5 burning questions heading into the Stanley Cup Final

Washington Capitals Vs. Vegas Golden Knights

5 burning questions heading into the Stanley Cup Final

Each general manager's body of work is to be celebrated; this is one of the tantalizing subplots to a Stanley Cup Final that's chock full of them.

And although it seems like an understandable typo, fans were not so forgiving. We got all the fans we want.

"We had a directive from George about the type of players we wanted, and we concentrated on those players".

"Maybe in the past we've had more skill or been better on paper or whatever", Holtby said. "You've got to take it all in because it can be a long time until you're even (back) in the playoffs or get this far".

"They were still a very good team, still very good key players", Schmidt said of the Capitals.

In the first round, it was overcoming a 2-0 deficit against Columbus and its fiery coach, John Tortorella, who had stirred up so much playoff tension with Washington over the years with the New York Rangers, another franchise that has haunted the Capitals in recent springs. "So in addition to the rules being more favorable, there were teams that were looking to get out of certain deals, and we could get better players or better draft picks if we could play ball with them".

Fleury already has three Stanley Cup rings, but he has added another incredible act to his career with tenacious play for the Golden Knights, whose inexperienced pros have leaned on him to get through tough nights. Our goal was that they be playing meaningful games in March and April, and if they were lucky, they might make the playoffs. This community needed it to work.

"Marc-Andre Fleury has been otherworldly this postseason, stopping almost 95 percent of shots on goal", Oh told SportsLine. "They love our players, they love our team, and they love what's going on, and I know our players appreciate the things they do for us".

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Many believed the Capitals' window for a title might have closed after last season's second-round loss, and second in as many seasons, to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Caps need to go for broke, leave their past playoff baggage way behind them, and come at this series like Vegas will - with nothing to lose.

"We've been able to do some things in the playoffs, but we never got to that last stage until now", Washington forward T.J. Oshie said. "He knows how to win", Ovechkin said. "Now this group is excited and we're ready to go". If the Knights win, they don't have a captain to raise the Cup first.

The emotional opening night ceremony to honor the victims, which preceded an historic win over Arizona, remains one of the high points of the season. It is not always fair, because it is a team game. "It's hard to fathom when you sit back and realize you've lost 58 people ... that 58 seconds felt like forever. Certainly, this community has been wonderful in how it's come together. sometimes handsome things follow something like that, and the way that this community came together and these people helped each other really was a lovely thing to witness and experience".

Fleury is the Golden Knights' most popular player, and he's viewed as the No. 1 reason why they have thrived as an expansion team.

There's still a hint of anguish in George McPhee's voice when he talks about his complicated tenure with the Capitals, even though four years have passed since their messy breakup, even though he's now the architect of the most successful first-year National Hockey League team in history.

While it might not show on the ice, expect Fleury and Orpik to provide their respective sides with an extra dose of experience, as they help them push through whatever difficulties the pressure-packed series throws at them. "I haven't won one yet, and this is the closest I've ever been".

"It's amusing how life goes", McPhee said Sunday in Las Vegas.

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