By Leslie Silvey –
With the regular season just ending, Capitals fans far and near are getting psyched up for the upcoming playoffs. Caps fever has taken hold of D.C. like never before and it’ll be spreading like wildfire! The boys captured the franchise’s first-ever President’s Trophy (given to the team with the highest number of points at regular season’s end). And expectations are high for a long playoff run with lots of chatter about the possibility of hoisting that beautiful silver cup at the end (as Ovi says "That big trophy").
The Capitals have broken several franchise records in this extraordinary season and fans can’t help but get fired up about the playoffs, which are right around the corner. Our first round opponent will be the Canadians.
The Caps are in a fabulous position with home ice advantage and will get the benefit of playing in front of the frenzied home crowd to open the playoff series. Thanks to their golden regular season record, the Capitals should open Round One with games 1 and 2 at home. Should additional games be required, the boys would return to the Phone Booth for games 5 and 7. If you’ve never experienced a Capitals playoff game, I highly recommend you do it at least once in this lifetime. The crowds are louder, the action is faster and the fever is unlike anything you’ll experience during the regular season. The playoffs bring a whole new set of storylines (for example, Ranger’s coach John Tortorella’s infamous water bottle throwing incident from last season’s playoffs) and renews old rivalries with a vengeance. One thing you won’t see during the playoffs is the shootout. Unlike the regular season where the shoot out is used after no winner emerges after 4-on-4 overtime, the Stanley Cup playoffs rely on the "sudden death" overtime which can sometimes go into the wee hours of the morning. But playoff fever does strange things to die-hard and casual fans alike; it’s amazing how one can get by on little sleep when your team is getting one step closer to the ultimate prize in hockey!
So with the playoffs beginning on Thursday, it’s time to buckle your seatbelts and get ready to experience the excitement that only comes with playoff hockey. Here’s hoping for a long ride Caps fans!