The Caps have experienced a number of short playoff runs in the past, but this year they are focused on the long haul. To that end, the team got some new hats for the playoffs to go along with their new shirts.
The hats are blue and feature the roman numerals XVI emblazoned in white on the front.
"It kind of looks like a Super Bowl-type Roman numeral hat," Tom Wilson said. "...It’s fun having new stuff to wear. It’s that time of the year. It’s like Christmas."
In Roman numerals, XVI translates to 16. It is meant to represent the number of wins needed to claim the Stanley Cup.
The reception from the team was universally positive not only because of the look, but because of the message.
"It's just a nice little thing to remind you to stay focused," Mike Weber said. "This is the fun part of the season, this is the real season here now so we're ready to rock."
The hats were designed by video coach Brett Leonhardt, affectionately known as "Stretch," who is doing his best to motivate the team for a long playoff run. Prior to Tuesday's practice, the players watched a motivational video put together by Leonhardt that evidently resonated deeply with the players.
Trotz would not elaborate as to what was in the video saying that it was personal for the players, but he did say, "When you came out of there a lot of guys would say that the hair on your arms would be tingling."
Whether any of these motivational tools were able to strike the right chord with the team remains to be seen. It will all depend on just how far the Caps can go after a year of so much promise.
"Hopefully in two months I’ll be sitting here with a big beard," Wilson said. "There’s a ton of work to be done between now and then."
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