RICHMOND- Two years ago on this date, a nightmare in the nation’s capital ended in the city of gambling.
The Washington Capitals won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history after a game 5 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights by a score of 4-3.
The 4-1 series victory gave the DMV a sports championship for the first time since 1991 when the Redskins won the Super Bowl over the Buffalo Bills.
Long before Lars Eller fired the game winning goal or Braden Holtby had the save, the ice was a melting pot of tears.
The last time in the Stanley Cup finals resulted in a sweep. The many years of Alex Ovechkin almost always ended in playoff disappointment.
Before 2018, the previous few years ended in the second round with many defeats coming against the eventual champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
This time however, the switch was flipped as they embarked on an incredible journey.
First off in Round 1 against an upstart Columbus Blue Jackets team, the Capitals were down 0-2 before rattling off four straight wins to once again reach round 2.
There stood the Pittsburgh Penguins. Going into the series, the NHL media already looked into how the Penguins would fare in the conference finals. This was before the series was played.
It took six games, but the Capitals pulled off a stunning win and advanced to round 3 for the first time since 1998. The Penguins were out and the disappointment from their supporters was palpable.
After a seven game, hard fought series vs the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Capitals would face the media AND Vegas in the Stanley Cup Final.
After taking a 3-1 lead in the series, ESPN released a stat showing how often the Caps blew a 3-1 lead. More of a taunt than a statistic.
Not this time, the doubters were silenced and the statement was made. The Caps won Game 5 and the series. It was finished, Lord Stanley was coming to DC.
It’s been a short time but it could happen again. For now, 2018 will forever be the year of the Capitals.