Finally, the wait is over and the NHL Playoffs are back again. After winning their long awaited and well deserved Stanley Cup last June, the Washington Capitals have their eyes set on the prize again, and are looking for a repeat. Although they are coming off an ugly loss in Carolina, things are still looking pretty good for them. For starters, the Caps are still up two games to one in their series against the Hurricanes. Next, after putting up an insanely good regular season, the Tampa Bay Lightning just got swept in the first round. Although the rival Pittsburgh Penguins were also swept in the first round, the Caps will still have to face a talented New York Islanders team that took care of the Pens in the second round. Although things may be looking somewhat good right now, these are the NHL Playoffs and anything can still happen. Just like last year when the Caps finally won and brought The Cup home to D.C.
So, are fans invested as much as they were last year? Do they care about the team’s performance as much because of what they accomplished last year? To get a fan’s perspective of the playoffs, we interviewed some St. John’s students and faculty about their feelings on the Caps in the postseason this year.
The consensus answer was a definite yes. Ms. Martin said, “My investment is different than last year, but I am committed to winning again and supporting our boys on the journey to get there!” Senior Kieran Maddox added that he’s even more invested than last year. “I’ve probably watched 60 regular season games this year compared to maybe 20 last year,” Maddox said.
Mr. Eloshway does still care about the team’s performance. “I just want them to keep winning now that they have found the ingredients that work,” Mr. Eloshway said. He was lucky enough to get to touch the Stanley Cup last year.
When asked what they would consider a failure in this year’s postseason, the answers were all over the place. A failure in Mr. Eloshway’s eyes would be not getting out of the first round, as he said, “I fully expect them to beat the Hurricanes, but I am a little worried about the Islanders in the second round.”
On the other hand, freshman Matias Facchinato-Sitja said his idea of a failure would be not winning the whole thing.
As for overall playoff thoughts, these fans obviously want none other than for their Capitals to win another Stanley Cup. Ms. Martin highlighted this in saying, “I think it is any sports fan dream to see their team go back to back with a championship. Notably, a DC sports fan where we tend to air on the side of losses in the playoff season…Last year was our first taste at being true champions, and the city was beaming.”
There is still a long way to go, but this Capitals team has a lot of talent and potential, perhaps even more than last year. They could very well make it back to the finals once again. Just make sure to support the Caps for the remainder of the playoffs and tune in to their upcoming games. Hopefully, we can keep the Stanley Cup in D.C. for another year.