Jason Chimera wasn't just the Washington Capitals' overtime hero Wednesday night when he beat the Winnipeg Jets on a perfect backdoor play. With that goal, he became the team's leading goal-scorer.
Chimera scored twice against Winnipeg to hit eight goals on the season.
"He's been great. He's been engaged," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "He's on one of those rolls where he hasn't been on in a while."
To put things into perspective, consider first that Alex Ovechkin has just seven goals in 20 games. And also that Chimera had 10 last season. His career high is 17, which he had in 2005-06 with the Edmonton Oilers.
So what's the difference now?
"Well, I've just always had it. Was just going to wait until my later, mid-30s to get it going," Chimera joked. "I don't want to peak too early. I want to keep playing until I'm 45 so hopefully I'll keep on getting better."
Chimera just two months ago signed a two-year contract extension worth $3.5 million. He has been part of the Caps' most effective line so far, the so-called "meat and potatoes line" along with Brooks Laich and Joel Ward but has also found success elsewhere.
Wednesday night, he was parked in the perfect place when Dennis Wideman exhibited some patience in the offensive zone.
"Wides made a great play following up and I was just standing there waiting for it," Chimera said. "It was a great play by Wides. He faked the goalie out, reloaded the shot and passed it."
Chimera's first goal against the Jets came as he cashed in on some hard work by Laich. But the 32-year-old speedster shouldn't be robbed of any credit for being in the right place at the right time.
Speaking in serious terms about his eight-goal, early-season outburst, Chimera credited other guys for making plays for him.
"A lot of credit to my linemates. I've been playing with Brooks and [Alexander] Semin tonight, but most of all with Joel Ward, who I think does a good job getting pucks," Chimera said.
Boudreau's joy over Chimera's start goes beyond winning games.
"I'm pretty happy for him, because he's a guy that comes, he works every day," the coach said. "He's always got a smile on his face, and he keeps the team loose. It's good to see good things happen to good people."
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