Game 7: an open letter to Caps fans

With the pivotal Game 7 looming, here is my letter to Capital fans.

Dear Caps Fans,

Two words. Game 7. Two words. No two words have plagued this fanbase more than “Game 7”. Washington is just 4-11 in the infamous win-or-go-home game since the 1986-87 season, when they lost their first Game 7 in franchise history to the New York Islanders.

In the last 10 seasons, the Capitals have played in 10 Game 7’s. Of those 10 games, they have lost seven, including five times to two of their biggest rivals, the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins.

On top of that, there have been countless other examples of the Capitals playoff woes that ended their season prior to a Game 7. The Sporting News brought up an interesting, yet depressing stat: the Caps are just 13-43 in series after getting a two game lead (2-0 or 3-1). Considering that Washington started this series against Tampa 2-0, this stat does not bode well for them. Given their playoff history it seems that the Caps won’t only have to defeat the Lightning in Game 7, but they will also have to beat history.

Friends, based on everything that I said above, it doesn’t look good for the Caps. History is certainly not on their side. But that doesn’t matter. This year it feels different. This team feels different than all of the teams that have let us down in the past. The Caps already tangled with history once this playoffs, getting the second round monkey off their back and defeating their nemesis the Pittsburgh Penguins to return to the Conference Finals for the first time in 20 years. Alex Ovechkin is a man on a mission, which is a scary thing if you are a team that has to play the Capitals. Braden Holtby is heating up. The game is on the road, where the Caps have experienced success during these playoffs. The Caps dominated Game 6 and now have the momentum.

With Game 7 about to start, I ask my fellow Cap fans to take a deep breath and relax. Have yourself an adult beverage (if, of course, you are over 21) or a refreshing ice cold Dr. Pepper or whatever soda you prefer. I know I am making myself a Jack and Coke, sitting back and relaxing, and watching the game. If there is anything this team has taught me over the years, it is never get too excited. Just sit back, buckle up, hang tight and go along for the ride. And friends, Game 7 is going to be a helluva ride.

This letter started with two words, so I will end it with two words:

Go Caps!

Your friend, and WTS resident Caps fan,

Josh Coggins

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