The euphoria on Alex Ovechkin’s face after Thursday night’s Stanley Cup victory was a moment you live for as a sports fan. In the 44 years of Washington Capitals hockey, they had never held Lord Stanley. Naturally, the fans in D.C. lost it and rightfully so, they had waited a long time for that moment.
But all eyes were on Ovechkin. After years of being one of the NHL’s biggest stars, every season ended in huge disappointment. It didn’t matter that he won the Hart Memorial Trophy three times or was an NHL All-Star or that the Caps won the Presidents’ Trophy three times.
He never could win the Stanley Cup.
He never even got to the Eastern Conference finals.
But it all changed after 13 years when Ovechkin and company finally got past the Pittsburgh Penguins and then extinguished the Tampa Bay Lightning before finishing off the expansion Las Vegas squad in the Stanley Cup Finals.
No longer is Ovechkin the butt of jokes about choking in the playoffs. Critics, you can put away all of those memes you’ve enjoyed making over the years. He’s no longer destined to be the Dan Marino of hockey—Ovi has his ring now.
When the clock malfunctioned with under two minutes, Capitals fans everywhere were probably expecting something to go wrong (By the way, Vegas certainly got more time on the clock). Ovechkin was agonizing, watching the clock and hoping the clock would hurry and hit zero.
But when Ovechkin and the Capitals finally realized they were going to finally triumph and grab the greatest trophy in sports, the pure emotion on their faces was a thing of beauty. Everyone could identify with that moment and see a giant weight had been lifted off of Ovechkin.
Even though they were on the road in Las Vegas, there was no shortage of love for “The Great 8.” This wasn’t Sidney Crosby, this was a guy that hockey fans everywhere wanted to get what he deserved. It brought back memories of the reaction Ray Bourque got in 2001 but better.
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) June 8, 2018
And the choice in music after the Conn Smythe Trophy and Stanley Cup were rolled out was a fitting choice. The score to Rudy, Inception, and Remember the Titans could be heard. Epic music for an epic moment.
This is what it’s all about pic.twitter.com/pX3eDBHx56
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) June 8, 2018
The legend with his scruffy beard and gap-toothed smile, screamed with intensity as if he was letting out 13 years of frustration while skating around and holding the Stanley Cup above his head.
But the most excited Capitals fan had to be the lady in the white dress who plopped her breasts out next to the glass, which was enough to distract Ovechkin’s teammates away from one cup in favor of two.
— Nick F (@nfasciana) June 8, 2018
If you’re going to win the Stanley Cup, is there really a better place than Las Vegas? That city is on a whole other level when it comes to partying and craziness. And I doubt there’s a player who has had or will ever have as much fun as Ovechkin will with the Cup.
— dckerNBC4 (@dckerNBC4) June 8, 2018
Walking around MGM at 4:00 a.m. with the Stanley Cup. There’s really no evidence that Ovechkin has let go of the Stanley Cup or been asleep yet. And I can’t even begin to fathom what the celebration will be like for the parade back home.
What will this mean for his legacy now that he has a Stanley Cup? He was already one of the best ever even before this year but now, he’s in the upper echelon of hockey lore. He doesn’t seem to be slowing down. He put up 49 goals and tallied 89 points in the 2017-2018 season, which is the most points he has scored since 2010. In addition to that, he led the playoffs in goals scored.
At 32 years old, he still has probably five or six years of being at a very high level. He’s going to end up with over 700 goals and may even win another Stanley Cup but it won’t matter. He has already proven that he’s a great.
Alexander the Great