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Alex Ovechkin of Washington Capitals wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoffs MVP

08 June, 2018, 15:32 | Author: Drew Briggs
  • Washington Capitals Hoist First Stanley Cup After Dramatic Win Over Vegas

"So I think for sure we have the ability to prove people wrong". Ovechkin, the postseason goal-scoring leader with 15 and the first Russian captain of a Cup-winning team, hoisted the silver trophy high above his head, a victor at last. There was no such falloff this time.

Alex Ovechkin, the face of the Capitals franchise who for years bore the brunt of the blame for his team's shortcomings, became the first Russian-born captain to hoist the Stanley Cup and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the play-offs.

Ovechkin uttered that famous quote, "Russian machine never breaks", almost 12 years ago, before his tortured playoff history was written and rectified. Nicklas Backstrom, the teammate who has played alongside Ovechkin the longest, was asked for his opinion.

"I'm part of history".

"No one gave us a chance from the start", said forward David Perron.

Neither team was even supposed to have advanced this far. It's just something in it.

For the Knights, the loss will sting, but also do nothing to the bond the team forged with its fanbase in the wake unspeakable evil on October 1 - some eight days before their first regular-season home game - when a gunman killed 58 people and injured hundreds more at an outdoor concert just over a kilometre from T-Mobile Arena.

"We couldn't sell tickets", said Irene Pollin, now 93.

Abe Pollin that summer hired Poile as his general manager.

"I know in a couple days we'll feel good about it", Gallant said.

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Less than two weeks later, Poile changed the course of the franchise by acquiring eventual Hall of Fame defenseman Rod Langway.

"We had to play against some of the great teams ever in the NHL: We had to go against the Islanders who won four straight, the Rangers were always on the border, Pittsburgh when Mario (Lemieux) came in", said Langway, who played 11 seasons for the Capitals. They've dominated the stat in this series 68-25, and it's one of the reasons Vegas has only five goals in three games after scoring six in Game 1.

"This is incredible. I mean, I've grown up being disappointed and yet I still come back". But Holtby got the starting job back early in the playoffs and got better and better. The other, probably doesn't know how lucky they were to be in this situation. Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, whose diving save of an Alex Tuch shot late in a 3-2 victory in Game 2 that was the turning point of the series, finished with 28 saves.

Washington has a 3-1 series lead, one win away from the franchise's first Stanley Cup.

He had scored 15 times in this championship run. After winning the Presidents' Trophy in 2016 and 2017 only to be knocked off by the Penguins in the playoffs, not much was expected from Washington this postseason. He noted the turnaround seasons this year by Colorado and New Jersey.

The victory saw the Capitals clinch the best-of-seven championship series 4-1 in Las Vegas and brought an end to what had been a magical inaugural season for the Golden Knights. Eller became the first Dane to win a Cup and the Hockey Hall of Fame was on the ice afterward asking for his stick that scored the winning goal.

It was Thursday morning, and another standing-room-only collection of fans had gathered inside City National Arena in Summerlin, there again to show its faith and adoration and commitment to the Knights, there to inspire on a day that the team needed such encouragement more than any other point this season.

According to oddsmakers, the Golden Knights are a -145 favorite on the moneyline.

Even before the Capitals won, Langway was beaming with pride and said he has felt the same from fellow alumni.

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