Caps Fans Make Karl Alzner's Head Hurt
So, 18-1-1 at home, eh? Coincidence, or something grander?
"We build off the energy of the fans, and they've been unbelievable this year," Matt Bradley said today. "I mean, it's not a fun building for other people to come in and play in."
So it's easy to hear these fans on the ice, or you have to go out of your way?
"We definitely hear them, and when we hear them it really gets us going," Bradley said. "I don't think there's any louder building in the league, since the end of last year and this year."
And this is similar to what the newcomers expected, or different?
"I heard rumors that it was really good and I saw in the playoffs that it was good, but I didn't think it was gonna be as loud as it is," Karl Alzner said. "Especially when fans do the Unleash The Fury thing at the end? There's been times where I've [turned] to guys on the bench and asked them if their head's hurting, because seriously, it's so loud....I don't think I've ever played in a louder building."
Like, these are real headaches, or exaggerated headaches?
"One time--I'm trying to think who it was against, it might have been against Montreal--but it was so loud that I seriously was starting to get a headache," Alzner said. "I was hoping it would stop."
Uh, any other cases?
"Well, my head hasn't hurt, but it makes it very difficult to even talk on the bench," Bruce Boudreau said. "I mean, you have to start pounding guys on the back to tell them who's up."
Which is the case in a lot of NHL buildings?
"No," Boudreau said. "But it is in ours. That's a good problem to have."
Any favorite cheers, or is it too hard to pay attention?
"I love that [Unleash the Fury] video they play," Alzner said. "Whoever thought of it and put it all together, it's pretty genius of them. It's nice to have a little motto like that, and fans can say something and be proud. A couple games back--I'm trying to think, it might have been against Tampa--after one of the goals the fans stood up in the far corner from us and kind of did a college chant. They went '1, 2, 3, 4' for all the goals we scored, and I thought that was the coolest thing ever. I thought it was the best thing I had ever seen."
And this is similar to the old days, or different?
"I was thinking about it, we had some games in Cap Centre too, when we played Philly and stuff like that, fans were really going on then too, but it seems like it's more organized now," former Cap Bengt Gustafsson said. "Everybody's wearing their red shirt now. When I'm sitting up there watching down, it's crazy how everybody's really jumped on the train, put it that way."
How about this: similar to the more recent years, or different?
"Obviously a couple years ago there really wasn't much to cheer for," Bradley said. "Because we were struggling, we were rebuilding. The fans were still there back then, but now it's just building. Kind of a snowball effect. It's just great to see the city behind us."
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