Washington Capitals Break D.C. Sports Curse

Ansh Suchdeve

The Washington Capitals broke the D.C. sports curse of not making it past the second round of the playoffs by defeating the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins, in six games. The curse began in 1998, which was the last time a sports team from the Washington D.C. area made it past the second round of the playoffs.  Before this year, the Capitals team made it to the conference final back in 1998.


For the four major sports showcased in the United States (football, basketball, baseball, and hockey,) each D.C. sports team has continuously reached the playoffs, only to lose in the first two rounds. For instance, when the Washington Wizards reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals, they were one game away from defeating the Boston Celtics. Although, in classic D.C. sports fashion (as many fans put it), they fell short by a score of 115-105.


In the most recent seasons, a major sports team representing Washington D.C. made it past the second round, and in some cases, won the championship that season.  For football, the Washington Redskins have not made it to the NFC Championship since the 1991 season, where they ended the season victorious with a Super Bowl victory over the Buffalo Bills by a score of 37-24. Next, for basketball, the Washington Wizards have not reached the Eastern Conference Finals since the 1977-1978 season where their name, formerly the Washington Bullets, defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in seven games. For baseball, the Washington Nationals have never made the World Series in their 13 year history. Lastly, for hockey, the Washington Capitals have never secured a Stanley Cup. However, they came close in 1998, reaching the Stanley Cup Final, only to lose to the Detroit Red Wings in four games.


Recently, three of the four sports teams in the area have reached the playoffs in the last two calendar years for each sport: the Wizards, Nationals, and Capitals. The outlier of this, the Washington Redskins, did not reach the postseason in their most recent opportunity. Two of these three teams that made the playoffs, the Wizards and Nationals, had their seasons come to an end early in the postseason. However, the Washington Capitals remain in play for the Stanley Cup as they’re competing against the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven game series to determine the Eastern Conference champion.


Now, the Redskins have recently completed their draft and hope to see if their draftees, such as Da’Ron Payne and Derrius Guice, will contribute to the team. The Wizards must address the power forward and center positions, as they have many expiring contracts in this coming offseason. The Nationals are currently in their second month of the season, and stand at a record of 24-18. Last but certainly not least, the Capitals are in the middle of a Eastern Conference Final series with the Tampa Bay Lightning, which they are currently tied.


In conclusion, the Washington Capitals finally have a chance to raise the Stanley Cup which they have not done, and award Washington D.C. with it’s first championship since 1991.