For the last several years (and it's been several) I've been finding solace in a little place known as Japers' Rink. And many of you have as well. Now, we all have one major thing in common, and that kind of pulls us here - we all of the Capitals, and we all seem to enjoy banter and well thought out analysis.
I'm a big jerk sometimes - especially recently. The Caps have completely blown a 3-1 lead, and had an overall miserable playoff experience the last three seasons. But I'm not giving up hope. Here's why.
The last two seasons, the teams in the finals were the Red Wings and Penguins. Yeah, I don't like it anymore than you guys do. But their roads weren't completely clear. They had their down moments on the way. Both teams had seven game series (and the Wings were against an 8 seed out of Anaheim, and we all remember the one the Pens had), and then both came out of them playing dominant hockey. I'm also pretty sure that against the Flyers, at least one time the Penguins thought they were done. The finals series (both last years and the previous) were 6 and 7 game marathons. I'd argue the fact that the Pens had a game seven that they shouldn't have had, and they were against a team they were expected (outside of our fan base) to beat. I bet that game 7 helped them in the finals.
The year before, the Wings only had ONE series with fewer than 6 games.
My point is, basically, that very few series are swept. In fact, if you're using the coin flip theory that F&B hates, you're going to find that most series go 7 games. We know that series are not coin flips, however, but very few teams find it in them to win 16 games in a row. I don't think it's ever happened.
Does it suck to be tied 3-3 playing against the 8 seed? Totally. It feels awful. I hate losing as much as the next guy. But what bugs me even more is the rampant pessimism.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm completely fine with one or two "game's over." Or even if everyone says it all at once. But when the Caps get behind, that shit gets compacted in with it, and the Rink isn't a fun place anymore. Am I suggesting we ignore the team's play? No, but if you want to say something like "Flash Sucks" or "Fucking Poti", or bash Semin, which I've done too, in the long run, we have to remember this is a moment in time. The team should be winning. We're not. But as a result, the team needs our faith more than any other time this season. They need our support.
I think we have just as good a chance to make it to the second round as the Habs do, if not better. I'm going to be loud and proud. Let's give this team one game without bashing them, without any "fucking stupid decision to dress him," without any "Game's over" until it actually is.
And yes, there's a chance we go out in game seven and lose. If that happens, I'll be as hurt as all of you. And after we get out our initial words of choice, let's go back to how this site really thrives, in my opinion - breaking it down, rather than blanket "This guy sucks" or "BB is stupid."
I've been through plenty of playoff disappointment with you guys. I hope we don't have to go through more, but I feel like we can go through it with more faith. It hurts me to see fans of the team I love giving up.