Ever since the Washington Capitals began its existence in 1974, its fans and the District of Columbia and its surrounding areas have yearned for the moment to see a “Stanley Cup Champions” banner lifted into the rafters. That day was Oct. 3, 2018, 44 years in the making.
The Capitals raised its first-ever NHL champion banner just ahead of its season opener against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night.
The Capitals had their last celebrations as they received their Stanley Cup rings and got an introduction to the home crowd at Capital One Arena. It was a moment that couldn’t missed.
Players soaked in the moment during introductions. Even players who won’t play in the first game of the season skated around to the roaring crowd, including Tom Wilson who is serving a 20-game suspension for an illegal check in Sunday’s preseason finale against St. Louis and defenseman Michal Kempny who won’t play due to an upper body injury.
Of course Alex Ovechkin was the last player introduced as he skated out with the Stanley Cup in tow as fans showered him with “Ovi” chants.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) October 3, 2018
After the captain took half of a lap around the rink and put up the Cup and fans sang “We Are the Champions”, the banner was finally lifted.
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) October 3, 2018
The night was nearly perfect. The only ingredient missing was having the Capitals’ rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins, in attendance. Shame on the NHL for not aligning Washington the luxury of rubbing their first-ever title in the Pens’ faces after the years of disappointment relished by their hated nemesis.
The NHL really should have had the Pens as the Caps banner raising team. The set up was right there for them, man
— Mary Clarke (@marycclarke) October 3, 2018