- The Washington Times - Friday, February 3, 2012

It took just nine seconds into Rene Bourque’s first shift Jan. 18 for the Washington Capitals’ Matt Hendricks to challenge him to fight. On Jan. 3, then with the Calgary Flames, Bourque put Nicklas Backstrom out of the lineup with a reckless elbow to the head.

That was a way of getting some sort of retribution, but it might not be the end of the whole situation for the Montreal Canadiens forward.

“I don’t know. Our guy’s still out. I don’t think our guys are ever going to forget what happened,” Caps forward Brooks Laich said. “I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s over or not. We’re going to win a hockey game. That’s the main focus. If anything else happens, it happens.”

Something very well may have happened Saturday in the Caps-Canadiens matinee had Joel Rechlicz played.

“I heard it was a cheap shot,” he said Thursday. “Hopefully I’m in the lineup for that game.”

Rechlicz won’t be, as the Caps put him on waivers Friday. But the way coach Dale Hunter was talking, the Caps have bigger things to worry about.

“You seen it through the whole league when the same thing happens where it’s just that the two points are most important to us and to them,” he said.

Rechlicz to Hershey

The idea of putting Rechlicz on waivers is to send him back to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League. The 24-year-old enforcer played just two games with the Caps for a total of 4:16.

“It’s been good. I’ve just got to keep working hard,” Rechlicz said Friday. “Keep everything simple on the ice and just keep a positive attitude. I’m here to work. Just go down with a positive attitude and hopefully I come right back.”

Rechlicz was told he might be back for games next weekend. The Caps only have one game next weekend, at the rough and tough New York Rangers.

Hunter was complimentary of Rechlicz, despite his limited tangible impact.

“He was vocal, and he took the body and on the road there, there was no physicality going on or nothing,” the Caps’ coach said. “He took care of that, so he was a force out there.”

Aucoin back

Keith Aucoin isn’t a hot-shot prospect. But the 33-year-old is a likely future AHL Hall of Famer because of his potent point production.

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