What Does the Washington Capitals Winning the Stanley Cup Championship Mean to You?

TJ Oshie Stanley Cup Win Washington Capitals ftw usatoday
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 FleetwoodMICHAEL 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.

Mike Outdoor ClassicMICHAEL 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

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 and NickySOFIE 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 NoyesJOE 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 NoVa CapsCHRIS 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

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7 Responses to What Does the Washington Capitals Winning the Stanley Cup Championship Mean to You?

  1. Pingback: The Stanley Cup Takes in a Ballgame at Nationals Park | NoVa Caps

  2. DayOne Caps Fanatic says:

    First Caps games I was in High School, 1975, 76, 77. Great new sport in town to follow after the disappearance of the Baseball Senators (1971). Caps were mostly a live-only and radio event back then because wimpy TV contracts televised only about 30 games a year. That, and the Caps were awful for first five years. Saw two bench-clearing brawls at Capital Centre 1976 and 77. Went to occasional Caps games during Christmastime 1980s, visiting family in MD while I on vacation from sea duty U.S. Navy. I sent in my 20 bucks for the “Save the Caps” campaign 1982. Watched the 1987 four-overtime disaster against NYI in a dingy apartment in Mississippi with my very first Cable TV subscription. I said “Oh darn” when they lost. Watched the Game Seven catastrophe vs. NJD in a sports bar in pre-gambling Biloxi, MS. John McLean ruined my week. “Oh Darn” I said. Home for Xmas in 1991, I sat through the Caps all-time-worst Capital Centre defeat, the 8-6 debacle vs. NYR where Caps blew a six-goal lead. Pivonka had three goals but it wasn’t enough. Caps fans launched beer cans onto the ice in the final seconds. I said “Oh Darn.” Followed the Murray- and Schonfeld-coached 1990s Caps from Louisiana, Mississippi, Virginia and Florida, only occasional TV and mostly following morning-after scores in the newspaper! Yes folks there was a pre-Internet phase of American history. Watched many playoff failures of Caps vs PIT while in hotel rooms all over USA while I was a traveling engineer. Home Team Sports showing home Caps games was an order-of-magnitude improvement. Returned to DELMARVA late 1990s and the Caps were a perennial playoff team – and a determined-to-lose playoff disaster. Hats off to Leonsis & Co. for moving Caps to DC 1997, expanding the media market. Mr. Leonsis can tell you that DC sport-inclined radio stations were NOT Caps-friendly at all – maybe that will change now that Caps are the Champs. The Leonsis Caps were dramatically better than the Pollin Caps, i.e. they were All-in and not just a component of the Capital Centre money making machine. When Caps lost in four to DET in 1998 finals, I said “Oh darn.” When Caps choked away all manner of playoff attempts 2000 through 2017 I said “Oh Darn.” This season back in the Deep South I’ve followed the Caps on internet and “Caps Radio” [Thanks mucho mucho to Monumental Sports and the Caps for this service, with John Walton in the lead]. Saw most of the playoff games on various NBC venues with the usual anti-Caps announcers and commentators. Wow the Caps now have all manner of internet pages, followed all over the world. NOVACAPS is an outstanding leader in this service. And now, much like old Cubs fans and recent old Red Sox fans, I can finally croak in peace now that the Caps have finally won the Championship. Well Done to all.

  3. Newbie says:

    I’m a newer fan. I started following hockey about 2 years ago because the NFL kept pissing me off. So I started attending Hershey games. That led me to the Caps as the players were called up. I fell in love with both teams as I learned the game and came to respect the players more and more.

    Even if the Caps had lost the series, I’d have been just as impressed. This year fully solidified my love of the game and for the Caps. We were inside the arena for the viewing party and I will say that the win, for me, was emotional because while i was happy for the players and excited to see our Hershey boys succeed on the big stage, I saw how much it meant to the awesome fans I was meeting. We met so many great people and had a common bond through the caps and we celebrated in such a crazy way!
    I’m glad I got into hockey when I did and was able to be a part of the celebration in DC and watch such a great team win it all. I may be a newbie but I love this team and have such respect for the players. I’m genuinely happy for them all, especially the Hershey boys. Seeing the growth of Stephenson, Vrana and Djoos these past two seasons was an absolute delight. When Jakub scored in game 5 I cheered so loudly I started losing my voice…. go Caps.

  4. Alex Reut says:

    Some people take the games a little too seriously. I’ve received a death threat because of my paintings and this article. No regrets though. We are the Champions! Go Caps!


    Alex Reut

  5. Quinton Shields says:

    I don’t have a Capitals origin story that spans back decades. I always considered myself a DC sports fan being born and raised here but what that really amounted to was watching the skins religiously and just keeping tabs on the NHL/NBA and eventually MLB standings.
    That all changed when the 2012 NHL playoffs started. A couple guys from work were going to a 1st round game against the defending champion Bruins and asked if I wanted to come. Three periods and three overtimes later I was hooked. My fandom went from passive to getting blackout drunk to numb the pain of my first experience of a game 7 disappointment against the Rangers the following round. I’ve never fallen in love with anything or anyone so quickly and so fully.
    I have lived and (mostly) died with this team ever since. I’ve sworn them off every summer since 3-1 vs the Rangers and been right back for another fix every fall. I may not be long suffering but the suffering was very real and very painful. But damn if it didn’t make this moment that much sweeter.

  6. Pingback: Alex Ovechkin and Braden Holtby to Appear on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” Monday Night | NoVa Caps

  7. Anonymous says:

    temper your expectations for next year。 With the cap,teams are close

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