The last time the D.C. sports scene was riding this high was when Bill Clinton was president, Shania Twain and Savage Garden ruled the music charts and Metro was just 22 years old.
That’s what was happening in the city the last time the Washington Capitals were in the Stanley Cup finals. Twenty years later, they are now even closer than they were in 1998 — the Capitals are just two wins away from their first-ever Stanley Cup.
The impact on the city has been huge. After a politically divisive year, it’s nice to see Washingtonians come together in the name of hockey. Last week, Sting and Shaggy performed on the steps of the National Portrait Gallery before Game 3 of the series. This evening, June 4, the band Fallout Boy will perform.
Longtime season-ticket holder Pat Sajak announced the players at Game 3 on Saturday, June 2, and the original Wonder Woman (and longtime Caps fan), Lynda Carter, was spotted outside Capital One Arena. Inside, “Saturday Night Live” cast member Kenan Thompson was interviewed in full Caps regalia.
Forward T.J. Oshie and defenseman Matt Niskanen even took Metro to Saturday night’s game, getting in on the Stanley Cup finals fun (if you want to call taking the Metro fun). Most also don’t seem to mind the numerous street closures around the arena, making room for the crowds to watch the games on a big outdoor screen.
No matter what happens, the impact the series has had on the city will last for a long time. With constant near-championship wins from D.C. sports teams, it’s refreshing to see the nation’s capital become a bona fide sports town.