Shortly after the Capitals lost to the Lightning in overtime Sunday night, President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S. forces. The news sparked celebrations across Washington and around the country.
While the Capitals were clearly focused on their day jobs and the two-game series deficit they’re currently facing, the news of bin Laden’s death offered a little perspective.
“You’re home and you’re miserable about the game and just sitting there and the phone starts pinging,” Mike Knuble said. “My brother was telling me about it, then you flip on the TV and it’s certainly something else. It was certainly a moment that I think a lot of us will remember in your life, when you found out this event. Kind of puts things in perspective when you see the families talking about closure, nine, 10 years of agony, and finally things being closed up.”
Knuble is one of four American players on the Capitals’ roster, along with John Carlson, Matt Hendricks and Tom Poti.
“I got home, my wife has it on the news,” Jason Chimera said. “You kinda forget about the game for a bit. It’s pretty drastic news, that’s for sure.
“I remember that day [Sept. 11, 2001] vividly. I was in Canada at the time but you kinda were just in shock and awe at what happened. Your hearts went out to the families, and hopefully that brings a little bit of peace to those people. It’s only one step, but I think it’s a big step for all the guys over there, too. I think it’s a big mental lift for all those guys over there, too.”
Coach Bruce Boudreau has a close connection to the events of Sept. 11, as he was scheduled to be on the United Airlines flight 175 from Boston that crashed into the World Trade Center that day.
He was working for the Manchester Monarchs, in the Kings organization at the time, and the arrangements were switched, so Boudreau traveled a day earlier. But two of Los Angeles’ scouts, Ace Bailey and Mark Bavis, died on that flight. The account is in Boudreau’s book.
Boudreau said he was aware of the news following Sunday’s game.
“I was only thinking about the game. Believe me, I’m conscientious about what went on, but I’m worried about the game,” said Boudreau, who was asked if it made him think about the flight he was scheduled to take. “I do, but I’m not thinking about that right now. I’ll let the rest of the world think about it.”