Great Job, Caps!
By Patrick Hoffman
To all Washington Capitals fans out there, you guys deserved this Cup perhaps more than any other team and fan base out there.
The Caps have gone through a ton of playoff failure over the last few decades, including getting swept in the Cup Final by the Detroit Red Wings in 1998. That no longer matters.
Their time has come. Their captain, Alex Ovechkin, did everything and more for your team to help capture your first Cup in franchise history.
Ovi scored big goals, played well at both ends of the ice, threw some big hits, and did everything a captain is supposed to do when the game is on the line. As a result, he earned the Conn Smythe Trophy as the leagues most valuable player in the postseason.
The team also overcame a lot to get this point. Going into this season, they were not expected to accomplish much. Sure, they could go out and win the division, but in the end, they would probably get knocked out early in the postseason, something they have done time and time again over the last several seasons.
Look at the Caps now. Not only did they win the Metropolitan Division, but they got through the second round of the playoffs, beat the Eastern Conference's best team in the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals, and then beat the fifth best team in the entire league in the playoffs.
This Cup was a long time coming for the Capitals and their fans. It may be a tough pill to swallow for fans of the Rangers, Penguins, and Flyers, but in the end, these teams should applaud what the Capitals did in these playoffs.
It was definitely an up and down season for the Caps. In the end though, they were the team that ended up lifting the most beautiful trophy in professional sports.
Previously, Patrick has covered the NHL for Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.