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There’s certainly that kind of optimism around the dads, all of whom have passed a competitive nature on to their sons. Even though Doug Hendricks referred to the “big disaster” possibility of no hockey for the Caps beyond April 8, he realizes that a hot goalie and playing well at the right time might make all this conversation about falling short moot.

“Maybe this will be the year,” he said. “Maybe playing a little poorly during the regular season, they’ll be strong in the playoffs.”