A first-year Las Vegas expansion team of National Hockey League castoffs meets a long-suffering Washington club with superstar Alex Ovechkin in his first championship series when the Stanley Cup Final begins today.
In his 17 years with the Washington Capitals, McPhee led the team to seven division championships and 10 playoff appearances, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in his first season in 1998. But that's only part of the story.
The last team to win a Stanley Cup without a captain was the 1988-89 Calgary Flames, who had Lanny McDonald and Tim Hunter as co-captains.
"They were still a very good team, still very good key players", Schmidt said of the Capitals. Fourteen years later, MacLellan took McPhee's job when the latter was sacked.
Capitals: Among markets with teams in the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball, only the Twin Cities has a longer championship drought going than Washington.
"It's amusing how life goes", McPhee said on the eve of the Cup final. "Two years ago, I was walking around Ann Arbor kicking stones and couldn't get a job", he quipped with reporters during Sunday's media day.
"It's amusing how life goes". When 58 country music concert-goers were gunned down October 1 in the worst shooting in American history about a mile from the rink, the Golden Knights were suddenly thrust in the middle of the healing process by the way they stepped forward to visit survivors and first responders.
With teams in Seattle and Houston likely on their way, I'm inclined to say never as there could be some new legitimate Cup contenders in the hopper.
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"We need you", said every Caps' fan. "He's got stuff on me and I've got stuff on him". "That's the game that's in front of us, and see where it goes". "You look at this group on both sides, they were both down and out". He is logging almost 25 minutes per playoff game. MacLellan's PIM are not available, but they were plentiful. If Ovechkin continues to play like the best goal scorer of his generation, the Capitals will take the title.
"George was a goalscorer and he could make plays, and George could fight", Devorski said.
Of course, the two franchises did things differently to attract fans. He has appeared in six postseason games with one goal. But Devorski knew what kind of person and player he was dealing with.
And they'll try to do it against McPhee's former team.
"George came to me one time before a game and said, 'Hey, if I go nuts, don't get pissed off, ' " Devorski said.
MacLellan conceded Friday his relationship with McPhee was "not as close" as in previous decades. "He knows how to win", Ovechkin said. "Pat Quinn", Devorski said.
The expansion Capitals saw stay-at-home defenseman Bill Mikkelsen record a plus/minus total - the number of times his team scored while he was on the ice compared with opposition goals - of -82. "He was here for a long time and he drafted all of us". Hopefully we can get there and I'll definitely be in the No. 81 [Jonathan] Marchessault jersey. I don't think they were that far away the last few years. But with McPhee's fingerprints on almost 75 percent of the players in this series, it's especially fun to look back on how each team came together using their expected rosters. "It's always challenging to play against the best".
"It's awkward", MacLellan said, recalling the time he was offered to replace McPhee as Capitals general manager full time. "It's incredible. It's not like we're playing each other". What questions should we be asking before these two teams take the ice at T-Mobile Arena?
"And obviously these players are allowing us to stick our chests out a little bit, with how hard they're working and what they're doing". Unless you owned a Sbisa or Garrison jersey (seriously, how many of you actually bought one?), then no.