The Washington Capitals have only been around for 40 seasons. However, in their 40 seasons, they’ve attracted quite a bit of hatred and severe disdain. Despite being around for such a relatively short period of time, they already have some great rivalries.
Before we begin, allow me to explain why I think teams hate the Washington Capitals. First of all, newer fans might not realize this, but the Washington Capitals were pretty much bullies for the first roughly 20 years of their existence. For the first ten, they were just comically bad ones. You know, if you can’t beat them on the scoreboard, might as well beat their faces in! This is sort of ironic because I think that’s the reason why Washington Capitals fans hate certain teams.
Secondly, in the 1980’s, not only were the Washington Capitals the kind of team that would make sure nobody pushed them around (they did that by making sure THEY pushed other teams around), they were a very hard team to play against. Not only could they score on you and keep you from scoring, but just to remind you who’s in charge, Scott Stevens, Rod Langway, and their motley crew would beat you up.
Thirdly, the Washington Capitals have had some very talented players as of late. Those players include Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green, and Alexander Semin. When you have great players and other teams are jealous, that’s a pretty good recipe for hatred. Nobody wastes time hating a team that is irrelevant. So, in a way, the fact that numerous teams hate the Washington Capitals, depending on how you look at it, could actually be a good thing. Would you prefer for the Washington Capitals to be an irrelevant team who no one can really bring themselves to hate like the Florida Panthers? Hatred is the outcome of success.
Now let’s look at some honorable mentions:
- Boston Bruins. To be fair, pretty much everybody other than Boston fans hates Boston. Unless you want to say that the Bruins have 29 rivals, the Caps and Bruins aren’t rivals.
- Montreal Canadiens: Again, pretty much everyone other than Canadiens fans hates the Canadiens. 2010 was a nightmare, but I can’t really call the Canadiens and Caps rivals.
So, without further ado, here are the five biggest rivalries that the Washington Capitals have had over their 40 year history.