Photo: ftw usatoday
Now that you’ve had a day or so to realize that our 2017-2018 Washington Capitals are the 2018 Stanley Cup Champions, we want to know: What does the Capitals winning the Stanley Cup mean to you?
After this past Monday night’s Game 4 victory, I asked a few of the NoVa Caps team of contributors to reflect on what it would mean to them, if we were to be victorious in our quest for the Lord Stanley’s Cup! Here’s are their thoughts, in their own words.
MICHAEL FLEETWOOD: “It would mean the world to me to finally see the Capitals win a Stanley Cup. It would not only be a rewarding feeling for sticking with this team through the tough playoff losses, coaching turnover, but also the culmination of all the goals celebrated, saves marveled at, historical achievements by players and the memories they have given me throughout my life as a Capitals fan. It would also be amazing to see Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom finally raise Lord Stanley’s mug!” Michael, who has just finished his first year of college, has been writing for NoVa Caps for the past three seasons.
MICHAEL MARZZACCO: “I’ve been a fan for the last 15 years. Seeing the Capitals evolve into the team they are now has been a rewarding experience. Sticking with them despite all the past disappointments. To see the Capitals win the Stanley Cup would mean the absolute world to me, especially this season compared to previous seasons. I had gone through a lot in the last year and it seemed like I was turning my life around the same time the team turned their season around. It would be fitting seeing this team win the Cup after many hockey experts claimed that the Caps “window” had closed.” Michael, who recently graduated with a journalism degree from Radford University, and who is an aspiring professional journalist, has been writing for NoVa Caps for the past two seasons.
AARON DAVIS: “I’ve been a fan since I was a junior in High School. I’m now 33 years old. I followed the team but didn’t have my heart and soul into it until I went to my first Caps game against the Carolina Hurricanes. It was the first season people were rocking the red, again. Ovechkin scored 15 seconds into the game. The place went nuts! And I was hooked. Ovechkin also scored with 30 seconds left in the game. We lost that game 5-2. But that didn’t matter. After attending that game my love for hockey grew to overshadow any other sport I was a fan of. The Capitals have had some rough history, and I can’t speak much about the franchise prior to my fandom. But it’s hard to compare the level of heartache brought on from the pat 10 years of hockey. Been crushed every year knowing we had the better team. I don’t know if I could contain my emotions if the Capitals are to win the Stanley Cup. It would be a dream come true as a fan.” Aaron is on the NoVa Caps graphics team – and if you’ve been drawn to NoVa Caps due to the images you’ve seen via our website and or social media outlets, you’ve likely seen Aaron’s work, which is just spectacular!
SOFIE BENGTSSON: “I have always been a huge hockey fan back home in Sweden, however, I wasn’t a fan of any NHL team, until recently. I was lucky to be able to spend two years in the DMV area back in 2014 through 2016 and because of my huge passion for hockey back home, it was natural for me to start cheering for the team closest to where I lived. That is the actual reason why the Caps became my favorite NHL team. Luckily, for me, Backstrom was playing for the Caps and he has always been a favorite of mine on the Swedish national team. So it was just meant to be. Even though I’m a “young” fan of the team, I put a lot of time (and money, lol) into the team during my time in the states. I followed them every single day, got the opportunity to meet the majority of the players and watch a lot of games live in DC with some of the most amazing people. I don’t think there is a single other team and fan base that deserves this more than us. Thank you Caps for helping me meet some of the most amazing people as well as making it possible for me to follow my passion for hockey in the US as well. It’s our time now.” Sofie is NoVa Caps resident Swedish language expert! She helps us to translate articles from the Swedish media. We’ve been lucky to have her for the past few seasons – which she was here in the US and while she’s back home in Sweden as well.
JOE NOYES: “As a life long Caps fan, I have a ton of memories. Some good and some bad, some great and some terrible. This is what I remember. I remember I fell in love with the Caps at a very young age. I can remember going to a Caps game against the Penguins and being so annoyed by their fans that I decided “I hate the Penguins”, even before I knew that was expected anyway. I remember USAir Arena and falling asleep in the car on the way home from games. I remember seeing Peter Bondra score five goals in a single game against Tampa. I remember how excited I was when I finally got my first Caps jersey one Christmas and how I didn’t want to take it off for weeks. I remember the miracle of Joe Juneau’s goal to send the Caps to their first ever Stanley Cup Finals. I remember the heartbreak of being swept. I remember when I FINALLY talked my Dad into getting season tickets and the day I ended up taking over said tickets. I remember Ovi’s first game, Holtby’s debut, Willy’s first fight, Nicky’s first apple, and Kuzy’s first flight! I remember time and time again thinking, this is it, this is the year. I remember being wrong, left with tears in my eyes year after year. I REMEMBER 2018. I REMEMBER beating our demons and getting to Round 3. I REMEMBER back to back shut outs to send us to the Stanley Cup Finals. I REMEMBER being at Game 4 and celebrating in the streets after, 1 more to go! I want to remember Game 5. I want to remember being with friends and family while watching a team so deserving finally reach the ultimate prize. I hope to remember the 2018 Washington Capitals as STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS.” Joe is one of NoVa Caps Photographers and has worked with NoVa Caps for the past two seasons. Many of the pictures that you all see from Kettler or at special events have been taken by Joe.
CHRIS LAROCHE: “My Dad was from Connecticut. From the time I was born in 1993 to the time they relocated in 1998, we were Whalers fans. When the Whalers became the present day Caroline Whalers, my Dad became a Bruins fan. I was four years old at the time, and I, admittedly, bandwagon the Caps in the Finals at four years old and I’ve been with them ever since. I’ve waited 20 years for this, and had to listen to EVERYBODY when the Bruins won the Cup in 2011. Now it’s my turn. Now it’s our turn.” Chris is one of our newest writers, he joined our team this past winter. Keep an eye out for his passionate articles.
DIANE DOYLE: “It would mean a lot for a region that’s been starved for a championship for more than a generation. I would also feel like a proud parent since our team’s Captain is the age of my first born and many of the younger core are about the same age as my last born. I saw the guys come along when they were young and it was when my own kids were coming of age and now, after several years, finally achieving the big milestone. I first started following the team as a young adult out of college and the guys were my age. Now they are the age of my kids. I’ll admit I hadn’t followed them as closely or gone to as many games since I was involved in the activities of my own children but then they grew up and I started paying attention to the guys who were the age of my kids.” Diane is another NoVa Caps writer. Diane has an uncanny ability to remember specific data from the Capitals 44 year long history. Many of her articles will bring you back to past and if you were around “then”, you’ll remember the moments she eloquently reminds us of though her articles. Diane has been with us nearly from the beginning of launching NoVa Caps, three seasons ago.
The anticipation is now over. We now know that our team is the reigning Stanley Cup Champions! And we’d like to know what winning the Cup means to you. Please let us know in the comments and include pictures too, if you’d like!
By Beckie Kulak Reilly