Baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson earned the nickname “Mr. October” for his home run exploits in the playoffs and World Series.
San Jose Sharks forward Joel Ward has earned the reputation as “Mr. April” or “Mr. May” for his post-season heroics. Ward showed why the Sharks signed him to a three-year contract last summer as he scored a beautiful goal in the Sharks’ 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators in a second-round Stanley Cup Playoffs tilt Friday night.
“I just try to embrace the moment,” the 35-year-old veteran told the Associated Press. “I just think it’s the atmosphere of the crowds whether its home or away. Everyone is ramped up.”
Ward has 15 goals and 26 assists in 59 career playoff games. He’s averaging a point a game – 1 goal and 5 assists – in six playoff games this post-season. When he played for the Predators, Ward scored 7 goals in 12 playoff games in 2011. Another important number: Ward wears 42 to honor Brooklyn Dodgers baseball great Jackie Robinson.
He’s the crusher of goalie dreams. In 2012, as a member of the Washington Capitals, he scored a Game 7 overtime goal past Tim Thomas that eliminated the Boston Bruins from the playoffs. In last season’s playoffs, he scored a game-winning goal with one second left that beat goalie Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers.
You can call Ward anything – a baller, a player, the X-Factor, The Man, money, a beast, a stud, “Mr. April” or “Mr. May.” Whatever it is, just make sure you call him one hell of a playoff hockey performer.