Over the past year, the 3-1 lead has become something of legend. The dreaded 3-1 lead gives fans a false sense of security. The process can be slow and torturous for the fanbase that holds the lead. Fans sit nervously as their team lets game five slip away. No worries though — still two more games to close this thing out. Then they fall in game six. The sweat beads begin to build up around their foreheads. By game seven, they’re expecting the worst but hoping for the best. Since last June, the 3-1 lead has claimed the lives of the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Indians. Are the Pittsburgh Penguins next?

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Just one week ago the Washington Capitals were on the verge of another postseason collapse. But in one week the Caps gave me something much worse than the agony of defeat. The Caps gave me hope, and I hate them for it. I was so content with taking another postseason loss. I had mourned the loss of this season and accepted the Caps fate. But after stringing together two wins in a row, the Caps are more alive than ever. All the momentum? A game seven on home ice? It seems a little too good to be true. I’ve seen this story before.

The last Caps game I attended in person was a game seven on home ice. It was the quarterfinals against the New York Rangers, and it wasn’t pretty. The atmosphere was electric, but that didn’t last long. The Caps lost 5-0, and I caught the metro early to get some sleep before school the next day.

The Caps can either vindicate every post season failure with a game seven win against the Pens or suffer the most heartbreaking playoff loss in franchise history. The Caps are going to torment us for three periods on Wednesday night. We all know that. We should prepare for it. We should also prepare ourselves for a massive game seven collapse.

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No lead is safe. I don’t care if the Caps are 3-0 at any point. I’ve experienced too much heartbreak from this team to feel safe. Let’s pray the Caps can find a way tonight. Please turn the Penguins into another 3-1 meme.

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