After the Caps lost 3-2 to Edmonton on Wednesday, Caps coach Barry Trotz changed the lines. He broke up the Joel Ward/Jason Chimera “gang green” line (which is seriously the worst nickname for a lot of reasons).”Last couple games I can’t say they’re a great line for us,” Trotz told the Washington Post.
“Yeah, green line got blown up,” Ward said. “We got scored on last game. It was a tough loss for sure. I guess a little shake-up can’t hurt. We’ll see what happens.”
Crazy things happened. The Caps fourth line, which had been dormant all season, went nuts with Wardo on the right wing on Saturday night. Ward scored two goals (one on the power play), the latter of which was credited as the game-winning goal. And Ward would have had a hat trick, but he put himself into the net instead of the puck.
Ward’s first goal of the game was an unassisted power play goal. After collecting a turnover from a Flames defenseman, Ward snapped the puck past Karri Ramo’s glove.
In the second period, after some nifty forechecking by Michael Latta and Liam O’Brien, Ward calmly backhanded the puck into the net from close range.
GIFs by @myregularface
Then there was that play where Ward nearly scored but instead put himself into the net. That was great too.
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) October 26, 2014
“I’ve known Joel a long time,” Trotz said to reporters after the game. “Sometimes, Joel recognizes when he can go a little better. It’s a great response from him.
“You want guys to respond, not to pout. You want him to take it as something to motivate him, and he played very well.”
Ward credited the line’s play to a strong practice on Friday.
“Heck of a job from our line,” Ward said to the media. “Latts and (Liam) O’Brien played a really strong game. They work hard, but they also work smart. Both can play. Latts played quite a few games up with us last year. O’Brien had a great camp.
“We’re just having fun. I think that was key. In practice we had a couple of moments where we made some good plays, and it carried over.”
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