The Washington Capitals held an optional practice Saturday morning following their 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers Friday night. Matt Hendricks spoke about the fight he had with Zac Rinaldo after John Erskine’s wandering elbow landed on the beak of Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds.
Hendricks and Rinaldo were assessed game misconducts on top of their respective five minutes for fighting for dropping the mitts before the puck was dropped on the ensuing faceoff.
“Oh yeah, there was some tomfoolery in that one, without a doubt. We had all the expectations that the puck was dropped,” Hendricks said Saturday. “The ref has his back to us, the linesman, so to us it looked like he dropped the puck. His arms clearly moved, both centermen engaged in the circle and I guess he didn’t drop it.”
“It wasn’t really the best time for me to fight for our team,” Hendricks said. “I thought we had the momentum going. But something like that, I felt maybe it was a good time just to nip it in the bud right away and get it over with so we could get back to playing hockey, because I knew they would start running around and maybe cheap-shot some of our guys.”
Erskine did not meet with the media pending his disciplinary hearing Saturday, but Hendricks stuck up for his teammate. “From the bench it looked like a clean hit, like accidental contact. It looked like they were both fighting for the puck, fighting for position. They just kinda ran into each other.”
Head coach Adam Oates maintained the company line when he addressed the media following practice. “I think it’s tough because you’ve got two guys going for the puck simultaneously and they’re big boys and it looked like simultaneous contact to me.”
For Oates and Hendricks’ complete comments, plus Karl Alzner, Jason Chimera and Tom Poti, please see the links below (Audio courtesy Sky Kerstein).