Sixty Minutes of Hockey


Photo: Bruce Bennett

No one knows the agony of games seven like fans of the Washington Capitals. The Caps, we’ve been told, are a team uniquely terrible at playing Big Games, which are bigger than small games, which don’t even get uppercase letters. Washington, led– perhaps only nominally– by Alex Ovechkin, are choking dogs. Or maybe they’re cursed. Basically, they’re cursed, choking dogs who are also lazy and don’t care about team accomplishments and they’re probably all going to go to Russia soon anyw—

Shut. Up.

The past is not always prologue. Sometimes the past is just trivia. Maybe it’s just painful trivia that provides writers a convenient angle from which to cover hockey, but it’s still trivia.

Tonight is game seven, gay sev to us in the know. It’s not the culmination of a franchise or some grand denouement for a city that needs a winner. It’s just an hour of hockey with one winner and one loser, an hour of hockey to determine if this is the end or not. That’s all.

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Your favorite player might play in the biggest game of the season. Smiling god/defenseman Nate Schmidt has been recalled from the Hershey Bears. If he plays in game seven on Wednesday, he’ll be filling in for Tim Gleason, who was beleaguered and banged up in game six.

With Gleason out (but not necessarily because Gleason was out), the Capitals dominated the final ten minutes of that game.

When Nate Schmidt and Mike Green were on the ice together during 5v5 this season, the Capitals controlled 55.1 percent of the shot attempts.

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How Are You Preparing for Game Seven?


Tonight, the Capitals will play game seven against the New York Islanders. It will be the tenth time the club has played in a game seven in the playoffs. Of the nine that have come before, the Caps have won three.

Year Oh God What Happened
 2013 Lost 5-0 to the Rangers
 2012  Lost 2-1 to the Rangers
 2012 Beat the Bruins 2-1 in OT
 2010 Lost 2-1 to the Canadiens
 2009 Lost 6-2 to the Penguins
 2009 Beat the Rangers 2-1
 2008 Lost 3-2 to the Flyers
 1995 Lost 5-0 to the Penguins
 1992 Lost 3-1 to the Penguins
 1988 Lost 3-2 to the Devils
 1992 Beat the Flyers 5-4 in OT
 1987 Lost 3-2 to the Islanders in 4OT

Game seven (gay sev to those in the know) is a familiar, painful Capitals tradition– one that began in ’87 with the heartbreak that was the Easter Epic. No matter what happens tonight, the game will take years off your life. The anxiety is imminent, and it will certainly make you a worse employee and a lazier lover.

How are you preparing for the game? Are you wearing rad Caps gear? Is it radder than my my signed Bradley jersey? Are you making signs and taking them to the game? Got any chants in mind? What is your dog doing and is he/she cute?

Use this space to share your outfit, your plans, and your feels. We’ll get through this together.

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Photo credit: Elsa

Game Seven. You know the deal.

Jason Chimera dropped the puck to John Carlson, who fired a shot that Matt Hendricks tipped in. Tyler Seguin dove to knock in a loose puck behind Braden Holtby to tie the game heading into the third period. The game went into overtime.

And then it happened. You knew it would. Mike Knuble crashed the net and Joel Ward swept in the rebound. Caps beat Bruins 2-1 (OT).

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