I decided that this blog was going to be suspended until the Washington Capitals made it to the 2nd round of the NHL Playoffs. Well, tonight, after being outplayed for most of the game, they did just that. Your Washington Capitals have FINALLY made it to the 2nd round of the NHL playoffs, beating the New York Rangers 2-1 at Verizon Center in Washington. I personally did not have tickets to game 7, so instead I decided to go to one of my usual haunts in Old Town Alexandria... Bugsys Sports Bar, which is owned and operated by former Capital, Bryan "Bugsy" Watson. I arrived at 6:15PM, to a mostly empty place with a few Caps fans sitting at the bar. By 6:45, it was standing room only, and most were rockin the red in full Caps gear. The crowd, even though it was a HOME game for Washington, was still ELECTRIC!
The Caps looked Flat for most of the 1st, and 2nd periods, but so did the Rangers. The Rangers jumped on a chance early, but the Caps answered back two thirds the way through the 1st period and thats where things would stay until late in the game. In the 1st period alone, the Caps would be outshot 8-2 by NY, and would not fare much better during the second. The Caps mustered just 9 shots in the 2nd period, for a total of 11 the entire game at that point and the rangers just had 14. It was a very tight contest through 2 periods to be sure. A hush came over the crowd for most of the 2nd period and most seemed very apprehensive going into the third.
As fate would have it on this night, for all of us Caps fans around the country and the world, this was the Caps night. The Caps did somewhat dominate the 3d, outshooting the rangers that period a total of 13-1. With time winding down to just 6 minutes left in the 3rd period, the Caps were building a crechendo, but were not pulling it out and putting the Rangers away. Then, suddenly, with a break down the right wing side, Sergei Fedorov snapped a shot wich would turn out to be the most important Caps shot on goal in 10 years. Fedorov skated in down the right wing boards and let loose a hard wrist shot from the face off dot that sailed past Henrik Lundquist high on the glove side at 4:59 of the third period, and the Rangers never recovered. Lundquist place a good game, but the Rangers just could not put thier chances away. The Caps dominated the rest of the way, and for the first time in 10 years the Caps were heading to the second round of the NHL palyoffs. The bar ERUPTED in to cheers and chants, which continued throughout the rest of the game, and afterwards.
Not only did it feel great to finally have the Caps advance past the first round, but it was fantastic to see so many Caps fans packing a local bar, on a playoff game night which was a HOME GAME. The Caps have finally made it back, and made it back BIG. Suddenly, it feels like, Washington is finally starting to become the "hockey town" in waiting that it has always been. People are taking notice, and taking notice big time. Way to go Caps, and way to go CAPS FANS!!!!! The Caps are BACK, and they are, at least for this year...
THE COME BACK CAPS!!!!!