The Stanley Cup Finals, 2018

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By Liam

What was the most exciting moment of the Stanley Cup Finals? This year’s Stanley Cup Finals were played by the Washington Capitals and the Vegas Golden Knights. The series was hard fought, but at the end the Washington Capitals were eventually the winners, winning the series 4 games to 1. It was a monumental series for both teams, as it was the Vegas Golden Knights’ first year in the NHL and the Washington Capitals first NHL Title. Devante Smith Pelly was a surprising force for the Capitals in the playoffs with 6 goals. Braden Holtby made the save of the year for the Capitals, eventually turning the momentum of the series to the Capitals. Plus the Vegas shooting turned into an influence for the Golden Knights to do well in their first season. For all of these reasons this year’s finals was one of the most exciting.

Devante Smith Pelly, an unlikely high goal scorer, scored 6 goals in the Capitals’ successful playoff run for the cup. Smith Pelly became the Capitals’ highest goal scorer in the playoffs. This was surprising because of the amount of teams he was on in the past 6 years. He was on the Anaheim Ducks, Montreal Canadiens, the New Jersey Devils, and the Washington Capitals.  “As a coach,” Trotz said, “you want to know what you’re getting all the time.” Barry Trotz, the Head coach of the Capitals, felt good about his decision to pick Devante Smith Pelly up from free agency from the New Jersey Devils, and he definitely added to the excitement.

Braden Holtby made the save of the year that changed the momentum of the series. With 3:18 left, Alex Tuch (of the Vegas Golden Knights) dumps the puck in the Capitals zone, Cody Eakin (also of Vegas) pursues the puck and gets the puck off a weird bounce off the boards. He gets the puck and passes it back to Alex Tuch who is backdoor for an easy put away, but Holtby sprawls across the whole crease and with the end of the stick he hits the puck away. “The save of the year,” Washington center Jay Beagle said,“maybe the save of a lifetime.” Beagle emphasized the importance of the save especially because of its timing, with only 3:18 left in the game. Holtby’s save was one of the factors that made it such an exciting finals matchup.

After the Vegas shooting the Vegas community came together around the team. According to George McPhee, owner of the Golden Knights “It’s unfortunate that thing happened, and sometimes beautiful things follow something like that, and the way that this community came together and these people helped each other really was a beautiful thing to witness and experience.” George McPhee’s statement shows how the emotions of the Golden Knights influenced their amazing cup run. This tragic event was part of the atmosphere of the series and the whole for Vegas.

For all of these reasons this year’s finals was one of the most exciting ever. Devante Smith Pelly was essential for the Capitals in the playoffs with 6 goals, Braden Holtby made the save of the year, and the Vegas shooting had a major impact on the Golden Knights. Let’s hope next year’s finals are as exciting.