Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Washington Capitals vs. Las Vegas Golden Knights 6/7/18, Prediction & Odds

Washington Capitals vs. Las Vegas Golden Knights 6/7/18, Prediction & Odds

Abe and Irene Pollin, the longtime owners of the Capitals and NBA's Bullets/Wizards, had to learn how to handle losing.

Hawley's dedication to the team led him and his wife to follow the Golden Knights to Washington, where they watched Game 3 at a restaurant and attended Game 4 at Capital One Arena. However, McPhee also benefitted from the fact that the rules for the 2017 expansion draft were far more favorable than those the general managers of the Columbus Blue Jackets or the Minnesota Wild had to deal with when those teams entered the National Hockey League in 2000. There was no such falloff this time.

It also marks the first Stanley Cup title for Russian star Alex Ovechkin, who scored his team-leading 15th playoff goal in the second period and was named Most Valuable Player of the 2018 playoffs. If a team that went 111-37-16 the previous two seasons couldn't close the deal, how would this season's edition, with a graying 32-year-old captain and a supporting cast that, while still strong, seemed a step or two behind younger teams such as Tampa Bay, Nashville and Pittsburgh in the league's elite circle?

"I'm part of history".

- 10 different players recorded a point in their Game 4 win. It was a whole one team, stick with the system and it doesn't matter what happened, even after the [second] period, we knew we just have to push it and get the result done. It's just something in it.

Both teams had something to celebrate.

But if storybook endings never really appear and they're just someone's way of leading us to a conclusion, a room full of players not wanted by their previous teams directed Las Vegas on the most fantastic of voyages before it ended with another team celebrating.

"We couldn't sell tickets", said Irene Pollin, now 93.

Much of the answer lies in who the owner, Bill Foley, hired as the club's first general manager in the summer of 2016. So how did they put together a team good enough to finish fifth in the overall standings during the regular season, and make it to the finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs?

Less than two weeks later, Poile changed the course of the franchise by acquiring eventual Hall of Fame defenseman Rod Langway. Expansion teams aren't expected to still be playing this close to the summer solstice-just ask the Capitals, who won just eight games as an expansion team in 1974-but Vegas rolled on. "Even when they got an extra timeout when the clock broke our guys were like, we got this".

That became the Capitals' unwelcome hallmark.

Unlike their Game 3 loss, the Golden Knights weren't struggling to find solid offensive chances.

"This is incredible. I mean, I've grown up being disappointed and yet I still come back".

It was a dizzying display of offence and perhaps the best period of hockey so far in this final. They're in a better situation than us, that's for sure.

That continued to Tikkanen in 1998 and into the "Rock the Red" era with Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

Braden Holtby made 28 saves in Game 5, outplaying three-time Stanley Cup champion Marc-Andre Fleury in the other net one final time. "I said, 'Well we've got to win our first game of the playoffs and once we do that we're going to win the Cup, ' " Trotz said. It's been a long road to get there and it showed each time he raised the Cup over his head and showed off that big, toothless smile.

"Usually that Eller goal would've been the opposition scoring on us and it would've been devastating and they'd be up 3-0 and we'd lose the series", said Laughlin, now a TV color commentator who along with team President Dick Patrick is among the longest-lasting members of the organization. The Capitals are a +125 underdog, while the over-under is set at 5.5 goals. But to most, it will help them sleep a bit easier knowing that the Columbus Blue Jackets, for the second straight year, have fallen to the eventual champions of the hockey world.

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