Capitals’ Nathan Walker Has Made NHL History AGAIN
The Australian player Nathan Walker has etched his name into the NHL history books once again. Nathan Walker was the first Australian to play in the NHL postseason for Game Six. All the while playing a starring role in the Washington Capitals’ 2-1 overtime victory and eliminating the Pittsburgh Penguins from the playoffs.
It is not the first time the Australian goes down for breaking NHL firsts. At the beginning of the NHL season, the Capitals’ forward was also the first Australian to play and score.
This time around, it was Nicklas Backstrom’s absence which gave Walker the opportunity to take Shane Gerich’s place on the fourth line. Backstrom was unable to play because of an ‘upper body injury’ he sustained. He attended Game Six but only to watch, as his hand was wrapped up and healing. All in all, it worked out well for Walker, but we can’t say the same for Backstrom.
Walker has had a pretty eventful season so far. The Australian has played in seven games and scored one goal this reason. He was cut in December, and claimed by Edmonton, only to be scooped back up by Washington later that same month.
The win on Monday marked the first time the Capitals reached the conference finals since 1998.
Obviously, it’s a huge, huge game,” Walker said. “So, if I’m in, I’m just going to try to do my job out there, and get the win for the boys.”
As for whether his experience in the NHL earlier in the season might help with stepping in for Game Six, he said, “I think it definitely helps. Just being familiar with the systems, the guys, and everything.”
When asked if he imagined that he’d be in the position to make his postseason debut with the Capitals, Walker responded;
“No,” with a laugh. “You think a new chapter’s going to Edmonton, and the next thing you know you’re back here. It’s great. I’m really looking forward to it, and looking forward to getting out there, and seeing what I can do.”