Photo credit: Justin K. Aller

Editor’s note: The Washington Capitals have lost seven straight games. Things are dire right now. But this story is why we love hockey and have the best readers in the world. Michael R., a regular commenter on the site, left this comment in our game recap. We felt compelled to share it with all of you. Take it away, Michael.

Normally, when I go to games, for financial reasons, I get seats in the upper level. But for Alex Semin’s first game back in a non-Capitals uniform (a few years ago), I wanted to sit close, so I sprung for lower level tickets, row C, by the faceoff circle of the Caps-shoot-twice end, on the penalty-box side. With 30 seconds left in the game, the Caps held a 3-0 lead. Most of the fans were packing up their belongings, not paying close attention to the game. Suddenly (and I’m still not sure how this happened), the puck came over the glass fast, and hit an approximately 12-year-old boy sitting in front if me. He was woozy, his mother was (understandably) freaking out, and myself and others nearby were trying to get the attention of ushers/Verizon Center medical staff.

Jason Chimera was on the ice when this happened. He looked in our direction, obviously concerned about the boy. He then skated over to the bench, got a towel from the trainers, skated back over to us, and threw the towel over the wall for the boy. A minute later, when the game was over, Chimera skated back over and handed his game stick over the glass for the boy. Right behind him was Captain America John Carlson doing the same thing. While it wasn’t cool that the kid took a puck to the head, it was awesome to see the reaction of the players, going far beyond what was expected of them.

This has nothing to do with tonight’s game, but when teams I root for are doing poorly, I find I feel better when I remember that the team is made of a lot of good people who do good things, and that while winning sportsball matches are nice, they aren’t important.

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  • Jimmy Milstead

    Well said.

  • Joe

    Awh man. I was hoping this was going to be a story about how the Caps are going to bounce back and sqeek into the playoffs.

    Somebody tell me it’s going to be alright!

  • Topher Gee

    Here! Here!

  • Manitoba_Mercy

    Wow that did make me feel better.

  • Jeff Smith

    Hockey has the most genuine down to earth players, more than any other sport by a long shot. They love the game more than the money. Yes of course there are great people in other sports, but no other sport comes close. How about Laich helping change a tire right after they get kicked out of the playoffs? Class act

  • bskillet

    Well said but it would be nice to win a game, they’re still good people even when they win 🙂

  • Owen Johnson

    My fantasy is we squeak in as the 8 seed. Holtby gets hot and we embarrass the Penguins. Probably won’t happen, but it’s fun to think about.

  • Robin Hart Carroll

    Made me feel better too. Thanks for sharing.

  • Manitoba_Mercy


  • BPThomas


  • Patrick Neimeyer

    I think the concluding statements of HBO’s Capitals 24/7 summed it up best.

    “Hockey won’t hold still to give you a better look. You wouldn’t want it to anyway. It’s the action that makes the possibilities endless. The next practice, the next city, and the next game await….”

    Keeping the faith caps fans is a hard thing, but just think about every night, the passion, the ice, the is a feeling that you can never turn away and would never wont to anyway 🙂

  • factoryofsadness

    Remember, guys. When your chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble. Give a whistle! And this’ll help things turn out for the best….. hey….Always look on the bright side of life!
    FYI, been doin it since 1964.
    Cleveland Browns Fan

  • Chris Cerullo

    This story>>

  • kemiisto

    Nice story, wrong perspective.

  • Fedor

    So you’re telling me that in the end, winning isn’t the only thing?

  • Anela

    This did help so thank you. =) I think for me–I get a little down when they lose because they are such a great group of guys, and I want to see them win because of how awesome they are as people. I only recently got into hockey, and a big part of it is because of the players, and how they are as people.

  • Shaun Phillips

    Ditto for us Detroit Lions fans…

  • Tim

    I’m a Cleveland transplant to the DC area myself. I feel your pain…boy oh boy do i feel your pain…

  • Mike Lunsford

    Reasons like this, the amazing Make-A-Wish they did for that Canadian kid, the Courage Caps promotion, and the way the players respond when out in the community shows why this team means a lot to me. The team has a fan base that does this sort of thing, too. There was a story that came out around Christmas about a couple who bought Slapshot stuffed animals for the kids sitting behind them who were with their Dad for their first Caps game. Their reason for buying the stuffed animals? “We hope they enjoy their first hockey game.” With a slide like this, you may lose some of the bandwaggon-ers but the true loyalists will always stick with this team. They’ve been bad before, and they’ve been great before…but sticking with the Caps no matter what happens is what will make it worth it when they finally do win a Stanley Cup.

  • Graham Dumas

    Re Laich, he’s always impressed me on and off the ice as a classy guy. I shared this a few months back, but it’s worth saying again.

    Last year, my wife and I were at RFD after one of the games when Laich wasn’t playing. All of a sudden, I look up, and there he is, just chilling, having a drink with some friends at a table, apparently unnoticed by the rabid fans behind him (it was just after a big win).

    My wife didn’t buy that it was him, so I asked the server. She didn’t know who I was talking about (FAIL!), but then proceeded to go up to his table and ask him. Instead of being a jerk or just being annoyed, as you might expect from some athletes, Brooksie autographs a napkin and sends it back to us.

    But god I just wish these guys could play a bit better…

  • Graham Dumas

    WHO DOWN-VOTED THIS?! I demand an inquiry.

  • Owen Johnson

    Skins fan born in 1988. I haven’t experienced the pain as long, but I’ve been teased by the fact that they were REALLY good just a couple years before I can remember.

  • Owen Johnson

    I dunno. I’ve noticed a lot of down votes on comments that are trying to stay positive. I mean the post that they took for this article has at least 1 down vote.

  • Graham Dumas

    But I mean, you’re not even trying to be like, oh, they’re totally gonna pull this one off. You’re literally describing something you *wish* would happen, something that would be great for the team, and some troll down-voted it. It’s just lame. People are lame and dumb.

  • Jeanne Blue

    Awesome story, and you are right about giving perspective. We love watching a great game, and the guys are good people. If only we could step back from being emotionally invested in results. But then we wouldn’t be fans, eh?
    I swore I would never go to another game 7 at Verizon again, and then I heard the story about the anonymous fan giving a Wilson jersey to Tom’s dad – the fans are awesome and good people too. The truth is, it really is our job to suffer. (until the day we can celebrate)