After years of people asking how great Alex Ovechkin really is if he never wins the Cup, Ovechkin and the Caps are glad they never have to answer that question again.
Before 2018, the narrative surrounding Alex Ovechkin always ended with a “but.”
He is the top scorer of his generation, but….
He is one of the top players in the NHL, but….
He may be the greatest goal-scorer of all-time, but….
He is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but….
…But he hasn’t won a Stanley Cup.
That stigma was finally shattered in June when Ovechkin hoisted the Cup on the ice in Las Vegas as a champion. What’s more, he did it with his own team. He is not an all-time great who peaked and went ring chasing in the latter years of his career and won as a passenger on another team. Rather, he took a team that was built around him and led them to the franchise’s first title.
Now, not only is he a Stanley Cup winner, he also is a Conn Smythe winner as playoff MVP as well.
With the stigma now shattered, Ovechkin was asked Friday at Capitals’ media day if he’s glad he never has to answer another question about his legacy if he doesn’t win the Cup.
“Yeah. I mean, it’s gone,” he said. “Right now, [the media has] to think of some different questions every day, every year. So, it’s all on you guys.”
He’s not the only who’s relieved.
Teammates were also constantly bombarded by Ovechkin questions which not only cast doubt on Ovechkin’s ability to win the Cup, but on the team’s as well.
“Before I feel like there were some doubts,” Oshie said. “You can't help but think about it when all the media ever asks you is, 'Is Ovi a great player if he never wins a Stanley Cup?' I love getting the interviews now with those same people and asking them if they think Ovi is now a great player.”
It’s a question the team will never have to answer again. Ovechkin and the Capitals are Stanley Cup champions. Their names will be forever engraved on the Cup and that is something no one can ever take away from them.
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