What happened Saturday night was virtually unprecedented in the last two decades of Washington sports. A pro team, playing at home, getting ever closer to a title, and with everything at stake, put on a clinical, oppressively dominating performance and never trailed while sending the home fans into spasms of ecstasy. If I’m using that phrase correctly. Which I think I am.
“They are cheering and screaming,” NBC’s “Doc” Emrick said as time ran down in Washington’s 3-1 win. “There are posters with Stanley Cups on them, saying ‘It’s ok to believe.’ Perhaps in past years it was against their better judgment. But judgment gets clouded by emotion, and also by success.”
“Most of the fans I see are in their 30s and 40s,” NBC Sports Washington’s Rob Carlin said during the postgame show. “This is a lifetime, they’ve never experienced anything like this … I mean, these are just great moments that you want to ingrain in your brain forever, and just enjoy this in every sort of way.”
Everything about this night was perfect for a celebration. The fact that Alex Ovechkin led the way. The fact that Washington was stifling with the lead. The fact that the Caps won their first Stanley Cup finals game at home, that they took their first Stanley Cup finals series lead, that they did it on a Saturday night with throngs of people outside, that the weather was good enough to hold a party, that the performance was good enough to merit one, that there hadn’t been many parties like this in decades.
The Redskins’ greatest moments came away from D.C., and the city was a different place then, anyhow. Chinatown as a hangout did not exist. And so these scenes, at a minimum, were 20 or 30 years in the making. Enjoy them. They are good scenes.
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