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A Capital Success: How Did Leonsis Do It?

From Marc Fisher's blog:

Last year around this time, I foolishly wrote that a Game 7 is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a climax that summons everything a fan has to give and brings strangers together in a frenzy of hope, desire and expectation. Well, here it is again.
The Washington Capitals, in case you haven't noticed, have gone from just another lousy D.C. sports team with thin, fickle, and emotionally uninvested crowds to the talk of the town. You don't have to look back too many years to find all manner of news stories and blog items speculating that Washington's hockey team would be a natural candidate for contraction.
Caps owner Ted Leonsis still has 30 unchecked items on the 101-item To Do list he made for himself after he survived a plane crash landing in 1983 (still not done: "Support someone who makes a great breakthrough in science or art" and "Get a hole-in-one," among others.) But he's accomplished most of the big ones, including "Own a sports franchise" and "Give $1 million to Georgetown University." Leonsis is still pushing for #41: "Win a world championship." But there's one item that's not on the list that he's already taken care of against pretty steep odds:

Click here to read the rest. We'll have updates from both the Caps' and Pens' morning skates soon.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 13, 2009; 11:42 AM ET
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Next: Skate Notes, Gonchar a Game-Time Decision


From previous:

I have 1 request from Caps fans. 1 little inky dinky request that I'm hoping you can help with. For those of you going to the game, congrats you will be witness to one of the most prolific games in history I'm sure. For those of you that aren't going to the game BUT are going to be in the chat room tonight, can we please not get suicidal IF we go down a goal or God forbid 2? It's really hard to take. SOME of you (and you know who you are) are just over the top! While I believe you probably have some underlying personal issues can you please keep the we suck, we're done, caps can't do crap right, green sucks, where's ov, varly sucks, what the hell Mo, what is BB thinking, put Theo in, nice clear Poti, why isn't Brash in, where's Alzner, has Semin played yet, I think Greens hurt, Fedorov looks slow, Beagle is overmatched, Brads looks drunk, Backy's gotta bury that, why is Kozzie skating in mud, Varly's glove has a hole it in, Pothier looks blind in 1 eye and I don't think he can see out of the other, the trainer looks like he's spreading swine flu to Stecks, Juice looks like he's using one of Mike Greens bad sticks, I can't stand that Pens fan in row 1 behind BB, I think Slapshot should be on the PP, Theo's hat is dirty, BB should throw a water bottle at the refs, the blue line should be in the box for tripping Flash, what was that Laich, GMGM is horrible, same ole Caps and most of all, I KNEW IT comments to yourself? If you're watching the game with somebody, say it to them but not on the board. If you're watching the game alone yell at your pet (they're always understanding and will love you no matter what, even if the Caps lose). If you don't have any of the above then just yell it at the Tv (it will still work even if the Caps lose and it won't turn off by itself if you yell at it too much). Plus nobody will know you're yelling at nothing. It's kinda like the tree falling in the forest with nobody around, did it make a sound? Thank you all for your cooperation. I truly appreciate it. All of you who are hyper negative have caused at least 40% of my drunkenness during games! Oh and last but not least, if anybody comes on to the chat and asks what the score it, I think my head's gonna explode so it won't matter if the Caps win or not. Remember folks this is Game 7. Both teams are fighting for their lives so it's probably not going to be an easy 3-0 or 4-0 coast through game 7. It will be a hard fought 1 goal game that comes down to the last 5 minutes or OT. POSITIVE THOUGHTS BREED POSITIVE RESULTS!!!!!!!!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | May 13, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

pokerface, do you have a bug in my house? I think I've said every one of those things to my TV lately. Ah, that's just part of the fun - I laughed, I cried, there was a wedding (Crosby-Orpik).

Posted by: WhyGo | May 13, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse


"To die, to sleep-No more. But he is tortured with the fear that there might not be peace even in death." For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,When Cindy has shuffled off this mortal coil, and Eve beware of the Ides of May.

Posted by: bhound69 | May 13, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe we got McCreary, they might as well start the game 1 up for the Pens. We might suffer a flash back to that unbelievable night when McCreary tripped Morrisonn to give Rick Nash the break away.

How about we share our favorite McCreary stories. Cause there's so many.

Posted by: Osfan092589 | May 13, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I think I may need to put 911 in my speed dial in case I have a heart attack tonight. Perhaps some of you should make similar arrangements. Can't buy this kind of excitement - but if you have tickets for tonight, you can certainly PAY for it!

Posted by: WhyGo | May 13, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Think about this - McCreary will give penalties to the PENS tonight, thereby giving him cover to continue ******** us for years to come.

SEE, I don't have a problem with the CAPS, they just have a problem with ME.

Posted by: WhyGo | May 13, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse


That has got to be one of the longest paragraphs ever.

Posted by: CapManJ | May 13, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: lylewimbledon | May 13, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse


I'm sorry but as you can tell I've seen it all! I probably left some out but those are the most popular ones. Bottom line lets not jump off a bridge if we get down a goal or 2. It's a long game and will come down to the wire.

Sorry but I had to do it! LOL!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | May 13, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Mark my words, two PP goals and one even strength goal, CAPS win 3-2.

CAPS enjoy 7-3 penalty call.

Posted by: WhyGo | May 13, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Pokerface1208, amen brother. May I add that if you are fortunate enough to go to the game (greetings from section 430), please do not start fights with the Pens fans who evade the ticket buying filter and for god's sake don't throw crap on the ice unless a Cap gets a hat trick. And even then, please just throw hats. Some fans' behavior after the last home game was a disgrace. I saw something arc out of the 400 tier on a direct trajectory toward the Caps who were leaving the bench. Thankfully, the guys still had their helmets on. Of course, the best way to curb this behavior would be cutting off booze sales after the FIRST break, but that won't happen. Let's go CAPS!!

Posted by: pirate1 | May 13, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

McCreary AGAIN? We had McCreary LAST week!!!

That does it. I'm making my blind walrus sign. McCreary's an idiot.

Posted by: irockthered | May 13, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I do believe as well that we will win but then again I'm naturally positive. I know its a weird thing these days especially coming from a Caps fan who has experienced to many heart breaking defeats. Those days are over.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | May 13, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

does anyone know how the NHL decides which refs officiate a game? does the league have discretion over who does which game or is there a rotation system? I'm reeling from the news McCreary is a ref tonight.

Posted by: ralph4100 | May 13, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

One of two results. We win and everyone can go mental. I won't cover the rest. I totally back up pirate1 on this one (call me pirate2). Please do not throw stuff on the ice, and if someone next to you does, tell them stop. We'll either be cheering success of waiting for them to leave the ice so our guys can come back out.

Posted by: saintex | May 13, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Even McCreary will not stop this train.

Posted by: saintex | May 13, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Today's score: Caps 4, Pens 2, Productivity 0!

Posted by: yosemite_sam | May 13, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to Ted Leonsis for what he's accomplished for/with the Caps. I've been following the team since I moved here in 1993 knowing nothing about hockey (I grew up in the deep South, where the sport didn't exactly get a lot of media coverage), and now I'm as rabid a fan as the rest of you. Granted, a lot of that is due to the Caps themselves--I love and appreciate teams that always work hard, even when things aren't going well. Makes it all the sweeter when things DO go well.

Sorry for the length of this post, and thanks to all of you for rocking the red. Just wish I could be at VC with those lucky enough to have tix. GO CAPS!!!!

Posted by: wocoliz | May 13, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Remember Game 7 last year. No throwing that I saw, but 5 seconds after the shock wore off, the cheering and clapping for our warriors began. That's what they want and need to see.

If the Pens win, then they win. They earned it and good for them, see you next year and you better be ready.

However, if the Caps win, then the roof will come off and cars will be turned over and we will all get a tax break.

Posted by: WhyGo | May 13, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Classy move last night at the Bears game, something I'd never seen before:

#1 star: Michal Neuvirth
#2 star: Keith Aucoin
#3 star: on the score sheet it says Bryan Helmer, but it was announced as "#3 star, the entire defense" and all six guys skated out. Cool.

Posted by: tess2201 | May 13, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure like all of you, I'm not ready to see this hockey season come to an end. The Caps have treated us to some exciting moments this season, and I'm hopeful that it will continue.

Posted by: CDon | May 13, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

And then we get to play BOSTON or CAROLINA to see who gets to skate for the FREAKIN CUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ARE YOU FREAKIN KIDDING ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!!!LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: WhyGo | May 13, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
9 WINS AWAY FROM THE CCCCCCCCCUUUUUUUUUUUUUPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sure hope we don't lose.

Posted by: WhyGo | May 13, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't Marc Fisher be writing another anti-DC United stadium article?

Posted by: Section117 | May 13, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

McCreary is the reason kittens die.....

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 13, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse


Couldn't agree more. This has been so much fun I just can't imagine losing tonight and our season being over. It just doesn't seem right. I think these guys still have a lot left and I don't think they're done either. We will prevail!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | May 13, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

McCreary is the reason kittens die.....

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 13, 2009 12:20 PM

Now that is hys-ter-i-cal!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | May 13, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

is joe finley or carlson skating for hershey in the playoffs? if so, how do they look?

Posted by: _stevo | May 13, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Tarik's article on the global exposure of the Caps is a must read. It gave me goosebumps reading about how many people in Russia, Sweden and around the world have adopted the Caps as their team.

The world (except for a certain state in the US) is pulling for you Caps! Let's get it done!

Posted by: Moose33 | May 13, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Section117, don't get me started on DC United. I've been a big fan from the beginning--even had season tickets for 11 years--and I can't begin to tell you how upset/frustrated I am with the way the franchise has been treated.

On a much happier note, I really believe the VC roof is coming off tonight (I just hope it's in regulation, because I don't think I can stand more OT). UNLEASH THE FURY FROM THE OPENING DROP AND LET'S GET IT DONE, CAPS!!!!!

Posted by: wocoliz | May 13, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm told Finley went back to finish his college semester. Carlson has been playing and is good. Very good. Calm demeanor. Smooth skater. Strong in the corners. Good positioning. Good passing. Occasionally carries the puck up ice. Jumped up on the play and scored his first goal a couple games ago. You'll be seeing him at Verizon next year, no doubt in my mind. In my opinion he's passed Alzner on the depth chart.

Posted by: tess2201 | May 13, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Bears win???

Posted by: bhound69 | May 13, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

On NHL Live, Jimmy Dowd just said the VC is the loudest arena in the NHL! He said it gets so loud there you can't hear yourself think! While the old Cap Center had a lot of bad things, I loved the decibal meter! I think it would break tonight if there were one in the VC! 6 hours and 15 minutes in case somebody lost track of time! ROCK THE RED, UNLEASH THE FURY! LETS GO CAPS!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | May 13, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Bears won :)

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 13, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse


after we win

we get to watch another game 7


Who cares? Bring 'em on

Posted by: WhyGo | May 13, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Anything going on @ Kettler tonight?

Posted by: 555Mass | May 13, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Scchweeeeet! Da' Bears!

Posted by: bhound69 | May 13, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Bears won. And how about this possible scenario:

IF Providence beats Worcester, the Bears will play the Providence BRUINS in the next round.

IF the Caps win tonight and Boston wins tomorrow, the Caps will play the Boston BRUINS in the next round.

Could be another mirror series....

Posted by: tess2201 | May 13, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Figure Skating, I'd guess.

Posted by: WhyGo | May 13, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I'd prefer Boston, personally. But so long as the Caps win tonight, I really don't give two hoots who wins tomorrow!

(ok, actually, I do, as I'm leaving town Sunday and won't be back until Wednesday and I'd prefer to miss as few homes games as possible)

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 13, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Stick & Shoot from 7:45 to 9 tonight at Kettler

Who's gonna be at that?

Mighty dedicated hockey parent. They do play the games on the TV's there, so I guess that's OK.

Posted by: WhyGo | May 13, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Anybody know a beer that pairs well with Pepto Bismol? I have a feeling it's gonna be one of those nerve-wracking nights.

Posted by: ModestProposal | May 13, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

not pepto, but Dogfish in G'burg kept us well supplied with their fine beer offerings on monday. as soon as regulation ended in a tie, a beer was plopped down in front of me with "I think you're going to need this!"

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 13, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh man... I'm bouncing off the walls. I feel too confident about this, which usually means the opposite so I'm trying to take it down a notch for the sake of keeping the good juju around.

I wish I had a work clause in which all my bosses would leave me alone during gamedays/would know I'll either be ecstatic or deep in depression the next day. Bet they are starting to think I'm bipolar...

Posted by: mrszilla | May 13, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Varly needs to be incredible tonight...if he is, I think he beats an overrated Flower.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | May 13, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Mix 'em together! Have Pink & Tan rather than a Black & Tan ;)

Posted by: geauxcaps | May 13, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Re: McCreary. There are three ways to look at this:

a) Everyone knows his record and he will be conscious of it; therefore, he will be fair.

b) He has given assurances to the league he will be fair; therefore he will be as fair as he can be.

c) It's the league's subtle way of saying: Crosby in, Ovechkin out. It's difficult to deny Canadians' animosity towards Russians. It's been that way since the famous 72 Summit Series.

Look at the league's marketing campaigns, do you see any Russians in it? Malkin plays second fiddle to Crosby and Malkin is, probably, the better player. What about Feds? Feds, in his prime, was like Crosby and is regarded as one of the greatest players ever. Yet, he has not been embraced by the Canadian hockey community. Listen to Don Cherry. SC87 who posts in here lives in Ottawa and he unconditionally loves Crosby and hates Ovechkin. The Red Wings were filled with Russians and it was the Detroit hockey community that was celebrated, not the team. Canadians just seem to hate Russians. (I'm open to being challenged on this, by the way. If you have evidence of Russian players being embraced in Canada, lay it on me. I'd really like to think Canadiens just love good hockey players and don't care about nationality.)

Posted by: Matt23185 | May 13, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

McCreary is bad, but I think that the Caps will benefit from the home ice advantage and might actually get some calls. With the exception of Koharski in the last game, it seemed that all of the refs were looking to call penalties early in the game to set a tone. I don't see the refs making many calls at all in a Game 7 as they don't want to be seen as deciding it.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 13, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

...McCreary is refing tonight?

I was enjoying my lunch until I read that. Fantastic. I am now officially a nervous wreck and desperately hoping that I get to use that shiny ticket marked "Game 1 - Eastern Conference Final".

Well, here's hoping and praying. If we can win in spite of the blind walrus, we'll deserve the trip to the ECF. If not ... well, it was a great series absent the clown car. :P

In other news, I'm pulling for Boston. As much as I'd like to see two Southeast teams duel in the ECF, I like our chances against Boston better than Carolina. We've really gotten some not-so-nice draws in this playoff year - I think we're due to have a cookie or two crumble our way.

Posted by: kittypawz | May 13, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Small request from everyone going to the game tonight: Regardless of what happens, can we all stand and cheer the Penguins and Caps at the end of the game? When I say cheer, I'm talking about cheering for these players with the same fervor we greet the Caps when they first take the ice. No matter what, both teams have given us a great gift. On behalf of hockey fans everywhere watching this series, we owe it to them. Tonight, we are the ambassadors of hockey fans everywhere, we need to respect that burdeon and act accordingly, especially at the end of the game.

Posted by: Matt23185 | May 13, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: CalleJo | May 13, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

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