When Alan May knew the Caps would win the Stanley Cup

Josh Luckenbaugh
October 03, 2018 - 10:19 am
Washington_Capitals_Stanley_Cup

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Alan May knew the Capitals were going to win the Stanley Cup — over two months before it actually happened. 

On April 1, the Caps were on the road facing their bitter rivals the Penguins. And not only that, it was Alex Ovechkin's 1000th career game. 

But what made it truly special for May was he saw the Caps, who beat Pittsburgh 3-1 that night, do something they'd never done before to his recollection. 

"Barry Trotz finally changed his game plan against the Penguins, something I'd been harping on for years: I wanted a more defensive game," May told The Junkies Wednesday. "I didn't want them to try to ground-and-pound, I didn't want them to try to out-Pittsburgh the Penguins because I thought it was impossible."

"You had to play a different style. They tried it for 10 years here, we saw them every time they played the Penguins in the playoffs. They went too hard, played too fast, they played too loose."

"But that night, with Grubauer in net and a little different lineup, and the lines moved around, they played defensive when they had to, they played physical when they were supposed to, and they backed off. They took their chances to score only when they were there, and, to me, the light finally went off for the team."

"I saw Ovi and Kuznetsov that night back off into these defensive positions, and everyone followed them," May continued. "That's the first time I saw everyone follow the leader, that's the first time I've seen the team do the game plan." 

"So we went out for beers after the game, the TV crew, and I said, 'They're gonna win the Cup, guys.' 

May eventually convinced his friends to bet on the Caps winning the Stanley Cup, and as it turns out, earned them a big pay day.

However, May's prediction never made its way to avid sports bettor Jason Bishop of the Junkies, for which May apologized. 

"Normally I tell my buddies, 'Bet Pittsburgh in six,' and it works out well for them," May joked. "But this time I knew, there was something about it. I've seen that before — with the Edmonton Oilers, I've seen it with other teams — and it was all there. And everyone understanding their roles at that time, and the coaching staff figuring out we gotta be different, we gotta do things different this time."

"They had some trials in playoffs, but it worked out so well. And I pat myself on the back for making that bold prediction back then."

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