Mr. Speaker, they finally did it. For the first time in franchise history, the WASHINGTON CAPITALS are Stanley Cup champions. When time expired in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals, throngs of red-clad fans inside the arena in Las Vegas and on the streets of Washington threw up their arms in jubilation, celebrating a victory that was a long time coming.
Year after year in recent times, the CAPS posted impressive records during the regular season only to falter in the playoffs. Even this year, the CAPS found themselves with their backs against the wall throughout the playoffs, going down 0–2 in the series against Columbus and dropping three straight games against Tampa Bay.
But the team never gave up and battled through adversity on their way to winning hockey’s ultimate crown. The CAPS are loaded with some of hockey’s top talent, from T.J. Oshie, whose dazzling shootout moves in a Team USA jersey captivated the world at the 2014 Winter Olympics, to Alexander Ovechkin, one of the NHL’s most prolific goal scorers and long-time CAPS captain.
And of course one cannot forget Braden Holtby, their goaltender, their masked crusader whose desperation save in Game 2 against Las Vegas embodied the CAPS’ stern resolve in achieving their goal.
Included in this formidable array of players is center Lars Eller, the first Danish player to hoist the Stanley Cup. Eller proved to be vital to the CAPS in their Cup run. He scored the game-winning goal in double-overtime against Columbus to prevent the CAPS from going 0- 3 down in the series, and last week he put the puck into the Vegas goal with just minutes to go, breaking the game’s deadlock and launching his team into the history books.
Eller’s family and friends were watching in a movie theater back in his hometown of Rodovre, Denmark, where the clock read 2:22am at puck drop and past 5am when Eller scored his fateful goal. He has since been hailed as a hero in his native country, with accounts of his Cup-clinching goal dominating the national media on Friday morning.
Mr. Speaker, the CAPITALS’ Stanley Cup triumph shows us why sports are so important to our society. They bring people together and inspire us to dream. So congratulations to Lars Eller, the rest of the CAPITALS organization, and the city of Washington on a historic victory.
Today, we are ALL CAPS.
And that is just the way it is.