Washington Capitals Player Report Card: Mathieu Perreault

Mathieu Perreault

Stats: 35 GP, 7 goals, 7 assists, 14 points, -3, 20 PIM
Contract Info: $716,667 (Pending RFA)
Player Card

Scoring Chance Percentage Ranking: 13/29
Forwards: 9/19
Balanced Corsi Ranking: 3/29
Forwards: 3/19

By looking at the numbers above, you probably think that the Capitals were crazy to send Perreault down to Hershey after two months on the team because he clearly was creating scoring chances and playing well territorially. Looking a little more at the underlying stats, you’ll see why the Caps elected to keep Johansson on the big club instead of Perreault. Yes, Matty P has some good corsi numbers but he couldn’t make that much of an impact aside from a game or two. Perreault’s game is pretty one-dimensional so he needs to score to make an impact and he wasn’t doing that in Washington so it made the most sense to send him to Hershey.

Saying Perreault is completely one-dimensional is kind of unfair because he has some defensive instincts when it comes to forcing turnovers, but goal-scoring and play-making are his best assets and us Caps fans see that in Washington…sometimes. Perreault got a lot of offensive zone draws against weak competition this year and did his job to keep the puck in the offensive zone for the most part. His scoring chance percentage ranking is likely high because he was linemates with Semin and Knuble for a good portion of his time on the Caps. He wasn’t used in defensive situations because he was a liability at face-offs and his play in his own zone wasn’t trusted enough to be used in those situations. The fact that he was on ice for more goals per 60 minutes than any forward is evidence of that.

What really damned Perreault was the time after Fleischmann was traded when he had a chance to claim the second line center position for his own and he responded with a strong month of December where he recorded five goals but then became invisible for all of January. He had zero goals and only one assist for the entire month despite having time on the second line. I always felt like he was more of just a passenger on the second line instead of a playmaker or someone who is creating anything when he was on that line, which is not what you want your second line center to be. The fact that he took 1.4 penalties per 60 minutes while not drawing much didn’t help either.

I will give Perreault a C- for his time in Washington because while some people had lower expectations for him, I really thought he had a chance to be a key part of this team. Maybe his strong month of December got me too excited? That’s what I think it was. The biggest problem with him other than his inconsistency is that he has to play on a scoring line to be effective. He isn’t physical enough to be on a checking line and as I stated before, his game is pretty one-dimensional so if he’s not scoring then he doesn’t have much value. He is a RFA in a few weeks and I’m expecting him to get at least a qualifying offer because I think the organization wants him in Hershey. Perreault might get some looks from other teams who are in need of scoring depth but I think he might ultimately stay in Hershey because he still looks like he needs some more time in the minors to develop his game.

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