Washington Capitals v Toronto Maple Leafs

Caps’ Ward on Game 6: “I get a chance to redeem myself”


After watching the New York Rangers tie and win Game 5 from the sin bin, Joel Ward is ready for Game 6.

“I get a chance to redeem myself,” Ward told NBC Washington after Wednesday’s game-day skate. “I look forward to the challenge and helping the team win.”

Much has been made of the high sticking double minor Ward took on New York’s Carl Hagelin on Monday. It not only paved the way for Brad Richards’ equalizer and Marc Staal’s OT winner, but it set off another round of racist tweets directed his way.

As you’d expect, several of Ward’s teammates have jumped to his defense, pointing out that 1) the penalty was accidental, not a lapse in judgement and 2) it could’ve happened to any Capital.

“It was just a hard-working accident is what it was,” Matt Hendricks said. “If it wasn’t for Wardo, we wouldn’t be where we are right now anyway. These things happen. It could happen to anybody in this room.”

As for Ward’s redemption, he’s certainly got the resume for potential heroics. He lead the Predators in goals last playoffs (seven) while finishing ninth overall — tied with Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler, who played 13 more games.

He also scored one of the biggest goals in Capitals history in Round 1, a Game 7 OT winner that eliminated the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.

Report: Sean Avery was arrested last week

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From the Southampton Press:

Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.

According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.

Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.

As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”

He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.

Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?

H/t Gawker

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.