Seeing Red: Why I (Now) Love the Washington Capitals

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by Kolby Solinsky

Editor, White Cover Magazine

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I have never cheered for the Washington Capitals before. I never had a reason to. I thought Alex Ovechkin — in his Hart Trophy seasons — was overrated and overhyped. Sure, he was winning awards and scoring more goals than Gretzky (not really), but I always knew Sidney Crosby was better. I always knew there were other guys in those exact season — Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk, and (at the start) Jarome Iginla — that had a lot more to say on the ice than Alex Ovechkin.

Of course, when Ovie won his first Hart Trophy in 2008, he was just 22 years old. I was probably a little tough on him.

Still, I thought d-man Mike Green was weak. I knew Alex Semin was weak. I thought the Caps were getting by on fumes and, while they were terrifying at times offensively, I just never thought they were a team that deserved my time.

Well, flip the switch.

This year’s Washington squad isn’t just exciting, they’re electrifying. It’s not that they’re scoring. It’s not even how they’re celebrating when they’re scoring. It’s that they finally deserve it. The Capitals have actually had to earn something this time. They couldn’t just feast on a terrible Southeast (although it was, again, the worst division in hockey). They fell behind early and they fell behind big, and they responded by becoming the hottest team in hockey in the second half of this shortened Twenty-Thirteen season.

Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, for their part, once again look like the best duo in the league. And, yes, Sedin Twins and Kaner and Toews, I include you.

I hope the Capitals are watching the Islanders rough up Pittsburgh on their off days.

Ovie and crew are, right now, by far the best team in the NHL, and they deserve a Stanley Cup.

They just have to win it.

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