Hockey League has been firmly in the corner of enacting change through social
justice and they are continuing to put their money where their mouth is.
announced today that they will postpone the four Eastern and Western Conference
Second Round games through Friday. The shutdown comes in the wake of the murder
of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin and is being done out of respect for minority
communities in this time. The games will resume on Saturday.
came from the NHL players, who “believe that the best course of action would be
to take a step back and not play tonight’s and tomorrow’s games as scheduled. The
NHL supports the Players’ decision and will reschedule those four games
beginning Saturday and will adjust the remainder of the Second Round schedule
release put out by the league continued to say that “Black and Brown communities
continue to face real, painful experiences. The NHL and NHLPA recognize that
much work remains to be done before we can play an appropriate role in a
discussion centered on diversity, inclusion and social justice. We understand
that the tragedies involving Jacob Blake, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and
others require us to recognize this moment. We pledge to work to use our sport
to influence positive change in society.”
The NHL also
said that the “NHLPA and NHL are committed to working to foster more inclusive
and welcoming environments within our arenas, offices and beyond.”
This is a
good look for the NHL. The other leagues playing right now, including Major
League Baseball (who canceled all games on their slate today) and the NBA are postponing
games out of respect for the moment. The NHL should, if they are truly
committed to their hashtag of #WeSkateForEquality, postpone these games. Some things
are more important than hockey and the NHL understands this.
For the first time in their 44-year history, the Washington Capitals and their fans can call themselves Stanley Cup champions. The Caps defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in game five tonight to finish off a great Stanley Cup Final. Washington won the series four games to one.
Washington had a tough battle to get to this point. They were down in the first round series to the Blue Jackets, finally slayed the dragon in defeating the Penguins in the second round and had to overcome the top team in the Eastern Conference in the regular season in the Conference Final.
When the series began with a Vegas win, it seemed to be business as usual in this playoff. The Golden Knights had steamrolled through the Kings, Sharks and Jets en route to the Final in their very first NHL season. It seemed nothing could stop the Knights on their way to the first Cup championship in their inaugural season.
But the Knights had not seen a goaltender the likes of Braden Holtby this playoff. He came up big when he needed to and was the difference for the Caps. Add to that the play of eventual Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP, Alex Ovechkin (he led the playoffs in scoring) and the Capitals were on their way to four straight wins for the Cup. Ovechkin also became the first Russian-born captain to hoist the Cup in NHL history.
Colonia, New Jersey-native, defenseman John Carlson also played a big role in the win. As did former Devil Devante Smith-Pelly, who scored some clutch goals in the final round and tied up game five at three goals to get the Caps rolling to a Stanley Cup win. Congrats to them and to Ovechkin, who really changed his philosophy and became more of a team player under head coach Barry Trotz.
Congratulations to the 2018 Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals and their players, coaching staff and fans on this “monumental” achievement. Also, congrats to the Golden Knights for representing Las Vegas well and having a hell of a first year in Sin City. They have really built a fanbase there and hopefully many great things still lay in store for that franchise.
That concludes the 2017-18 NHL season, but we will have plenty of coverage throughout the summer regarding the NHL Awards, the Draft and free agency as it relates to the Devils for you, so keep an eye right here!