WASHINGTON — Washington DC resident Greg Christian attended a Capitals game against the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Jan. 23, 2019.
Sitting in the stands next to Greg, a 20-by-30-inch picture of his late wife, Dona. The two who were wearing lavender Hockey Fights Cancer jerseys just completed their goal to watch the Capitals play in 36 different hockey venues (31 current arenas, 2 past arenas, 3 stadiums).
They had attended 34 venues together before Dona died of pancreatic cancer on Thanksgiving.
That didn’t stop Greg from finishing their goal.
“It seemed only natural to go ahead and finish. I made the poster and took her [Dona] with me because she has been with me the entire journey. Why wouldn’t I take her,” Greg said.
The two became Capitals fans since the organization was founded in 1974 and both believed the journey was their idea.
“One of us said. Why don’t we see the Caps play in all the arenas,” Greg recalled. “I thought it was my idea. She said it was her idea. I don’t know who it was but that’s what we decided to do.”
Their first trip to see the Capitals play away from Washington D.C. was at Heinz Field in the 2011 Winter Classic against the Penguins.
Their journey didn’t truly begin until they attend Joe Louis Arena to watch the Capitals face the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Nov. 15, 2013.
Dona’s last venue before she passed was at Little Caesars Arena, the new home for the Red Wings.
With two more venues to attend, St. Louis and Toronto, Greg traveled with the picture of Dona to finish the goal. When the journey was completed in Toronto, Greg look to his right and there was his wife sitting next to him.
“There were a couple times I looked at her picture and said, ‘we made it,’” said Greg.
When Seattle’s new NHL franchise begins play at the New Arena at Seattle Center in 2021-22, Greg plans to travel to Seattle to watch the Capitals play.
He'll watch the game the same way he and his wife did when their journey started in 2011, together to make it hockey venue number 37.