NHL 2018 Stanley Cup Reaction: Alex Ovechkin Becomes a Legend

On June 7th, 2018 Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin earned his place amongst the greatest to ever play the game by winning the NHL Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe trophy.

Yes, Alex Ovechkin was already an NHL legend. He was already a top 100 player. But he didn’t have that one thing that truly defines a players greatest; he didn’t win the NHL Stanley Cup.

For 13 years it’s eluded him. Through 607 goals and 1122 career NHL points in 1003 NHL regular season games. Through seven Rocket Richard trophies as the league’s top scorer and three other NHL MVP awards. The Stanley Cup eluded Ovechkin.

It’s the one thing that stands in the way of a players greatness. We never talk about Marcel Dionne and his remarkable 1771 NHL points because he never won a cup. He’s a truly great player but he’s never won a cup.

Whether that’s a fair indictment of a players career or not doesn’t matter. That’s the reality of the situation. Without a cup, were you truly a legend?

By winning the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe trophy Alex Ovechkin did just that. He’s now become the legend he already was.

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NHL 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Conn Smythe Favorites

Were only in the Conference Finals of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, but who should be the Conn Smythe favorite at this point?

Sidney Crosby has won the Conn Smythe trophy for the last two seasons. For the last two years, Crosby was declared the most valuable player in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. This year won’t have a chance at a three-peat.

So who takes it in 2018? Could it be either Alex Ovechkin or Steven Stamkos?

 

Alex Ovechkin | Washington Capitals

With 17 points in 13 playoff games, Alex Ovechkin has finally led his team to the conference finals. Something that he hasn’t be able to do in his NHL career. He was also the primary reason the Capitals were finally able to get past the Pittsburgh Penguins. If you’re looking for narrative and right of passage, he deserves the Playoff MVP Award.

Steven Stamkos | Tampa Bay Lightning

Stamkos is a huge reason the Tampa Bay Lightning were able to shake off that crushing game one defeat to the Boston Bruins in the second round. With four points in the final three games of the series, Stamkos pushed his team to four straight wins over the Bruins and book the Lightning’s third trip to the conference finals in four years. Without him, the Lightning might be on the golf course rather than fighting for a Stanley Cup.