Is Caps coach Dale Hunter looking to set a new tone for the “second half”?

The Washington Capitals today announced they’ve signed 24-year-old forward Joel Rechlicz and called him up from Hershey. According to the team’s press release, “Rechlicz, 24, has recorded one goal, one assist and 184 penalty minutes in 27 games with Hershey this season. He currently leads the AHL in penalty minutes.”

Could the signing of Rechlicz have something to do with the fact that the Caps are playing Steve Downie’s team tomorrow night? Downie was a bit of a pest the last time the Caps faced Tampa Bay and his fight with Karl Alzner seemed to spark his team. Perhaps Washington head coach Dale Hunter is looking for someone on his bench to use in a similar fashion against the Bolts and other upcoming opponents, or to at least keep guys like Downie from taking guys like Alzner off the ice for five minutes? As writer Ted Starkey pointed out, the Caps also face Montreal and Rene “I Elbowed Your #1 Center in the Head” Bourque on Saturday.

This call up of Rechlicz could set an interesting tone at the start of the “second half,” especially for a team that begins it with three games on the road, a place the Caps have struggled. Are we about to see some Hunter Hockey, as the Caps’ coach looks to establish his team in the stretch run as one that won’t back down and that might even proactively mix it up a bit more with opponents?

About Mike Holden

Mike Holden is on Twitter at @mikeholden.

Posted on January 30, 2012, in Washington Capitals and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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