10:09 AM ET 04.28 | As the Washington Capitals trickled onto the ice Friday morning at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, each player was greeted by a warm round of applause from the approximately 100 fans in attendance. When it was Joel Ward's turn, those claps gave way to a standing ovation. His teammates, meantime, tapped their sticks on the ice in unison. The reason of their appreciation was twofold: Ward, of course, scored the series-clinching goal against the Boston Bruins in overtime of Game 7; he also was the target of a torrent of racist tweets from a handful of hate-filled fans in the hours afterward. "For me, it's pretty simple: I don't let it bother me at all," Ward said following practice. "It's a few people that made a couple of terrible comments. What can you do?" "I know what I signed up for," he added. "I'm a black guy playing a predominantly white sport. It just comes with the territory. I would be naive or foolish to believe or think that it doesn't exist. It's part of life."