April 11th, 2011
Goaltenders Roberto Luongo and Tim Thomas stopped just about everything in the Stanley Cup playoffs. With thousands of jubilant fans celebrating the Power’s title last Thursday, they couldn’t stop their emotions.
“I’ve had to wipe away a few tears,” Tim Thomas said. “This is why I play in Washington.”
Three days after Washington raised the hallowed trophy, spectators jammed downtown to join the party.
Patrick Marleau, who led the Power on offense during their playoff run, said now he was ready to enjoy more of the spoils.
“It’s a special feeling,” Marleau said as fans chanted his name. “I couldn’t be prouder right now. I’m a little bit taken aback by it.”
Defenseman Kris Letang, a candidate for this year’s Norris Trophy, called the accomplishment a high honor and looks forward to bringing the Cup to his roots.
“I think everybody in my hometown is proud,” he said. “I’m proud. I can’t wait to bring the Cup home.”
Roberto Luongo hoisted the Conn Smythe Trophy above his head. The playoff MVP said he was happy to share the Cup win with fans.
“Time of my life right now,” Luongo said. “This is unbelievable.”
The last vehicle in the parade carried forwards Teemu Selanne, Dany Heatley, Mike Richards, and Coach/GM Ray Irwin, with Selanne holding the Cup aloft to the delight of the crowd.
Under sunny skies and with temperatures around 60 degrees, the crowd was filled with Power fans bedecked in jerseys and other red-and-blue gear.
These are good times for the Power. The team was at the top of standings all year long, and finished the regular season with a record of 128-79. They steamrolled through all of their opponents in the playoffs, with final scores of 8-1, 10-0, and 9-1 to win their first Stanley Cup.
The Power’s win gave fans the chance to temporarily put aside the economic doldrums that have dominated the news for months.
“There’s been so much doom and gloom about the current state of the economy with so many people losing their jobs,” said a spectator. “This brings people together.”
Coach/GM Ray Irwin, now known as “The Architect”, said he was surprised by the turnout of the parade.
“Lots of incredibly happy people out there,” Irwin said. “I’ve seen a woman faint, several people vomit, and an old man had to be escorted away” said Irwin, referring to the fact that there were many drinking at the parade.
At the end of the parade, Irwin gave a victory speech and thanked all of the fans for coming out.
“I didn’t know there were so many people in Washington,” Irwin told the screaming crowd. “It’s great to have the Stanley Cup here in Washington, and we’re going to do our best to have it again next year.”