Sponsored by the U.S. Marines
By Tom Fink
NHL: RW Joel Ward (Washington Capitals) – Ward was brought in this offseason to help the Washington Capitals play a grittier style of hockey come playoff time. On Wednesday April, 25th he did exactly that with his overtime rebound goal against the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference’ 1st Round. Despite a season where he only scored 18 points (6 goals/12 assists), Joel Ward accomplished exactly what was expected of him throughout the series against the defending Stanley Cup Champions. He elevated his play, pestered the other teams’ star players and came through in the clutch by outworking the other guys on the ice.
MLB: SP Philip Humber (Chicago White Sox) – The well traveled pitcher pitched a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners by striking out nine batters. Humber only had to toss 96 pitches en route to the third perfect game in White Sox history. Originally drafted by the Mets in 2004, Humber has bounced around the league due to injuries and an inability to reach the MLB level. He finally won his first game with Kansas City in 2010 and he went 9-9 last season in Chicago, his first full season as a starter. Despite getting battered by the Red Sox in his next start, Humber has still had a solid beginning to his 2012 campaign. Keep your eyes out for more great games from the south side starting pitcher this season.
NBA: C Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls) – The Bulls finished up a strong season earlier this week thanks to Noah’s effort on the glass. He totaled 14 points and 14 rebounds against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday and followed that up with a 13 point and 12 rebound effort against the Cleveland Cavaliers the next day. With star point guard Derrick Rose having been banged up for most of the season, other players on the Bulls have had to accept more prominent roles on the offensive end for Chicago. Noah’s week was another example of how he has improved his all around game in Rose’s absence. With the Bulls staking claim to the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, you can count on Joakim Noah having some more monster games against the 8th seeded Philadelphia 76ers in the coming days.