It’s Over – the Capitals Win Their First Stanley Cup
As a Buffalo Sabres fan for 48 years I can't help feel envious of every NHL team and the fans of those teams that win the Stanley Cup for the first time. There are now 12 teams in the league that have never won hockey's ultimate prize. Except for the Vancouver Canucks franchise that came into the league in the same year as the Sabres, every one of those other teams who haven't won the Cup came into the league after the Sabres - so when does Buffalo get its chance to celebrate?
The Washington Capitals came off that list of teams who have never won the Cup with Thursday night's 4-3 win over the Las Vegas Golden Knights. It gave the Caps a 4 games to 1 win in the Stanley Cup finals and you've got to hand it to the Capitals. They have a great collection of players with talent, drive and determination led by captain Alex Ovechkin.
With all the accomplishments that Ovechkin has had over the years the one negative was that he never won the Stanley Cup. This year he seemed to be on a mission and he's never played better hockey. He led the Caps with 49 goals and 38 assists in the regular season and he continued that pace in the playoffs leading the team with 15 goals and many of them were huge.
With all of the great things Ovechkin has achieved this season, the Capitals win over Vegas was a team effort with great goaltending, excellent defense and key goals. The Knights entered the 3rd period with a 3-2 lead, but a goal by Devante Smith-Pelly tied it and a tap in by Lars Eller with seven and a half minutes to play was the game winner.
In addition to the Stanley Cup the Capitals will have another piece of hardware to take back with them to Washington. Ovechkin was named the Most Valuable Player in the playoffs and was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy.
The next order of business for the NHL is the amateur draft on June 22-23 in Dallas where the Sabres are expected to select Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin with the first overall pick. Training camp for the 2018-19 season is in mid September.