Surprise, surprise, all four division champions lost in the first round for the first time in major four North American pro sports history, the teams that played in last year's Cup Final are out and the team that finished 21 points ahead of the rest of the NHL got swept.
Before Baltimoreans started declaring their allegiances to the Washington Capitals, there were the Baltimore Skipjacks, a scrappy AHL team that gave rise to the likes of Barry Trotz, Claude Julien and Bruce Bourdreau.
The Washington Capitals have confirmed they will not be making the trip to Baltimore Arena for a preseason game this year. The NHL team had hosted the Baltimore Hockey Classic exhibition here in two of the past three years.
Barry Trotz met with Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and president Dick Patrick in Washington on Tuesday about the team's vacant coaching job, another indication in the mutual interest between the organization and the veteran bench boss.
The Baltimore sports scene is blessed with a bunch of talented bloggers who bring their unique perspective to the conversation. This week, we exchanged emails with Peter Hassett, who blogs about the Washington Capitals for Russian Machine Never Breaks.
The Washington Capitals, who are presently playing the Boston Bruins in the first round of the NHL playoffs, will host the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second annual Baltimore Hockey Classic at 1st Mariner Arena.
Officials at 1st Mariner Arena are close to finalizing a deal with the Washington Capitals to host an NHL preseason game for the second straight year. The second annual Baltimore Hockey Classic will be held Sept. 27.
On Tuesday night, professional ice hockey was back in Baltimore for the first time since 1997. However, the ice -- which is kind of a key ingredient -- didn't hold up well inside of a steamy 1st Mariner Arena as the Nashville Predators shut out the Washington Capitals, 2-0, in the inaugural Baltimore Hockey Classic.
When the Capitals and the Predators take the ice at 1st Mariner Arena for Tuesday night's Baltimore Hockey Classic, the two teams will be looking to skate off a little rust, check out prospects, maybe try out the new forecheck they just installed in the preseason game. For Baltimore, it means much more.
Expect the Capitals, who trail the Lightning by five points in the Southeast Division, to be players before the NHL's trade deadline on Feb. 28. As it's currently constituted, this team doesn't appear to be capable of going on a deep playoff run (though nothing should be discounted as long as Alex Ovechkin is still in the scarlet and white).