Caps’ Chimera, Perreault approach pivotal seasons

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Washington Capitals forwards Jason Chimera and Mathieu Perreault are very different players, but the 2013-14 season poses similar pressure, as each player enters a contract year.

CSNWashington.com’s Bruce McNally breaks down each player’s expected roles, noting that Mike Ribeiro’s departure provides a golden opportunity for Perrault, 25.

With veteran center Mike Ribeiro gone, Perreault should see more time on the power play. And that’s a potential career-changing opportunity. Perreault would be hard-pressed to match Ribeiro’s 27 power-play points from last season. He only had three power-play points in 2013 – primarily with the second unit – in 1:11 per game.

Meanwhile, McNally notes the disparity between Chimera’s career 2011-12 season (20 goals) versus his struggles in 2013, when he only collected three goals in 47 games played thanks to a jarring 3.3 shooting percentage.

At 34, the speedy and gritty forward will need to capitalize on more of his chances to line up an opportunity, whether it’s with Washington or not. (Example: if he had his typical puck luck regarding his 92 shots on goal in 2013, he would have finished with eight or nine goals instead of three.)

For the most part, the structure of this Capitals roster is set through the 2014-15 campaign, but Chimera and Perreault are two wild cards based on this upcoming season.