Longtime Capitals fans don’t have much hope this time of year. They’d like to think their team will win the Stanley Cup, of course, but Washington’s history — which includes a 2-7 record in Game 7s — makes it tough to be too optimistic.

But what those psychologically battered fans should know, writes Mike Wise, is that kind of negativity could actually the Caps’ chances of upsetting the defending Stanley Cup champions on the Bruins’ home ice tomorrow.

From today’s column:

“Oh, definitely,” said Ronald Kamm, the sports psychiatrist and director of Sport Psychiatry Associates in Oakhurst, N.J., and a lifelong fan of Philadelphia teams. “The mind-set of the city is very important to players. They read the press. They hear the media. They know their history. It’s all part of a culture. . . .”

It’s so easy as a Washington fan to fall into this woe-is-us trap given what’s happened to the Capitals in the playoffs and the Redskins, Wizards and Nationals in the regular season recently. For instance, Boston experienced seven championship parades in the years between 2001 and 2011 involving every big-revenue major pro sports team: Patriots (3), Red Sox (2), Celtics (1) and Bruins (1). The DMV? No floats with pro athletes since the Redskins in 1992. That’s 20 years and counting, people. Not good.

But, Wise says, it’s been a crapshoot year. Vancouver is done already and all four seeds in the East could be done soon. So why not Washington? Why not now?

Read the full column here.