attractive target to have him for trying one contract year. There are like two dozen teams who looking for top 4 Dmen, especially right shooting.

  • Troy

    truth, but I think I might even take Schultz over the D men we had this year…. IDK its like being stuck between a rock and a hard place

  • ilan

    YEAH FLUFFY!

  • Austin

    Yea can you imagine him winning the cup? Holy sh$t man

  • Srkeegan

    He was a plus 50 a couple of years ago. How bad could he be? As for his stats, he’s a stay at home guy. He isn’t supposed to score.

  • Srkeegan

    He was also a plus 50

  • RESmith

    My Caps double take from that game had to be this:

  • Eric Schulz

    Everybody wanted him gone because he was awful. Doesn’t mean I want him to fail, although it would certainly be bittersweet to see him be anything like the guy he could be, knowing that having *that guy* paired with Green on the 2nd D pair is exactly what this team needs.

  • CapsPsycho

    He was a +50 FIVE years ago. And that was the year that #8 was roiding the hardest. Ovie’s “chiropractor” got busted, so he laid low for a while on the juicing scene, and when 8′s goals dried up, so did 55′s stats.

    I’m sure if I go back to read Capitals Insider posts from the 2009 break I could read myself saying at least a dozen times: “His trade value will never be this high again, and he’s nothing like that good, so please McPhee, pull the trigger.”

    Him and Tom Poti: two of a kind. Couldn’t clear Theo Fleury out of a crease. Both big guys, but soft. So soft.

  • Srkeegan

    I haven’t seen him make any mistakes so far. Pretty good guy to have as your 9th best d-man.