Friday, March 05, 2010

Walker Warms Up To Caps Fans

It takes alot to impress a Caps fan. What with the best player in the league on your team, it would seem hard for any player let alone a trade deadline pickup to get fans excited. But Capitals fans sensed something special in Scott Walker.

On a skillful team like the Capitals, it's sometimes the grit players that get overlooked but are sometimes the most important players. Against the Lightning the Caps top forwards seemed stifled and off kilter. The Bolts were able to block shots, get sticks in passing lanes and contained the top guys. It would be the two grinders, the crash the net and arrive ill tempered players that follow point shot rebounds like fat kids to cake.

Mike Knuble has been lighting the lamp with 11 goals in the last 15 games that way. So GM George McPhee wanted another guy with the same tenacity. Walker fit the bill. He scored a pair of goals in his first game as a Capital. The first to do so since Alex Ovechkin took to the ice in his first game as a Cap.

Already fans have taken to the scrappy toothless forward who came from Carolina.

"He just fits in," a season ticket holder told me. "It took him a couple of periods to figure it out, but he knew where to go. It was clutch from someone not named Alex. Guys wanted to chant his name in my section."

"I was nervous, probably didn't get a good pregame nap, and I was just trying to play and fit in," Walker told reporters after the game. "They're playing so good, you just don't want to disrupt them."

The funny thing is, it's just one game. And we have been seeing plenty of Walker at Verizon Center, just in a Hurricane uniform. Even with just three goals on the season with Carolina, Walker endeared himself to the fans there's so much that many cried when they found out he had been traded.

But that toothless grinned tough guy has made good impressions on the Capital faithful. And all done on the fourth checking line who are put out not for the offensive talents. Well, not as planned now anyway.

"It was nice to chip in and help out," Walker said. "But two points is what I'm looking for every night."

And that makes him most endearing of all.

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