After skating through a sixth consecutive practice, Matt Hendricks said Friday in Winnipeg that he feels ready to get back in the lineup after missing four games with an injured right knee.
“I feel comfortable and confident in it,” Hendricks said. “It feels good to be doing rushes with the guys again.”
Hendricks took part in the practice as a regular part of the fourth line, while Cody Eakin and Jay Beagle (concussion) skated as extras. Coach Dale Hunter said that Hendricks is indeed ready to play.
“Looks like he’s going to play tomorrow unless something happens after the hard skate today,” Hunter said.
If everything goes as planned, Hendricks will make his return to game action for the Capitals against the Avalanche, the team that helped him break into the NHL. Hendricks cracked the opening-night lineup for Colorado back in the 2009-10 season and played 56 games that season, recording nine goals and 16 points.
“This will be my first time returning there, I look forward to it but I want to beat these guys,” Hendricks said with a laugh. “At the same time, I’ve got a lot of friends on the team that I became close with that year in Denver. There aren’t going to be any friends on the ice, for sure, but it will be nice to see some faces again.”