What a season. These playoffs. This series. This may simply be the most genuine happiness I have ever had for a player that finally has won the big one. Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals have went through years of doubt, failure, and heartbreak, but that no longer matters. The emotion that Alex Ovechkin showed every single time a teammate scored, or any time he was able to finish the job and do what he has always done best.
After starting the season slow, the Capitals once again captured the top seed in the Metropolitan Division and after years of failure, they became the absolute underdogs of the playoffs. No one believed besides the Washington faithful that this could finally be their year. A playoff of up and downs starting with the benching of Goalie Braden Holtby in the first two games of the playoffs, many thought they were finished out the gates. But no, as Holtby returned between the pipes after being down 2-0 to the Blue Jackets to win four straight and get to the next round which was their ultimate rival in the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The continuous playoff woes for Washington teams of not being able to make it to the Conference Final in all respective leagues became laughable at times, where no one ever truly believed in them. However, this team began to feel special once they took out the 2-time reigning champs in six games. At that point, it felt that no one was going to stop Ovi and company, and the only way to do so was to kill them. Ovechkin played out of his mind the entire playoffs, as did Holtby, Kuz, Oshie, and the entire Caps roster.
Getting through the Tampa Bay Lightning, who were the closest thing to a super team the NHL has seen in a few years, was the biggest feat of them all. The Lightning became a odds on favorite for many as they continued to roll through opponents with prolific offense and outstanding defense. However, was the Capitals possessed was far more powerful than anything the Lightning stop. And what that is was heart. The Capitals, led by emotional captain Alexander Ovechkin, would not be stopped. Going down 3-2, the Capitals would not give up, winning gamer 6 at home and the decisive game 7 on the road. Hockey is truly awesome.
Come the Stanley Cup Final, where there were two teams that one would think no one would have honestly picked at the beginning of the year and even the playoffs. With game one going to the Golden Knights, it felt like it would be another series of domination possibly for Vegas. And yet, Ovi and company competed out of their mind to the fact that they won four straights against a statistically dominant Vegas team and were able to finally capture the Stanley Cup after 44 seasons of existence.
And truly, the best part of it all is the victory and validation of Alexander Ovechkin who is one of, if not the, best goal scorers ever and will go down as one of the best to ever lace them skates. He was rewarded with the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff’s most valuable player, and you cannot disagree. The leading goal scorer in the entire playoffs, and simply put, the emotional drive that every playoff should have every season.
Simply put, this Stanley Cup Playoffs were on of the best to watch, considering my Bruins were eliminated in the second round and the Blackhawks didn’t even smell them. Being able to watch a childhood favorite and still to this day one of mine was truly awesome and being able to feel his emotion through the television screen is absolutely everything. The NHL Playoffs continue to THE BEST 7 game formatted playoffs in all of sports. And if you missed out on this years playoffs, I am sorry for you, but remember, every single NHL playoff is exactly like this = Heart wrenching, emotion driven, hard hitting, and absolutely incredible.
Congratulations to the 2018 Stanley Cup Champions, the Washington Capitals!
– Scott Edwards, Creator of WTF Sports