The Capitals secret weapon in the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Caps have a secret weapon in Hendrix Lapierre
Hendrix Lapierre, Washington Capitals
Hendrix Lapierre, Washington Capitals / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Today the Washington Capitals face off against the New York Rangers from Madison Square Garden in Game 1 of the first round. The teams split the regular season series 2-2-0 with the home team winning each game.

This will mark the 10th playoff meeting between the Caps and Rangers and their first since 2015. But nobody cares what happened that year. And one player who certainly doesn't is a secret weapon on the Caps in Hendrix Lapierre.

Lapierre finished the year with eight goals and 14 assists for 22 points and has nine NHL goals in his career after a six game stint to begin the 2021-22 season. Lapierre had a nice feed horizontally from T.J. Oshie that the kid buried. Now he's 22 and part of the young whippersnappers that Charie Lindgren was talking about.

That first NHL goal oh just so happened to come against the Rangers:

Listen to that crowd as Lapierre crashes into the boards. That's how we have to be when the Caps take the ice for Games 3 and 4 no matter the outcome of the first two games in New York.

Lapierre's best game this season came on Feb. 26 when they hosted Ottawa where he had two goals in a win before scoring again in a loss to the Detroit Red Wings the next night. He was also a key contributor to a Hershey Bears team last year that tasted playoff success as they hoised the Calder Cup in Coachella Valley.

Lapierre didn't do much in the season series against the Rangers and had a plus minus of negative one each game. But you can throw that stat along with regular season stats out the window for now. We don't grade player performance until all is said and done over here.

In the Calder Cup playoffs Lapierre suited up in 20 Bears games and had six points in 20 games with three goals and three assists.

But Lapierre has been a huge face of the Capitals youth movement this season and for some reason my gut tells me he'll be a secret weapon and a headache for Rangers fans this series.