April 23, 2008
If there's been one absolute point of pride for the Washington Capitals this postseason, it's been the fanatical support of their long-suffering fans. They showed up in great numbers through the team's improbable playoff run, drenched from head to toe in red. Some clipped their hair into a crazy Mike Green faux-hawk. Collectively, they reinforced D.C. as a hockey town, even with the Wizards playing LeBron in the first round of those other arena-based playoffs.
All of that said, it was rather embarrassing to see those same fans litter the ice with rally rags, food, beer and whatever containers had housed said beer after the Capitals' 3-2 overtime loss in Game 7 last night to the Philadelphia Flyers. We're talking pools of overpriced brew that splashed on the ice near where the Flyers were celebrating Joffrey Lupul's game-winner, and showers of concessionary debris that kept falling during the postgame handshake -- and post-series interviews, like this one with Jeff Carter:
There may have been some Capitals fans who felt the team had been jobbed by two questionable calls, which we'll cover in a larger post about Game 7 later this morning. Their actions weren't as unfortunate as Habs fans burning cop cars, and or the R-rated chants at the Wachovia Center; but it was a classless display that continued until Alexander Ovechkin turned to the crowd and changed the jeers to cheers by applauding the fans' otherwise stellar support through seven tough games. "It's tough. It's a wonderful part of the game when fans support you, fans love you, and you're losing. You just want to say hi to them, and thanks," he said.