Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images
I am sure a lot of us, myself included, felt a pit at the bottom of our stomachs after the second period of game five. We have all seen it before; the team loses a lead, or has a goal scored against them and the positivity in the Caps’ barn is sucked right out of the building. It’s as if the oxygen of hope has been turned off.
Forward to the third period and the team comes out with all barrels (or hockey sticks) blazing and Kuznetsov scores fifty-two seconds into the period, and like a light bulb, the doom and gloom has been washed away by the bright feeling of optimism.
This team knew what they had to do, they never gave up hope, and pushed forward with resiliency that I have never seen since becoming a fan of the team. They got the job done!
My question to all of you…. Why did it take the third and fourth goal in the third period for the crowd to get back into the game? Does the fan base have prerequisites that have to be met before they cheer the team on? Aren’t we supposed to be yelling and supporting the team from the minute the first puck drops until there is zero time left on the clock at the end of the game? The enthusiasm and excitement got better and better as the period progressed. Let’s show them next time (hopefully against TBL) we have only begun to get LOUD.
This team has shown they can put their “big boy pants“ on and fight back when they are down, even doing so while missing keys players due to injury and such. It’s time for us to collectively do the same and show the team that the investment of joy, frustration, tears, and yes drinking copious amounts of booze, is all part of the process of supporting this team through the good and the bad, through the highs and the lows, through the wins and the losses.
In his post game interview, Braden Holtby said he felt the energy in the building change after the third and fourth goal. Maybe the fans were feeling “here we go again”, but the team was calm and confident in what they had to do and maybe they needed to earn the faith back with the fans.
In his interview with reporters the day after game five, Barry Trotz wanted the fans to know that EVERYONE from the players to the coaches to management are trying their hardest to win and they need US to get behind the team and help push them forward. Go and watch it for yourself and then tell me the emotion in his voice didn’t want to make you bring the energy every minute, every second of the game. They hear the noise, they feel the positive energy and feed off of it. Be the fuel they need to reach the Eastern Conference Finals and beyond.
Sometimes lost in all of this is the fact that this is truly a team sport. Effort is needed from all players throughout the regular and post season. We need to not forget that while the outcome of the first two post season games Philipp Grubauer played were not ideal, he protected the net during the latter part of the regular seasons while affording Braden Holtby the time he needed to rest and reset and in turn rally to become the “Beast” he has been. He deserves just as much praise.
Let’s hope the team comes home victorious after what is sure to be a hard-fought battle. If not, it’s time to throw away all the game seven angst and negativity and show the boys you are behind them one million percent If you have to, fake it until you #believe it!
By Lisa Desabrais