Eric Fehr played plenty of games at the Verizon Center during his six seasons with Washington, but on Wednesday night the former Caps first round pick got his first experience as a visitor. Playing on the road as a member of the Winnipeg Jets, Fehr can now see why the crowd and atmosphere are such an advantage.
It was a different experience, its obviously a pretty hostile environment for the visiting team, he said. These fans have come a long way in the last couple of years and they were nice and loud out there today again.
Fehr was always a fan-favorite and received a nice ovation when his name was announced during the starting lineups. It was something, however, he could only appreciate when being told after the game.
I didnt hear anything I think I might have been in the tunnel. I didnt notice anything out there today that was out of the ordinary, Fehr said.
They are great fans and they love their hockey here.
Fehr was actually playing in just his second game back from a shoulder injury, the same ailment he battled last season in Washington. Combine that with his first time playing against the Capitals and Fehr was admittedly nervous.
Definitely had some adrenaline but I felt better out there on the ice than I did on Saturday. I think just getting one game under my belt felt a lot better.
He finished with a shot and a block in just 9:22 of ice time, likely part of getting him back into hockey shape. But unfortunately for Fehr, the Capitals played maybe their most physical game of the season. Both teams in fact brought the pain as the Caps finished with 35 hits and the Jets with 27.
Eric Fehr even got into it a few times, including a collision with Caps goalie Tomas Vokoun in the first period. He was also sent violently to the ice on his back in the third period by former teammate Brooks Laich. Fehr said he wasnt concerned about getting hit though, despite his shoulder problems.
It felt great, it gets you involved and it was a pretty well played game by both teams, he said. I thought our team gave a few bumps and their team gave us a few bumps.
It was a back-and-forth game with plenty of exciting hits and the Verizon Center was as electric as it has been all season. It was such an entertaining game in fact, some might wish these teams would stay division foes for longer than this season. Afterwards Fehr acknowledged that playing the Caps now can be pretty fun and that he could miss playing them so often next year.
Thats not up to me, but I dont mind playing these guys. They are a physical team but it is an exciting rink to play in and you obviously want to play against your former team.