Capitals fans, let's talk

Over the weekend the Washignton Capitals held their Mental Health Awareness game and it was filled with good things for everyone who was going through something.

Anthony Mantha, Washington Capitals
Anthony Mantha, Washington Capitals / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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On Saturday afternoon at Capital One Arena, the Washington Capitals not only played a good game and took down the New York Rangers 3-2 but it was a picture perfect game to celebrate Mental Health Awareness. And a lot of intersing things happened in that game.

For starters, Max Pacioretty was in and his achilles tendon that he teared two years in a row caused a lot of not only physcial challenges for the star winger but mental ones. He gave a good speech six days prior about not taking things for granted, which you can read about here.

Another cool part of the game was Anthony Mantha not only scoring the Caps first goal of the game but also his 12th goal of the season to bypass last season's total. Players are human too and ever since Mantha has arrived, negative fans who were bitter about the trade tended to critiicize his game harder than others.

T.J. Oshie won the game with a third period goal and it was his second game back from injury. Throughout the game, players were featured on the video board giving fans tips on things like how they work with their mental health during the season, after games, during injuries, and more.

The NHL's mental health awarness movement is called Hockey Talks and the team hosted a raffle during the game to benefit the HT40 foundation's Shoulder Check. The program is aimed at showing young people that "being there" is as simple as a hand on a shoulder.

Because sports can be competitive and athletes and fans want their teams to win, the competition for a while has been a barrier that stood in the way to players being open about their mental health. But the goal of Shoulder Check is to help change that with one small act of kindness at a time.

I know you might be struggling too. Sometimes I do as well with the stress that comes from work and life balance. But I know if we stop being mean and just complement one another for once, that one small step can go a long way to changing the world.

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