The Caps take on the Lightning tonight, and Ovie's brought his dancing shoes. With just a single, solitary, lone point, the Caps will have clinched the number two seed in the Eastern Conference.
Sometimes second best is good enough -- though Caps fans certainly have higher aspirations this spring.
For a long time this season, the number two seed seemed highly unlikely. The New Jersey Devils were flying along, thanks to Scott Clemmensen's unlikely star turn as Marty Brodeur's understudy.
But when Marty came back, the Devils have amazingly gotten worse, with six straight losses starting in the end of March.
That opened the door for the Caps, and Mike Green and Ovie have happily driven the ol' bandwagon right through.
Even if the Caps don't get a point tonight, the seed is theirs if the Devils don't win out. (They get a crack at the red-hot Hurricanes on Saturday)
So what comes with the second seed?
Well, sadly, there's no trophy with the name of some long-dead NHL founder.
But the prize might be just as good: a date with a mediocre opponent.
Right now, it's most likely the Canadiens or the Rangers. The Habs have the tiebreaker over the Rangers for the 7th seed, so you might want to start practicing your French insults.
Our beaver-loving friends to the North certainly seem to be relishing the possibility. "The Caps have a potent 1-2-3 punch with forwards Alexander (The Great) Ovechkin and Alexander Semin and defenceman Mike Green. But this is the time of year when defence comes to the fore and the Caps have suspect goaltending in the person of former Canadien José Theodore and a shaky defence corps," says the Gazette.
Them's fightin' words!
But that's getting ahead of things. For now, Caps fans should take joy in the accomplishments (and wild ride) of the season.
Number two is nothing to be ashamed of.
Chris Needham used to write Capitol Punishment. He thinks he'd prefer to see the Rangers.
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