These Stanley Cup Playoffs are one for the record books. The hockey has been incredible, full of speed, skill, and physicality. Each series seems to top the next. The league seems to have more depth than ever before. The outcome has provided a “win-win” situation with either organization making history with one more series win. On one hand, the Las Vegas Knights have had a season that no one could’ve predicted. Their opponent, the Capitals, lead by their future Hall of Famer, Alex Ovechkin, could finally bring home the ultimate prize after years of falling short.
Vegas’ Historic Run
Vegas has changed the whole landscape of the NHL. Their pregame shows are like nothing the league has seen before and something that only Vegas could pull off. T-Mobile Arena has become a bucket list venue for all hockey fans. While their relentless forecheck and depth seems to consistently over power teams. Before the season, ESPN was quoted saying, “ A poker players has a better chance to get a royal flush than the Vegas Knights to make the playoffs.” Westgate Superbook’s preseason odds were 500-1 for the Knights to win the Stanley Cup. Clearly, they keep defying the odds, and I am not willing to bet that they are going to stop now.
The Great Eight
The Capitals run and Ovechkin’s first appearance in the Stanley Cup has been overshadowed by the Golden Knight’ success, but their accomplishments have been special. Finally beating the Penguins and surpassing the second round makes it feel like it’s the Capitals year. From a fan standpoint, Ovechkin seems to be fully committed to playing hard in both ends of the ice and his physicality has been infectious through the roster. His determination continues to drive the Capitals, but somehow, he will need to bring his game to another level with the injury to Kuznetzov who has been absolutely electric these playoffs.
This series has definitely lived up to it’s hype. The first two games have been the type of hockey where I am finding myself catching my breath during commercial break. Choosing one team is difficult, but we can only hope that it goes seven games. Whether Ovechkin finally gets his name engraved on the Cup, or Vegas becomes the first expansion team to ever win, we are witnessing history. Let’s sit back and appreciate some of the best hockey the league has ever seen.