Far be it for Matt Hendricks to talk about himself. He doesn’t like addressing the compartment syndrome he suffered in the 2004-05 season while the NHL was in the midst of a lockout. And he considers team success the barometer for his own success.
Yep, sounds exactly like a Masterton Trophy nominee. And while Hendricks is an extreme long shot to win the award like Jose Theodore did a year ago, the forward was just happy to get nominated by the D.C. chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association like he was last season by Denver’s.
“Thank you very much,” Hendricks said Monday. “I take a lot of pride in that.”
Hendricks’ story from ECHL player just a few years ago to regular in the NHL and with the Caps made him Washington’s selection. The Caps signed Hendricks to a deal just before training camp and he managed to earn a full-time role here.
“I got an opportunity here which I’m grateful here – opportunity to play, opportunity to build on my ice time,” Hendricks said. “[But] for me, if the team does well, I do well. That’s the kind of player I am.”
Coach Bruce Boudreau noticed that while Hendricks was playing for him with the Hershey Bears in 2006-07, telling him he could play in the NHL.
“When a coach says something like that to you, as a player, you take a sense of pride in it – you feel good,” Hendricks said, “but you still need to get there.”
Hendricks is here, scoring nine goals and adding 16 assists in a third- and fourth-line role with the Caps. Now, he said, comes the fun part – the playoffs. But Boudreau expects the same kind of play from him.
“He’s gonna bring enthusiasm, and he’s gonna bring effort, energy. That’s what we need from him,” Boudreau said. “I don’t think Matt’s gonna change his game one iota from what he’s done all year. That’s something that we’ve enjoyed having, and we want more of it.”