Caps Game 7 effort makes lifers like me very proud

April 26, 2012 | Drew Forrester

Caps Game 7 effort makes lifers like me very proud

For one night, one memorable night, the Capitals made me proud.

It wasn’t because the Caps won in Boston and disposed of the Bruins in Game 7 to move on in the Eastern Conference playoffs.  It was much more about how it happened.  For once, the Caps played with heart.  That’s how they won Game 7.  Heart.  They didn’t play particularly well offensively, their best player was reduced to the playing time of a 2nd stringer, and it was easily a game the Capitals couild have lost with one freak bounce or one bad call going against them in overtime.  But unlike a few years back when the Penguins bush-whacked them in Game 7 in DC and the following year when Washington choked away a 3-1 series lead against Montreal, this Caps team showed up in the final game against the Bruins.

I didn’t expect the Caps to win on Wednesday.  I don’t operate on the concept of “blind faith”, the way some Orioles fans have for the last half-dozen years.  I’ve watched the Capitals since 1974 and their history shows that in games like the one that took place on Wednesday night in Boston, “something” always happens to work against Washington in the playoffs.

Last night in Boston, while they didn’t completely exorcise those playoff ghosts of April’s past, the Caps got the job done by refusing to  give in.

As a lifetime fan of the Capitals, I’ve seen the club pack-it-in on more than one occasion in the post-season, like last April when they threw in the towel and let the Tampa Bay Lightning drub them in four straight games.

That’s why Wednesday’s win in Boston was special.

I took to the @WNST Twitter account just prior to overtime and authored a comment that basically said, “Win or lose in OT, you can’t find fault with the Caps effort tonight.  They showed up in Game 7.”

“Showed up in Game 7″ — those are words you don’t often write about the Capitals.

The fact that Joel Ward stuffed that rebound past Tim Thomas was, obviously, the coup de grace and a very just reward for the effort put forth by the entire team, but for one night, “the old Capitals” didn’t show up in Boston and meander through a listless Game 7 that left them embarrassed and questioning the team’s direction.

They might play the Rangers or the Flyers and get swept. I don’t expect them to win the next series, no matter who they play.

But for one night in Boston, I was proud to be a lifelong fan of the Capitals.

 

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7 Comments For This Post

  1. eric Says:

    Disagree. Gotta like the Caps chances no matter who they play. Rags D is too slow and we own Henrik, Flyers goaltending is terrible and Brodeur is mediocre at this point. Devils would be the dream matchup. We’d beat them in 6. Rags we’d beat in 7 and Flyers would probably beat us in 7 but Bryz gives us a hell of a chance

  2. Todd in Upper Fells Point Says:

    Drew,

    I couldn’t agree more. I was not happy with the Hunter hiring. If he’s the reason though that this team showed the heart that it did this entire series, then sign him up for life. We couldn’t win in the past scoring tons of goals, so maybe Hunter is the genius for which I haven’t given him the proper credit. Team seems to have bought into his gritty style of playing. The only thing that would have topped last night would have been hearing Ron Weber make that game winning call.

    Let’s Go Caps!!!

  3. Jason Manelli Says:

    Agreed Drew, it was a night for Caps fans everywhere to celebrate a great series ending the right way! Love the way this team hangs tough and I think they’re playing their best playoff hocky of the last 4 years.

  4. Wake up! Says:

    I hope they lose the next round. No self respecting Baltimore sports fan roots for a D.C. It’s a rival city that conspired to keep a football team out of Baltimore. They boo our football coach and root for the Redskins. I don’t know about you, but I have zero desire to be in the same corner as these folks. I guess Drew was a big Skins fan when the Colts left like some other mentally deficient fans from Baltimore. Luckily, they don’t make up the majority so I’m still proud to be a Baltimore sports fan first and not a D.C fan. (DF: You people crack me up. Baltimore has never had a NHL team. I’ve rooted for the Caps since 1974. Back in 1974, I was going to Colts games with my mom and dad. I’m not a “DC fan”, I’m a Capitals fan. History lesson over…)

  5. Flush it Already! Says:

    I look forward to the Craps circling the bowl in Round 2! That’s what y’all Craps fans get for booing Harbaugh and his family at a hockey game!

  6. Cape Cod Transplant Says:

    Thank you, Drew for summing up the thoughts of longtime die-hard Baltimoreans like me that have always supported the Capitals – in spite of their playoff underachievement.

    If feels like a minute ago that I was deflated after watching the Easter/Lafontaine disaster as a teenager, and a Stanley Cup Final turd in person at home in 1998.

    Add in the fact that I have been embedded in New England Sports Nation for 12 years, and this win was sweeter than Boston Cream Pie.

    Will

  7. vernster Says:

    Lived here 60yrs now. Life long Balto everything fan. Hate skins and the appropriately named wiz.We’ll see if the nats last 10yrs. But always been a Caps fan. GO CAPS. ” Wake up” is entitled to his own opinion, but he sounds silly. And, I want B-more to steal DC United!

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