While the recall of young goaltender Braden Holtby was surprising Monday night, the callup of tough guy Joel Rechlicz was even more so.

Rechlicz was not only summoned from the AHL’s Hershey Bears but dressed for the Capitals’ 5-3 loss to San Jose. He finished with only 1 minute and 30 seconds of ice time.

So why did the Capitals opt to bring up Rechlicz when he would have such a minimal impact on the game? To serve as a deterrent to any liberties the Sharks might try to take, particularly forward Brad Winchester, who leveled Alexander Semin with a big hit on Jan. 7 when the teams faced off in San Jose.

“They had that Winchester,” Hunter explained. “You guys were at the game there, he ran over Semin and Ovi had to jump in last game…. So, Winchester wasn’t a factor out there tonight.”

Winchester didn’t leave a mark on Monday’s game but he didn’t need to either as the Sharks piled up a 5-1 lead en route to the victory.

In addition to the 1:30 of ice time, Rechlicz earned a 10 minute misconduct in the second period for chirping at the San Jose bench. It was a call that Hunter didn’t expect.

“He just yelled at somebody, the ref — I don’t know why he did that. It’s never happened before what I seen,” Hunter said. “There’s always chirping back and forth on the benches. I don’t know why the ref called it.”

More from Post Sports:
Feinstein: McPhee has work cut out for him
Sharks score early, often vs. Capitals