After decades in the National Hockey League, the Washington Capitals finally won the heavily-coveted Stanley Cup. And after celebrations in Las Vegas and keg stands with Lord Stanley’s Mug, Alex Ovechkin and company celebrated with their fans the only way sports teams know how to — with a kick-ass parade. Here are the highlights from the festivities.
Like with any sports fanbase who’s been deprived of a championship, Capitals faithful came out in droves to celebrate with their favorite hockey team. An estimated 100,000 were expected to show up for the festivities, and crowd shots proved the estimation must have been correct. The parade literally invaded D.C. as hoards of red Capitals’ sweaters crowded to see the start of the precession at 23rd and Constitution Avenue.
Next: This player’s family stood out.
Brooks Orpik kid
Players and their families topped the double-decker buses and fire engines that cruised down six blocks en route to the celebration stage. One of the more family-friendly scenes took place atop the final bus, which Ovechkin and defenseman Brooks Orpik rode on. Orpik’s family was present, including his two young daughters Harlow and Brooklyn. One-year-old Brooklyn stole the show as she sat inside the Stanley Cup.
Next: Not every bus was so family forward …
Vrana shares beers with fans
Not to say that any members of the Capitals weren’t excited to celebrate. But a couple players definitely partied a little harder. And winger Jakub Vrana, who contributed a goal in Washington’s Game 5 win over Las Vegas, clearly wanted the crowd at the parade to be on his level. The 22-year-old Czech delighted in showering the crowd-lined streets with beers, in addition to shotgunning a couple of brews himself.
Next: Vrana wasn’t the only one throwing back beers …
TJ Oshie’s shirt trick
The booze continued flowing when the team got to the celebration stage set up on the National Mall, where the majority of fans were waiting to see the Stanley Cup champs. Many players threw back beers as they were individually announced on stage, although TJ Oshie’s display of pulling his shirt over his head and guzzling his beer through it was quite possibly the most impressive. (Although to be fair, Nathan Walker getting hoisted up while still chugging his Bud Light came in a very close second.)
Next: Then the dance party started …
Vrana’s sweet dance moves
As previously mentioned, Jakub Vrana took his celebrating to a whole new level. (Which must have been hard given how amped Alex Ovechkin was, but more on him in just a minute.) Instead of throwing back a beer when his name was called on the rally stage, Vrana fired up the crowd by breaking out into a spot-on impression of the social media sensation backpack kid, complete with dance moves.
Next: The moment everyone was waiting for …
The big speech
Members of the Capitals’ team and staff took turns speaking, but naturally, Ovechkin’s speech stole the show. The captain thanked the Capitals organization and his teammates, but he spent most of his time in front of the microphone addressing the fans. He even capped off his speech by reiterating his now infamous quote from the first day of training camp: “We’re not gonna be (expletive) suck this year!” (The cursing was of course added in after winning the Cup.)
Next: Finally …
Speeches and thank-yous weren’t enough for Ovechkin. So he led the crowd in a massive sing-a-long of Queen’s “We Are The Champions.” It was almost difficult to believe that the 32-year-old Russian could have celebrated any harder, after nearly pulling his hair out after the final buzzer of Game 5 or doing keg stands with the Stanley Cup at the Washington Nationals game. But since “Russian machine never breaks” the captain still had enough adrenaline to dance in front of the massive crowd.
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