Capitals

Capitals

The Washington Capitals are one victory away from winning the Stanley Cup.

 

Let that notion sink in for a second. 

The Washington Capitals are one victory away from winning the Stanley Cup.

It's a relatively simple sentence that has never been spoken by Washington, D.C. sports fans. It's permeated the brains of a countless many, and it's been the subject of countless dreams. But now, it is finally a reality.

The Washington Capitals are one victory away from winning the Stanley Cup.

On Monday night, the Capitals throttled the Golden Knights 6-2, scoring three goals in the first period and never truly looking back. Braden Holtby was once again splendid between the pipes, and the Capitals played with a never-ending supply of hustle and energy. The Capitals now hold a 3-1 series lead and return to Las Vegas for Game 5 on Thursday.

The Washington Capitals are one victory away from winning the Stanley Cup.

The series is not over, and the Capitals have decades worth of playoff disappointment to remind you that the series is not over. But that lingering feeling of inevitable despair is no longer. It's been replaced with a brimming confidence so bright it drowns out the Vegas strip. You can see the confidence in the way the Capitals skate and you can feel the confidence in every chant and cheer. 

The Washington Capitals are one victory away from winning the Stanley Cup.

A cold goalie; two major injuries; a suspension; two coaching blunders. The Capitals had ample opportunities to pack it up and call it a season. But they didn't.

Braden Holtby replaced Philipp Grubauer and became the hot goalie the Capitals never had.

Injuries to Andre Burakovsky and Nick Backstrom tested the Capitals' questionable depth, only to have Chandler Stephenson and Devante Smith-Pelly rise to the occasion. Barry Trotz made the decision to start Grubauer over Holtby. It backfired, only to have Holtby to fire off the greatest postseason of his career.

When Tom Wilson sat due to a three-game suspension for his hit on Pittsburgh's Zach Aston-Reese, Trotz placed Smith-Pelly on the first line. It backfired immediately. But Trotz replaced Smith-Pelly with Jakub Vrana midway through Game 5. Vrana would go on to score the game-winner and send the Capitals into Game 6 with a 3-2 series lead. 

There are examples everywhere this postseason. Everything that could have gone wrong went right. 

And now the Washington Capitals are one victory away winning the Stanley Cup and it feels so good.

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