Now that Capitals enforcer Joel Wrecker Rechlicz has been safely placed on waivers, will Canadiens forward Rene Bourque sleep easier tonight?
Or will the Capitals continue to send a strong message to the 6-foot-2, 213-pound left wing, who on Jan. 3 put a stop to Nicklas Backstroms All-Star season with a menacing elbow to the chin.
The last time the Caps and Habs met on Jan. 18 at the Bell Centre, Matt Hendricks addressed the issue just nine seconds after Bourque stepped onto the ice for his first shift.
So, is it over, the war between the Capitals and Bourque, who was a member of the Calgary Flames when he took out Backstrom?
I dont know, Capitals center Brooks Laich said. Our guys still out, you know? I dont think our guys are ever going to forget what happened. But I dont know if its over or not.
Were going there to win a hockey game. Thats the main focus, and if anything else happens, it happens.
Caps forward Jason Chimera and defenseman Roman Hamrlik took a similar approach to Saturdays 2 p.m. showdown in Montreal.
Its not like theres a bounty on his head, Chimera said. We know what he did, but we need to win a hockey game.
He did something to make him need a payback, Hamrlik said. (Hendricks) did what he had to do. It was a fair fight. We have to do whats best for our team. We need to focus on our game and on the two points and not about a distraction like that.
Capitals coach Dale Hunter spent most of his playing career creating similar scenarios and he said he wants his team focusing on getting two points and climbing the Eastern Conference standings.
Its two points. Even before that (Jan. 18) game we said we needed the two points. Thats whats most important to us and to them.