Thursday, April 24, 2008

A crushing blow

How does that old saying go? It's better to have loved and lost... or something, than to... something something? Well, whatever it is, it just about sums up the Caps' playoff experience after a heart-wrenching overtime loss in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

I guess I got so caught up in the excitement of having playoff hockey around again that I forgot to mention a few things. First, that as exhilarating and fun as the playoffs can be, they can be equally as devastating when you lose. In a game filled with dubious calls, including one which gifted Philadelphia a power play goal in OT, to lose at home after clawing all the way back from a 3-1 series deficit... well, it just sucked, quite frankly.

The other thing I neglected to mention, probably out of fear of bad karma, was that the words "Playoffs" and "Disappointment" have gone hand in hand throughout the Capitals' history. Apart from one magical run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1998 (which we lost, 4-games-to-0, to the Detroit Red Wings), Washington was known for blowing the big games. I thought it would be different this time because those teams of the past never had Alex Ovechkin, but I found myself reliving the same familiar memories from elementary school of a first or second round exit for the Caps.

This is not meant to overlook how incredible this season was. Either me or J will write up a proper eulogy of the season sometime in the near future. And, unlike all those years back in the day, the Wizards are still alive in the NBA Playoffs (albeit, just barely) and I will be at Verizon tonight commemorating a year in which the Redskins, Caps and Wizards all made the playoffs. I've been lucky enough to be in attendance at critical games for all three (Capitals Game 5, Redskins vs. Cowboys which we needed to win to make the playoffs, and tonight's game). Contrast that with the days when all three teams sucked and there was no baseball team to even speak of (let alone, a brand new stadium) and it's hard to really complain. So, I'll take in the playoff game tonight, have a few beers and chalk it up as an overall win for D.C. sports.

1 comment:

  1. Well said, and that type of perspective is needed after a loss like that. It's a great time for dc sports, and for the first time that I can remember all the teams are heading in the right direction, both in personel and in management (well not cerrato, but hey, you can't win em' all)

    With the Wiz showing some major backbone last night, and the fans showing up in full force, it's also good to remember the despair that dc fans are used to, and to step back for a moment to enjoy the progress we've made.