All season long, the Capitals have given out ‘Karate Kid’ headbands for the best offensive and defensive player in each victory. Coach Peter Laviolette introduced the reward when he arrived in Washington as a way to recognize a key player in the win that night.
Saturday night, after a 6-3 victory over the New York Islanders, defenseman Zdeno Chara earned both headbands - the Cobra Kai for offense and Myiagi-Do for defense. He deserved it for his dedication to the sport over almost 25 years now.
Chara, who became just the 13th player in league history to reach the 1,600 game mark, has immediately proven himself as one of the key members of this year’s Capitals team.
At 44 years old, playing in his first season away from the Bruins and back where he began his career, he’s not only been reliable, but durable too.
He missed just a single game after blocking three shots in Philadelphia, twice on the same foot, that resulted in an injury last weekend. He still finished the shift and the game before being sat down for a night.
As the Capitals head down the stretch of the regular season and into the playoffs, having Chara around certainly is something that will help them, both on and off the ice.