You need to be engulfed by the swarm of red jerseys surrounding Verizon Center only once to see just how tied to the city’s bar and entertainment scene the Washington Capitals fanbase is. Just try getting in to Rocket Bar, Bar Louie or Clyde’s after a game and you’ll understand.
Winning will do that for a fan community. Since the 2007 season, supporters have had plenty of reasons to toast the team, whether a highlight-reel goal by Alex Ovechkin, overtime theatrics from Nicklas Backstrom or a series-ending snipe by Sergei Fedorov. The custodian to all of that success and 201 wins was head coach Bruce Boudreau, the lovable hockey lifer who quickly became a fan favorite for his avuncular, everyman persona.
But things have gone south since the Caps were swept out of the playoffs last spring. Boudreau was fired this morning, replaced by Capitals legend Dale Hunter.
We here at the Going Out Guide love all D.C. sports, but the Caps have always held a special place in our hearts. So if you’re like us, you’d probably like to give one last salute to Bruce.
The Front Page in Ballston has long been a Capitals hub, thanks to its location just below the team’s practice facility. I asked them whether they were planning any type of a wake for Boudreau’s tenure, and they responded, “We are starting after practice!” So aim for about 1:30 or 2 p.m. if you’re headed over. Another spiritual home for Capitals fans: Bugsy’s Sports Bar in Old Town, owned by former Cap Bryan “Bugsy” Watson.
Of course, Chinatown is the center of the universe for Caps fans, and The Greene Turtle’s collection of framed memorabilia can serve to remind fans that although coaches and players may change from year to year, the jersey is what matters most.
So here’s to you, Bruce. May your metaphorical cup holder always be full.