The locker room was nearly empty after Monday’s practice when reporters flocked to Jason Chimera’s locker to get his thoughts on being named the league’s third star of the week. As the horde of cameras and recorders closed in and questions started to fly, the voice of Chimera’s linemate Joel Ward floated across the room:
“Hey, I’ve had a pretty good week, too!”
Ward was joking (sort of; he did tally three goals Friday night), but it was Chimera who tallied a league-leading six points last week on two goals and four assists, a performance that earned him the NHL’s weekly honor along with first star Jason Pominville of the Wild and second star Marc-Andre Fleury of the Penguins. Three of his assists came to Ward in his hat trick, tying a Chimera’s career high total for helpers in a single game, accomplished first in 2007.
“It’s a lot to do with your linemates. I’ve got Wardo, and the way Wardo’s been playing, playing with Grabovski, I owe a lot of it to them,” Chimera said. “When we’re not scoring goals, I feel like we’re playing pretty good most nights, right from day one. It’s been good so far this year,” Chimera said. “We’ve just got to keep it going. It’d be nice to stick around all year together because you don’t really see that too much.”
As the mock envy revealed, Ward and Chimera exhibit a great on-ice chemistry built from an off-ice friendship that Chimera says makes playing on the Capitals’ most consistent line together even more special to him.
“Me and Wardo, he’s probably one of my better friends on the team. We hang out lots on the road, too, so it’s fun,” Chimera said. “I’ve been around a long time, but I haven’t been around many games where I can be around a hat trick and get assists on all three of them, so it’s pretty special for me.”
“It’s fun when your linemate and your good friend achieves something like that,” Chimera added. “It’d be nice if we could just go around the horn every week [with the star of the week honor] with another guy on our line.”
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