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Perfect Ten January 31, 2010

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.

I’ve been trying to keep tabs on the playoff math for a while now, to the exclusion of writing about much else. It’s getting a little bit easier the more I do it, so now I have a little more time to write about subjects other than the arithmetic.

There aren’t that many times when you, as a fan, can truly say you were in the building when something historic happened. Now, me, I’ve got full season tickets and not much of a life, so if it’s happened in Verizon Center in the last four years, I was probably there for it. Not to brag, mind you–if anything, that’s kind of an indication of how shallow I am, I guess–but it’s true. I was there to see Ovechkin’s pass one way go the other fall down and score routine, I was there to see four goals on a broken nose, I was there for the dueling hat tricks last spring, and so on. I can honestly say I’ve seen a lot of historic hockey in the last few years. Whether I should be proud to have been there for all of it, or ashamed to have no life away from the rink, is something I’m going to have to work out on my own.

Tonight, however, I was happy to be there. Tonight, I got to see a historic win by my favorite team. Now, that’s not the most historic win I hope to see in person this season: a few more historic wins in, I don’t know, June would be nice. But I’ve got a screen grab of the standings page on NHL.com, showing the Caps last ten of 10-0-0, and the “Won 10” streak. I hope to see that become “Won 11” on Tuesday night, and I hope to do so in the company of other Caps fans.

But just for a moment, forget the next game. Just for a moment, pretend that tomorrow will never come. Just for a moment, pretend that tonight was the last Caps game that will ever be played. (I said PRETEND, all right?!) Just for a moment, pretend you will never, ever, see the Caps play again. If tomorrow never got here, would this be a good “last game” for the Washington Capitals?

I was working on an essay not long ago about past, present, and future–nothing earth-shattering, or even very original, so I ended up scrapping the whole thing once I hit the wall on it. To trim a ridiculously long essay down to one longish paragraph: the Capitals’ best days are not behind them, and their future hasn’t gotten here yet. The past is out of play, and the future is out of reach. The only thing that matters is this very moment. And this one. And this one, too.

To make a very long story a whole lot shorter, let me be blunt. Enjoy this moment, Caps fans. Moments like this don’t come around very often. I’m actually reminded of a song by Mike Oldfield:

Once in a lifetime, you find that faith
When you’re under the spell, and it takes control
Everything round you just falls in place
And all that you touch seems to turn to gold

I don’t know if we’ve seen a once in a lifetime moment tonight, Caps fans. Maybe we haven’t–maybe we’ll see another “Won 10” at some point before another quarter-century rolls around. Who can say? But consider this for a moment. Between 1930 and 1948, seven horses won horse racing’s Triple Crown. That’s almost one every other year, for almost two decades. But after Citation won in 1948, it would be a full 25 years before Secretariat would win in 1973. There were back to back Triple Crowns in 1977 and 1978, and since then, no horse has won the Triple Crown in 31 years. When Affirmed won in 1978, did anyone think it would be at least three decades before another Triple Crown would be won?

Caps fans, whatever you do, do not take this moment for granted. Those of you who were at Verizon Center tonight, I hope you stayed after and did some celebrating downtown. I did, over at Legal’s, and the chocolate pudding cake was richer than Alex Ovechkin. But this is the kind of win that you have to celebrate, and enjoy.

A challenge: the Caps’ next game is Tuesday night, in Boston. For just two days, Monday and Tuesday, try not to say anything bad about the Caps. Do we have room for improvement? Always. Was tonight a perfect game? Not really. But if you can’t enjoy this moment–and this one, and this one, too–then you’re either looking at a past that can’t be changed, or a future that’s not here yet. Enjoy this win, Caps fans. Savor it. Roll it around on your tongue like it’s a super-delicious chocolate pudding cake. The Caps probably won’t run the table from now until April, so there will be more chances to complain between now and then. For now, though, no complaining. None. Just enjoy the thrill of ten wins and counting. You all can complain all you want after this streak ends, which all streaks inevitably do. But for now, just for a couple of days, say nothing but good things about the Caps, and let’s see what happens.

It’s a great night to be a Caps fan!




1. june white - February 1, 2010

way to go , Caps.

Love ya, son,

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