Justin Williams adds to legend with another clutch performance

NHL Editor
Yahoo Canada Sports

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines clutch as “successful in a crucial situation”: a clutch pitcher, a clutch hitter, or Hurricanes Captain Justin Williams.

With the Carolina Hurricanes facing a must-win situation against the Washington Capitals in Game 6 Monday night, you would have been wise to put money on Captain Clutch showing up.

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Williams’ wicked tip late in the third gave Carolina a valuable insurance goal and his first of the series. Yes, there are other Canes with more points than Williams this postseason, but only one other NHL player in history is more reliable when it matters: Mark Messier — not a biiiiig deal.

In 23 career elimination games, the Coburg, Ont., native has 15 goals and 27 points. Williams also has a stunning 7-1 record in Game 7s and is tied for the most Game 7 goals, with seven. He has earned him the nickname “Mr. Game 7” around the league for a reason.

Coach Rod Brind'Amour, who played alongside Williams on the Canes’ 2006 Cup winning team, knows they have the right leader in their dressing room.

Justin Williams is Captain Clutch. (Gerry Broome/AP)
Justin Williams is Captain Clutch. (Gerry Broome/AP)

“It's nice for young guys to look across the room and see a guy who's approaching the game the same way,” Brind’Amour told reporters. “We've had tons of emotions in the whole series, and you've got to go make plays. His game's not going to change. That's comforting for some guys."

His nerves of steel make him one of the best leaders in big games, and the Hurricanes are going to need his superpowers more than ever Wednesday night against the defending champs.

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