WASHINGTON — For the seventh time in the Alex Ovechkin era, the Washington Capitals will play a hockey game with a berth in the Eastern Conference Final at stake. They’ve come up short in each of the previous six.
Throw in the Washington Wizards (0-1), Redskins (0-2) and Nationals (0-4), and D.C.’s four major sports teams have lost a combined 13 consecutive games when a spot in the league semifinals has been on the line.
The 1998 Capitals remain the last of Washington’s ‘Big-4’ teams to reach a ‘Final-4’ and current head coach Barry Trotz is plenty familiar with the doubt that traditionally creeps in for local sports fans.
With the Capitals leading the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-games-to-2 in their second-round series, and Washington once again a win away from advancing to the conference final, Trotz had a message for the fan base before the team chartered to western Pennsylvania Sunday afternoon.
“Just get behind us, please,” Trotz said. “That’s all I ask. We’re the ones playing. Trust me. I can tell you there’s not a player, a coach, a trainer, ownership, GM who is not trying to do everything they can to win this series. Trust me. We’re trying as hard as we can and at the end of the day that’s all we can promise. Get behind us, help push us forward and we’re going to give you our best.”
Catch Game 6 between the Capitals and Penguins on Monday night at 7 p.m. (WFED 1500AM). Pregame coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. with John Walton, Ken Sabourin & Ben Raby live from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh