‘Spasibo - Pozhaluysta’: NHL fans learn Russian after Capitals’ historic victory
The capitals have clinched their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, defeating the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in game 5 to win the best-of-seven series 4-1. Ovechkin has finally realized his goal of winning the Cup after 11 seasons of playoff losses and disappointments.
“Fans, we did it. Get some beers. Get some whatever and start celebrating. We’re the Stanley Cup champions!” Ovechkin said during his post-game interview with Scott Oake.
Oake then thanked Ovechkin in Russian, telling him “Spasibo.”
Ovi replied with the Russian phrase “Pozhaluysta” (You’re welcome), before joining his teammates to celebrate their triumph in Las Vegas.
As soon as Ovechkin hoisted the coveted trophy above his head, the congratulations poured in on social media, with many fans also thanking the Caps captain in Russian.
“As a native Washingtonian, it was so awesome to watch the Caps finally win the Stanley Cup this evening. I know it was a team effort, but to Alex Ovechkin in particular, ‘Spasibo!’” one Caps fan wrote.
As a native Washingtonian, it was so awesome to watch the Caps finally win the Stanley Cup this evening. I know it was a team effort, but to Alex Ovechkin in particular, "Spasibo!" https://t.co/6LcPr30u1X— Andrew Carroll (@AndyCarrollUSA) June 8, 2018
“Spasibo, Caps!! #nhl #Ovechkin #StanleyCupFinals,” another fan said.
Some social media users joked that newly-crowned champion Ovechkin will fill the Stanley Cup with vodka to celebrate the win.
“I hope Ovechkin puts the finest Russian vodka in the Cup so every Caps fan can drink out of it,” a hockey fan wrote on Twitter.
“I never drink Vodka.... but if I did I would want to do so with Alex Ovechkin!” another fan tweeted.
I never drink Vodka.... but if I did I would want to do so with Alex Ovechkin!— Nick Griffith (@NickGriffithTV) June 8, 2018
“It’s always awesome to see one of the all-time greats win a championship. Cheers to Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals. Vodka and salo all night long,” another fan said.
It's always awesome to see one of the all-time greats win a championship. Cheers to Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals.— Renzo (@r3nz0) June 8, 2018
Vodka and salo all night long.
Ovechkin arrived in the NHL in 2005 and established himself as one of the league’s brightest stars, prompting some fans to learn basic Russian phrases to express their admiration for the Capitals left-winger.
Fans wearing Russian-language Ovechkin jerseys can regularly be seen at Washington Capitals home games. Ovi’s most devoted fans even try to improve their Russian skills to address their hockey idol in his native language.
In April, a young Caps fan in St. Louis made a poster in Russian asking Ovechkin to give him a stick so he could defend himself from St. Louis Blues fans.
“Throw me a stick so I can defend myself from these Blues fans!” the poster read.
Winning the Stanley Cup was not the only reason to celebrate for Ovechkin. On Friday, it was revealed that he and his wife Anastasia Shubskaya are expecting their first child.
“This is out there now, but Ovechkin and his wife are expecting their first child. She was on the ice tonight with her sister and father. Fans were congratulating her and Alex on the pregnancy,” Washington Post reporter Isabelle Khurshudyan tweeted.
Shubskaya confirmed the news by posting a picture with her husband holding the Cup showing her noticeable baby bump.