The Capitals have ended their eight-game losing streak. Just take a moment to process that. Go ahead, put that dumb old grin on your face. We’ll wait.
There you go. Feel better? Me too!
The Sunday night tussle between the Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals had no shortage of extra meaning. The team’s mental state and possibly even careers hung in the balance. Game on.
Ottawa’s Ryan Shannon delivered a bang-bang puck over Neuvy’s left side to make it 1-0. Chris Kelly plopped in a pass from Chris Neil to give the Senators a two-goal lead in the first period. The Capitals could have deflated at that first intermission like usual, but they returned for the second ready to do work, son. Mathieu Perreault waited all of 34 seconds to score the Caps’ first goal, an ugly one. Eric Fehr allowed almost an entire minute to elapse before recording the second, also ugly. A powerplay opportunity found Perreault scoring again with another homely tally. The Caps held off a late-game man advantage to snap the slump: Caps beat Sens 3-2.
This was the best possible way to end the slump. The team got its collective hiney handed to it in the first period, but shook off the mental assault and played like they’ve been coached. Yes, it’s only one game, but it’s a game with a ton of meaning. Like HBO and Alan May have been saying, hockey has a rhythm. This was the go-go backbeat, the crescendo’s peak, the fortissimo punch that gets the team moving again.
It’s okay to celebrate. The Capitals and their fans went through hell for the last eighteen days. To the folks who stayed tough and kept the faith, you’ve been rewarded. You are the Brooks Laich’s of fandom, and your virtue earns you a place in hockey heaven. To the remainder, you will be welcomed back into the fold whenever you decide to rejoin the true believers.
We’ve reset the site theme. RMNB is no longer dark: Ovechkin has dethroned Voldemort and reclaimed his spot on the BIG GRAY THING AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE. The Panic Protocol is officially terminated. You are free to rock the red, use letters of varying cases, and socialize with redheads again. It’s a long season, and there will certainly be other tough losses, but we’ve learned something. Nothing lasts forever, either good or bad, and it’s who you are during the bad times that matters. Remember that in June, cause I’m damn sure the Capitals will.
Devils on Tuesday, Penguins on Thursday. Presents on Saturday.
Additional reporting by Neil Greenberg.
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