Familiar faces on both sides of Caps-Avalanche meeting
Eleven days ago, the Capitals sent Tomas Fleischmann to the Colorado Avalanche in return for defenseman Scott Hannan. It will be a little strange, some Washington players said, to see their former teammate in a different sweater tonight at Verizon Cenrter. But there's also too much at stake for the Capitals as they try to snap out of this losing streak tonight to focus on the reunion much.
The last time Coach Bruce Boudreau wasn't guiding Fleischmann was the lockout year of 2004-05, as the left wing would spend the next five years and 23 games in the Washington organization primarily under his instruction. On Saturday, though, Boudreau wasn't focused on seeing one of the favorite players from the past.
"Love the kid, but he's not on our team anymore, so it won't be tough," Boudreau said.
Said David Steckel: "I'm sure it will be a little odd for the first time [to see Fleischmann]. You see him on TV but not in real life. It will be weird to see Colorado across his chest instead of Washington though."
In his four games with Colorado since the trade, Fleischmann has four points. He recorded his first goal as a member of the Avalanche last night on the power play in a 4-2 win over the Thrashers. When asked by the Denver Post's Adrian Dater about playing against the Capitals, Fleischmann acknowledged it will be "different" and said of Boudreau: "He's the one who gave me my start in the NHL. He's a very nice guy and good coach."
Fleischmann isn't the only one readying to oppose his former team, as Hannan and Matt Hendricks prepare to face the Avalanche.
"It will be a little bit different, [to play] a team that you played on for a few years seeing the faces that you played with. It's going to be a challenge," said Hannan, who is more concerned with getting his first win in Washington. The Capitals are 0-3-1 since the trade. "It would be nice to get in the win column here; it's too long in coming."
Then there's Hendricks, who has proven to be a shrewd addition to the Capitals' lineup since he worked his way onto the roster after coming into training camp on a professional tryout contract. Hendricks played his first full NHL season with the Avalanche and had hoped they might resign him at the end of last season, but that opportunity never came, and he arrived in Arlington to prove himself as a part of the Caps.
Hendricks said he's happy to be in Washington now and that showing Colorado what they were missing isn't his main goal tonight -- a win is -- but don't be surprised if you see him with a little extra spark in his step.
"I'm excited. It's going to be a good time," Hendricks said. " I've got a lot of good friends on the team, but tonight it's all business. I've been looking forward to this one all season."
| December 11, 2010; 1:01 PM ET
Categories: Colorado Avalanche, Matt Hendricks, Scott Hannan, Tomas Fleischmann
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