What: Capitals raise the banner.
When: Tonight at 7:30
Where: Capital One Arena
Tonight we will witness one of the most cherished traditions in all of sports. The Washington Capitals will raise the banner to the rafters of the Capital One Arena. The 2017-2018 NHL champions will forever be enshrined in the halls of greatness of this wonderful sport.
On Monday, the Caps got their rings. Tonight, they raise the banner. This is my favorite tradition in sports. The emotion, the sell out crowd, the noise; it’s infectious and addicting. Shortly after, Washington needs to put on their game face as they will drop the puck against the Boston Bruins. This promises to be a potential playoff preview even before the season begins. Both teams are predicted to do well, so we’re starting the season off right.
This magnificent ride started when the Capitals won the Stanley Cup this summer. How can anyone forget Ovechkin and his antics with the Cup? I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed seeing someone celebrate any more than I did watching him. It was well deserved and long overdue. But now they need to get down to business to defend the Cup.
The Stanley Cup was first presented in 1894. It was the creation of Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, lord of Preston and 16th earl of Derby. (Yes, I had to look that up) Stanley served in Canada’s House of Commons from 1865 to 1888 when he was named governor general of Canada. He attended his first hockey game in 1889 and fell in love instantly with the game. It was then that he donated the trophy, originally called the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, to the winner of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association.
Since 1926, the Stanley Cup has been given solely to the NHL champion. It has been given each year with the exception of the strike year of 2005. The original Cup was retired in 1962, and the same trophy has been used ever since then. Each team, upon winning the Cup, gets the trophy for a year. Each player and employee of that team gets 24 hours with it. I still wish Ovechkin could’ve gotten a week. Having said that, he may have died from alcohol poisoning if that were the case. So tonight promises to be another spectacular night of witnessing a great tradition.
The best news here is that the season is underway tonight. It all begins with the Maple Leafs hosting the Canadiens at 7:00. At 7:30 we get the Caps hosting the Bruins. The late games give us the Flames at the Canucks and the Ducks at the Sharks. San Jose is a team that I think can win the Cup this year. But it’s early, the anticipation is in the air, and I’m ready for the puck to drop on the 2018-2019 season. My Center Ice package is ordered, the beer is cold, and I want some hockey!