NHL

The Washington One-Cupitals

The Washington No-Cupitals can finally be put to rest as the fairy-book tale finally has its conclusion. The program that’s been in existence for 44 years earns their first Stanley Cup over the first year program, no one had ever gone this far.

The Vegas Golden Knights defeated all the odds, including that of Vegas. The state’s sports books were going to lose anywhere from $5 million to $7 million dollars if Vegas hoisted the cup in their inaugural year. In a season that Vegas started out as 500-1 odds, they turned out to be the best inaugural team in professional sports history. The Knights became the first NHL expansion team to have a winning record in their first season.

Everything about the Knights was something special…except for one thing. The pregame show was something I didn’t mind missing every game I watched. It was almost as bad as a soap-opera mixed with a lame version of the movie 300. Just take a watch and then let me know how you feel.

However, after everything Vegas has been through this year, that town finally got something to cheer for and it’s only the start. Vegas will be around for a long time coming. So, for all the Golden Knights fans, you have everything to be happy about, with the exception of that terrible opening ceremony.

This was the first time in three years that the Capitals didn’t earn the Presidents Trophy and were able to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round. The curse of the Presidents Trophy continued this year as Nashville lost to Winnipeg in the second round. The trophy has been awarded 32 times, and only eight teams have won the Cup in the same season.

The Capitals started the playoffs with one goalie and ended with another. Phillip Grubauer ended the season hot and started the playoffs. Braden Holtby, who is the normal starter, statistically had the worst season of his seven-year career. Holtby entered the third period of Game 2 in the first round and has started ever since.

It’s been a long time coming for Alexander Ovechkin, who finally celebrated his first Stanley Cup in his 13 seasons. It’s an extra plus for the wait as he also received the Conn Smythe trophy. Ovi finished the postseason with 15 goals, becoming the first to reach that mark since 2009.

The underrated player of the playoffs was Devante Smith-Pelly. He scored seven times in 75 regular season games. He matched that total in 23 games of the playoffs, including the tying goal in Game 5.

Nothing gets better than seeing the face of Ovechkin hoisting up the Cup either.

The 2019 Vegas odds have already been put out and the Tampa Bay Lighting are the favored team to win the title. The Predators, Boston Bruins, Penguins and the Toronto Maple Leafs are all seen as a better favored team to win the Cup before Washington and Vegas. We all know how the odds work though, as Vegas shut that up this year.

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Preston Bostain
Preston covers the Tennessee Titans and the AFC South for NGSC Sports. He also covers Nashville Predators hockey.
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