Earlier this season, we posted a lengthy piece on Alex Ovechkin's early years in DC and another shorter piece on Nicklas Backstrom's five-year contract extension. In the process of crafting those stories and talking to the subjects themselves and many others, we were reminded of how exciting and thrilling the 2007-08 NHL season was in these parts.
It stands as Ovechkin's career year, it was Backstrom's rookie year, Bruce Boudreau took over behind the Washington bench on Thanksgiving Day, and the Caps made the playoffs for the first time in five years, winning 15 of 19, 11 of 12 and seven straight at season's end to come back from a dismal 6-14-1 start to win the Southeast Division title.
That season and that run into the playoffs augured in the "Rock The Red" era of hockey in DC, the beginning of 11 playoff appearances in a span of a dozen seasons. At this time a dozen years ago, the Caps were in the midst of that wild run. With the NHL's 2019-20 season "paused" for the foreseeable future, we're going to spend the next month looking back at the day-to-day of that remarkable late-season run, revisiting some of our coverage at the time with some fresh hindsight mixed in. On the off days between games, we will revisit some events from earlier in that landmark season. Enjoy!