First of all, you can read my recap for DC Sports Box here.
But here's some things that couldn't go in the legit piece:
I was 14 the last time the Capitals won a playoff series. A freshman in high school. That seems like a long, long time ago.
I was hoping the self-proclaimed Maven, Stan Fischler, would come out and say, "Wow we must not be all that good, because I spent the last two weeks saying how weak the Caps were and now we lost to them. Sorry!" But no...
Simeon Varlamov (Semyon next year?) tripped a little bit going out the door from the bench to the ice before the third period. I thought that was a bad sign, and remembered that when I was a goalie in high school and college hockey I would always get embarrassed when something stupid like that would happen and inevitably give up a weak goal. I guess that's why I'm clinging to memories of an adult league roller hockey championship and he's a 21-year-old dominating in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Text message from my friend Will right after the game: "Best 4 mil ever"
Is it odd that the only people I wanted to gloat to were the Caps fans who, after Games Two and Four, were saying things like, "Stick a fork in us, we are done."
When we found out about the Hurricanes' amazing comeback on the Devils, I was in the makeshift press room on the Wizards practice court sitting right next to "Puck Daddy" Greg Wyshynski, who is a Devils fan. Even in the celebratory atmosphere of Verizon Center I felt bad for the guy. Maybe because we've all been there at some point, but also probably because I have a soft spot for the Devils since my brother grew up a fan (he's since converted to the most exciting team in the NHL). That feeling vanished when I remembered that the Devils have been around eight less years than the Caps, yet they've been to six Eastern Conference Finals, four Stanley Cup Finals and have won three Cups. (The Caps, of course, are at 2, 1, 0 in those categories.) Also, let it be known that with the Devils up 3-2 with six minutes left, Wyshynski said something to the effect of, "Great, that just means Marty will give up another freaking goal with .2 seconds left." Ouch.
The end of the Devils-'Canes game wasn't shown on Versus in our area. I really want to find someone who was in the arena to confirm that Carolina's 3rd and 4th goals DID actually happen. Until I have this confirmation, a small part of me will always believe that the NHL made a call to the Prudential Center after the Caps won, and that there are 17,625 people wandering around North Jersey in a haze confused as to why all of a sudden the scoreboard clicked from a 3-2 Devils lead to a 4-3 Devils loss without anything happening on the ice.
My first reaction on finding out the Caps are playing the Penguins in the second round: "I don't think I have enough hate left in my body for a Pittsburgh series."
My second reaction: "NOTE TO SELF: DO NOT READ INTERNET COMMENTS DURING CAPS-PENGUINS SERIES"
Bruce Boudreau: "Welcome to the circus."