We have never been here before.
Round One as the NHL Stanley Cup Defending Champions, not just the Washington Capitals.
It feels different. We want to win like we did last summer. We have the taste of victory.
But are the demons really exorcised? That’s what we said when the Caps made it past round two and successfully finally defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins.
And yet, the Pens are sitting out there and the Caps could still face them at some point. The Islanders have the Caps former coach who wants to prove he has what it takes to go all the way with another team. The Lightning are as hot as their name implies.
And the Hurricanes, well they flipped a switch this season. Hockey became fun again in Raleigh. Former Caps and LA Kings player Justin Williams is the juice behind the change and without a doubt, he wants to bring the Cup back to the Canes where he won his first championship. The Canes were 0-3-1 against the Capitals in the regular season, and will play games 3 and 4 on their home ice. This will be no smooth skate for either team.
There is an unusual excitement the closer the Capitals get to Thursday night. There is a new hope and belief that Caps fans have never experienced. There is a maturity in the players and a greater sense of “one game at a time” calmness.
And yet… we just can’t help but be a little anxious in the midst of our excitement to go
BACK TO BACK!!!