Washington Capitals fans, more nervous than excited about Wednesday’s game against the Boston Bruins, aren’t ready to speak up and talk trash just yet.
A series tied 3-3 has left the District in an all-too-familiar situation — a win-or-go-home Game 7 that could spell doom or destiny for a Capitals team that scratched and clawed its way into the playoffs.
In three of the last four years, the Capitals’ season has come to an end with a Game 7 loss.
“I’m really excited, but really more than anything I’m really nervous,” said Lauren McMahon, 28, a Rockville resident. “I’ve been having dreams of Braden Holtby in goal taking shots. Multiple dreams.”
What are their chances this year?
“I don’t want to say anything that’s going to jinx the team,” she said.
So goes the life of a Capitals fan, still waiting for the Stanley Cup victory that has eluded the franchise for its entirety, since 1974. Until the team can win big in the playoffs, fans in the Washington region must bear an uncomfortable feeling of doubt while its team faces the reigning Stanley Cup champions.
And there’s no sense in talking trash when your team can’t win in the playoffs, fans say.
To test the theory, an Examiner reporter donned a black Bruins jersey and traveled from Dupont Circle to Chinatown, walking about in the black and gold of Boston’s hockey club.
Sure enough, until the Capitals fans have something worth bragging about, there’s little to say to a Bruins fan walking past the Verizon Center on a Tuesday night, or drinking at Fado Irish Pub in Chinatown.
Bartender Matt Walker, 37, a Capitals fan himself, says Capitals fans are too nice.
“That’s cause they always blow it,” he said.
Other Capitals fans insist they prefer a more mature way to enjoy the game.
“We’re not like Flyers fans. We’re more tolerant of other teams,” said Kiran Anantha, 36, of the District.
There’s no doubting the District’s passion for the Capitals, easily the most successful sports franchise in the Washington region in recent memory. Game 6 on Sunday earned an 8.63 rating in the D.C. market — the most watched non-Stanley Cup finals game on record in the Washington region, with 204,000 households tuning in.
Fans will tune in again on Wednesday night, more nervous than excited, to see if this year’s Capitals will move on.