It’s that time of year again, Caps fans! The regular season has all but two games to be played and the playoffs are on the horizon. It’s been quite the season for the Washington Capitals, with highs and lows. This week, the Capitals will hold their annual Fan Appreciation Week to say thanks to fans for their unwavering loyalty, this season and always.
The 2017-18 season is one that will be remembered by the fans, as it marked a year in which the Caps’ Stanley Cup window supposedly “closed”, yet the team rose above the low expectations by many outside the DMV to finish in first place in the Metropolitan Division and the team’s chances to win the Cup are arguably as great as it has been the last two seasons. It has also been a season of controversy, from T.J. Oshie sustaining a concussion on a hit by San Jose’s Joe Thornton and the goal drought that followed, to Devante Smith-Pelly graciously, yet passionately, dealing with the racist remarks thrown at him when the Capitals visited the Chicago Blackhawks, to Braden Holtby having a very hard time finding his confidence in goal. But with every negative, there is a positive, and this season the Capitals and the fans also did a great deal of celebrating. Captain Alex Ovechkin notched his 500th career assist, his 600th career goal, his 1,000th NHL game, and ninth career 40-goal season. Backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer has made a name for himself as he stepped up to guide the team through Holtby’s goaltending woes, earning himself three shutouts and a .925 save percentage, and just recently, the Washington Capitals came to terms on a contract with highly-touted prospect Shane Gersich, a college student from the University of North Dakota and a Caps’ fifth round draft pick, whose debut on the roster was been heavily anticipated. This has been quite the season for the Washington Capitals, and now the team wants to say thank you to us fans to see the season off on a high note.
For starters, the Capitals have invited fans to post pictures of themselves in Capitals gear, or in celebration mode, using the hashtags #ALLCAPS and #CapsFanWeek. Some of these images shared will be used to create a massive 12-foot mosaic that will be viewable at Kettler Capitals Iceplex for the team’s morning skate on April 5. The mosaic will also be found on the 100-level concourse of Capital One Arena that night as the Caps host the Nashville Predators. Fans who visit these locations through the day will receive a personal copy of the mural to keep.
On April 7, the Capitals will play their 82nd and final regular season matchup at home against the New Jersey Devils. All fans in attendance will receive a complimentary team poster. Additional fans will be selected at random throughout the night to win a number of other fabulous prizes. To celebrate the end of the another exciting year, the Capitals’ final game of the season will conclude with the team’s annual Jerseys Off Our Backs Ceremony, where each member of the team will sign the jersey he wore that night and present it to a pre-selected fan. News broke about an hour ago that Hershey Bears players Travis Boyd and Madison Bowey have been recalled to Washington in preparation for the playoffs, so it appears as though every player who’s been involved with the Capitals in some capacity will have a jersey to hand out at the end of the game.
Whats’s more, the team’s stores at Capital One Arena and Kettler Capitals Iceplex will be offering various customer discounts throughout the week. See stores for additional details regarding prices and discounts.
The Capitals will also be honoring non-DC area fans throughout the week with giveaways such as signed pucks and sticks, and other odds and ends rewards.
Just as the Capitals are looking to say thank you to the fans, so too do the fans thank the Capitals for another exciting year of Washington hockey. With the regular season closing up fast, we turn our attention to the playoffs, at the end of which, awaits the ultimate prize. The Washington Capitals have a thirst no ordinary Cup can quench, and we as fans look forward to rocking the red in the playoffs once again very soon.
By: Chris Laroche