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The Washington Capitals are the 2018 Stanley Cup Champions.
For 13 seasons in the National Hockey League, left wing Alexander Ovechkin had built quite the impressive individual résumé.
Ovechkin is a three-time winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy, a seven-time winner of the Maurice Richard Trophy, a former Art Ross Trophy winner, and a nine-time NHL All-Star. The only thing missing from his résumé was a Stanley Cup.
After a 4-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals won their first ever championship. He helped lead the way throughout the Caps’ entire playoff run, with a playoffs-leading 15 goals and 27 points.
Ovechkin was later rewarded with the Conn Smythe Award, putting an exclamation point on what was already an all-time great NHL career and legacy.
Alex Ovechkin takes home the Conn Smythe Trophy as postseason MVP
Ovechkin is the 4th player with 3 Hart Trophies (regular season MVP) and a Conn Smythe pic.twitter.com/kkJWgznFqy
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 8, 2018
Prior to this year, the Capitals were known as a notoriously disappointing franchise. Ovechkin, as the team’s best player, was seen as a questionable leader. Despite always being a reliable individual playoff performer, he was often (unfairly) criticized for his inability to lead the Caps past the second round.
The criticisms should all be put to rest.
Now a champion, Ovechkin cemented an already strong legacy for himself, and added the two highest honors in the entire NHL — the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe Trophy.