Ovechkin FINALLY heads off to the Stanley Cup Final

  • Braden Holtby saved his best for last. Game 6 was his first shutout of 2017-18. Game 7 was his second. 159:27 minutes of domination.
  • Alexander Ovechkin’s game has gone to another place, courtesy of a whole new level of maturity. That snipe 62 seconds in was yet another big point in a big game. And he finally seems to have shed the thought he has to do it all in order for the Caps to win.

  • I had visions of Mats Zuccarello flash through my head when Devante Smith-Pelly blocked that shot with his head. Smith-Pelly got off lucky — the Norwegian Hobbit fractured his skull and couldn’t talk after that 2015 injury. But it was still very, very scary.
  • Victor Hedman almost broke his teammate’s foot at the end of the second when he angrily slapped the puck up the ice. Frustration, yes. But stupid and selfish are far more accurate.
  • The Bolts seized up with each passing moment. By the third, their vaunted power play couldn’t even connect on a single pass.
  • Andrei Vasilevskiy was a beast. Again. The game would have been completely out of control if he hadn’t been his studly self.
  • That Brooks Orpik injury is going to be a dangerous loss in the Final. He’s a PK beast. Fingers crossed he isn’t hurt badly.
  • The Caps laid 40 hits in Game 6 and started the same heavy-hitting way in Game 7. They just took the electricity right out a Amalie Arena.
  • Disappearing Act — it’s a movie, a cosmetic laser centre AND the rap on Nikita Kucherov. And Steven Stamkos, especially over the last three games. Their best just wasn’t good enough.
  • How gratifying is the Caps’ victory for George McPhee? He built BOTH the Golden Knights AND the Caps.
  • Andre Burakovsky’s scouting report? Explosive and powerful, with game-breaking speed. But a bit of a head-case. The kid needs a sports psychologist, but when he’s on, he’s on. Those goals were butter-tart delicious. Look that up, American readers. Butter tarts are the best.
  • Barry Trotz deserves this. So does Alexander Ovechkin. Four more wins and they both could have their first ever Stanley Cup. The Knights will have something to say about that. And so will his arch-nemesis, Marc-Andre Fleury.
  • The Final is going to be an absolute blast. Two squads with team-first attitudes. No egos — how refreshing is that? So, no matter who wins, it’ll be the first time in club history for the victor. I love hockey in June. BRING IT ON.