A new NHL DVD entitled “2018 Stanley Cup Champions” is being released this week. Like most Capitals fans, anything reliving this year’s playoff run is welcomed. NBC Sports Washington aired a recap, “Journey to the Cup” which was quite good and can be viewed in small clips online. The price for the NHL DVD ranges from $25-$35, but is it worth it? The short answer is, yes.
The technical qualities, editing, music, narration are well done. The first twelve minutes is a retrospect of the franchise beginning in 1974 up to the beginning of this season. It describes the challenges of the expansion team, the acquiring of franchise players, the first Stanley Cup appearance, and the acquisition of Ovechkin. Early exits from the playoffs in previous years are mentioned but not dwelled upon. The ups and downs of the 2017-2018 season are rehashed, then the narrative slows down in its coverage of each round of the playoffs.
All the play-by-play calls used in the film are by John Walton. The inclusion of player and coach microphones add to the telling of the story. The coverage becomes more in-depth with each round, with the Stanley Cup final series being the main focus. As with any great story, there are ebbs and flows, and pivotal turning points. This program captures all of them with one glaring exception. The fight between Tom Wilson and Braydon Coburn in game 7 of the Tampa Bay series was omitted. Other scrums, the Tom Wilson’s suspension hit, and the hit on EvgenyKuznetzov were included, so it’s not clear why the fight was not covered. Maybe the NHL doesn’t want to dwell on fighting, but as a fan, it was an important momentum shift in that game.
As the final series is set up, there is a recap on Vegas’ road to the final. Luckily, this is brief, normally they give equal time to build up both sides, it was nice that it didn’t. As the story reaches its conclusion, there is more player commentary, more locker room talks, and fan coverage. The on ice presentation is shown and the program ends with the parade in Washington. The final scene is of Ovechkin lifting the Cup to the crowd screaming “We are Stanley Cup Champions!!” and his iconic scream.
There are three bonus features: Extended locker room celebration, extended on-ice celebration, and extended parade celebration. If you are buying for bonus features, don’t. They are all woefully inadequate and short. I went to get a drink during the locker celebration and when I came back, it was over. The longest bonus feature was the parade at four minutes, and I didn’t really see anything new that wasn’t included in the original program.
Even though we know the ending to the story, it still will evoke smiles and tears of joy. A must have for every Capitals fan who wants to relive the glorious Stanley Cup run.
By Andrea Schlegel