This year, Mathieu Perreault did a good deal to shake off the labels of streakiness and inconsistency that have plagued him, scoring at a better clip and sticking with the team all year long. Now, all he needs is a six-inch growth spurt to shut up critics altogether. We think he’s got it in him.
At this moment, the tensest of the Capitals’ season, the team still knows how to have fun. Going by these pictures from David and Deanna, Jason Chimera’s son Cale practiced with the team again on Wednesday and it was all smiles. We saw the feisty little dude on the ice back in January, and here he is again– doing conditioning with Mathieu Perreault, besting Brooks Laich in a smile contest, and giving pointers to his dad on how to score his 21st of the season.
We already know how grumpy attitudes and dourness can affect this team’s play, so this is an encouraging sign for tonight’s big game with the Panthers. Or maybe this is confirmation that the Caps have completely depleted the Hershey roster and are desperate for new blood. Eh, let’s go with the first one. Many more pics behind the jump.
On March 31, 2012, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Neuvy smirks after taking a Rene Bourque slapshot off the mask. (Via @WashCapsRock)
The Washington Capitals’ season is still on shaky ground. Buffalo’s loss to Pittsburgh on Friday kept their hopes alive, but Saturday’s game versus the Montreal Canadiens held huge determinative power. Perfect time for a Comebackstrom.
After having his initial shot blocked, Alex Semin found a wide-open Mathieu Perreault in the slot, for a one-timer. 1-0 Caps. Unguarded in front of the net, Matt Hendricks hit Jay Beagle with a cross-crease pass to put the good guys up 2. Erik Cole then scored a momentum-killing goal with one minute left to go in the first.
In the second period, the Canadiens dominated. Tomas Plekanec tied it up when he went around a slow-skating Roman Hamrlik and scored on the backhand.
After multiple scoring chances for both teams in the third period, the game went to Overtime. Then the shootout. Thanks to goals by Matt Hendricks and Alex Semin, Caps win 3-2.
The Capitals held practice after taking their 2011-12 team picture on Monday. Practice wasn’t too serious though, and Matt Hendricks thought it was the right time to teach Mathieu Perreault the finer points of fighting. Notice how he manhandles Perry and Carlson and uses the a headbutt to finish them off.
Here’s hoping Perry never decides to drop the gloves in an actual NHL game.
Heading into tonight’s game, there was no doubt that the Jets’ season was on the line. With a loss, they would fall six points behind the Capitals for the eighth and final playoff spot — all but essentially eliminating them from the playoff race. “These are games that define your team,” Evander Kane told The Washington Times’ Stephen Whyno. “And we’re going to see what we’re made of.” Sure are.
Predictably, the Jets came out fired-up and scored first. Andrew Ladd tallied his 24th goal of the season on literally a magical backhander. 22 seconds later, the Capitals responded, as Marcus Johansson perfectly placed a slap-pass onto Brooks Laich’s blade and watched him tip it in past a helpless Ondrej Pavelec.
Late in the second period, the Jets regained the lead as Nik Antropov out-worked Ovechkin to the front of the net to flip one past Vokoun. Mathieu “I’m teeny tiny like a leprechaun” Perrault managed to tie the game again on a third period power play. Unfortunately, Dustin Byfuglien and his big rear were too much to handle. Jets beat Caps, 3-2.
This final game of the homestand, a division face-off between the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning held the highest of stakes. A win would keep the Capitals competitive in the playoff race. A loss would make things bleak. How did it go down?
Well, Keith Aucoin scored the game’s first goal, a very lucky deflection off Karl Alzner’s shot. Ryan Malone evened it up with a power-play skate deflection. John Carlson delivered the own-goal for Purcell to give Tampa a lead going into the third.
With less than five minutes to go, Marcus Johansson nabbed a bad clear and beat the rookie goaltender. Tie game. Into overtime, which was OV time. Caps beat Bolts 3-2.
By the time the Carolina Hurricanes made their way to DC, the Washington Capitals desperation for a win became strong enough to overpower any shyness the team may have developed when it comes to scoring.
Troy Brouwer ended 134 minutes without a goal by going backhand on Cam Ward. Jay Beagle turned a perimeter shot from Dmitry Orlov into the Caps second goal. But the Canes came back quick with goals by Tlusty and Larose in less than five minutes. A whiff by Dennis Wideman led to Brandon Sutter’s pretty breakaway goal. Brooks Laich tied it up by giving and going with Marcus Johansson late in the third period.
On February 20, 2012, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
You thought you’ve been through the hard times already, right? Wrong.
The Washington Capitals’ pathetic bumbling against the Carolina Hurricanes was their worst performance that I’ve had the dubious honor of documenting. This was the kind of game that costs people their jobs. Or at least it should.
So much almost. (Photo credit: Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Whew, what a relief that the All-Star Weekend is over! We’re all so sick of watching haphazard, sloppy, firewagon hockey that turns over pucks and gives up chances every few seconds, it’s such a relief to get back to the responsible, disciplined team we all missed so much.
Hahaha! Let’s all have a good laugh at that one for a minute, and then to the recap. I am pleased to inform you that the curse of my recaps was broken tonight. Actual goals were scored.
Matt Hendricks opened the scoring with the ol’ Brooks-Laich-diving-poke-check-pass, fan-on-the-initial-and-then-wildly-backhand-it move. Classic. Teddy Purcell scored two shifts later on a feed from Steve Downie, who mysteriously hadn’t had his face punched in yet at this point. All Martin St. Louis had to do was skate past Hamrlik lying face-down on the ice to make it 2-1. Nate Thompson banged one in on a good cycle from Tampa in front of the net. Mathieu Perreault was in the right place at the right time to take credit for a hilarious own goal off Thompson’s stick. Good pressure from Laich forced a puck loose for Troy Brouwer, who put it in the back of the net. The game went to overtime, and Steven Stamkos scored on a defensive breakdown from John Carlson. Caps lose, 4-3.