NHL and NBA seasons bring new hope to DC

    In a city notorious for constant debate and argument, one shared consensus is on the fact that what seems like every year, misfortune and misery rears its ugly face towards Washington DC sports teams. There have been countless heart wrenching accounts where a DC team has had so much promise, with such high aspirations in the regular season only to lose miserably in the playoffs,in what seems almost every year. It has become a common question by many DC sports fans over the years, “How could we possibly blow this?” yet somehow, by some means, these DC teams find a way to miraculously botch opportunity after opportunity. Each year it feels as if, the pain only gets worse, already in the 2016 calendar year there have been two DC sports teams, the Nationals and the Capitals, with such high hopes who exited the playoffs way too early. Although disappointment has almost become a synonym for DC sports teams, the fans of Washington DC are as devoted of a fan base as any other city’s fan base.

    However, for DC sports fans there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, with hope that this year just might mark the year that all the years of constant agonizing playoff losses come to an end. The same night that thousands of DC sports fans were met with disappointment, they were also met with hope as the NHL season kicked off for the Washington Capitals. The Caps a season ago were the best team in the NHL by 11 points yet had an unexpected early playoff exit, nearly kept the exact same roster with a few adjustments made to solidify an already outstanding lineup. Boasting the likes of reigning top goal scorer Alex Ovechkin, and world-class caliber goalie Braden Holtby, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner awarded to the league’s top goaltender. The caps also have outstanding coaching in Barry Trotz, who won the Jack Adams award last year, this award is given to the top coach in the league voted by all other coaches. Due to the increasing list of elite talent that they posses, the Capitals are primed to be Stanley Cup contenders this year.

    Senior and captain of the WJ ice hockey team, Aaron Greene has high hopes that going into the season, the Caps have a solid chance to finally win the first Stanley Cup in the team’s 42 year long history,

    “The Caps really seem ready to win [the Stanley Cup] this year” said Greene, “although I was definitely disappointed by their playoff performance last year, I feel that the fans are excited for this upcoming season and that will translate into better play from the Caps this year in the playoffs.” Although Greene has a very optimistic outlook on the Caps upcoming season, he also knows that the Caps are not immune to the so called curse of DC sports teams,

    “In the past couple of years I have always thought that the caps would win [the Stanley Cup]” Greene said, “and I have always expected that, but I am consistently disappointed by them in the playoffs every year.”

    While the Caps plan on setting their goals to win the Stanley Cup this year, the Wizards will be looking to make it to the playoffs, and do better this year following an unsatisfactory season last year, finishing three games out of the playoffs with a 41-41 record. The Wizards finished last season winning five less games than they did the year before in the 2014-15 campaign which saw them go all the way to the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Wizards bolstered their lineup this summer with the addition of several new players through either free agency or through trade. Their most notable acquisition this off season was their addition of Trey Burke, a young guard who was the former ninth overall pick in the 2013 draft. With the addition of young, raw talent, the Wizards are hoping that the team will blossom into a powerhouse team in the coming years. Sophomore, Hank Roll agrees that last season, the Wizards did not perform at all up to the standards that they were held to,

    “It was a disappointment” Roll said plainly, regarding the below average play in which the Wizards performed all too much last season. Though Roll was not happy with the way that the Wizards played last season, he did take some positives out of last season,

    “I like the way that John Wall and Bradley Beal really blossomed into solid NBA players and leaders last season” Roll said, “and I am also looking forward to seeing them become even more talented and skilled players throughout this upcoming season.”
    Roll also feels that several other players in the Wizards organization have the opportunity to become more elite players over time which can boost the Wizards chances at a championship run in the coming years,

    “I believe that Otto Porter Jr. will become a much more important player in the Wizard’s system this year” Roll said referring to the Wizards former third overall pick in the 2013 draft, “and he will eventually be able to become a leader on the team with Bradley Beal and John Wall in the future.”

    With the beginning of the new NHL and NBA seasons, a new slate is opened up for both the Capitals and the Wizards, both very promising teams renew hopes and ambitions from DC sports fans all around. All of the wounds from last spring have healed, all of the curses and obscenities said about both teams has been put aside, instead DC fans turn their heads and look forward with the optimism that a city which has dealt with so much heartache and sadness over the past two decades, will finally have something to cheer about.