I really was not too impressed with the Caps opening night for a few different reasons. The night seemed to be off to a great start with the red carpet event.
I wasn’t at it my self, but it looked pretty fun and was fairly crowded. Some of the guys’ suites were on point. Oshie was asked by a reporter if he was best dressed – he said, “Not a chance. I would go with Holts or one of the Swedes. They always seem to have something clever in store.”
I jumped on the Metro around 5 and I thought it would be a lot more crowded then it was. I got into the Chinatown area around 5:45 and it still was not too crowded with Caps fans. It made me kind of curious as to what the crowd would be like at the game. There is usually a decent amount of Caps fans around the arena.
I went and grabbed dinner at Vapianos, a fan favorite. When we got there I thought, “So this is where everyone is! The place was packed with Caps fans. Once I finished dinner we went across the street to enter Verizon Center. When we arrived there still were all that many people in the concourse. I headed to my section to watch the Islanders warmups.
I sit in Section 101, right off the visiting’s team bench. When I walked down to the ice there were a few scattered Islander fans. As it came closer to puck drop, I thought surely this place would get at least a little louder.
Even during the player introductions, I was like hmmmm, this was a lot quieter then last year. The game seemed to start pretty slow itself with the Islanders controlling the momentum the first few minutes. As I looked around the stands, some parts were pretty empty. I kept wondering, “What are people doing tonight? The Nats have just been knocked out of the playoff.” I was really starting to wonder where the late arriving crowd was.
Anyway, we finally put up a goal and the place went crazy! Who would have thought Daniel Winnik would score our first goal of the season! A few minutes later Zach Sanford took a god-awful penalty which lead to the Islanders tying it up on the power play. The kid didn’t see much ice time after that.
The Caps were having so many problems with the power play. For some reason Ovi couldn’t catch a pass in his one-time spot and no one could get a shot on net. Other than the Swede line and our 4th line, a lot of the guys looked out of sorts. I barley noticed Oshie or a other key players. We finally scored again and who thought it would be Winnik again??
My overall impression of opening night is I thought it was dull. The building seemed really quite. It was 1-1 for quite sometime and a lot of our guys weren’t playing that well. Also I really was not that impressed with the play of Sanford. I have to wonder how long he’s going to be up here when you have guys like Vrana, Barber, and Galiev waiting in Hershey to be called up. The Caps closed the night out with a 2-1 win and the place quickly emptied out.
Maybe Tuesday night will provide a bolt of energy. I’ll let you know!!