Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow! This means my backyard ice rink will close earlier than expected when winter is shortened! What a BUMMER! No more 2 v 2 hockey… pond style! No more drying the skates and gloves after 2 hours of braving the elements. And no more searching, and searching for pucks buried in the snow behind the goals… As emotions were flashing through my brain, due to the news about Punxsutawney Phil, I started thinking…will the Washington Capitals see a shadow this year? Will their ice rink close earlier than expected?
We Caps fans shutter at such thoughts of the season ending too soon! Heck, heading into tonight’s game in Tampa, the Caps sit neatly in 5th place with a 9-14 point gap between them and the 9th-11th place teams, respectively.
I stopped by a recent Caps practice and admired a couple thousand fans who were packed in to watch. I’m sure, most like me, wanted to see if the Caps would see a shadow that day! As practice ended, most fans mobbed hall ways, exit doors and areas they felt that Caps players would exit. Autograph hounds started speculating which door Alex Ovechkin would exit… As the mob grew outside, my nephew whispered that Ovi’s car was in the parking garage on the level below. We made a dash down below, and there it was! A small crowd found a car -AO GREAT! My son and nephew would certainly get Ovi’s autograph today!
As players started coming out of that exit, all the players stopped to engage the small crowd – all except Alex Ovechkin. As Ovi appeared, he shook his head (no) rushed and squeezed through the small crowd, and swiftly moved through the fans and into his car. No interaction. No comments. No autograph for my son and nephew. No Shadow…
While endearing one’s self to fans isn’t completely necessary, it can be an act of leadership, given fellow players took many minutes with the crowd. Yet Ovi rushed past them, giving no one the time of day.
None the matter in tonight’s game, though. Ovi’s had a power play goal and 3 assists! The Caps ripped the Tampa Lightning 5-2 in sunny Florida. On this night, Ovi’s performance was enough to make my son and nephew forget what happened… and forget that the Caps didn’t see their shadow…
Nicklas Backstrom did his part to prove that the season won’t end early. He had a 4 point night with 2 goals and 2 assist! Brooks Laich added a fantastic back hand shot, while falling to his knees! Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves on 25 shots! And Jason Chimera capped the scoring into an empy net! This game had a playoff feel to it. Lot’s of energy from both teams, a couple of tussles, and some heavy hitting!
So, is this ‘seeing the shadow’ thing real? I know it is just an old wives tale, blown up into a big media event… in kind, here’s to Ovi…that he may continues to endear himself to fans with more 4 point nights.
About the Author
Written by Dennis Patchett
Huge NHL and soccer fan! Love Columbus, Ohio sports! Buckeyes, Crew, Blue Jackets! Also, the Washington Capitals are my new adopted NHL team!