CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2011-12 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in alphabetical order. Today: Mathieu Perreault
HtWt: 5-10, 185
Penalty Minutes: 24
Average Ice Time: 12:01
Contract Status: Restricted Free Agent 525,000 cap hit in 2011-12
Strengths: For a guy who played all three forward positions, slid up and down the lineup and received minimal time on the power play, Perreault made the most of his 12 minutes a night. He finished tied for fifth on the team in goals, first in shooting percentage 26.7 percent and tied for fourth in plus-minus plus-9. A feisty forechecker, Perreault had no problems going into the dirty areas to score goals and was an effective presence in the playoffs.
Weaknesses: Because of his lack of size and strength, Perreault had trouble fending off power forwards in the defensive zone. His entire career has been spent scoring goals and if Perreault can establish himself as a reliable defensive player his plus-9 was a big step he could be a valuable depth forward for the Capitals.
Memorable Moment on the ice: On Jan. 24 Perreault enjoyed the game of his life, netting his first career hat trick and basking in a headline that read, Hatty For Matty! Perreault gave the Capitals three different leads, including his game-winner with 7:18 gone in the third period in a 5-3 win over the Bruins. This is what you dream of, Perreault said after getting a shaving cream pie in the face from teammate Alex Ovechkin. You dream to play in the NHL, but when you get a hat trick, it's even better.
Memorable Moment off the ice: After leading the Capitals in preseason scoring with five points in four games, Perreault earned a spot on the opening night roster and was a surprise starter ahead of Marcus Johansson. But coach Bruce Boudreau said Perreault could stay in the team under one condition: he cut off his long, stringy hair. Hopefully, hes not like Samson, Boudreau quipped, because he is going to get his hair cut. Perreault refused, saying he went into a scoring slump every time he got his hair cut. It remained long all season.
2012-13 Expectations: Next season is a huge one for Perreault, especially if the Capitals fail to land a proven goal scorer to replace Alex Semin, who is expected to test free agency. If Perreault works his tail off this summer and returns with some added muscle, hell have a shot at filling a similar role as last season. If not, he could get lost in the shuffle.