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The Noon Number: Champions

2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

43 - Number of seasons it took for the Washington Capitals to claim the first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

It’s been a long road, friends, but it’s true - the Washington Capitals are the 2018 Stanley Cup Champions!

(...that’s just fun to type out. Highly recommend doing so as often as possible.)

So what did it take to capture the sport’s ultimate prize? Let’s break it down:

  • 16 - wins earned by the Capitals in this year’s playoffs
  • 24 - number of total games played in the postseason by the Caps, a new franchise record
  • 3.58 - goals per game for the Caps, most of any team in the playoffs
  • 2.54 - goals-against per game for the Caps, fourth-lowest of any playoff team
  • 15 - goals for Alex Ovechkin through four rounds - a new franchise record
  • 32 - points for Evgeny Kuznetsov, the most of any player in a single postseason since Evgeni Malkin put up 36 back in 2009
  • 27 - goals by players in the so-called “bottom-six” forwards, led by Devante Smith-Pelly and Lars Eller, who chipped in seven apiece (including the game-tying and game-winning goals in the Cup-clinching Game 5 victory)
  • 9 - number of Caps players credited with a game-winning goal in the playoffs. Lars Eller led the way with three (including the Cup-winning tally), followed by Jakub Vrana, Smith-Pelly, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Alex Ovechkin with two each. Brooks Orpik (!), Nicklas Backstrom, and Jay Beagle round out the group with one apiece.
  • 6 - number of Caps who have moved into the franchise’s top-10 offensive performances in the playoffs, with four Caps taking up the top four spots (and dethroning Ovechkin’s previous franchise-best 21 points for a single playoff run)
  • 20 - points for John Carlson, demolishing the previous franchise record of 12 (held by Carlson’s 2015-16 run, which was tied with Kevin Hatcher and Scott Stevens’ 1987-88 playoff output)
  • 2 - shutouts posted by Braden Holtby en route to the Stanley Cup, after going the entire season without a single shutout for the first time in his career
  • 3 - number of wins for the Caps when trailing after two periods in the postseason, most of any playoff team and one of just five of the 16 teams to have even one win in the playoffs when trailing after 40
  • 418 - total blocked shots the Caps were credited with through four rounds, an average of over 17 per game; they finished the Cup Final with 99 blocked shots to Vegas’s 53

and finally:

  • 1 - number of Stanley Cups awarded each season... and this year it’s coming home to DC.