Instead of doing a normal game summary for the Atlanta game, I felt it was necessary to pay tribute to the Verizon Center. The Caps finished their season at home yesterday with a 6-4 win over the Atlanta Thrashers, and will finish the rest of the season on the road. At the end of the game the players stayed on the ice and gave some lucky fans the jerseys right off their backs.
There is no doubt that this year has been all about the fans at Verizon. The constant “Let’s Go Caps” cheers followed by Sam Wolk “The Horn Guy” blaring his horn three times. The 28 sold-out games. The red colors flowing through Verizon like a bloodstream have definitely given the Caps a reason to play well at home. In fact the Caps have some of the best numbers at home in the entire league.
Alex Ovechkinhas been almost unstoppable at home as well. He leads the league with 34 goals and 59 points at home. Washington also broke a franchise record for total attendance with741,992 breaking the total from the 2001-02 season of 710,990. Their powerplay is not only the best in the NHL but at home they dominate on the PP scoring more than a fourth of the time.
So thank you Verizon, we’ve had a lot of memories this season–like Ovechkin’s goal from his back against Montreal or Semin’s goal from his knees with a second left in the period. When the Washington Capitals were defeated by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1998 Stanley Cup Finals, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman claimed “If Detroit is Hockeytown, then Washington is Hockey City.” At the time I thought he was full of it (and I’m guessing he thought so too) considering there were more Red Wings fans than Caps fans at the game. But 10 seasons later I have to agree with him, and so do a lot of people in the D.C. area.