But Volpatti can make an impact with hits and fights, as he did by dropping the gloves Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets'Anthony Peluso. Volpatti lost the bout but in the process showed what he can bring to the Caps.
“He wants to show the guys he’s here and that he’s a team guy right away, so he takes on a big man,” coach Adam Oates said. “He played good after that. Obviously, he didn’t get a lot of ice time, but I was really happy with him.”
“Those two guys, like Hendy, I’ve talked to him like: ‘I know you like to fight, but you’re a penalty killer, you’re a guy that takes faceoffs; I need you on the ice,’” Oates said. “And Ersk, ‘You’re playing top-four minutes. You’ve got to pick your spots differently and you just can’t be reckless about it.’”
Enter Volpatti, claimed off waivers from the Vancouver Canucks last week. At 6 feet and 215 pounds, the 27-year-old isn’t a heavyweight, but he likes to think he brings “another element of grit” to the Caps.
“It’s better to have a tough team by committee, I think, than one guy,” Volpatti said. “I know those guys. … They’re gonna stick up for their teammates just as much as I would.”
That’s true. But Erskine, who the Caps last week signed to a two-year, $3.9 million extension, is counted on for substantial minutes and even some offense.
“I still like to drop the gloves once in a while,” the big defenseman said. “I just got to pick my chances and when I take someone off the ice, it’s got to be someone good, I guess.”
“Definitely. I’d be lying if I said no,” Hendricks said. “It’s definitely going to help and it’s going to benefit me to have a guy like that kind of plays the same of hockey as I do.”
Green misses practice
Mike Green missed his second straight practice after aggravating a groin injury, and the defenseman is not expected to play Tuesday night against the Boston Bruins. That would be the fifth game he has missed this season.View Entire Story
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