Before I start this post I must confess that I am not a long time Washington Capitals fan. I am originally a Hershey Bear's fan. I have become a huge Hershey fan in the past couple of years and many of the Bears from those seasons are now playing in Washington. So because I was not a fan of any particular team I chose to root for the Capitals. I am now a big Capitals fan and have watched just about every game this season.
Now on to the post:
I watched game 7 of the Capitals first round playoff matchup last night. I was pumped. Jumping around and doing the cheers in my living room. It was exhilarating and nerve-racking all at the same time.
If you don't know much about the NHL playoffs then you probably won't understand the feeling. During the regular season I would watch games comfortably seated in my chair. In the playoffs I don't sit much, instead I pace and sit and then pace and sit some more. I am not down much and very rarely am I actually in a chair.
Last night was no exception. I started the game seated but found myself up yelling at the television early on. My wife says that it doesn't help to yell at the tv but I think it does. So I do it, often.
I am watching this game and everything is going ok. We started out leading 1-0 and then all of a sudden it seemed we were trailing 2-1. We tied it at 2 when our all star and probably league MVP Alexander Ovechkin scored. That got us to overtime....
Sudden death overtime.......if you are a fan of a team these will likely kill you someday!
I have experienced these before. The Hershey Bears found themselves in a game 7 overtime game a couple years ago that I was fortunate enough to be at. They won that game en route to the Calder Cup. But watching on tv is different, because you can't see everything coming. When you are at a hockey game you can see the whole ice and where all the players are. On tv that is not always possible. So as a fan you have no idea when a player from the other team is going to jump up into the action and beat you.
Well it happened last night. About 6 minutes into overtime the enemy Philadelphia Flyers scored the game winning goal on a rebound. Joffrey Lupul played hero for the Flyers while Tom Poti (in the penalty box) played goat for the Caps.
And just like that the season was over......huh? That's pretty much what it felt like. Horrible way to lose. In an instant all the thoughts of the second round and maybe a shot at the championship are gone. And you just can't believe it. You don't want to believe it.
Unless you are a true fan of a team you can not possibly understand these feelings. I was never a true fan of an NHL team until this season. I have felt this way about other teams in other sports but never the NHL.
And in hockey a sudden death overtime loss is exactly that......a sudden feeling of loss.
But the other think about being a true fan is that you know there is always next year!!