My Winter Classic story begins March 9, 2008. I’m at the Caps/Pens game at the Booth with my Dad, and it’s a tight, 2-2 game. With about 30 seconds to go, Nick Backstrom puts the puck in his own net, and I feel all the air go out of me. The Pens ice the game for good a few seconds later.
Now, this was before the Caps really “blew up” around here, and what I remember most about that game is how ubiquitous (and loud) the Pens fans were in the Booth. I remember they came down in buses, hordes of them, and I remember how loud they were and how obnoxious they were after the game. I remember they started their own “tradition” of standing on the steps of the Portrait Gallery.
Flash forward to this past weekend. Everything changes. This time, it’s our fans taking over their city. It’s our fans leaving joyously after a win. It’s our fans bringing their own spirit and quirks to their stadium. Usually, I HATE the “O!” and the “RED!” shouted during the anthem. This time, I loved it. It was home.
I remember how I felt March 9, 2008. And I remember how I felt at the Game 7 blowout a couple years ago. And I remember how I felt every single time this franchise has lost another big game to Pittsburgh. As much as they will try to deny it (and have been continually), this game was important to them. This was their show, this was their celebration of hockey in Pittsburgh, and their guy was supposed to be the big hero.
I hope they felt all the air come out of them when the Caps went up 3-1, and I hope they remember it for a long time.
Posted by: vahockeyfan | January 4, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse