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A Dream Within A Dream

As if still in a dream, the slowly building tempo of Dick Dale and his Del Tones’ Peter Gunn coaxed me into the early hours of the morning. I rose into the darkness and staggered out of bed to begin the day searching through my mind fog when it hit me like Alex Ovechkin on Jaromir Jagr. From above the shower came a glimmer of morning light. The light that signals a new day and all that comes with it, but with this morning came the reminder of the crushing defeat I witnessed last night as our Washington Capitals unceremoniously exited the playoffs.I had planned on penning the “And We Squeaked By” article, but was left speechless as time evaporated and the Habs rose from the bench in jubilation. Instead, I am left with a “Didn’t See That One Coming” headline. People will talk about this as an epic failure and choke. For a moment, I even though about the cruel irony of this blog’s title, “The Capital Power Play.” Before I found my way out of the morning fog, I reluctantly tuned the radio to sports talk and so it began.Fire the coach! The minor league coach will never win a cup! Mark my words!””Trade Ovi, he will never lead this team to a championship!””Green for the Norris, you must be kidding!””Semin is useless!”It went on and on for 15 minutes until I was blessed by a commercial. The multitude of articles were in some ways harsh, but for the most part fair. Hockey blogs from all over the country were making the inevitable Ovechkin – Crosby comparison and a Rangers blog had a single image of Ovi as he left the ice with the word “Elimin8ed” in bold. Opposing team fans will revel in our loss while Caps fans will continue to look for the answers. Some will be back in their seats next season and likely some will not. The fans in this town can be tough and rightfully so in many cases. From all the analysis, anger and discontent, rose one comparison that stood tall. Tracee Hamilton of the Washington Post made the comparison that allows me to keep the faith in this young Capitals team. Yes, this is still a young team and yes, young teams have won the cup, but most teams pay their dues well before the cup comes to town. So the comparison of the Ovi era Caps to the Yzerman era Red Wings may have fruit to bear. Read it here. It is relevant as Detroit was ready to run everyone including Yzerman out of town during that era and yet if they had, they would have lost the opportunity to see themselves in the reflection of the Stanley Cup not once, but three times. Four if you want to count Yzerman’s time in the Wings front office and maybe five if they can maintain the momentum from their game seven win against the formidable Desert Dogs.No matter what you think about the Capitals, the Canadians exceeded expectations and played well out of their league. They ran a stifling defense, and had goal tending that would have made Stonewall Jackson proud. Coaching made all the necessary changes and they deserved to move on.Another irony in this saga is also in the fact that I am currently reading “The Business of Happiness” by Capitals owner, Ted Leonsis. It may be tough to be happy with the Capitals business at the moment, but one of Ted’s tenets of happiness is gratitude, so I will take a shot at it here with my final season thoughts.*Through over 30 years of Capitals fandom, I have never experienced a more exciting regular season.*The President’s Trophy as it hung over the backs of the Caps like and albatross has never been seen in this town before and hey, the Sharks dropped the first series last year and are now moving on a year later.*At least the old media knows that we have a hockey team now.*The fans of this team have grown in epic proportions and though we may lose some, I can now say, most people don’t look at me with a blank stare when I mention Capitals hockey.*We had our own Caps TV show!*We have dozens of new media blogs to keep the faith and keep us up to date on the Caps news.*We have ownership that is committed to winning the Cup. We may not have it yet, but there is always hope when people are committed.*My children’s preschool had a “Rock the Red” day!*And best of all, my three year old Brendan thinks Brendan Morrison is the greatest hockey player ever! My 5 year old built a Caps shrine of hockey beanie bears and my 7 year old, made posters throughout the season to cheer the team on.Let some time pass, keep the faith and the Cup will come… even if it takes 37 or 38 or 39 years.

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