On Monday night against the Phoenix Coyotes, the Capitals were down once again and appeared on their way to a fifth straight loss. They needed a boost, something to rally around and use as momentum. Matt Hendricks tried to provide a spark by fighting Kyle Chipchura in the first period. Bruce Boudreau had shaken things up before the game by benching Alex Semin.
Then in the second period something bizarre happened, a renegade red balloon fell over the ice and stopped play. At first it was funny and the crowd loved it. They even booed Coyotes' goalie Jason LaBarbera when he tried to swat it out of the air. But then it turned almost surreal as the Capitals scored four unanswered goals and left Verizon Center with a much-needed 4-3 win.
Immediately after the Caps fortune had turned, a humorous Twitter account emerged called @RallyBalloon. Then it got it's own hashtag. And now a day after it has it's own merchandise. Yes, Russian Machine Never Breaks is now offering t-shirts based on the phenomenon.
How far can this thing go? It obviously depends on how the Capitals do over the next few weeks. Working in their favor is an upcoming stretch that has them at home for five of their next six games. If they can springboard from last night's win and get on a roll, this may be looked upon as a turning point. But even if they don't, it is still a funny story.