The Capitals suffered a glass-shattering hit during the 1976 season... and they weren't even playing hockey at the time.
As the team was returning from a road trip, a large-antlered deer started running alongside their bus. The deer then rammed the bus, shattering windows and ripping the fabric of a empty seat.
(No word on if it was a Milwaukee Buck looking for a ride into town to play the Bullets.)
The early Capitals often found getting to and from the rink as baffling as a Canadiens power play.
Like the time in 1975, when immigration almost denied coach Red Sullivan re-entry to the U.S., because he couldn't produce a green card.
"'I see they let you go,' a Washington Post reporter commented as Sullivan, coatless and snow covered, returned to the bus. 'Yes, darn it,' Sullivan replied." No wonder ulcers forced Red to resign after just 19 games behind the bench.
Ron Lalonde told McClatchy News, "You didn't know what to expect next. There was supposed to be a bus waiting for you at the hotel in Buffalo or somewhere, and there wouldn't be one. It was like a traveling circus."
And that was even before a deer joined the act.
The Plane Truth
Air transportation proved just as vexing for the players.
October 28, 1975 in Los Angeles. The Caps are outshot 40-16, Marcel Dionne scores a hat trick, and Washington loses, 6-0. For the flight to Kansas City, the cash-strapped Caps book the team in the very last rows of a commerical flight. The indignity got worse, as broadcaster Ron Weber remembered in his Hall of Fame induction speech.
"We had been booked in the ‘non food’ section. As they were bringing the food up that we were not to get, Ace Bailey says to the flight attendant, ‘Could you slow down please, so I can sniff it?’
"And then he goes up to Milt Schmidt, the general manager and says ‘Milt, do you know a good shoe store? I might need to get a comfortable pair of shoes because we might be standing up on the next trip."
P.S. The Capitals won their game in Kansas City, 6-2, behind Bernie Wolfe's 30 saves in his NHL debut. Perhaps the Caps were the "Hungrier" team?