The Case for Mathieu Perreault
This is the first game since he got called up from the AHL to play for the Caps that Mathieu Perreault didn't play. He's out with food poisoning. The Caps miss him badly. They look lethargic, sloppy and without an ounce of effort in the game going on right now against the Buffalo Sabres. They need Perreault.
The 21-year old center was a late round draft pick in 2006 and the Caps signed him to a three-year entry level contract in March 2008. General Manager George McPhee hasn't drafted too many successful late round picks yet. Perreault may prove to be an exception.
Since he's played 16 games for the Caps, he has 2 goals and 4 assists for 6 points, while playing mostly on the third line. But, it's his intangibles that impress me even more, so far. He's a small guy, at 5'9, and plays with a chip on his shoulder because of everyone who ever told him he'd never make it to the NHL. And, it shows in the heart, energy and grit with which he plays every shift. He'll grind it out against the boards for a puck against anyone, regardless of how big they are.
Perreault's also playing +5 hockey and is an effective forechecker. I like what he bring to the Caps. He's quickly becoming a fan favorite and that's a hard thing to do with that mercurial lot. Hard core Caps fans, and I'm one of them, are an insane lot and we just want a Cup.
I'm grateful Perreault doesn't have to clear waivers so he can stay. He should stay.
Let's go Caps!