By Chris Gordon
Photo credit: Chris Gordon
In recent years, as the Capitals began to falter and the Wizards and Nationals rose to playoff status, the crowds at Verizon Center slowly shrank. Though the team announced its 264th consecutive sellout after game two, there have often been large swatches of empty purple seats in the last few years.
Now, the Caps are back in the playoffs. They have a new coach, a new mentality, and are confident that they can finally bring a Stanley Cup to Washington.
With the resurgence of the team, the fans have come back. On this Friday night, the crowd brought back memories of late-game Sergei Fedorov goals and the hope and promise of the electric, run and gun Caps. At one point during game two, the decibel level reached 112. For a lot of the night, the numbers were over 100, nearly breaching the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s permissible noise level exposure limits.
The Rock the Red spirit is back and it’s pushing the Capitals forward. The team knows it. Here’s what they said after the game.
We fed off the crowd. It was loud out there today. It was as loud as this building has been all year. We just feed off of it.
It was fantastic. It was probably the most rocking — you talk about rocking the red — trust me, it helps. It helps our team when the fanbase that I know so well coming into this building when they are on top of you screaming. We feed off of that. You think you have an effect on the game, you do. You give us tons of energy as a fanbase. We need you. This might be a long one.
It was unbelievable. One of my memories form playing my first NHL game two years ago in this building was how loud the crowd was. Really no better feeling than celebrating in front of that crowd, I mean rocking. It was a fun night.
Jay Beagle: "Verizon Center was absolutely electric. It was awesome. One of the funnest games I've been a part of."
— Alex Prewitt (@alex_prewitt) April 18, 2015
The fan support was awesome. [Scoring here] is the best best feeling ever. When we tied it up 3-3, I’ve never heard it that loud before.
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