As the Capitals prepare to square off against Bourque’s Montreal Canadiens this afternoon, the talk in the Caps’ locker room was still about how upset they are about Bourque’s elbow to the face of Nicklas Backstrom that still has him out with a concussion.
“I don’t know,” Capitals center Brooks Laich said. “Our guy’s still out, you know? I don’t think our guys are ever going to forget what happened. But I don’t know if it’s over or not.
“We’re going there to win a hockey game. That’s the main focus, and if anything else happens, it happens.”
The Capitals won that last game against Montreal after seeing Bourque pound Matt Hendricks and the Capitals aren’t starting John Erskine today. They’ve also sent down Joel Rechlicz to the AHL, so if someone wants a piece of Bourque again, they’re really going out of their way to do it.
Rather than gunning for Bourque, the Caps should focus on getting themselves into better playoff positioning and keeping the Canadiens feeling bad about themselves.
Rechlicz on waivers, won’t get to avenge Backstrom
Poor Joel Rechlicz – turns out he won’t get a chance to beat up Rene Bourque. The Capitals put the tough guy on waivers today, reports CSNWashington.com. If no NHL team picks him up, he’ll be back with the AHL’s Hershey Bears.
Yesterday Rechlicz said he was looking forward to Saturday’s game versus the Habs. As you’ll recall, Bourque – specifically the elbow part of Bourque – is the reason Caps leading scorer Nicklas Backstrom is out with a concussion.
Washington might have unfinished business with Rene Bourque
Rechlicz is 6-foot-4, 230 lbs and led the AHL with 184 penalty minutes this year, fighting 12 times in 27 games. In his two games with Washington he’s yet to find a dance partner — possibly because he only played 1:49 against Tampa and 2:37 against Florida — though it wasn’t for a lack of trying. He asked Panthers’ enforcer Krys Barch to go but Barch declined, given his squad was leading on the scoreboard.
That said, Rechlicz doesn’t sound like he’ll let one rejection get him down.
I’m just going to go get my checks and if I’ve got to run a guy through the glass, force him to fight, that’s what you’ve got to do,” he said.
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.