The Washington Capitals’ loss to the New York Islanders Sunday afternoon, just 15 seconds into overtime of game three, was excruciating. One group of fans happened to capture their agony on video, and have shared their priceless results with the world.
In recent years, as the Capitals began to falter and the Wizards and Nationals rose to playoff status, the crowds at Verizon Center slowly shrank. Though the team announced its 264th consecutive sellout after game two, there have often been large swatches of empty purple seats in the last few years.
Now, the Caps are back in the playoffs. They have a new coach, a new mentality, and are confident that they can finally bring a Stanley Cup to Washington.
With the resurgence of the team, the fans have come back. On this Friday night, the crowd brought back memories of late-game Sergei Fedorov goals and the hope and promise of the electric, run and gun Caps. At one point during game two, the decibel level reached 112. For a lot of the night, the numbers were over 100, nearly breaching the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s permissible noise level exposure limits.
The Rock the Red spirit is back and it’s pushing the Capitals forward. The team knows it. Here’s what they said after the game.
Caps PA Announcer Wes Johnson was also on top of his game tonight. Every game, Wes will try to pump up the crowd after the team runs it’s Unleash The Fury video on the jumbotron. The video package is played at a strategic time in the game where the Caps Game Entertainment crew thinks it will most help the players and lead them to victory. Tonight, after Karl Alzner scored to make the game 2-1 Isles, the video played.
Islanders head coach Jack Capuano had his penalty killers play in an aggressive box formation against the Caps’ top-ranked power play. Basically, the Isles player nearest the puck would skate out quickly to force a bad decision by the Caps. The Isles penalty kill, ranked 26th in the league during the regular season (76 percent), thrives on chaos created by their team speed. The Caps made long passes, turned the puck over, and were unable to set up Alex Ovechkin more than once in the left circle. On top of that, the Isles had scouted the Caps power play so much, it seemed as if they knew where the puck was going to go before the Caps did.
Watch how discombobulated the Caps were during their first man advantage.
After losing 4-2 to the New York Rangers Saturday afternoon, the Washington Capitals had to wait until after the Islanders’ game this evening to see if they would have home ice against them in the first round or not.
Alex Ovechkin didn’t score a goal on Wednesday. He didn’t get an assist either. Really, the only thing he contributed was getting elbowed in the face. But to Ovi, team success has always been more important than individual stuff. He celebrates harder for his teammates goals than for his own.
With Bensten now home and on the long road to full recovery, his family posted a YouTube video recapping the incredible journey the family has been on for the past few weeks. It includes many of your tweets and photos. It’s so inspiring and a great reminder of what an amazing community we have as Caps fans.