In terms of the standings, Saturday’s game matters just as much as any other.
Two points are on the line, no more, no less. But the setting of Saturday’s Stadium Series game certainly adds extra meaning for the Capitals’ American players.
“First service academy game, it's pretty special,” John Carlson said following Washington’s practice Friday.
“We were there I think four years ago and that was a cool experience. I've been there to Annapolis a handful of other times too. It's a pretty special place and just to see a football game for the first time there this year was pretty special too.”
For T.J. Oshie, this game will have added significance given his family’s ties to the Navy.
“Both my grandpas were on the USS St. Paul,” Oshie said. “They were buddies there and were reunited through my mom and dad.”
That incredible familial connection the Oshie’s have with the Navy will add a new chapter on Saturday in Annapolis as the Capitals take the ice at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
“It makes it special,” Oshie said. “Really, with the family history, with being an American, you really never can appreciate or give enough support to our military. I'm really looking forward to meeting some of the military there and hearing their stories.”
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The pageantry of every outdoor game adds a special element to the event. As anyone who has gone to a sporting event at Navy's football stadium knows, that venue comes with its own pageantry, history and emotions.
Saturday’s game promises to be not just a celebration of hockey, but a celebration of the military. The choice of venue by itself makes this a more meaningful event than other stadiums would have.
“I think it's going to be an amazing venue for the game, I think probably the best one yet,” Carlson said. “In that sense, it's going to be special.”