ROCKVILLE — Washington Capitals fans have been rocking the red in abundance during the Stanley Cup Finals, particularly in Montgomery County.
Capitals fans converged Tuesday at Bar Louie in Rockville for Game 4 and saw their team beat the Vegas Golden Knights, 6-2.
Devoted fans cheered at the top of their lungs after each goal scored and munched on selected appetizers from the menu. Patrons also consumed their drink of choice throughout the evening. Beer was a popular selection for most of the fans in attendance.
The Capitals are just one win away from capturing the franchise’s first ever NHL Stanley Cup trophy. A win Thursday would also break the D.C. curse. It’s been 26 years since a major Washington professional sports franchise has won a championship.
The last time a D.C. team won a championship was 1992 when the Redskins beat the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI.
Besides the Redskins, the Washington Nationals and Washington Wizards have also come up short in their quest to win a championship in recent years. D.C. sports fans are yearning for a title and the Capitals are on the verge of bringing a long-awaited championship back to the city.
“We just want one championship in D.C.,” said Omar Collins, 22, a Rockville native. “Just one in my lifetime and I’ll be so happy.”
Collins and his friend, Alex Pavlakis, celebrated Tuesday’s Capitals’ win with victorious cheers and chants of “Let’s Go. Caps-Caps-Caps.”
“It’s a great feeling,” said Pavlakis, 22, a Rockville native. “I love it. 22 years living and I’ve never felt this good.”
Pavlakis, a Georgetown Day School alumnus who now resides in New Orleans, was in town to watch his beloved hockey team.
Capitals fans were glued to television screens around the Rockville bar as the team jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the Golden Knights.
One Capitals fan even called out Golden Knights right winger Ryan Reaves following a controversial play.
“Shut up Reaves,” he said. “You’re an idiot, Reaves.”
After years of postseason futility, the Washington hockey team finally had a breakthrough this season. The Capitals defeated the two-time defending Pittsburgh Penguins in six games, 4-2, in the Eastern Conference Finals and advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history.
Collins and Pavlakis embraced each other following the Capitals’ win Monday over Vegas. Collins, an Avalon School graduate, said he planned to watch Game 5 in the District of Columbia.
Potomac’s Lynda Carter, widely known for her role as Wonder Woman during the 1970s television series, was spotted Saturday in D.C. wearing a Capitals jersey prior to Game 3.
“Can’t express how happy I am to see my @Capitals in the #StanleyCup finals!! #ALLCAPS” she tweeted.
Social media was abuzz with Capitals fans expressing their adulation for the Washington hockey team following their 3-1 win over the Golden Nights.
“DC is a Hockey town now, thanks to the CAPS,” Bullis Strength and Conditioning Coach Al Kallay posted on Facebook. “Definitely giving us something to cheer about. No thanks to the Deadskins and that JV basketball Team.”
Alexander Ovechkin, the Capitals’ star left-winger, is certainly long overdue for an NHL Stanley Cup championship. He’s accumulated just about every individual award imaginable. The first overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Ovechkin earned the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s rookie of the year that season.
However, Ovechkin, one of the game’s most decorated players, is still missing a Stanley Cup from his resume.
Fans throughout the area are planning what is likely to be a historic day on Thursday. The Capitals’ success in the Stanley Cup Finals should also bode well for local businesses that cater to sports fans.
A Capitals win Thursday over the Golden Knights would also mark 40 years to the day that the Washington Bullets captured the NBA Championship with a 4-3 series win over the Seattle Supersonics.
A major championship in D.C. is long overdue and the sports fans here are ready.
“It’s been forever, bro,” said Collins. “It’s been a long time coming.”