WASHINGTON, DC – Jason Chimera was a 20-goal scorer last season for the Washington Capitals. Through 27 games this season, he was a zero-goal scorer, which is something that’ll earn you a little ribbing from teammates.
“At first everyone did. And then we laid off,” said winger Troy Brouwer. “You don’t want to mess with a guy like that too much.”
“It’s embarrassing to see a zero next to your goal column for that long,” said Chimera, whose goal at 9:45 of the second period broke his epic drought.
“It’d be tougher if I was playing like crap,” he said. “I’ve been snake-bit a bit. Maybe that’s an understatement.”
Chimera’s last regular-season goal was April 2 at the Tampa Bay Lightning, capping a 20-goal campaign that marked his best offensive season in the NHL. He signed a “no-brainer” extension for two years at a small discount, and is under contract for another season.
During those 27 games – filled with around 15 near-misses and about a half-dozen pucks off posts – Chimera found keeping his cool was easier thanks to family.
“Back in my younger days, I might have been more pissed off about it. But having kids at home humbles you. You kinda reset yourself,” he said.
Still, there were the attempts to change his mojo. Like the “Major League”-esque Jobu he had in his locker, and the incense he burned there. Like the fact that before Sunday’s game, he purposefully parked on a different side of his driveway, just to see if anything would break the voodoo.
Maybe that did it. Maybe luck’s changing. Maybe he could hit 20 again?
“Be nice to get on a roll, and get 20 for sure,” said Chimera with a grin. “The hockey gods work in funny ways.”
Speaking of funny – with Chimera back on the board, the Capitals could safely give him the gears again.
“I think [Ribeiro] even went and got the puck for him,” said Brouwer.
Even captain Alex Ovechkin had a chirp.
“Yeah, finally [scored]. It’s almost like he forgot how to celebrate a goal."