Gotta get my R&R in while I can. pic.twitter.com/WFnWszuwkm
— The Stanley Cup (@StanleyCup) June 6, 2018
The calm before the storm. The day before game five of the Stanley Cup Final, Lord Stanley relaxes on the lazy river at MGM Grand Las Vegas.
Tonight, the Stanley Cup will be in the building for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final as the Washington Capitals, up 3-1 over the Vegas Golden Knights in a best-of-seven series, have a chance to bring the Cup home for the first time in franchise history.
But yesterday, Lord Stanley enjoyed the rare off-day, floating down the lazy river at MGM Grand Las Vegas. Closely watched by Philip Pritchard, the Keeper of the Cup, the Cup spun around in its tube down the lazy river.
Although Lord Stanley looked dangerously close to encountering a waterfall, Pritchard, in his infamous white gloves, promised that the Cup stayed away from any danger.
Enjoying the lazy river on a day off. Staying dry and away from the waterfalls. #StanleyCup @NHL @GoldenKnights @Capitals @HockeyHallFame pic.twitter.com/GXsf6ykqhs
— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) June 6, 2018
Game 5 is scheduled to start at 8:00 pm EST tonight but with Vegas’ pre-game spectacle that has been made famous during these playoffs, it will likely start closer to 8:20-8:30.
The city will be buzzing tonight and their hometown team is going to need all the support they can get because the odds are not in their favor.
In the Stanley Cup Final, there have been 33 instances where a team has gone up in the series three games to one. 32 of those teams went on to win the Cup.
Throughout the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, teams win 90.8 percent of the time when they are up 3-1. However, the Capitals are only 7-5 in those scenarios, which puts them at 58.3 percent in their history.
Led by the two-headed monster of Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov, the Capitals will have three tries to win one game starting tonight.
Kuznetsov, coming off a four-assist Game 4, leads all players in points this postseason with 31 (12 goals, 19 assists) through 23 games. According to the NHL’s Public Relations, he is the fifth player since 1997 to record 30+ points in a single postseason.
Vegas has a 7-2 record at home during these playoffs and have scored first in all nine games. Washington has won nine games on the road this postseason, one win away from matching a record shared by four other teams.
One way or another, the Stanley Cup will be going back to Washington after tonight. Will that be because the Capitals won or because Vegas forced a Game 6? We’ll find out tonight.