LAS VEGAS — Four minutes to 2 a.m., down a few buttons on his pink button-down and high on a cocktail of athletic glory, Stella Artois, life itself and God-knows-what-other-liquids, Alex Ovechkin danced on the Hakkasan stage as confetti rained and lasers flashed, a few feet from both his friend Tiesto and the Stanley Cup, singing along to a pulsing, EDM version of The Outfield’s “Your Love.”
Well, what would you do in his shoes?
First, the Washington Capitals won the National Hockey League championship Thursday night. And then, as their red-rocking fans were passing out in a fit of euphoria back East, they took full advantage of the location in which they claimed the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. They hit the club, prize in hand, and they partied.
Some say the sun doesn’t rise in Vegas. The Caps, led by their captain, were up to the challenge of finding out.
Ovechkin first touched the Cup at 8:19 p.m. local time. Following it from there until daylight threatened — from the ice to the booze-soaked locker room to a subdued family dinner to a thumping nightclub hosted by one of the world’s most famous DJs and back out to the fluorescent desert — meant witnessing an entire work day’s worth of unadulterated joy, a party 44 years in the making.
“This is crazy,” said former Capitals forward and team broadcaster Alan May, looking over the dance floor at the Hakkasan night club, beer in hand. “What a way to do it after all these years.”