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Capitals’ Joel Ward takes Kevin Weekes’ advice to heart
After Joel Ward scored the goal of his career in overtime to send the Washington Capitals to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a victory over the Boston Bruins, Weekes didn’t want to take credit.
“I just told him, just believe in yourself, see the moment, seize the moment, be a bull along the boards and own the front of the net,” Weekes said late Wednesday night. “A credit to him. He listened.”
Ward’s goal was his first with a goalie in the net since Jan. 7, undoubtedly a culmination of a rough season that included his being a healthy scratch more than a handful of times.
“It happened so fast. But I knew that he was going to take the puck to the net,” Ward said. “I wasn’t really looking for a pass across. I was just trying to follow up just in case there was a puck loose or a rebound. I just kind of saw it there and just gave it one of the hardest whacks I’ve ever given a puck.”
“I took those words from a guy that I’ve looked up to for many years,” Ward said. “My first Game 7 experience, I figured i’d learn from somebody who’s been through it a bit and go from there.”
As Ward sat at his locker after the victory, he marveled at the reporters surrounding him. Meanwhile, Knuble, tossed the game-winning puck up in the air and wondered whether to give it to goaltender Braden Holtby.
But he didn’t know what was next for that puck.
“I don’t know yet. I just got and so much is going on,” he said. “I think it’s just carry it home and I don’t know put it somewhere next to my bed for a minute just to embrace this and enjoy this and then keep it moving, hopefully get more.”
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