The Washington Capitals were founded in 1974. The top single that year? Barbara Streisand’s “The Way We Were.” Here are the lyrics:
It’s cold outside Baby
I wish it was like it used to be
The Way we Were
“Um, first of all,” a Streisand fan wrote me. “Those are NOT the lyrics. And did you rhyme WERE with BRRRR? Wow.”
The Capitals have won one conference championship. In 1998, they captured the Eastern Conference crown and faced the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup. They lost four games to none. It’s disappointing to do so well the whole year and then get shut out at the very end, kind of like how my senior prom.
The Capitals goalie that year was Olie Kolzig, also known as Olie the Goalie, or among close friends, Godzilla. “Sir, it says on your license your name is Godzilla. Is that all one word or is it God Zilla. Are you Mr. Zilla?
Olie was born in South Africa but moved to Canada as a kid. How did that conversation go around the dinner table? His dad says, “Kids, we are leaving the almost eternal sunshine of South Africa to go to the land of endless winter, Canada.” Olie said, “Dad, how about we compromise? How about you and the rest of the family go to Canada. I’m going to stay here and play golf.”