It was the best elbow to the head Jay Beagle ever received.
Matt Hendricks went into this season with a goal – that he wanted to score 10 or more goals. The gritty Washington Capitals forward had never reached double digits in his brief NHL career, so this was supposed to be the year.
Alexander Semin stood by himself along the boards while his Washington Capitals teammates did line rushes at Saturday's morning skate. He stayed out on the ice with the young guys — Mathieu Perreault and Cody Eakin — well after everyone else jumped off.
By the end of the night, Jason Chimera was the hero in the Washington Capitals' 4-3 overtime victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday at Verizon Center.
Mathieu Perreault remembers the 2009 Calder Cup-clincher well — maybe not for the right reason.
Sheldon Souray has been selected to three NHL All-Star games. But a year ago he was in Hershey, Pa., miles and miles away from any NHL city and even further away from playing in the league.
That feeling of hitting the net isn't one Matt Hendricks has experienced during this regular season. And while he and the Caps are just seven games in, he'd like to start scoring to reach the preseason benchmark of 10 goals.
At 5-foot-10 (maybe on skates) and 185 pounds (maybe, just maybe soaking wet with his pads still on), Mathieu Perreault isn't in the Capitals' lineup to push guys around. More often than not, he's getting pushed around.
George McPhee has sat in on the meetings as part of the NHL's committee to study concussions and the game's impact on them. He knows the numbers. He knows the scary reality.