Ovi on Top

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The hockey season has officially reached its end and a somewhat surprising year ended with what seemed to be a collective relief.

It wasn’t relief that an expansion franchise wasn’t able to take home the title in their very first year.

That may have been a clear sign that the next expansion franchise would have to be made differently, or maybe the exact same.

In fact, the simple appearance of the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup final have people already worried about the next team and what they can do to keep up.

Vegas was more than just that plucky young team that made their way against all odds though as they may have just changed hockey.

Every hockey fan was exposed to what Vegas brings to the NHL as the place known as the Entertainment Capital of the World got their chance at their first sports franchise and showed off what makes them specials.

It is widely considered one of the most unique experiences at a hockey arena with acts like Cirque Du Soleil and the Blue Man Group entertaining fans in between periods.

Their opening acts to their playoff games are now legendary and for other teams, a standard has been set on how to hold a game.

Vegas brought that unique brand of entertainment to hockey and their success on the ice only exposed that brand to more people.

Still, in a world where traditional powers are struggling and new teams are winning more titles, some may have breathed a sigh of relief for the fact that they finally ran out of steam in the Finals.

Most people would have enjoyed that story though, so that collective sigh of relief when the final buzzer rang was for something else entirely.

As the playoffs progressed and more team bowed out it seemed more like the Washington bandwagon was filling up.

Although other teams in the west were entertaining and fun, the Capitals were the team that people seemed to pick when their own team had no chance.

When listening to people about why they would like to see Washington take home the Cup it wasn’t so much about the drought, standing since 1992.

It would have been nice to see a city celebrate after winning their last professional title in 1992 but it was a much different reason to cheer for the Caps.

This year it all surrounded the star player for Washington as Alexander Ovechkin was going for his first Cup.

The 32-year old has been a star in the NHL for over a decade and has always been considered one of the best players in the game.

His scoring ability is unmatched in today’s game as not even Sidney Crosby can claim to be a better pure goal scorer, although overall play is a different debate.hockey-sidebar

He has been the driving force behind Washington becoming a relevant team in the last decade as they went from one of the worst teams to a team consistently fighting for the President’s Trophy.

Yet among all of his accomplishments and award, she was never able to claim a Stanley Cup title, the one piece of hardware missing from his collection.

He would lead teams into the playoffs with big hopes of winning a title and every year they would be bumped early.

No matter the combination o players on his team there never seemed to be one good enough to help him raise a Cup.

As he enters this point in his career where his time in the league is getting shrinking the closer he gets to 35-years old it was beginning to look like he would enter that exclusive club that nobody wants to be a part of when they retire.

That group of the greatest players in the game to never win a Stanley Cup, a list that includes Cam Neely, Mike Gartner and Pavel Bure.

It’s not a bad group to be a part of but it is not one that any player aims for when they begin their career.

This was certainly going to be his best chance as through each round it seemed more realistic that he would get his shot.

When the dust settled on the Finals it was that sigh of relief from hockey fans as they saw Ovechkin lift the Cup.

No matter if you like his style of play or personality the fact remains, Ovechkin did everything he could to win a Cup and never got there.

Now his legacy is cemented in the NHL as a man that will go down as one of the best goal scorers in the game has his name on the Cup.

There is no debate now that he belongs among the best ever and adding a Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP only advances his cause more.

It was a deserving title for the Russian and his team as he finally broke through and game an entire city a reason to cheer for the first time since 1992.

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