In the 2006 NHL Draft, the Washington Capitals selected tiny QMJHL centerman Mathieu Perreault with the 77th overall pick, and RMNB fell in love. During his time in Washington’s organization, Perreault won two Calder Cups in Hershey and played on the President’s Trophy-winning Caps team. He was a dazzling possession player for the Caps before the team had an analytics department. And we can’t forget about the #PerryCellys and onesies.
A few years ago, the Caps traded away the man we once called Perreaultcho-cinco to make room for first-round pick Tom Wilson. Now Perreault, continuing to blossom as a player, has a new biggest fan. His name is Matthew Perreault.
I’ll let his dad Danny Perreault explain.
Photos: Amanda Bowen
Happy Thanksgiving! Last night, Caps fans were thankful for their team, who beat the Jets 5-3. Returning to the Verizon Center ice for the first time as a Winnipeg Jet, Mathieu Perreault sported a Mo/Mullet combo in support of Movember at warmups. He is still a ray of sunshine, even if his latest team photo says otherwise. He even got a puck over the glass to some Caps fans eager to see him in his return to D.C.
Before you gorge on all the delicious food, enjoy some victory smiles from your Caps.
1/17 Update: Renaud Lavoie reports that Perreault’s arm was not fractured “but he’s injured.”
After scoring four goals in a single game earlier this week, Mathieu Perreault might just have had his season ended by Daniel Carcillo on Friday. In the waning seconds of the second period, Perreault slashed Duncan Keith’s stick out of his hands. Carcillo responded by cross-checking Perry from behind in the middle of the arm. Perreault’s arm appears to have been injured significantly.
Warning: This video is graphic and will make you feel very sad.
Photo: Winnipeg Jets
Teeny tiny center Mathieu Perreault was one hell of a player when he was in Washington. Despite never getting more than a passing look in the top-six, Perreault owned the puck, sporting a positive possession score every year he was in DC. Instead of getting a permanent role, general manager George McPhee dumped Perreault to Anaheim so that he could make room for Tom Wilson on the fourth line last season.
Perreault blossomed. After a dominant year as Anaheim’s second-line center, Perreault brought his #PerryCellys to Winnipeg, signing there as a free agent. Now he’s one of their most productive players, driving 55.1 percent of shot attempts and 51.2 percent of goals in the team’s favor. On Tuesday night, Perreault had the biggest game of his career (minus that one time he scored with his tongue).
There’s really no need to read this piece. Your life will be no better for having read what’s below. Your life might actually get worse. You should probably stop right now.
So the Caps have freed some players over the last few years, and it feels like all of them have turned into beautiful hockey butterflies. The team had good reasons to trade or release some guys; others… not so much. In this still very young season, those hockey butterflies are playing so good it’s like they’re trying to make you jealous. Well, it’s not going to work, hockey butterflies.
Okay, yeah, it is.
I’m gonna take a peek around the league, in a totally non-Facebook-stalker-y way, just to see how certain ex-Caps forwards are doing in their new homes. Pretty freaking well, it turns out. Starting with prospect-bust-turned-Calder-standout Filip Forsberg, lemme run down who has moved on and how they’re doing.
Photos by Chris Gordon.
This season, the Capitals are celebrating their 40th anniversary. Since they weren’t able to raise any Eastern Conference Regular Season Champion banners last year, the team decided to add a new installation outside section 111 honoring the hat tricks in franchise history. The exhibition, in a neat touch, includes displays of headwear collected after 13 hat tricks at Verizon Center since 2008. Most of those, naturally, come from Alex Ovechkin, with cameos from Nicklas Backstrom and Troy Brouwer and departed Caps Alexander Semin and Mathieu Perreault. There’s currently space for three more hat tricks. How quickly those get filled will depend on whether teams keep leaving Ovi wide open at the near circle.
Below, take a look at some photos.
Hockey can be a strange sport sometimes. Such as on Tuesday, when the Washington Capitals took on former coach Bruce Boudreau and the Anaheim Ducks. Seeing Boudreau bark orders to another team is odd enough; seeing Mathieu Perreault dart around in black and olive feels outright wrong.
Late in the third period, with the Capitals protecting a 3-2 lead, bedfellows got even stranger when Alex Ovechkin and Perreault collided near the Caps crease. Perreault took an extra whack at a loose puck, which Ovechkin did not seem to like very much.
The Russian machine cleared the crease the only way he knows how, shoving Perreault twice and knocking him over. With Matty belly up along the boards, Ovechkin loomed over his former bro as if to say, “You know not to do dis.”
Photo: Debora Robinson
Alright, here we go.
The Caps’ Californian vacation is a crucible that will decide exactly of what this team is made. If the Caps can do the impossible and sweep these four games (the fourth at home against the Kings), they could once again make a late-season push for the postseason. With Tuesday’s narrow win over Bruce Boudreau and his Anaheim Ducks, those hopes are still alive.
Here’s how it all went down.
Joel Ward and the terrific third line did their thing again, crashing the net for the game’s first goal. The Ducks struck back as any Caps opponent would do: within the next minute. Before the first period was up, Troy Brouwer converted on the power play to give the Caps a one-goal lead.
The Caps survived a scoreless second period, but Mathieu Perreault found space and a screen to tie the game early in the third. That simply set the stage for Alex Ovechkin, who scored one of his cleanest Ovi shots from the Ovi spot. Halak fought off a late scramble by the Ducks.
Caps beat Ducks 3-2!
Photo credit: Patrick McDermott
The Anaheim Ducks have the best record in the NHL. Their coach, Bruce Boudreau, seems to have fallen up when he was fired by the Washington Capitals in 2011. The team has won nine in row, led by offensive stars Ryan Getzlaf, number three in league in points, and Corey Perry, number three in the league in goals. They have a good chance to win their second Stanley Cup since 2007. Monday night, they extended their winning streak with a comeback victory in Boudreau’s, Bob Woods’s, and Mathieu Perreault’s return to Verizon Center.
“Nine in a row: that’s pretty cool,” Boudreau told reporters after the game. “They were trying hard for the guys that were in Washington.”
For Boudreau, it was a surreal experience, plucked from the AHL’s Hershey Bears to lead the Capitals in 2007. More than anyone save for Alex Ovechkin, Boudreau is responsible for putting hockey back on the map in Washington. Without him, the Capitals wouldn’t have had their 202nd consecutive sellout Monday night. Without him, the team wouldn’t become the talk of the NHL. Without him, there may not have been any banners.
“Four and a half years — the greatest years of my life,” Boudreau said. “They didn’t put me on the board! Oh well.”
Perreault and Beagle (Photo: Patrick McDermott)
I feel sorry for all the johnny-come-lately fans who never knew Bruce Boudreau’s Caps. You know who I’m talking about: all those fake fans who started following the Caps just because of the undeniable electricity of Hunter hockey. Those trendy, fairweather fans who only bought their first Caps shirsey because they saw Ovi pile on an inconceivable 38 goals back in 2011-2012. All they ever knew of the Caps was the unlimited delight of low puck possession and the benching of fan-hated Mike Knuble.
Okay, starting over.
If you were to make a list of things that turned this franchise around in the last decade, you’d see Bruce Boudreau’s name somewhere right underneath Alex Ovechkin and the return to the red uniforms. Now Boudreau is with the Ducks and positively killing it in the Western Conference. Boose brought his league-leading team to Verizon Center for his first game since getting fired more than two years ago. The crowd and the team seemed to appreciate the emotional dimension, and we fans got a decent, if uneven, game out of it.
Mikhail Grabovski got the Caps on the board first by tapping in a pass from Troy Brouwer (and helped along by Ben Lovejoy). Nicky Backstrom converted a power play four minutes later with a sneaky shot to Jonas Hiller’s shoulder. Andrew Cogliano got the Ducks into the game by sweeping up the shards of a broken Caps defense.
The second period was polluted by penalties, and Saiku Koivu tied it with a bang-bang in the waning seconds. Hampus Lindholm got a puck through a crowded shooting lane and well-screened Philipp Grubauer to put the Ducks up with five minutes left. Alex Ovechkin rang the post, and our hearts sank.
Ducks beat Caps 3-2.
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