With every game, Matt Hendricks brings something new to the Washington Capitals. Whether it comes from his fists, his stick or his mouth, the scrappy Hendricks is a multi-faceted player. In Washington's 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Friday, Hendricks got in the grill of Lightning goalie/"Caps Killer" Dwayne Roloson and bothered him so much, Roloson threw punches.
Hendricks got under Roloson's skin and it paid dividends as the Caps would score less than a minute later to put a puck past Roloson for the first time as a member of the Lightning. The Caps weren't finished, however, as they would score two goals in a span of 1:47 in the second period to extend their lead to 3-1. Pardon the alliteration, but Roloson was rattled.
CSN analyst/noted pugilist Alan May had this to say about Hendricks:
Matt Hendricks is Caps best free agent signing in years. He changed game by running into Roloson
Hendricks has worked incredibly hard and things are looking up for the scrappy forward. His seven goals and 15 points are modest, but it's what he does in the dirty areas that is most important. The Capitals haven't had a player like Hendricks in quite some time; he is the sandpaper that gives such a finesse-first team some much-needed grit.
With a big win Friday, the Capitals head home for a Super Bowl Sunday matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins. At least Hendricks & Co. are prepared for goalie fights now.
(Thanks to @H8Crosby for the video)