"What is how long it has been since the lockout ended, Alex?"
On October 5, 2005, the NHL resumed regular season play with all 30 teams in action. That night was heralded around the league as the debut of Sidney Crosby. Alex Ovechkin played his first game that night as well, scoring a pair of goals as the Capitals defeated the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets by a score of 3-2. 28 months later, the Caps are finally going to Columbus as part of the NHL's unbalanced schedule. I don't know about you, but that is a looooong time between games.
Of the Capitals that are taking to the ice tonight, here is a complete list of those that played the last time these two teams tangled:
We all know that the NHL's unbalanced schedule is to blame for this, and we all know that the reason the NHL created the unbalanced schedule was to create rivalries among teams that are closer to each other geographically. But think for a second. Of the four other teams in the Capitals' division, only the Carolina Hurricanes are closer to Washington than Columbus. But I won't begrudge the team a couple of trips to Florida in the middle of winter. I'm just glad the Caps will get to go off to far away Columbus more than once every three years now.