I’m not going to lie — this is quite possibly my favorite time of the year.
Sure, the Washington Capitals have built a reputation as regular season champs who flame out of the postseason in horrific fashion. I get that.
I fully understand that there are a certain number of D.C. sports fans out there who believe it’s only a matter of time before the Caps find a creative new way to break our hearts. And I don’t blame them for entering the postseason with their guard up.
But I can’t help it. Ever since I was a little kid, there was something mesmerizing about the NHL playoffs.
There’s the Stanley Cup, which is way cooler than any other sports trophy. There’s the fact that any postseason game can end up requiring multiple overtimes, which, considering Washington’s history, should be viewed as a negative. And yet, speaking from personal experience as someone who attended the Caps-Pens four overtime game in 1995-96, is absolutely riveting.
And best of all — playoff beards. Seriously, hockey playoffs are the best and it isn’t even close.
The Capitals already have the best in-game experience in town. The atmosphere at the Verizon Center during the “Rock the Red” era has been head and shoulders above anything else the other D.C. sports franchises has to offer.
Even though the Capitals have been unable to make an extended postseason run during the Alex Ovechkin era, Caps fans still bring their “A game” each and every time Washington hosts a playoff game. They’re loud. They’re passionate.
They’re willing to do anything to try and help their favorite hockey team gain an edge — up to and including taunting a douchebag goalie with oversized Obama heads, taunting hotheaded coaches with ponchos or verbally sparring with members of the San Francisco Giants because they were obnoxiously rooting for the opposing team.
Bottom line — the Verizon Center is the place during the NHL playoffs.
Just listen to the video at the top of this post as the Verizon Center faithful chant “We are louder” against the New York Rangers back in 2011. It’s been two years and I still get chills thinking back to that moment.
Who knows how things will unfold for the Capitals in 2013? Is this finally the year the Caps finally make that elusive extended postseason run or will the team once again be done in by a hot goalie? One way or the other, we’re about to find out.
And one of my favorite parts of this time of year is seeing the playoff opening video the talented folks from the Caps Game Entertainment put together. I don’t know how much they get paid, but whatever it is they earn that and more with their annual playoff videos. Seriously, watch this video and tell me you’re not ready to take the ice.
I have no idea what they’re planning on unveiling for these playoffs, but I’m absolutely convinced it’s going to be awesome. And for the record, if it were up to me, this is the song I’d build the ’13 playoff video around.