Mathieu Perreault watched the Washington Capitals from the press box the past four games. The results weren’t great.
“I’ve been out for four games in a row now and I think we’ve lost three of them,” Perreault said. “You hope that they’re going to give you a chance and now it looks like I’m going to have that chance so it’s up to me now to go out there and show what I can do and play hard.”
Perreault gets the chance in Saturday night’s game against the Florida Panthers. With some questions at the morning skate, it’s uncertain where the 25-year-old center will be in the lineup.
But he has no doubt what he wants to do when finally back on the ice.
“I want to do what I’ve always done when I was getting called up or been sitting out for a while,” Perreault said. “I would always come out and be flying and bring tons of energy. I want to be flying and bring tons of energy. … I want to be all over the ice, bringing tons of energy. I think that’s what they want from me, and that’s what I want to bring.”
Perreault had a career-high 16 goals and 14 assists last season, playing increased minutes when Nicklas Backstrom was out with a concussion.
But he has struggled to find any consistently in five games this year. Perreault complained about not getting enough ice time, and then when coach Adam Oates started him, he took a penalty on the first shift.
Since, it’s been tough for him to get a jersey. But that will happen against Florida, and Oates doesn’t want Perreault to worry about scoring.
“He’s had a few days to watch,” the Caps’ coach said. “We need him to get in the lineup and to execute the system and play. It’s not about production; it’s about playing correctly.”