The Sideline Observer

Sports and Culture Commentary

Stanley Cup Preview

It’s about that time of year. Summer is almost here and schools all over the country are getting out. People are getting prepared for a summer full of beaches and partying. However, for fans of the Washington Capitals, this time of year is a lot better than it has been for the past ten years. For the first time in what feels like forever, the Caps are actually making a deep postseason run as they kick off Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight against the Vegas Golden Knights.

As a diehard Caps fan, I’ve never been so hyped about anything in my short, depressing life as a Washington sports fan. Us D.C. fans have had very little to get excited about ever since I was born nineteen years go. Ironic? Maybe. The Redskins have been complete shit ever since Dan Snyder took over and turned the gritty hogs into chicken sausages. The Wizards always find ways to waste away talented players. The Nationals always choke in the first round. But none of these hit harder than the Caps. Somehow despite being the best team in Hockey every regular season, they never have been able to even make it out of the second round. Forget not winning championships, this team couldn’t even make it to the semis. The worst part, it was always to the FUCKING PENGUINS!!!! Seriously, losing every year to the same team, in the same round was brutal beyond belief. When we went down 2-0 to Columbus in the first round I almost considered not watching anymore. Not because I wanted to abandon the team, but because I literally didn’t know if I could take another loss emotionally. Thank God that I didn’t. I would feel like a total fraud supporting this team now if I had abandoned ship like that. This is not a team that I wanted to miss. They are playing harder and more physical than I have ever seen them play. They are outshooting, outskating, and outhustling other teams and are playing a dominant style of hockey that we’ve been begging them to do for years. It’s looking like it’s finally starting to come together for the Caps after beating the Lightning.

Sadly for us, the western conference champions the Golden Knights have also been nothing short of dominant this postseason. Facing a hot Marc Andre Fleury is a Cap’s fans worst nightmare, but we can’t forget about Braden Holtby, who had shutouts in both games six and seven in the conference finals. While Vegas has Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith who have combined for 34 points this postseason, the experience and physicality of the Caps is gonna be too much for them to handle in my opinion. The Caps are playing pissed off and I just can’t see them getting beat by a bunch of castoffs. Sorry Vegas, it’s been a good run, but this is the Caps year. Ovi and the boys are coming for you, and unless Marc Andre Fleury morphs into a brick wall this series, looks like you boys may be hitting the golf course pretty soon.

-Jake Hornyak

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