#4 Matt Hendricks
Matt Hendricks was one of my favorite Washington Capitals to watch in the early 2010’s. He only spent three seasons in D.C. but left quite an impression among teammates, media and fans.
Hendricks did all the dirty work: forechecking, shot blocking, and penalty killing. He even did these while playing through an injury. He described one injury he suffered from the 2011-12 season that he played through to Mike Vogel of WashingtonCaps.com:
"“We were in groups. There’s a group taking some shots at one end, and we were out by the blueline working on our face-offs. [Alex Ovechkin] took a shot and missed the net a little high. It hit the glass and came out. We all know how hard he shoots; it ended up catching me in the ear. It wasn’t direct, but from what he says it was picking up speed on the glass. It hit me and it was kind of surprising. It felt like somebody came up and hit me in the head with a baseball bat. It stunned me. I realized I was bleeding and pain was setting in. I knew it wasn’t good. I was pretty upset. I was thinking of all the worst possible injuries I could have had and I was hoping that it wasn’t going to be that bad. The immediate thing I did was to go to a mirror to see how bad it was. It was pretty funny once the guys started coming off the ice. Their comments weren’t too comforting. They made it sound like it was a lot worse than it really was.”"
The very next day Hendricks played in Washington’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. In that game, Hendricks took a hit from Penguins defender Zbynek Michalek and still played in the most ice time of his career.
Oh yeah and he fought a lot too.