Capitals' Ward: Race issue 'will always be there'
The 31-year-old left wing, one of a handful of black players in the NHL, was the target of numerous degrading tweets after he scored in overtime of Game 7 on Wednesday to end the first-round series against the
"I don't let it bother me at all," Ward said as the Capitals returned to practice ahead of Saturday's Game 1 against the
The hockey community has rallied around Ward. Both the Bruins and the NHL quickly condemned the tweets, as did Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, who wrote on his blog: "Shame on these folks who decided to take to their keyboards and show their ignorance and their racism and hate."
On Friday, teammate Jason Chimera criticized the "few idiots out there who ruin a beautiful moment for somebody."
"There's been a lot of support from everybody, especially my teammates and the whole organization and the Bruins, and some of their fans," Ward said. "I was blown away by the amount of people and the amount of support."
The goal stands as one of the top moments in Ward's four NHL seasons and one of the most memorable in Capitals history -- the first time the franchise has won a Game 7 on the road. The Toronto native was signed as a free agent from the
"My advice for him -- just don't listen to what people say, good things or bad things. You just have to concentrate," teammate Alex Ovechkin said. "He's strong and he's funny. He's, right now, Michael Jordan of hockey."