If at first you don’t succeed, chai and chai again.
If you aren’t a drinker of chai tea or iced dirty chai’s, you likely won’t appreciate that pun, so instead, change chai into try.
That is exactly what the Washington Capitals have done thus far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Washington seemed to have been cursed in the postseason, especially in the Alexander Ovechkin era. Now, those demons have seemed to have been exercised and the Caps are four wins away from hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup.
On Wednesday night, Washington took care of business and won Game 7 in Tampa Bay against the Lightning to advance to the Stanley Cup Final. This will be the second time in the past 20 years the Capitals have contended for the Stanley Cup. However, the Caps will look to redeem the past trip, as they were swept by the Detroit Red Wings.
This isn’t your team of two decades ago, or even your team of the Ovechkin era. This team seems poised and ready to take the next step being cemented in immortality.
A constant thorn in the side of the Caps has been the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens have won the past two Stanley Cups and have eliminated the Caps in the second round both years, including a Game 7 victory last season. Well, Ovechkin and company exercised the demon of Sidney Crosby and the Penguins by eliminating the reigning, defending Stanley Cup champions in six games in the second round.
Ovechkin was 0-3 against the Penguins and 6-9 lifetime in the playoffs before advancing past the Penguins and then the Lightning. Now, he has a chance to put past criticisms aside and finally win a championship, the only accolade missing from his historic career.
In year’s past, Ovechkin has gotten a ton of blame for the Capitals shortcomings, but this year is different. Ovechkin is doing his thing, posting 22 points in 19 games this postseason. He has 12 goals and 10 assists, and only trails teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov in postseason points.
Alexander the Great is one of the top-two players in the world and now he has a chance to put himself in the all-time great conversation with four more wins.
Waiting for the Capitals in the finals is the Los Vegas Golden Knights, an expansion team that took the NHL by storm. Ovechkin and company will square off against former Penguins goalie, Marc-André Fleury, who stopped 29 shots last year against Washington in the Game 7, 2-0 shutout in the second round.
The Stanley Cup Final should be a fun series, but Ovechkin and company won’t be laughing until they are able to win four games and hoist the Stanley Cup.
Any past shortcomings of the Capitals in the past will never be mentioned again if they go on to win the Cup.
After 20 years of misery and disappointment, the Washington Capitals have a chance at redemption. If the first 19 games are any indication, the Caps are in prime positon to be called champion, at last.