Editor’s note: It feels like the Caps have been cursed for forever, but one reader believes that jinx is over. Mike Callow, a producer and co-host of ESPN 980 programming such as The Bram Weinstein Show and Inside the Locker Room, writes why things may finally be looking up for the Capitals. You can follow him on Twitter. Take it away, Mike.
As a lifelong DC Sports fan, there’s one thing I know for sure. For whatever reason, this area is cursed come playoff time and the team that suffers the most is the Washington Capitals.
I’m here to tell you though, that on Saturday night, the curse on the Washington Capitals officially ended.
Now I know what you’re thinking. Dude, Mike. The Caps lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-2! It was awful! They blew it! They looked hopeless on Saturday!
Here’s where you’re wrong. The Caps had a “start time” of 8pm; it was really 8:20ish due to the NHL Draft Lottery.
While the Caps were finishing warmups, the New Jersey Devils won the draft lottery despite only having an 8.5% chance of getting the first overall pick. Moreso, the Flyers (2.2% chance) slotted second followed by the Stars (5.8% chance).
The team that got screwed over the most was the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, who had a 10.8% chance of getting the first overall pick. Instead, they landed 6th. It’s the lowest draft pick for any expansion team in NHL history.
Former Capitals GM and new Golden Knights GM, George McPhee, was supposed to be in Toronto to see where his team would pick to get the first building block of the franchise. But his flight was delayed significantly out of DC due to mechanical issues. That’s not uncommon in today’s world, but strangely ironic.
McPhee then made his way to Verizon Center to be present at the Draft Lottery via satellite.
So let’s recap. The Caps’ former GM, the architect of the Ovechkin era Capitals, had to watch his new team get the worst pick for an expansion franchise from his old team’s building during a matchup with the Penguins game in the playoffs.
The Caps have always been unlucky in the playoffs (minus that one time in 1998, but you could still argue that the Hockey Gods pushed Esa Tikkanen’s shot wide right). Was it a coincidence that the first significant event for the Vegas Golden Knights went about as bad as it could possibly go with the Verizon Center as the backdrop?
The hockey gods have spoken. The Vegas Golden Knights now have whatever the Caps’ jinx was.
Now the reason why it didn’t take effect Saturday night was because DC had already taken the ice during warmups and McPhee was still in the building before this cosmic exchange could be completed. Monday was beginning of a new era for the Capitals.
Let’s focus on what went down during Game Three:
These are the type of breaks that don’t happen to the Capitals. Ever. Let alone in one game. AGAINST THE PENGUINS.
So you guys, the curse is gone and moved on to the desert in Nevada.
Caps in 6. Hope you’re ready for two more rounds of this.
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