The Washington Capitals have signed noted tough guy Joel Rechlicz to a one-year deal and recalled him from AHL Hershey — a pleasant development for head coach Dale Hunter, who celebrated by breaking the record for most uses of the word tough/toughness:
“A lot of teams have heavyweights and he’s going to add toughness to our team,” Hunter said. “He’s a tough character and he’s just a tough guy you can have on the road.
“It’s a game-time decision if he plays, but he gives the team some more toughness.”
Rechlicz will join the Caps for their two-game road trip to Florida, where they’ll play the Lightning on Tuesday and the Panthers on Wednesday.
Wondering what to expect from the man they call “Wrecker”? Well…
Rechlicz is 6-foot-4, 230 lbs. He led the AHL with 184 penalty minutes this year, fighting 12 times in 27 games. Over the last three seasons he’s fought 41 times between the NHL (he had a couple cups of coffee with the Islanders) and AHL, with his most famous battle coming in the American League against Bridgeport’s Brett Gallant:
It’s no surprise that Hunter spoke glowingly about adding the AHL’s PIM leader to his lineup. Hunter is, after all, the Caps’ all-time leader in penalty minutes (2003) and the NHL’s second-most penalized player all time.
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When the New Jersey Devils shut down a team 1-0, it’s usually with Cory Schneider in net.
Their workhorse got the afternoon off against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, yet Keith Kinkaid did his Schneider impression, grabbing his first NHL shutout in the process.
It was a low-event game with just 46 combined shots on goal, but Kinkaid had to work, stopping all 28 shots. To give you an idea of how tight this game was, the only tally was credited to David Schlemko on the power play.
This gives the Devils three straight wins. They managed to climb into third place in the Metropolitan Division, although New Jersey’s edge is a little misleading; the Islanders trail them by one standings point while holding three games in hand.
That leaves the Islanders in the bottom wild card spot, while the Penguins aren’t so far behind either.
Third in Metro: Devils – 65 points with 57 games played
Second wildcard: Islanders – 64 points, 54 GP
First spot outside the East playoffs: Penguins – 63 points, 54 GP
So, the Devils’ hold of a playoff spot is a bit tenuous, yet the bottom line is that they’re staying in the mix.
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