Capitals Analyst: The Angst Is Gone

The Washington Capitals typically enter a season fresh off postseason heartache. This year, however, is different.

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
October 11, 2018 - 8:53 am

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The Washington Capitals typically enter a season fresh off postseason heartache. Not this year. No, this year they’re the reigning Stanley Cup champions – and everything feels different.

“The fans here – and I’ve been covering this team for 10 years – they’ve kind of had this woe-is-me attitude and they’ve felt like they were cursed and the Caps were one of those teams that was always going to be doomed and break their heart,” NBCS Capitals analyst Alan May said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “And now you’re seeing people with this look on their face in the arena and all around town – they’re so happy with this team. It’s brought them so much joy.”

The Capitals (2-0-1) have played well in front of their home crowd. They opened the season with a 7-0 win over the Bruins and beat the Golden Knights 5-2 in a Stanley Cup rematch on Wednesday thanks to three third-period goals.

“The angst and the bitterness isn’t there anymore, and the team can go out and play the way that they have at home,” May said. “The positive energy that’s coming from the fans and the way that the team has been playing at home – it’s just been two games at home, but it’s been overwhelming and an incredibly good feeling, the way they’ve been on the ice and the way it’s transported to the fans and just the energy in the building – I’ve never seen anything like it at the start of the season.”

The Capitals won the Stanley Cup last season despite dropping Game 1 in three of four playoff series. In fact, they opened the playoffs with a pair of overtime losses to Columbus – at home. But they responded with four straight wins.

“They were able to adapt and figure things out, not get frustrated, not get flustered, not tear each other apart, and stick together as a team in every round of the playoffs,” May said. “No matter what was thrown at them, they found a way to adapt, improvise and overcome and win those games. They’ve realized not to push the panic button anymore, and I think the maturity with that has really helped this team grow.”