All About The Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals


As the Las Vegas Golden Knights tore through the NHL in their inaugural season, not once did they lose four consecutive games. Until the last game of the year, in which the Washington Capitals clinched their first Stanley Cup Trophy since they themselves came into the NHL as an expansion team in 1974. Hopefully, Knights fans won't have to suffer that long. Some of us are not very likely to be around in 2060.

The victory also ends a historical drought for Caps superstar, Alex Ovechkin. There have been 32 players to win three MVP awards in one of the four major, North American sports. 30 of the 32 had also won championships with their teams. Now that number is 31.

Ovechkin becomes the sixth player in NHL history to collect trophies for the Stanley Cup, The Conn Smythe (playoff MVP), The Hart Trophy (regular season MVP), The Art Ross (leading scorer) and the Rocket Richard (leading goal scorer) in his career. He joins elite elites, such as Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, and Guy Lafleur. By finally leading his team to a championship, Ovechkin has cemented his place among the game's all-time greats and as the greatest player in the history of Washington D.C. sports.

Speaking of which, the victory also ends a dry spell for the D.C. area as a whole. The Capitals have long been known as a talented team that flops in the playoffs. The same can be said of their baseball team. The Nationals landed the top pitching and hitting prospects in baseball and have built competitive teams around Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, only to see them disappoint when the stakes were high. The Washington Wizards have put some exciting teams on the court, but last won it all in 1978. The once proud Redskins have floundered thanks to incompetent and arrogant ownership, but they are the most recent titlists, winning the Super Bowl in 1992. So, for most D.C. fans under the age of thirty, this has been their first taste of championship glory.

Perhaps it was only fair that a city and a team with such a long history of disappointment were able to win the day against newcomers who had the audacity to debut as elites. VGK were the first big-time professional sports team in Las Vegas history. This was partially due to Vegas having a medium sized and transient population, but had more to do with Nevada being (up until recently) the only state in which sports betting was allowed. The Knights helped the city to rally after a horrific mass shooting, and that combination of tragedy and inspiration helped to create a sense of unity and identity in a city where it had been lacking.

Everybody knows that the Knights were the most successful expansion team in the history of North American sports. But you might not know by how great a margin. The next best team was also in the NHL. The 1993-94 Florida Panthers were 33-34-17. The best MLB expansion team was the 70-91 Angels, of 1961. The 1966-67 Chicago Bulls broke into the league with an all-time best 33-48 record. The Carolina Panthers were the NFL's best expansion team, going 7-9. So merely having a winning record would have been an unprecedented accomplishment for The Knights. To have 109 points in the regular season and make the Stanley Cup Finals was beyond unprecedented.

By the way. The worst expansion team in NHL history? The 1974 Washington Capitals, who went 8-67-5.

If you'd like to bet on The Caps to repeat, Betonline is offering 10-1.


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Members Comments

  • Bulgaria sharpe

    14/6/18

    Yeah, finally the Caps have done it.

    Finally Ovechkin got to the cup too.

    When you see all the talent they've got for the past 10 years maybe, building more and more this team over the years it's kind of strange that it took so long for them to get the job done but I'm sure now they're grateful for the success even though coming so late.
    Probably the franchise, the owners and the whole city deserves that because of all the efforts of building and supporting the team (trough the many disappointing moments) but now all that is forgotten I guess.

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