On Thursday night Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals exorcised their demons as they claimed the first Stanley Cup in franchise history. Ovechkin, who put his team on his back all post-season finally captured the trophy that has eluded him his entire career. Ovechkin scored his 15th goal of the playoffs setting a franchise record and tying Sidney Crosby for most since 2005. Years of repeated disappointing Capitals failure has weighed on him heavy, as the once goofy kid is grayer than most of his 33-year-old counterparts, all worth it now as he becomes immortalized in hockey lure.
His performance throughout the playoffs earned him the Conn Smythe trophy joining Evgeni Malkin as the only two Russians to win the award. He becomes the first player since 1981 to lead the league and post-season in goals and collect the Stanley Cup in one season. He is also the first Russian-born captain to win the Stanley Cup. What was already a sure Hall of Fame career was cemented with his first cup on Thursday, a cup he is likely still holding onto this very moment.