Capitals: Remembering their best season in franchise history

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Happy June 7th Washington Capitals fans!

On this day two years ago, the Washington Capitals did more than just win the first championship in the four major sports in 26 years.

No, the Capitals also captivated an entire region in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Many fans young and old flocked to Capital One Arena that spring whether it was for a game or one of the indoor or outdoor watch parties.

Wherever you were on this day, you witnessed history first hand and it was your team filled with guys you can be proud of for a lifetime. Even the players who aren’t a part of this team are still talked about in Caps lore.

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Players like Devante Smith-Pelly, Chandler Stephenson, Christian Djoos and Andre Burakovsky. There’s the Godfather in Brooks Orpik that hung up his skates and saw the best of both worlds, winning a Cup in Pittsburgh a decade ago as well as with the Caps.

When the Caps dethroned the Penguins exactly a month prior, we knew this would be a team of destiny. They rode that momentum through Tampa and despite a scare of losing three straight rebounded to dominate on home ice, giving us a preview of what they’d be like on home ice in the month of June. They carried that momentum back to Tampa for another shutout win and that set them up for a matchup with the Vegas Golden Knights.

Despite dropping Game 1, the Caps knew how important winning Game 2 was to get back to D.C. all even Steven. It took a goal from Orpik and a save for the ages by Braden Holtby to get the win. Once back in D.C. fans were ready and brought the noise inside and outside the building.

Game 3 saw an appearance from Joe Gibbs while Game 4 saw Max Scherzer and Ryan Zimmerman get the crowd fired up. It worked. The Caps won Game 3 3-1 and Game 4 6-2 to take it back to Vegas.

Game 5 was a whirlwind of emotions with the Caps trailing 3-2 entering the third period. In the second they got goals from Jakub Vrana and Alex Ovechkin. Of course Backstrom and Ovechkin had to connect for a goal in the Cup clinching game.

In the third period, the Caps came back just like they had all spring long. Smith-Pelly got a picturesque goal from diving and Lars Eller won the game banging the loose puck in after Marc-Andre Fleury was unable to corral the puck after a shot from Brett Connolly.

It made the bench, as well as the crowd back home, believe that this would be the night and indeed it was. As the great radio broadcaster John Walton would say on the game’s final face-off, “And as the puck drops, the words that D.C. fans have been waiting to hear since 1974, the Washington Capitals are the 2018 Stanley Cup champions. It’s not a dream, it’s not a desert mirage, it’s Lord Stanley and he is coming to Washington.”

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Ovechkin’s Cup lift would be as epic as ever and when he handed it off to Backstrom it brought a tear to my eye and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. The Capitals had done it and it’s a moment they’ll never take away from us.