Reaching A Capital Goal
The Washington Capitals Make Stanley Cup History And Unite The DMV
After more than 20 years, the Washington Capitals did something no other team has done in Washington, D.C. since 1992.
They won. Ironically, it was 40 years ago June 7 that the Washington Bullets won their only championship (defeating the Seattle Supersonics 105 to 99 in 1978).
The Caps were winners long before Alex Ovechkin strode across the ice with the Stanley Cup above his head after the team’s 4-3 win over The Vegas Golden Knights June 7. Since The team had succeeded in pulling together in spite of the white noise, the history, the odds and all the other distractions. The Caps faced down all the adversity that goes along with the sport – and the adversity that can seep into a locker room and splinter a team before they ever take the field against an opponent kin playoff atmosphere. On top of that, the Caps carried their fans’ hopes and the ever divisive nature of a city that hosts the blistering heat of national politics.
The Caps – and their most loyal fans – stayed the course, put their heads down, squared their shoulders and decided they were going to beat at the door for the Cup until it caved in.
In watching their play, the pace of the games and the way they may have been down but never out, it became harder to imagine the team not winning the series. They’d been denied for so long and wanted it so bad, one could almost feel their will to win it all. This takes nothing from the Golden Knights. They are a fine, strong competitive young team. They will be here again. They will remember this season and they will build on it. But that’s where the Caps were just a few years ago. And that’s why the 2018 season would not be denied: it is their turn, it’s their time.
When a team plays with that type of unity and ferocious passion, it’s contagious to the home team’s city and daunting to the other guys. The people of the city of Washington, D.C. (and the DMV) caught the Cap’s dominating spirit. They needed it. With all the divisive politics, horrid weather, election year drama, challenging local issues and the ongoing anxieties stemming from everything from train derailments to school shooting lockdowns, the Caps helped us to focus differently. The series and the steady—but not perfect--march to win created a clearer, simpler common heartbeat that we all heard and rallied around. Ultimately, the words, #ALLCAPS or #ROCKTHERED, became the battle cry of that heartbeat. Fans and non-fans alike came under the Caps’ tent because of that – which makes the team winners with or without the cup.
It’s nice to win, too.
True Caps fans deserve to take a sip of the champagne from the cup, too. They hung in through the losing seasons and they will be there if the pendulum swings back that way again. As usual when any team reaches playoff status, ticket prices go through the roof. It’s tragic for those fans who kept the team afloat during the lean years to have to watch their beloved team at a sports bar once they begin to win because ticket prices climb well over $1,500. At the least, loyal Caps fans earned a free ride on Metro (they certainly helped the transit system to earn a few extra bucks over the past month). The closest they may get to that may be METRO’s announcement that they will issue a commemorative TJ Oshie #77 SMART TRIP Card.
Hats off to Ovechkin. The team captain played in three Olympics and helped Russia to a gold medal in the 2003 World junior Championship. As the first overall pick of the Washington Capitals in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and Leading NHL in scoring seven times, the pressure was on him to get the Cup. Now, he can rest in his own heart. Ovechkin may not have needed to prove anything to himself. But he’s certainly made any question a moot one at this point.
Congratulations again to the Caps and more importantly, thank you.