Operation Save Wardo: Capitals’ Joel Ward’s dramatic and tender bathroom stall rescue

The early highlight of Joel Ward's season was probably the Washington Capitals' first win, 3-goal comeback that led to a shootout victory over the Calgary Flames. The early lowlight: getting trapped in a bathroom in Dallas.

That's right: trapped in the bathroom. We await the inevitable hip hopera involving berettas drawn at random, Michael K. Williams, a cherry pie, Rosie the nosy neighbour, a midget, and a mysterious package.

"Stuck in the washroom," Ward tweeted, along with the photo above, from the restroom of the Omni Hotel in Dallas, where the Capitals play Saturday night. "Someone help?" (We'll assume that someone was already there helping, since I'm skeptical that Ward took this photo on his own.)

If you're wondering why Ward didn't just use his superior hockey strength to break the door down, I remind you that he's a hockey player: these guys are trained from birth to sit patiently in sin bins until someone lets them out.

Yes, sin bins. God knows what you do in the stall, and he is not pleased.

Ward's teammates were. Rather than help him, they mocked him safely from outside the prison stall:


“I tried to come out and I flipped the switch a little bit but it wasn’t really coming undone,” Ward told the Washington Post. “I’m in panic mode because I realized the door wasn’t going to open on me. I texted Karl [Alzner] to see if he was still around.”

Captain Alex Ovechkin showed incredible leadership in Ward's moment of panic:

Truthfully, I'm not sure Ovechkin is even mocking Ward here. All of his tweets are like this. To wit:

Anyway. Fortunately for Ward, not everyone made smartass comments or laughed maniacally. A team, led by compassionate teammate and amateur documentarian John Carlson, arrived shortly thereafter to enact Operation Save Wardo:

Note the use of high-tech gadgetry, like a step ladder.

In the end, 44 minutes after sending out his distress signal -- "I sat there for 40 minutes, listening to toilet flushes all morning," Ward said -- the winger was saved.

The result: the first great hockey hug of the 2013-14 campaign:

If the Capitals win the Stanley Cup this year, we may look back at this as the turning point in their season.