Actually, we kind of love what Matt Hendricks has become to the Canadian media. If you haven’t paid attention–and judging by the NHL’s ratings, you haven’t–the Oilers media thinks one of the biggest reason their team’s head has been rectum-ized is they let Matt Hendricks move along to Winnipeg. So it stands to reason that one of the biggest reasons the Jets have surprised everyone, including themselves, is that they picked up Hendricks.
Matt Hendricks is a nothing player. He gives you less than ten minutes per night, he tries to fight a lot. No one in the NHL today actually fights a lot by the old standard. He can’t really do much else. Of course, with all of these guys there’s always some intangible, inexplicable “glue” factor. And this only comes up after they leave. Funny, no one mentioned Jonathan Toews’s “glue” abilities when he was scoring 65+ points a season and he was, y’know, the fucking captain. And no one has used his leadership ability to try and excuse the downturn in his offensive production.
Imagine the Bulls blaming their downturn in recent years on the fact that Brian Scalabrine wasn’t around anymore. We’re sure he was great in the locker room. He would have to be, otherwise Tom Thibodeau wouldn’t have dragged him everywhere. In practice he was probably useful. We doubt Hendricks is any more useful during practice than he is during games.
But when things go wrong, especially with Canadian teams, it can’t be roster construction. There is something mythical that those teams are missing and winning teams have. It’s not that the Penguins have two of the best centers of all time. It’s Conor Sheary’s angry-face that won them two Cups or something. The Hawks wouldn’t have three banners without Ben Eager, Adam Burish, and Dan Carcillo don’t you know?
God bless Canada.
Game #32 Preview