Mikhail Grabovski’s 86-year-old grandfather came all the way from Belarus to spend the weekend with his grandson and the rest of the Capitals.
There were fathers and godfathers and brothers, and they all shared a quiet, pensive flight from Newark to Montreal Friday night following the Caps’ seventh straight defeat.
The mood of the Capitals changed in a big way on Saturday night in Montreal when the Caps snapped their longest losing streak in three years with a dominant 5-0 win over the Canadiens.
“I’m sure everybody talked to their dads and said, ‘Dad, what do we do?’” said Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner, who was joined on the trip by his 56-year-old father, Gunther. “Hopefully, it’s those wise words that got us to this point that can help us get back there and be good again, because we need it, big time.”
Alzner said one of the most valuable lessons he learned from his father is the benefit of remaining positive when times are tough.
“He’s not a guy where I would get off the ice and tell me all the things I did wrong,” Alzner said. “He always told me to have fun and work hard. I’m probably one of the most positive guys [in the Capitals dressing room] and I think that’s the main thing I took from him. He’s always been positive. Just enjoy it and realize how fortunate I am.”
Grabovski was injured in the Caps’ 2-1 loss to the Devils Friday night but was excited to have his grandfather, Alexander, on the trip with him.
“He’s excited, a little bit nervous,” Grabovski said. “I decided not to wait. I don’t know how many more times they can come.”
Adam Oates said he always enjoyed bringing his father, David, on father trips as a player and still leans on him today for support.
“Everybody’s relationship with their dad is different,” Oates said. “My dad has been involved with my hockey career for 45 years. He still calls me after every game. We talk about the game every day. That’s been a big majority of our relationship. He’s my best friend that way. They deserve to see the life that they’ve given their kids.”