In honor of Mathieu Perreault’s hat trick Tuesday against the Boston Bruins, we wanted to take a quick trip down memory lane. Here is an excerpt from an OFB post that introduced what we called the “Matty Diaries,” where Perreault chronicled for us the days and uncertainty leading up to last year’s Winter Classic:
We first learned of Mathieu Perreault’s deep-rooted love affair with playing hockey outdoors when we interviewed him after an outdoor Hershey Bears’ practice last season. Other Capitals share his passion for sure, but few find themselves in Matty’s circumstances late in 2010: recently recalled by the Caps, auditioning game by game for retention with the parent club and wondering, literally day by day, if he’ll be a participant in what is perhaps the biggest game in Capitals’ history — the 2011 Winter Classic at Heinz Field. So we approached MP85 and asked him if he’d share with us a diary of his reflections and emotions about playing hockey outdoors as a youth and potentially being a part of this year’s Winter Classic. Below is Matty’s first diary entry, and we’ll hear from him again this week and after the big game — assuming he’s in it and assuming it doesn’t get rained out.
You can read more of Perreault’s diary entries here and here. Perhaps most compelling in light of last night’s hat trick, however, was Matty’s closing line from the first entry: “This game in Pittsburgh means so much to me. It is day to day for me, but I feel really good about my game. I really think I am going to get there.”
Well, Matty, if making the roster this year showed you “got there,” Tuukku Rask’s climbing goals against average on Tuesday should have cleared any additional doubt. It’s a great case of Perreault’s hard work bearing more fruit. Sure, his game Tuesday could have been even better, since he took two penalties, one on which Boston scored. But he stepped up when his team needed him.
In the video below you’ll find OFB’s three stars of the Capitals’ 5-3 win, a game where the guys in red showed they could match the reigning Stanley Cup champions even with key offensive players like Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom out of the lineup.
Also, in case you missed the celebration on the jumbotron after Cody Eakin’s goal, it consisted of footage of someone I’ll admit I’ve thought for awhile is Eakin’s long lost twin: Shaun White. Eakin told OFB after the game that while he didn’t know beforehand that they’d play the Shaun White clips, he’s OK with the comparison.
“He’s got good style and good hair,” Eakin said.