Matt Hendricks took a risk when he joined Capitals training camp on a professional tryout, hoping to impress enough to not only rejoin his former organization and former Coach Bruce Boudreau but build on his first full season in the NHL from last year. But it paid off.
With his previous experience in the league, ability to play all three forward positions and the extra grit he possesses to be, as the cliche goes, one of those tough guys to play against, Hendricks earned a spot with the Capitals instead of players like Andrew Gordon and Jay Beagle. Although he's new to this team, Hendricks is already familiar to Boudreau's style of play and what his role will be.
"I think it helps; obviously I didn't have as much of a learning curve as some of the other players who didn't play for him in the past," Hendricks said. "Feeling comfortable around him also helps. I wasn't on edge maybe as much as some of the other players."
Hendricks has experienced no ill effects from the hit by Columbus' Nathan Guenin, which knocked him out of Friday's preseason game and also caused him to wonder if all the progress he had made with the Capitals was in jeopardy. He said he didn't know if was a clean hit or not, but that he just had his bell rung.
"I was obviously a little nervous when it happened," Hendricks said. "A lot of things going through your head at that point. I'm just fortunate and very appreciative to be here."
Asked what had changed the most about Boudreau, whom he credits with helping him become a more versatile player, Hendricks joked "I think he dresses a little bit better now."
--Defenseman Brian Fahey was assigned to Hershey but, like Gordon, must clear waivers at noon Wednesday in order to join the Bears.
--Boudreau said if Semyon Varlamov is unable to play this weekend that it's likely Dany Sabourin will remain in Washington for the time being.