Photo: Winnipeg Jets
Teeny tiny center Mathieu Perreault was one hell of a player when he was in Washington. Despite never getting more than a passing look in the top-six, Perreault owned the puck, sporting a positive possession score every year he was in DC. Instead of getting a permanent role, general manager George McPhee dumped Perreault to Anaheim so that he could make room for Tom Wilson on the fourth line last season.
Perreault blossomed. After a dominant year as Anaheim’s second-line center, Perreault brought his #PerryCellys to Winnipeg, signing there as a free agent. Now he’s one of their most productive players, driving 55.1 percent of shot attempts and 51.2 percent of goals in the team’s favor. On Tuesday night, Perreault had the biggest game of his career (minus that one time he scored with his tongue).
“Four goals, it’s something very special,” Perreault said to NHL.com after the game. “The bounces were going my way. It was one of those crazy nights. It was a fun night. The power play has been playing great. My linemates have been awesome.”
Jets head coach Paul Maurice added that he was proud to see Perreault rewarded after an unlucky start to the season where he didn’t put points on the board.
“I’m happy for [Perreault] because he has done it the right way,” Maurice said. “He works so hard. He went through that stretch where he wasn’t scoring, and his practices got even more competitive, and he worked even harder. Good for him. It’s a good sell for the coaches, because if you work that hard, good things are going to happen.”
Way to go, Perry.
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