Wednesday, April 23, 2008

D.C.'s hockey revolution

Washington Capitals - Image of the day - 21 April, 2008
Washington Capitals - Image of the day - 21 April, 2008

I don't know that I'd ever expected to see such a scene in Washington in my lifetime — and especially not so soon after the Verizon Center appeared like a morgue on my first and only visit a year ago.

Despite the first-round exit, the Capitals have to be the hockey story of 2007-08.

Next year? Chicago.



At 6:22 a.m., April 23, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chicago and the leafs in the finals, they are both due for another cup.

At 9:28 a.m., April 23, 2008, Anonymous baroose said...

Next year Chicago AND St. Louis. Lots of exciting rookies and sophomores. The Blues are the Western conference version of the Caps, with the Blackhawks the Western Conference version of the Penguins.

At 10:02 a.m., April 23, 2008, Blogger Sean said...

Ya there is a bunch of teams in the west that are primed for re-emergence into playoffs next year. Chicago leads the pack followed by Edmonton, Pheonix, St Louis. Even Columbus and LA are due to make big strides. Phoenix is an interesting team. They had some almost career best years from Vrbata / Doan / Jovanoski but Mueller and Turris are gamers. The question is, who'd fall out?

Its nice seeing franchises bounce back. Playoff hockey in Chicago would be a beauty.

At 10:28 a.m., April 23, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what all this means is that 17,000 Caps fans, at some point in the last year, went out and bought a replica jersey (or some other team-logo item).

I'd like to see the Hawks or Blues break through next season. With the exception of Detroit, the US-based Western Conference teams that have been in it of late simply aren't areas with widespread support for hockey. San Jose, Anaheim, even Dallas: each has, maybe, 30,000 die-hard hockey fans, half of whom reliably attend games.

Chicago and St Lou are among the staunchest fan bases in the league. Easily the equal to Toronto or Edmonton for fervor.

At 10:31 a.m., April 23, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ps: I meant to add that it's a good thing that so many people are buying Caps stuff. DC has the makings of a hockey fan base. Prolonged success on the ice can provide a tipping point.

Also, it helps that this year's Caps uni--a return to the team's traditional colors--is way better than the black, blue, and gold attrocities they'd been wearing for the past eight years.

Can they go back to white breezers and skates, like the team did in it's debut season?

At 11:12 a.m., April 23, 2008, Blogger Chemmy said...

Chicago and the leafs in the finals, they are both due for another cup.

As the biggest Leafs homer who posts here: hahahahaahahahahahahaha.

At 11:22 a.m., April 23, 2008, Blogger Costa said...

White helmets too. I love the way white helmets look on dark jerseys, red in particular, but no team in the NHL uses that anymore. It looks great on football teams, and I really liked the effect in the East All Star unis this year (if you ignore how stupid they looked in all other facets =P)

At 12:49 p.m., April 23, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chicago and the leafs in the finals, they are both due for another cup.

Unfortunately the Cup doesn't take turns.

And both teams can't win simultaneously, anyway.

With Chicago on the rise, St. Louis coming back, Phoenix picking up, and don't forget how much young talent Edmonton has - so much for the pronouncements of the end of Western conference domination that a friend of mine has been shooting off his mouth about. :)

At 1:55 p.m., April 23, 2008, Blogger Costa said...

Be careful about falling into the trap of assuming all young teams that take a small step forward one year will necessarily take another the next. From my observations, more than half the teams that do so tend to fall back again the following year.

Chicago looks like the real deal to me. The rest all have question marks though. I'm particularly not expecting much from Edmonton. They looked better than they really were due to a ridiculous record in OT/SO (19-6?!). Even if they were a better team next year, they still would likely do even worse in the standings due to their OT record evening out. If nothing else, they should be healthier though, which will help.


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