Washington Capitals forward Travis Boyd couldn’t contain his smile Monday as he was surrounded by a flurry of journalists, his gear still on from over an hour-long practice.
The 24-year-old registered his first career point Sunday in a 6-3 loss to the Flyers, and it came in dramatic fashion, a story that he will likely never forget: Boyd, who played in place of an injured Evgeny Kuznetsov on the top line, he made a spin-o-rama pass to Ovechkin, who put it in the net for his 601st career goal and 43rd of the season.
“Obviously for your first point, you could’ve had a cool goal, but definitely not complaining with how I ended up getting my first point,” Boyd said. “Not only the pass but just super cool at the end of the day to say my first point was to Ovechkin, one of the greatest players to play the game. What are the chances that’s going to happen?”‘
Boyd said he’s not sure if anyone got the game puck for him to keep as a souvenir of his milestone, but he also acknowledged it was a big milestone for Ovechkin, too.
“I haven’t gotten it yet,” Boyd laughed. “Maybe [we] each get half or something like that.”
Boyd Makes the NHL Jump
After a strong training camp, Boyd did impress to get some games up with Washington earlier this season, though he did spend a majority of the time with the Hershey Bears this year, recording 15 goals and 44 points, as well as 14 multi-point performances, through 56 games. This season, he established himself as one of Hershey’s top forwards and toughest competitors and continues to build his reputation as an up-and-coming playmaker.
Washington called Boyd up on Feb. 27 and said he will remain with the team for potentially the rest of the season as they looked to add more depth heading into the final push before playoffs in March and April.
However, with Kuznetsov still day-to-day with an upper-body injury, Boyd will remain a fixture in the line-up – at least for now. In his tenure so far with the Capitals, he has not only saw time with the Capitals’ first line but now, he finds himself on the third line between Jakub Vrana and Brett Connolly as Lars Eller takes over as the second line center and Nicklas Backstrom reunites with Ovechkin.
“Obviously you don’t want that injury, especially to someone as good as [Kuznetsov] too,” Boyd said. “In terms of how ready I am, it’s kind of just one of those things where you have to get out there and play… for me, it was a lot of fun being out there, it was a lot of fun competing against some of those guys and it was a lot of fun playing with Ovi and [Wilson], but yeah, we’ll see how it goes moving forward.”
As he looks to continue to prove his worth to the organization, the University of Minnesota alum said it’s important to continue to have faith in your ability as you move up the ranks.
“You just got to stay confident and trust yourself to make plays,” Boyd said. “You got to believe that you’re able to make plays up here.”
Sammi Silber covers the Capitals beat for The Hockey Writers and is an NHL contributor with Sporting News. She has also contributed to USA TODAY College, Huffington Post, FanSided and the Nation Network. Silber has written four books and recently worked on graphics for the film, The California Golden Seals Movie.