Ted Leonsis, the Washington Capitals’ gregarious owner, is almost always at the Verizon Center for home games. Tuesday was no different, as he and his son Zach took their usual seats in the Owner’s Box.

After Mike Green‘s first-period penalty hat trick, things looked dire. …That is until Uncle Ted changed the fate of his team and the order of the universe with one decision. Like in those Bud Light commercials.

Ted wrote about it on his Monumental Network blog this morning.

When we went down 3 to 0 last night – in truly odd and ugly fashion, I turned to my son and said – “I must change the seat mojo” and I moved my seat from center ice to the far right side. When Alex Ovechkin scored his first goal off of a pretty face off win and pass – basically in front of my new seat, I turned to one of our guests and said. “never give up, we can win this game. Alex can tie the score himself this coming period”. We all laughed a sort of gallows humor.

I was a bit incredulous, so I asked Zach if it really went down this way.

“It’s 100% true,” the younger Leonsis, who’s currently in grad school at Georgetown, explained to me. “This discussion is nothing new for us— we consider the ‘seat mojo’ a lot. Sometimes in between periods. I think a lot of people who have been in the suite before have noticed this about us. In fact, sometimes we even encourage others to switch seats to ‘change the seat mojo.’ Needless to say, it’s completely ridiculous and can be pretty comical.”

Sure. Of course, it’s only weird if it doesn’t work. Last night, it totally worked — with some help from the opposition.

After Lighning forward Richard Panik took a five-minute major for boarding/nearly-decapitating Karl Alzner, Ted told his son, “We will win this game now. Mark my words.”

Two Alex Ovechkin power play goals later, the Caps tied the game at three. Later in the third period, Ovechkin would score a fourth to push the game in overtime. In the shootout, Troy Brouwer would win the game with a perfectly placed shot, completing the comeback.

You can credit Ovechkin’s brilliance or Brouwer’s shootout attempt or Nick Backstrom’s billion assists. You can credit mistakes made by pretty much every player on the Lightning. But can we all agree on one thing: something magical happened on Tuesday night. Seat mojo is a part of that magic now.

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  • Capslass

    I believe in seat mojo. I have the live TV jinx. Anytime I turn on a game live (football, hockey, doesn’t matter) the opposing team scores. Happened in the last 1:30 of the Ravens game this Sunday. I Tivo games I’m not at and watch about 20 minutes behind to beat this jinx.

  • Bob

    Ive worn the same clothes for the past three games without washing them, gotta keep it going

  • Bob, you’re my hero.

  • Alex

    So basically, there’s no washing in Washington?

  • Bob

    Two things: can someone explain why the boarding of Alzner was worthy of 5 vs 2? I’m serious, I need to understand. I loved it! But I need to understand… Also, this is a new thing for RMNB to track: first the #alznercelly and now the #seatmojo changes.

  • Super43

    Got some sweet new knee high red socks, that arrived Saturday before the Caps and Perds. They go on at puck drop, and they will not be washed as long as we get a point.

  • Brouwer Rangers

    41.1 Boarding – A boarding penalty shall be imposed on any player or goalkeeper who checks or pushes a defenseless opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to hit or impact the boards violently in the boards. The severity of the penalty, based upon the impact with the boards, shall be at the discretion of the Referee.


    41.3 Major Penalty – The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a major penalty, based on the degree of violence of the impact with the boards, to a player guilty of boarding an opponent (see41.5).


  • Ceelo

    Lots of judgement but essentially the severity of the penalty is based upon the impact with the boards, and then the refs judgement. Alzner was vulnerable / defenseless and dude should have pulled up before popping him in the back. That was a nasty hit and 9 out of 10 times a player does not walk away unscathed as Alzner did.

  • Steve Hickey

    Bob. The referee has the discretion of assessing a Major penalty to a boarding call depending on the viciousness of the hit. The player boarded does not always have to be injured for the major to be called. IMO the reason it was called last night was because Alzner was off balance when he was struck from behind and he went hard and awkwardly into the boards and wasn’t afforded the chance to even get his arms up to protect his face/neck from the half wall. Hits like this can end carrers. Luckily Alzner wasn’t injured.

  • Topher Gee

    I did the same thing but for two reasons, Some jerks in front of us wouldn’t sit back in their seats, and someone left after the first period so some aisle seats with a better view opened… we picked it up after that!

  • Hmm. Probably because Alzner was completely defenseless and the hit was so hard his head almost exploded off his torso upon impact with the boards.

  • James Desautels

    totes agree with above…

    a couple of factors go into deciding a major vs minor penalty, and the most important thing to remember is that the refs are calling the shots in real time and without a replay all while under a time crunch to make calls timely without too much of a conference. point being-they are objectively based on rules, yet there is subjectivity in determining severity and intent of the player. in last nights case, Panik didn’t target the head (which would be an automatic major or ejection in today’s NHL), but he did hit Alzy from a particularly dangerous angle in which Alzy would not have been reasonably able to defend himself from the contact, and he basically directed Alzy face first into the boards. this creates almost a ‘double impact’ (obscure Van Damme reference), from the initial hit and then the secondary impact with the boards. Panik basically charged and then boarded Alzy from a virtual blind spot, thus making the hit a very dangerous play. in all honesty, Alzy is lucky he wasn’t seriously concussed or needing facial surgery today, and we are all lucky as fans our best anchor Dman isn’t on the IR for 4-6 weeks. Panik didn’t intend for the hit to turn that way, as you could clearly see when he was immediately apologizing to Alzy, but the hit was made nonetheless.

  • James Desautels

    Bob-hope you are all clear now. you should be an expert on 5 min major boarding calls.

  • Marky Narc

    When I first saw the #seatmojo hashtag, I thought this was going to be an article detailing why MJ90 needed to be benched. Everything turned out better than expected.

  • Up here, we pronounce it “warshington”

  • Patrick

    11-2 all season when I listen to the caps on the radio, haven’t watched a game since the Penguins game, will not watch again unless my radio record dips below .500

  • William Obuschking Busch

    me aswell have the same shirt since there win sat…not to bad ..

  • Bill

    Last night was one of the best, most nerve-wracking games I’ve seen since moving to The WDC. Unreal. Whatever works, gang. Whatever works.

  • Poodleusier

    I used a certain Urinal in the Men’s room behind my seats in section 107 between the 1st and 2nd periods. At the end of the 2nd, Alex had a hat trick. When I walked in to the Men’s room between the 2nd and 3rd, that same Urinal was open. I immediately went their, and commented to the guys on either side that this was my lucky Urinal. It got Ovie a Hat Trick, and I hoped it would bring us a win!

  • Rhino40

    Seat Mojo is officially a Thing…

  • Jay

    On February 3, 1996 the Washington Capitals took on the New York Islanders. The Caps got off to a horrible start giving up 3 goals in the first and another 2 in the second. Despite netting two goals of their own, the home team was being horribly outplayed.

    Coach Schoenfeld had already pulled Jim Carey for Olie Kolzig in the first, then pulled Olie Kolzig for Jim Carey in the second. During the second period Schoenfeld was visibly seething on the bench. It was a rough game for a sold out USAir Arena crowd to sit through.

    During the second intermission, my three buddies, and fellow season ticket holders, and I talked about how Schoeny must be tearing the team apart in the room. What actually happened in that room was the stuff of hockey legend. Jim Schoenfeld quietly and calmly walked into the dressing room and walked up to the dry erase board, picked up a marker and wrote “Caps 6-5 in OT”. He put the marker down and walked out of the room.

    Peter Bondra notched a natural hat trick in the third period that day, giving him four overall, and when Michal Pivonka scored the overtime winner the greatest comeback in Caps history to date was sealed. Was it Schoeny’s brilliant move in the 2nd intermission? Was it the wonder-twin powers of Bonzai and Pivo?

    No. It was four season ticket holders in section 219. After discussing what Schoeny was doing in the room, we decided we must do our part, and the four of us each swapped seats. And to us, seat mojo was born that day, and has continued every since.

  • Myan

    I bought an evil eye bracelet and wore it facing one direction during the drubbings by Pens, Habs, Leafs, and then Sens…on Thanksgiving, I flipped the bracelet to face the other direction and that seems to have done the trick.

  • Man, how would you like to be Zach Leonsis? That’s the suite life.

  • Bob

    Im usually not superstitious but i figured why not and now im 3 for 3, maybe ill go buy a mega millions ticket wearing the same clothes

  • kyle boyd

    i absolutely loved hearing that the owner does the same ridiculous things as i do. really shows commitment to winning throughout the organization, from the very top down!

  • I was actually forbidden to say the word “Washington” during my first CRL shoot because the producers said I pronounced it like that. 🙁 #Frederick

  • Jack Conness

    That is a story that must be passed on for generations.