Garnet Hathaway has a very, very, verrrryy tough job, and he does it darn well.
Through the first three games of the playoffs, the Capitals’ fourth line has scored four of the team’s six even-strength goals. Nic Dowd scored the overtime game-winning goal in Game One – the only victory the Capitals have had in the series so far.
Meanwhile, Garnet Hathaway, known more for his fists than his finesse, struck twice in Game Two – his first career postseason goals. The Capitals’ Lady Byng nominee is tied for the team lead in points (3) with Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson.
The fourth line’s offensive success comes despite Dowd having a team-high 30 starts in the defensive zone per Natural Stat Trick. So what’s the deal?
A day after having the biggest playoff game of his career, Garnet Hathaway has been named the Washington Capitals’ nominee for the King Clancy Trophy.
The King Clancy Trophy is awarded annually “to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”
In the hours leading up to Wednesday’s rematch between the Capitals and Rangers, the Rangers organization called Tom Wilson’s role in a line brawl on Monday “a horrific act of violence.” Rangers players said Wilson had no respect for the game or its players. And the team said the Department of Player Safety’s George Parros should be fired after choosing to fine, not suspend the Capitals forward. The Rangers essentially painted themselves into a corner, where there had to be retribution in Wednesday’s game.
And retribution there was.
The Rangers and Capitals opened the game with a line brawl. All six forwards on the ice fought. Before the game was five minutes old, the teams dropped the mitts six different times.
Garnet Hathaway was ejected for boarding Jarred Tinordi and Tom Wilson was involved in a controversial play with Sean Kuraly in the third period of Washington’s 6-3 loss to the Bruins.
Monday, the Washington Post’s Samantha Pell reported that neither player will face any supplemental discipline from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
Garnet Hathaway hit the showers early in the Capitals’ 6-3 loss to the Bruins on Sunday and context might have been key here.
The Capitals’ fourth-line winger hit Jarred Tinordi in the back of the numbers, sending the Bruins defenseman onto his knees and headfirst into the boards. After a several-minute review, officials decided to give Hathaway a five-minute major and a game misconduct.
But the play wasn’t without its own controversy.
Charlie McAvoy attempted to throw the body early in the first period against the Capitals.
Unfortunately for him, he chose the wrong Capitals player to pick on: Garnet Hathaway.
TJ Oshie scored one of the most incredible goals in recent Capitals history Friday against the Penguins, dangling defenseman Mike Matheson and one-handing the puck past Tristan Jarry as he fell to the ice.
The Osh Babe got tons of accolades on social media but he also impressed his teammates and coaches.
The Washington Capitals have yet to lose a game in regulation. Winning some unlikely games and snagging a ton of loser points in overtime have put them in a cushy position in the league-wide standings: first.
That will not last. Even though this is the Weird Year, and even though the Caps have been terrifically fun so far, they’re probably not the best team in the NHL. It’s too early to draw strong conclusions, but that’s one thing we can know with some confidence.
And there are more — trends or patterns or glitches that are worth nothing, even if we’re duty-bound to put a super big caveat on everything.
Zdeno Chara’s first goal as a Capital and Conor Sheary’s two-goal night got most of the headlines last night. But it was Garnet Hathaway’s second-period tally that officially completed the Capitals’ comeback and tied the game 3-3.
After getting sprung by Carl Hagelin, Hathaway sped past three Islanders defenders and fired a wrist shot past a leaky Semyon Varlamov.
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