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Mike Knuble doesn’t sulk about playing time, he gets angry

Jan 6, 2012, 10:05 AM EDT

Mike Knuble Getty Images

Mike Knuble is never the sort of guy you want to upset on the ice. He’s big, he’s physical, he’s a veteran player that knows all the tricks.

When both Bruce Boudreau and Dale Hunter decided to park Knuble on the fourth line this season after playing on the same line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom last season, instead of getting down in the dumps about getting older, Knuble got angry and fought his way back to playing top minutes.

Knuble tells CSNWashington.com’s Chuck Gormley that fighting back is in his nature and he told Hunter as much himself.

“My point,” Knuble said, “was that I care. I’m 39 years old and I’m here to earn another contract. I’m not here to just play it out and be content sitting there.

“I’m competitive and I want to be out there trying to win games. That’s part of being an athlete. You want to be proactive when you’re not playing, I wanted him to know that I care and I have more to give.”

Caring is one thing, performing is something else entirely and through Knuble’s career he’s done that. This year it’s been different. With Alexander Semin dealing with an injury, Knuble is getting his minutes back but he’s got to help them score goals to justify the temporary promotion from the fourth line.

  1. dcfan4life - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    First off I love Mike Knuble, but his age is becoming clear this year. He just can’t get those scrappy garbage goals nearly as much anymore. The worst decline is the fighting in the corner on dump ins. He is losing those battles to younger defensemen regularly. 39 is still 39. Knuble and Hamerlik (38) look there age. The Caps realized it with Kolzig, Federov, even Bondra. They will realize it here. Dont be surprised if both are traded.

    • chizrocker88 - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:11 PM

      The problem isn’t Knuble’s age, it’s our offensive mentality. Over the past few seasons we’ve stopped crashing the net and as soon as we stopped doing that Knuble’s offensive productivity has greatly declined. The goals he has scored this season were from crashing the net. If we went back to that (which I definitely think we need to) Knuble’s stock would rise again.

      Hamrlik really does look his age, I’d disagree with Knuble though.

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