Capitals Player Report Card: Matt Hendricks

Matt Hendricks

Stats: 77 GP, 9 goals, 16 assists, 25 points, -2, 110 PIM
Contract Info: $800,000 cap hit, signed through 2012-2013
Player Card

Scoring Chance Ranking: 19/29
Forwards: 11/19
Balanced Corsi Ranking: 19/29
Forwards: 12/19

Hendricks was another pleasant surprise for the Capitals this year considering he was signed late in the off-season after impressing the coaching staff in training camp. One of the first things I noticed about him was that he recorded a hat trick in a pre-season game which got me thinking that he could be a good addition to the roster. He may be a fourth-liner but there’s no such things as too much scoring depth so he was a welcome addition here. He didn’t prove to be that much of a goal scorer despite his flashy stick-handling skills but he still put up a good amount of points for a bottom-sixer and he brought a lot more to the table, as well.

Hendricks did a lot of the heavy lifting this year when it came to quality of competition and he fared decently against it. He also was 2nd on the team in hits with 169 and had 14 fighting majors, giving this team a lot more grit and toughness which they needed going into this season. It also helped that Hendricks could kill penalties, play all three forward positions and give the Caps some tertiary scoring which he did with nine goals.  I did think it was a little strange that no other teams picked him up before the season started because he is a quality fourth line player that the Caps got for the league minimum and there were some teams who could have used a player like him. He was also dubbed the team’s “secret weapon” in shootouts. If that above clip didn’t show you why then maybe this one will. All of which earned him a two year contract worth $800k a year, fully deserved.

Hendricks had plenty of flaws this year, though. While he’s good defensively and wasn’t on ice for that many shots against, he finished under-water in terms of corsi with a 45.2% percentage at even strength. He also didn’t block a lot of shots and was on ice for more goals per sixty minutes than all but two of the Caps forwards. While he did kill penalties, he was on ice for a lot of shorthanded goals, which obviously isn’t good. He also wasn’t much of a factor in the playoffs at all, which was disappointing.

It was a great start to the year for Hendricks but I think he tailed off after the All-Star break a little, but he still had a solid season in my eyes so I’m giving him a B-. He made it on the team as a training camp addition and managed to become an everyday player who has a lot versatility. Liked that McPhee locked him up for a couple years at a pretty l.ow cost because Hendricks brings a little more to the table than your average fourth-liner.

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