Unlike the Orioles or the former Baltimore Colts, I can say something about the Washington Capitals that I literally can’t say about those two Baltimore sports teams.
I’ve seen every member of the Washington Capitals play hockey.
That’s right — since the Caps started in the NHL back in 1974-75, every single player who has ever donned the red, white and blue has been seen by my eyes.
That doesn’t get me much, of course. Actually, being a fan of the Caps has produced nothing but heartache, mainly, since the team has only reached the Stanley Cup Finals once in their history and the result in the spring of 1998 was a 4-0 series whitewashing at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings.
Other than that, there’s been a lot of losing, a lot of disappointment and some memorable post-season collapses.
That said — the organization has also had its fair share of outstanding players. In fact, for this week’s Sweet 16 list, my job was to rank the Caps’ all-time best sixteen. And doing so gave me the chance to skate down memory lane. Honestly, a few of the guys who made the list were much better than I remembered them to be.
Let’s get it started by going way back in time — back when then Caps REALLY stunk. And this guy, actually, turned out to be the first REAL hockey player the Capitals ever had on their team.
16. Dennis Maruk —
He only played five seasons for the Caps, but Maruk produced 182 goals in D.C. in 343 games, averaging better than a point-per-game with 431 total points. Still ranks in the top 10 in several offensive categories including goals, points and power play goals.
(Please see next page)