Most hockey fans roll their eyes whenever they see the Penguins vs. Capitals on their screen. Actually, they do that when the Blackhawks are on the national broadcast as well. Both are understandable, but we’ll focus on the former for now. Pens vs. Caps was shoved down our throats before we even knew what hit us, thanks to the NHL’s desperation to turn Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin into Bird vs. Magic before either had even made the playoffs. The NHL couldn’t, or wouldn’t, wait for it to happen organically, and for the most part I think hockey fans rejected it. Wrestling fans will tell you about a similar scenario with Roman Reigns, but that’s another discussion for another time with much weirder people.
And I think I, and a lot of other fans, have viewed the games between the teams the same way. But I have brought myself out of it, in time to really enjoy last year’s series between the two, and I hope more fans are as well. Because we have two very special players, ones that don’t seem to be appreciated enough, and both are doing things we might not see again and haven’t seen for a very long time.