The Washington Capitals are the defending Stanley Cup champions but are they also the nastiest team in the NHL?
Don Cherry seems to think so, and he means it as a compliment.
“Washington’s the biggest club. This is the meanest, rottenest club, and I say that affectionately,” Don Cherry said Saturday during the Coach’s Corner segment of Hockey Night in Canada.
The Capitals have plenty of size and aren’t afraid to throw their bodies around. Detractors of Tom Wilson might think certain players on the Caps go too far with their physicality, but even many of their skill players, including Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie, can turn up the heat.
“They are mean and they are nasty. Even their MVP is a nasty guy,” Cherry added. “They’re nasty. That’s how you win in the playoffs.”
The Capitals averaged 9:45 penalty minutes per game in the regular season one year ago, which was sixth-most in the league. That dropped to 8:42 PIMs per game in the playoffs.