Nicklas Backstrom Signed A Broom For Some Overly Confident Capitals' Fans Before Their Dream Of A Sweep Got Shot To Hell
If we're going to get into what cost the Capitals a golden opportunity to take advantage of home ice and come within one win of playing for the Stanley Cup, then the slapping of a John Hancock on a household cleaning product is far from the top of the list. Their seemingly fatalistic failures of postseason's past might lead you to believe differently, but witchcraft probably isn't what has had Washington reliving the same nightmare year after year, and therefore a tainted broom didn't summon some all-too-familiar evil spirit. If we are sure that the Lightning's resurrection was the work of some superpower-play then I'd look the way of Nikita Kucherov's magical hands or the wizardry that was a Steven Stamkos one-timer that could flummox a physics student into changing majors. Simply put, the following is much more likely to have made the Eastern Conference Final competitive, rather than some sort of bad omen...
That said, I can't help but feel like it's the worst of form for Nicklas Backstrom to go around signing off on sweeps when he's not even in the damn lineup. To be honest, it kind of feels like the guy-on-the-couch inviting his friend's alcoholic ex-girlfriend to the party without asking when he's not the one who will have to answer to the potential consequences of doing so. Tampa Bay was due for a breakout performance based solely on the skill in their lineup, but cracking open the door for bad juju? Is that really something that the Washington Capitals, of all teams, really want to do at this stage of the game?
Both their fans and one of their most prominent players are merely three wins removed from what once felt like a never-ending and sadistic cycle of the most anguishing of eliminations. Yet, all the sudden those whose "contributions" come solely from the stands are walking around carrying the cockiness one might expect from a back-to-back champ between their legs? Alexander Ovechkin, Braden Holtby, and the boys are no doubt still the favorites to move on after their dominant start to the series. Still, it might behoove the people that have benefited from their success to remember where they came from so they don't have to use that piece of memorabilia to mop up their shattered spirit if the unlikely happens and the Caps dilly-diddle themselves into "their year" ending in the same old pit of misery.