Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Southeast Division Champions - Now The Second Season
The Washington Capitals are the Southeast Division Champions for the fourth straight season! This is the culmination of a long, tumultuous, exciting season. Yet, it's only the beginning of the real journey - the journey to the Stanley Cup.
I love hockey. Really, I love all sports, but hockey provides a different element. The game is played at a frenetic pace, with unbridled intensity. There are 82 games in a season - which causes for many highs and lows between October and April. The skill shown on the ice, along with the passion, is unmatched in any other sport.
This season was the most tumultuous for the Capitals. We came into the season after a disappointing early exit from the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. We got off to a strong October but fell flat through November and December. Those months saw us implement a completely new system, transitioning from offense-focused to defense-focused. We continued to struggle finding a groove, but improved through January and February. In March, we hit our stride, moving from 5th place in the Eastern Conference to 1st place today. Now, we're positioned well for a strong playoff run. Looking back, there were a lot of points where I didn't think we'd be where we are. And that's what makes it so exciting!
Now...the playoffs. If you don't understand why I'm so passionate about hockey, just watch the playoffs. The crowd will be electric, the players will be playing at a tempo unseen in the regular season, and over the course of seven games a competitive hatred grows between teams. The physicality of the sport coupled with the nature of a seven game series provides some of the most incredible athletic moments in the world. Plays will be made that will be remembered for decades. I vividly remember the great moments that took place in previous playoff matchups. Some are fond memories, other bitter ones. (Don't ask me about whether goalie interference applies to the Flyers, I'll get upset)
Anyways, the playoffs are coming. The Capitals are division champions. And while an 82-game season is almost at an end, these guys are only warming up for the 16 wins that hopefully come next. Let my two-month withdrawal from the real world begin.
Let's Go Caps!