Rock the Red
2007-08 was Ovechkin’s best season statistically with 65 goals and 47 assists for 112 points. He won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player. More importantly the Capitals returned to the playoffs and began to capture the hearts of fans around the DMV.
Glen Hanlon got canned on Thanksgiving and Bruce Boudreau took the head coaching job. He had success with the Hershey Bears winning the Calder Cup AHL championship. Him and Ovechkin helped turn the culture around.
When Hanlon departed the Caps were in last place. Then they turned things around and won the Southeast Division. Thanks to a complete jersey rebrand and the consistent winning, the Rock the Red era was born as Verizon Center (now Capital One Arena) began to sell out and be filled from top to bottom with a sea of red.
The Caps would make the playoffs consistently every year with the only exception being the 2013-14 season. In those playoff appearances the Caps would fall short but they did have some good moments.
That included coming back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the New York Rangers, the dueling hat tricks with Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, an upset over the Boston Bruins, and a thrilling seven game series against the New York Islanders.
There was one year where they finally broke through and we’ll talk about that on the next slide.