One year ago today marks the anniversary of what was arguably the most exciting moment of my life. After suffering for years as a DC sports fan, I finally got to see a hometown team bring home some rings as the Washington Capitals beat the Las Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup. While the finale, and especially the celebration, were glorious, it was the journey to that championship that I will always remember.
Growing up a DC sports fan has been rough — constantly watching the Zards and Skins ruin the careers of promising stars on its own was bad enough, but there really was nothing more demoralizing to the spirit of this city then watching the Caps blow it year after year. It seemed as if every year they would be the best team in hockey, led by stars such as Nicklas Backstrom, and the best goal scorer of all time, Alexander Ovechkin; however, the team never once made it past the second round, always losing to rivals like the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Thankfully, something changed in the 2018 playoffs. Perhaps the team didn’t have the best regular season record, and thus had less pressure on their shoulders come playoffs. Or maybe it was because this team was filled to the brim with talent and they were sick and tired of getting their asses handed to them in the playoffs every year! (I like to think it was the latter.) All I know is something lit a fire beneath them that led to one of the greatest playoff runs, not just in hockey, but in sports history.
Being in downtown Washington in a sea of red, watching time expire and our wildest dreams finally come true — it still doesn’t feel real to me. It seems as though everything is back to normal in DC sports as all of our teams, including the Capitals, had very disappointing seasons. Nonetheless, that doesn’t take away what happened last year. For the first time in what seemed like forever, the 2018 Capitals brought hope to a city that desperately needed it, and for that, they will always be remembered.