A sense of calm and borderline relaxation seemed apparent on the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Friday as the Washington Capitals prepared for yet another Game 7 on Saturday night.
The same couldn't be said about the fans in the stands, though, as their team gets ready for a win-or-go-home matchup with the New York Rangers in Manhattan.
For most Caps fans, watching the game on television will be nervewracking enough, but that's not enough for some fans, who are ready to shell out big bucks to see the game live at Madison Square Garden.
Perusing Craiglist, Stubhub and other ticket sites, seats in the highest reaches of the Garden are going for upwards of $400 each...and those are the cheap ones, in some cases. The ones who do make the trek, though, say it's well worth it.
"We go on a lot of road trips," Capitals fan club member Dave Kausch said. "to travel alone, (it's) a couple hundred dollars." He added, though, that he might save his money on the chance the Capitals can advance and eventually play either play the Phoenix Coyotes or the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals.
It's one step at a time though for the guys on the ice - a win Saturday puts the Capitals into the Eastern Conference Finals against the New Jersey Devils. It would be the team's first trip to the 3rd round since 1998.
Those who are choosing not to spend the money to see the game live are pouring their cash into Capitals gear. The team store at Kettler has been packed, even on days when the team isn't playing or practicing. Specifically, there's one guy everyone wants a piece of, and it's Washington's rookie goaltender.
"(Braden) Holtby, everything Holtby," store manager Hunter Davis said. "He's so popular, he can run for president."
Holtby's success on the ice has been supplemented in the past week with the birth of his first son, Benjamin Hunter Holtby. Some fans even see that as a good omen.
"I'm nervous, but I think the baby is a good sign," Capitals fan Britney Marcum said. "Braden's baby is a good sign."
Faceoff in New York is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday.