[Update - 10/09/10: one step closer to the dream...Tom Green rocks the red in the new Unleash the Fury Video.]
The Tom Green Award is awarded annually to the Washington Capitals player who took it upon themselves to “unleash the fury”, as has become the rally-cry of the Washington Capitals. “Unleashing the fury” is determined by a player rising to the occasion to battle the Capitals back from deficit and on to victory. There is no current holder of the trophy, as this is the inaugural season for the award.
In alphabetical order:
Nicklas Backstrom, March 14 at Chicago Blackhawks
In a match-up of young gun talent, the Caps quickly found themselves without their Captain- and staring at a 3-0 deficit. After battling back to tie the score at 3, Mean Lars took it upon himself to end the game in overtime. He chased down his turnover in the Caps zone, zipped up the dasher and past Chicago D-man Brent Seabrook and potted the game winner past Antti Niemi.
Mike Knuble, March 24 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
In the fourth frame of the shootout against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau tapped Mike Knuble to take the ice to make his fifth attempt of his career. So why did Boudreau send Knuble to center ice after not seeing a minute of overtime play? Gut feeling – “and it’s a big gut.”
Alex Ovechkin, February 7 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
With two and a half feet of snow on the ground, Ovie delivered another Superbowl hat-trick to rally the Caps back from a 4-1 deficit. Not only did Snowvechkin’s tallies lift him over the 40-goal marker (becoming the only player to score 40+ goals every season sicne the 2004-05 lockout), they pushed the Caps’ undefeated streak to 14 games – a streak bested by only 2 other teams in NHL victory.
Honorable Mention: Tomas Fleischmann, January 13 at Florida Panthers
Flesichmann potted the game winning shoot out goal in the bottom of the sixth frame to cap Washington’s rally from Flordia’s 4-1 lead to start the Caps franchise best 14-game win streak. Also of note that game? Jason Chimera‘s Gordie Howe hat trick.
And the winner of the inaugural Tom Green Award for unleashing the fury is: Alex Ovechkin!