Caps bring tough guy on the road

Caps bring tough guy on the road
January 30, 2012, 11:00 pm
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The Capitals own the third-worst road record in the Eastern Conference at 8-13-2.

Beginning with Tuesday nights game in Tampa, nine of their next 14 games are on the road and 18 of their final 34 games are away from the Verizon Center.

So how does a team feel a little more comfortable on the road? It invites someone who can watch out for them, of course.

Enter Mr. Joel Rechlicz, otherwise known as Wrecker. The 24-year-old Milwaukee bruiser was signed by the Capitals on Monday and will join the team on their two-game road trip to Tampa and Florida.

And dont think hes just going along for the ride and for a few extra helpings at the team meals.

Definitely, hell give us some toughness on the road, Capitals coach Dale Hunter said. A lot of teams have heavyweights, and hes a tough character you can have on the road.

Asked if toughness might be an area in which his team was lacking, Hunter replied: Not necessarily. Hes been playing well down there with Hershey. We just think were going on the road. Its a game-time decision if he plays, but it gives us some team toughness.

Lets be clear: Rechlicz is a one-dimensional player. In 200 games since turning pro, he has three goals and 876 penalty minutes. The guy is so old school he still uses wooden sticks.

Its great to be here, said Rechlicz, who is 6 feet 4 and 220 pounds. Im very happy for the opportunity, and I hope to make the most of it. I want to provide energy on the ice and be there for my teammates.

If Rechlicz goes into the lineup Tuesday night in Tampa, it could be at the expense of slumping right wing Joel Ward, who has one goal in his last 35 games.

He definitely wants to score more, Hunter said, but if youre not scoring, you want to be playing good defensively and finishing checks and forechecking hard.