Mall Hockey

No game on the National Mall this year

If things had broken differently, Caps fans could've been treated to Alex Ovechkin speeding down the ice on an outdoor rink on the National Mall.  The NHL was kicking around the idea of a re-launch of the sport after its two-week Olympic hiatus, according to the Globe and Mail.

The game would've featured Sidney Crosby and Ovie reigniting the rivalry from last year's epic (at least 'til Game 7) playoff series.  That would've been exciting enough, but the idea of playing it on the Mall?  Awesome!

"The centrepiece was to be a game featuring Sidney Crosby's Pittsburgh Penguins and Alex Ovechkin's Capitals in Washington. The concept was to capitalize on the profile hockey will gain in the United States from the Vancouver Games by featuring Crosby and Ovechkin, the NHL's top two TV attractions, in a special venue in the U.S. capital – possibly the National Mall."

But, as with all cool things involving the Caps lately, the networks poo-pooed it.  NBC wanted to focus its attention on the Winter Classic, which features the Philly Flyers and the Boston Bruins at Fenway Park.

The Caps were in consideration for the game, which would have given Ovie a giant stage to show off his greatness, but it's been reported that NBC was concerned with the ratings, so they went with the larger-market Flyers.

This time, the Globe report says the network was eager to get back to its regular TV schedule.

Also, the logistics of getting a game on the Mall (or elsewhere in D.C.) isn't easy, especially in a relatively short time frame.  Plus, the game would've been targeted for early March.  In D.C., you certainly can't count on the weather; it's just as likely to be 75 and humid as it is to be 35 with flurries.

Although some would argue that the warm weather wouldn't detract from the quality of slush... err... ice the Caps usually skate on.

Maybe next year, Caps fans.

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