Capitals Host #RockTheRed Fan Rally

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Posted April 15, 2016

(via @MayorBowser)

The Washington Capitals held #RockTheRed Fan Rally at Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square Wednesday, giving fans an opportunity to show support for the team ahead of their playoff opener against Philadelphia Thursday.

The Capitals enter the playoffs with the expectation of playing into June after a dominant regular season, and those expectations were echoed throughout the rally.

Notable members of the organization attended the event, including Monumental Sports & Entertainment founder and Washington Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis, Caps alumnus and CSN-Washington analyst Alan May, Caps alumnus Rod Langway, Caps radio play-by-play man John Walton and Verizon Center public address announcer Wes Johnson.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser also made an appearance, officially proclaiming April 14 in Washington, D.C. “Rock the Red” Day.

“This is an exciting time for the District and ‘Rock the Red’ is a fun way to support our hometown hockey team in their pursuit of the Stanley Cup,” she said.

Bowser and members of the organization that spoke at the event excited fans with talk of 16 wins, the number of wins needed in the postseason to claim the Stanley Cup. The level of optimism among those gathered was high, a reflection of the team’s lofty expectations. May, who played in Washington from 1989-1994, picked the Capitals to dispatch their first round opponent in five games.

“I expect the Caps to be able to win this series,” he said. “Everyone has turned it up a level, will turn it up a level, emotionally, physically. This is a really good hockey team top to bottom and I just think that anything longer than that is unnecessary.”

Despite all the Stanley Cup chatter during the rally, Leonsis emphasized the need to narrow in on the small steps in order to reach the ultimate achievement.

“Well I think the first deliverable for our franchise is to make the playoffs,” he said. “And so we set that as our goal every year and we met that goal. And the fans really liked the way we played and then we finished with the best record, gave them a heightened sense of pride. But everyone knows that what happened in the regular season you kind of toss out now and we all start zero and zero. And we really do need to focus on playing one game at a time and all anyone is focused on is Thursday.”

The Capitals took that first small step with a 2-0 victory over Philadelphia in Game 1 Thursday night. Only 15 more to go.