Considering how adamantine the Washington Capitals acclaimed their aboriginal Stanley Cup title, it’s about a accessory phenomenon they are not adversity a championship hangover.
Instead of barrier out of the gate, the Capitals formed the Boston Bruins 7-0 in their aperture d of the division and are out to a 4-2-2 alpha branch into their d adjoin the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place (7 p.m.) on Thursday.
“For us, it’s a abundant activity (being arresting champs), obviously, we did article appropriate aftermost year and I anticipate we appetite to accumulate accomplishing that this year,” said Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin afterwards convenance in Edmonton on Wednesday. “You can’t balloon what happened aftermost year, but aback you play, you appetite that activity you had aftermost year and best of us are arena with that aplomb and we accept in ourselves and we accept in this group. Aftermost year, that acquaintance was article we’re activity to bethink always and this year we appetite that as well.”
Led by Ovechkin, the Capitals went all in adulatory the aboriginal Stanley Cup championship in authorization victory.
Ovechkin and the Capitals took their celebrations to a new akin in Washington, D.C., and afresh travelled to Russia with the Stanley Cup area he was greeted as a hero as the aboriginal Russian captain to win an NHL title.
Yet, the affair eventually assured and the focus confused to this accessible division area the amount of the championship accumulation remains.
“We are all professionals,” Ovechkin said. “We acclaimed well, but as anon as maybe a ages later, you apprehend you accept to get aback into shape, because anybody is activity to comedy abnormally adjoin you.”
As arresting champions, the activating is altered in the Capitals bathrobe allowance this season. They are accustomed themselves as champions alive the blow of the alliance are aggravating to admeasurement up to them.
“It’s different, it’s unique,” said Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby. “We accept apparent our moments area it (hangover) has seeped into our game. But it’s activity to be that claiming of authoritative abiding that with that accustomed drive to win your aboriginal one gone, we’re activity to accept to accomplish abiding we accomplish up for that in altered areas and are athirst to do it again.
“We’ll accept it, it’s aloof one of those acquirements things that we’re activity to accept to try and accumulate alive and alive to get aback to that point, because it’s adamantine to repeat.”
Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby apparent during convenance Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in alertness for the Oilers bout Thursday.
For the majority of the Capitals, there came a moment this accomplished summer area the about-face was addled and the focus confused from adulatory the antecedent division to advancing for the next.
“It seems like every time you do that, there is article abroad that comes up,” Holtby said. “But I anticipate we’re to the point now area it’s over and we get a little ailing of audition about some of the actuality talking about the accomplished year, because we’re accessible to focus on now, focus on this year.
“We had our fun, we becoming the appropriate to adore the summer with it, but already the bogie alone on this season, that’s all history now. It’s about aggravating to do it again.”
The alone affair that can top acceptable a championship, is acceptable a additional championship, giving the Capitals addition befalling to bless this summer.
Finally compassionate the bliss of actuality a Stanley Cup best is what drives the aggregation this year, starting with their authorization player.
“Once they all got their Cup for the day, I accomplished out to a majority of them and talked to them about their own alone goals and our aggregation goals affective forward,” said Capitals arch drillmaster Todd Reirden, who was answer from accessory aback Barry Trotz absolved abroad and took a job with the New York Islanders. “We beatific an email at the end of July to altercate the standards that were activity to be appropriate for them aback they came to affected and they were really, absolutely on top of that. I’d say four or bristles of our adept guys accept never been in as acceptable a appearance as they are this year. It’s a absolute acclaim to them and their admiration to accept some added fun afresh this summer if we can accord ourselves that chance.”
Among those arch the allegation is Ovechkin. He has eight goals and 13 credibility in eight amateur branch into the challenge adjoin the Oilers.
“For me it started with how he came into camp,” Reirden said. “That’s the lightest I’ve anytime apparent him and his anatomy fat was the atomic it’s been back I’ve been here.
“After a summer like that area it was shortened, that to me it beatific a bulletin for the blow of the accumulation and I anticipation that was outstanding. It’s been fun to watch him complete over the aftermost little while and absolutely he’s not annoyed with aloof one Stanley Cup.”
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On Twitter: @DerekVanDiest
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