The Washington Capitals are your 2018 Stanley Cup Champions.
This, from Barry Svrluga and Isabelle Khurshudyan is a great look back at the season that almost wasn't, before it became the one that was THE one. The whole piece is worth a read, but this, from the conclusion really does a great job encapsulating it all:
Before the final faceoff in Holtby’s end, Ovechkin stood behind Backstrom on the bench, hugging him. When the horn sounded, the Swede leaped over the boards, the Russian looked to the sky, and a human pile decades in the making grew at one end of the ice.
“It was like we were a bunch of little kids again,” Niskanen said.
What an innocent thought for such a hard-earned moment. Just a little more than 12 months earlier, the Capitals had dissected not just goals that hadn’t been reached but whether they could be reached at all.
On Thursday night in Las Vegas, when Ovechkin lifted the Stanley Cup and handed it to Backstrom, the pain felt like a necessary part of the journey.
This season's group of Washington Capitals wasn't their most talented of the Ovechkin/Backstrom era, but ultimately it turned into the best one.
Congratulations Alex and Nick and Evgeny and Braden and John and Jay and Brooks and all the rest; you earned it.
In DC, we haven't stopped celebrating, and we will continue to tomorrow at the parade.