The Vegas Golden Knights have received a lot of attention during this NHL season and postseason. This is for very good reason, as their success to make it to the Stanley Cup is absolutely unprecedented for an expansion team. But it would be remiss not to acknowledge the Washington Capitals. Their breakthrough to the Stanley Cup Finals has been nothing short of astounding and has been huge not only for them but for the city of Washington DC.
First, there’s the drought. The last time the Capitals made the Stanley Cup Finals was in 1998, the only time the team has made it that far since it joined the league in 1974. To make matters more painful for their fan base, the Caps have made the playoffs in 10 of the last 11 seasons but had never even made it to the conference finals since that last finals appearance until they did so this year. If you are a fan of Washington sports teams, this probably feels familiar. The Nationals have been amongst the best teams in baseball this decade but have never won a playoff series since relocating to DC in 2005. The John Wall-led Wizards have made the playoffs in four of the past five years but haven’t made it to the conference finals during that span, or any time since they’ve since 1979 when they were still called the Bullets. And the Redskins, who last had playoff success when they were the winners of the 1991 Super Bowl, have struggled to find any real playoff success since. So, for the city of Washington DC, what the Capitals are doing is significant. All of these playoff failures can be crushing to a fan base and that only makes the Capitals success even more impactful to these fans.
Then there is their star. While many players have been integral in the Capitals finally breaking through to the finals, none have been more central to the franchise than Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin has led the NHL in scoring in four of the past five years and is a three-time Hart trophy winner, as the league’s most valuable player. But for all of Ovechkin’s greatness, he had yet to lead his team on a deep playoff run while his contemporary great Sydney Crosby has led his Pittsburg Penguins to four finals with three championships. This run to the finals has been validation of Ovechkin’s greatness and exciting for fans who enjoy seeing the game’s biggest stars succeed on the game’s biggest stage.
The Capitals are currently up on the Golden Knights two games to one in the Stanley Cup Finals. There is no reason not to watch this epic matchup of two storybook seasons and FanWide can help you find game watch parties so you can watch the games with fans at local bars and restaurants. Hockey fans can get really into these games and will make these viewing parties an experience on par with actually being at the game. And you can even see the Capitals end the great Washington championship drought!