Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Little (okay, a lot) About Me...

To truly understand my somewhat unhealthy love of this team, one has to look at my formative childhood years. My dad has been a season ticket holder since that very first ill-fated campaign of '74-'75. Final record: 8-67-5. Yay. I was practically born in a Caps jersey and have been going to games all my life. My heroes growing up (along with Barbie and Jem) were Mike Gartner, Scott Stevens, and Rod Langway; posters of my favorite players adorned my walls right alongside those posters of the New Kids on the Block. To my friends I was an enigma - a hockey fan in a town that worships Joe Gibbs.

When it came time for college I escaped the suburban paradise that is Northern Virginia and ran directly to the center of the hockey world, Montreal. In this hockey holy land my apartment was literally next door to the shrine that is the old Montreal Forum and was across the street from the little diner where visiting hockey legends used to get breakfast on game day. I adopted the Habs as my second team, and when Montreal beat the hated Bruins after being down 3-1 in a first-round playoff series, I joined in the impromptu parade that erupted in the streets.

Despite being in hockey heaven, I missed my family and friends, my city, and my Caps. I came home uncertain of what I would find when the lockout finally ended and a rebuilding team took the ice at MCI Center - would this be as painful a season to watch as everyone was predicting?

To outsiders, the '05-'06 season was exactly what they thought it would be - despite continuous praise for the work ethic of the team and the outstanding ability of Alexander Ovechkin, the Caps finished fourth from last in the league and were often referred to by opposing writers as 'lowly'. To those of us who witnessed it firsthand, however, this year far surpassed any expectations. Ovie, of course, brought his own brand of excitement, but the team as a whole seemed to click and were once again fun to watch regardless of the score. Guys seemed to be having fun and towards the end of the year, they were even able to play the spoiler a few times (Ha! Take that, Atlanta!)...

...And so we come to the present day - the offseason finally winds down and some changes have been made. Halpy, we'll miss you - welcome back Zed! We now sit on the cusp of a new season that kicks off this Friday with the opening of training camp and it can't come too soon for me. By the way, a big shout-out to Tarik El-Bashir, Dave Fay, the guys at the Caps Report and all the players that took the time to call in for keeping us all going and giving us our hockey fix through this very long summer.

There are obviously still a lot of questions in the air for this season - will the special teams have improved with the offseason additions? Who will be the captain?
Is GMGM planning on signing anyone else? (No, not Bondra - I love the guy, but please let that rumor die already.) Do we have capable centers to anchor our many talented wingers? And most importantly, will we see the return of the lucky pigeon??

Answers to all this and more coming soon, because the roster is set, the ice is frozen, and to quote Thin Lizzy, "the boys are back in town!"


DMG said...

So, did you go to McGill?

CapsChick said...

I did indeed! Go Redmen!

DMG said...

Neato. A guy on my hockey team went there (he;s the best player, being Canadian and all)

I'd considered going there as an undergrad but first I went to a school to play hockey. When I decided to leave there I wanted somewhere smaller...plus my French is well...about the level of a toddler (though I know the university is in English).

Considered going there for graduate school too, but again passed for various reasons.

I am envious, to be honest.

Fearless Freep said...


Kill McGill.

Go Stingers!


CapsChick said...

Oh NO! A Concordia troll!

I kid, I kid ;)