Entering the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Alex Ovechkin had a pair of glaring omissions in his trophy case. The Great Eight had yet to win a Stanley Cup or a Conn Smythe Trophy.
Now, he has both.
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Ovechkin was nothing less than stellar during the Capitals’ first-ever championship run. He finished first in playoff goals with 15, which set a franchise record for a single postseason.
Though he finished second in the scoring race to linemate Evgeny Kuznetsov, voters recognized Ovechkin for his complete body of work. The greatest goal scorer of his generation had an impact beyond his postseason-high goal total, willing Washington with physicality, leadership, sacrifice and desire.
Although different members of a deep Capitals team stepped up at various points of the playoffs, Ovi was always on. He provided many timely plays en route to the team’s first ever Stanley Cup, including two of the biggest goals of his career.
In the second round versus the Pittsburgh Penguins which saw the Capitals exorcise their demons, Ovechkin delivered. Knotted up 3-3 late in Game 3, Ovechkin scored a ridiculous game-winner, batting the puck out of mid-air to beat Matt Murray.
Then in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Russian captain delivered seconds into the deciding clash versus the Tampa Bay Lightning, giving Washington a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
— NHL Daily 365 (@NHLDaily365) May 24, 2018
He scored in the title-clinching victory as well, giving the Capitals a short-lived lead in the second period.
If Alexander Ovechkin were to script a postseason run, you would have to imagine it would look fairly similar to the one that just played out.
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