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Wayne Gretzky praises Alex Ovechkin for elevating the game of hockey

Wayne Gretzky praises Alex Ovechkin for elevating the game of hockey

Alex Ovechkin has not always been the most popular of players within the hockey community. The pure jubilation he shows whenever he or a teammate scores flies in the face of the more traditional hockey fan who turns their nose up when players ever dare to show (gasp) emotion on the ice.

Ovechkin took his exuberance to the next level on the Capitals’ Stanley Cup run which ended with Washington hoisting the Cup in June. But if there was still any question over whether the Great 8’s style of play or personality on the ice was good or bad for the game, the Great One himself has settled that debate.

Wayne Gretzky appeared Friday on “Maria Bartiromo’s Wall Street” on the Fox Business Network to talk about promoting the game in China and some of his recent business investments. The interview started with a discussion on the state of the game and Gretzky cited Ovechkin specifically for his contribution to growing the sport.

“You look at guys like Sidney Crosby and you look at Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews in Toronto and, of course, what Alex Ovechkin did last year,” Gretzky said. “I think that he really elevated our sport to another level because, not only how good he played and what he did for the city of Washington, but how emotional he was and how he wore his emotions on his sleeve and how people rallied around that.”

So it’s actually a good thing for athletes to show emotion while they’re playing and celebrate their accomplishments? What a novel concept.

Hopefully this slams the door shut on those who may feel like the Caps captain should “act like he’s been there.”

It is fun to see one of the best players in history actually enjoy playing the game. It also made winning the Stanley Cup that much more incredible because the team really took on his personality in the endless celebration that followed.

The Capitals and the sport of hockey is better for having a personality like Ovechkin’s.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov describes the Caps’ Cup party and it was as epic as it looked

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USA Today

Evgeny Kuznetsov describes the Caps’ Cup party and it was as epic as it looked

The Caps had an epic party after winning the Stanley Cup and, according to Evgeny Kuznetsov,

If it looked like the Caps were having a lot of fun celebrating the first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history, it’s because they were.

In the wake of their clinching Game 5 victory over Vegas, an epic party began that lasted for several days and stretched from Vegas to Washington. Celebrating in a Vegas club, taking the Cup through the streets of Washington, swimming in fountains, it all looked like the best time ever.

But was it hard to keep the party going for as long and as hard as the Caps did?

Yes. Yes it was.

The annual NHL player media tour began Thursday with star players from around the league converging on Chicago. T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov represented the Capitals and, of course, they were asked about their Cup celebration.

Kuznetsov gave a pretty epic answer.

“We go hard … A couple days, three days, four days, we still everyone together,” he said, per Sports Illustrated’s Alex Prewitt. “I feel little bad for our wives. They was home, waiting for us, but we still celebrating together, you know? My parents, everyone. Every morning, cup of coffee, hey I’ve got to go with the team. Baseball game, wherever. Next day and next day. Finally, after like 10 days, okay, I’m out of here.”

My wife would be a little peeved too if I was out for a ten day party, but then again, I haven’t won a Stanley Cup.

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    Ranking the five best quotes from the Capitals 2018 Stanley Cup championship parade

    Ranking the five best quotes from the Capitals 2018 Stanley Cup championship parade

    The Washington Capitals' 2018 Stanley Cup championship parade was as entertaining as it was beautiful.

    The perfect backdrop for a championship parade with the perfect weather and the perfect team to celebrate with.

    The entire day was filled with the splendors of civic pride, culminating in a boisterous rally on the National Mall.

    While the scenes from the parade were great, the player speeches were even better.

    For the first time in franchise history, the Capitals got to address their fans as Stanley Cup champions.

    And in case you missed it, the speeches were incredible. Here are the best quotes.

    5. Barry Trotz: "We're gonna do it again."

    Naturally, the head coach of the team is going to say this. But it's been a long time coming for Trotz, who spoke with sincerity and emotion.

    4. TJ Oshie: "Back-to-back! Back-to-back!"

    There's only one NHL team that can go back-to-back this season, and that team is the Washington Capitals.

     

    3. Tom Wilson: "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but we brought the cup home!"

    Cliches are cliches for a reason, and this one makes perfect sense to use here, especially with a little twist at the end. 

    2. Evgeny Kuznetsov: "Lets f— this s—!"

    This speech started off so nice. It was genuine. Kuzy acknowledged that the Capitals wouldn't be Stanley Cup champions without their fans, family and parents and then seemingly ran out of words. What do you do when you run out of words in front of about 100,000 people? Curse into the mic of course! 

     

    1. Alex Ovechkin: "We not gonna be f—ing suck this year!"

    He's been waiting all year to say it. He added an f-bomb to it this time, for extra emphasis perhaps, but it was the perfect moment that captured both the frustration of not winning the cup for his whole career with the pure joy of finally getting the job done. The only thing that would have made the moment better would have been if he could have dropkicked the podium while he hoisted the Stanley Cup over his head. 

     

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