These last two hockey-free days have really had me thinking about how the Stanley Cup will be raised by a team that has never won it in a matter of weeks. The Vegas Golden Knights could win their first cup at the end of their inaugural season — which sounds illegal, but I’m not a lawyer. On the other hand, the Washington Capitals have a storyline eerily similar to that of the San Jose Sharks. Alex Ovechkin is Washington’s Joe Thornton, a hardworking star who deserves to win a cup but hasn't yet. They also seem to slip up in the playoffs more often than not, something we are all too familiar with as Sharks fans. Washington fans, please know we are sending you our support; sincerely, fans of a team who lost to Marc-Andre Fleury in the Stanley Cup Final once before.
In case you need a refresher, here is how we got here. The Vegas Golden Knights headed into Game 4 last Sunday with a 3-1 series lead. The Winnipeg Jets had one job: force this series to a Game 7 and advance. It didn’t work out that way. Somehow, an expansion team took down the best in the West. Vegas scored first thanks to Alex Tuch with an assist from old friend Ryan Carpenter. Josh Morrissey responded for the Jets, tying it up going into the second. The second period saw the game winning goal from Ryan Reaves. Marc-Andre Fleury stood strong in goal leading the Golden Knights to a 2-1 victory and advancing to the Final.
The road to the Final for Washington wasn’t as smooth. They went into Game 6 on Monday with the Tampa Bay Lightning leading the series 3-2. This game was all Washington, shutting out the Lightning out 3-0. Braden Holtby made 24 saves, while T.J. Oshie had two goals and Devante Smith-Pelly had one.
Game 7 on Wednesday was another high point for Washington. Again, Holtby shut the Lightning out, this time making 29 saves. Andre Burakovsky had two goals, while Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin had a goal apiece. Just like that, the Washington Capitals are headed to the Final.
It should also be noted that both teams touched their conference trophy. With that being said, I guess they both lose now? Who do you think will take home the Stanley Cup this year? Is my hatred for the Vegas Golden Knights obvious enough? Sound off in the comments below.