Now i realize that we are out of the playoffs and that the Washington capitals, the team we faced last night and lost a miserable 5-2 too after two strong periods of play, are in the playoffs, but when i traveled to Washington DC this weekend i just couldn't resist going to the game.
I learned a couple of things:
1. Washington fans have no idea what there talking about
2. theres a lack of Atlanta fans in the DC area
3. Dont pretend to be part of the media to get up close to the team.
I will explain after the jump
It was my first live thrashers game, after watching almost every game this season on NHL center ice. I'm from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and its not very often the thrashers come to town. I went to this game, sporting my away Bryan Little jersey hoping we would have a strong outing. Nik Antropov was out, and Mark Popovic started with Toby. Overall we had high energy, we skated half well, our first goal was a fluke, and ovechkin(One of the dirtiest players in the league in my opinion) shut us down late.
As was mentioned three main things came out of this game and the first was the lack of knowledge of the game by Caps fans. First, your team is named after a geographic location, or a slang name for a hat. either way what is a cap? and capitals? come on. second, the macarthur goal on the break a way, someone yells "hey that wasnt a goal, the water bottles didn't move on top of the net", second there's a complete lack of knowledge on rules of the game, whether it be delay of game non calls, or offsides, these fans were clearly there because they were winning. Also Ovy for MVP? come on hes one of the dirtiest players in the league who should not be playing for the rest of the month because of what he did to Brian Campbell.
Second, in total at this game, in a packed house of hockey spectators, i saw four other thrashers fans, not including myself and my girlfriend who was scared for her life as we were jeered and heckled pre game and post game. still though, although the four fans were below the age of 14, they were bright lights in a dark season for me.
Third, and this is what inspired me to write this blog is a great experience for me of almost getting tackled as i walked by security checks. After the game i asked an usher if there was anyway that i could see a player and try to get an autograph. He told me, and told me to not tell anyone, that the team came out at a certain location. So out i went, once again getting jeered by everyone, in hopes of seeing some of the players. I was standing where some Caps fans were and they were clearly getting excited as there players were driving home after the game. I asked...is there any chance i would see some thrashers? and one fine gentlemen, in an ovechkin sweater answered my call with "the thrashers suck! but who are you trying to see? for a price i can hook you up?." i thought this man was trying to scam me but i played the game saying "what do you mean?" he flashed a media pass and told me that he could get me right down there. I said i don't know man and he replied "screw it come with me". my heart went through the roof... was i going to see my team from NHL games that i watched all season. We went inside an entrance and security came up to us. The caps fan told the security that i was with him, but security wouldn't let us pass. so the man gave me his pass! he said go downstairs and you will see the players. SO down i went, past security checks, flashing my media badge. i arrived at a bus, and i look around for Bryan Little and i ask someone hey is bryan around? who do i get answered by other than Toby Enstrom and Jim Slater who say that they think hes on the bus. Eric Boulton was getting scanned by a metal detector, and Coach Anderson was walking with a fury to the bus. Then Security grabs me by the arm and says "who are you and where did you get that pass?" and escorts me out of the building.
A dream come true, and something that i will never forget. All made true by a Caps fan with a heart. Truly amazing, and at the end of it, i didnt hate caps fans so much, and even wished the gentlemen good luck in the post season. I realize i rambled on for a bit here but hopefully you guys will enjoy this, because it really meant a lot to me to talk to these players. Im sure they must have been happy to see one of the seven fans there too.