Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images
The shrieks and screams could be heard from near and far, from Baltimore to to Richmond and beyond, as the tragic news spread on that fateful summer day this past June. Yes, the Capitals would indeed open the 2016-2017 season on National TV, watching along side the hockey world, as the Penguins raise their 2015-2016 Stanley Cup banner. The banner that seemingly had already been emblazoned in red, white and blue by the end of the last regular season.
For many of Caps nation, still mending from the post-season exit to the flightless birds, this was insult to injury, salt in the wound, a nasty trick by the NHL? Yet for some, the silver lining was emerging, it was a positive omen, a sign this could be the extra kick in the pants to boost the Caps over that ever-elusive finish line.
The Capitals need to take the cup from Pittsburgh, and there is no better way to start, than with a resounding thrashing of the Pens on opening night. To spoil their party. In fact, if I were a Pens fan (god forbid), I’d be a little pissed the NHL gave us such a tough team on our night of celebration.
The Capitals benefit? To gather all of the human emotions experienced on October 13th: jealousy, envy, rage, and harness as inspiration and motivation. “This will not happen again”. Or more simply, “gosh that looks like fun. I want to win one of those more than ever.”
As a lifelong Caps fan, I guess the best case scenario, the “Hollywood ending” if you will, has the cup leaving Pittsburgh next June on I-76, heading directly to DC. Which reminds me, what’s the best thing out of Pittsburgh?… It’s I-76 (or Southwest Airlines).
By Jon Sorensen