In the 1990's I saw a photo somewhere of a Vancouver Canuck screaming in celebration after scoring a goal. While I don't remember who was in the photo (I think it was Pavel Bure, but I'm really not sure), don't know who took the photo and don't know where I saw it, the capture of raw emotion and sheer joy in the shot has always stayed with me.
When the Capitals were on their run to the playoffs in 2008, my wife and I had a conversation one night about buying season tickets for the following year. As we all remember, there was a vibe of something brewing about hockey in Washington and I wanted to be there to see it in person. I didn't have to sell my wife on the tickets because she was already on board. The next day, I had seats for the following season. That evening, I went to just my second game of the season and saw Alex Ovechkin score his 65th goal of the season. I happened to be holding my friend's camera at that moment and got a few shots that got me a little bit hooked. In Ovechkin and the Young Guns, I saw the emotion from that Canuck photo and thought, "Hey, maybe I can capture something here. That would be cool."
With so many goals scored by the Washington Capitals in the past five and a half seasons, I've certainly had my chances to capture something similar. It's hard to get those displays of emotion from the cheap seats I've had for most of the time I've had tickets. It's a bit easier from the lower seats I have now, but still not easy. I have yet to make the image that's in my head, but there are others I've made that come close. From the past year, these Capitals hockey hugs photos are them.
In yesterday's "Best of 2013" gallery, I included a lot of images I thought were neat, cool or somehow visually interesting even if they didn't show something that mattered to Capitals hockey. Today's gallery is filled with photos I'm chasing. Ones about people and emotion. Well, happy emotions, because it's more enjoyable to assemble than a gallery of anguished, heartbroken and ticked off photos (and some of those are coming in the Penalties of 2013 gallery on Tuesday).
The Clyde's Shots of 2013 series: