How Lars Eller became 'Tiger' to the Capitals

Chris Lingebach
October 08, 2019 - 9:48 pm

Whenever Capitals center Lars Eller scores a goal at home, Survivor's "Eye Of The Tiger" belts out from the speakers at Capital One Arena.

That wasn't always the case, nor was 'Tiger' always Eller's nickname with the Capitals. During his weekly Tuesday appearance with The Sports Junkies – driven by AAA – Eller was asked for the origin story.

"So there's a story to that. It was about three years ago," Eller said. "My first season here, we did a seminar with Tony Robbins, just the team. And we're sitting in this room and I'm sitting first row. And so, at one point, Tony brings me up in the scene in front of everybody, and I can't remember the exact words, but he's like everybody had to choose some animal or spiritual... thing."

"Yeah, your spirit animal," John Auville assisted.

"Yeah. And then you had to yell it out," Eller resumed. "And I was the first up on the stage, and so everybody's looking at me. Okay, so he's like, 'Okay. First thought, just yell it out.'

"And then I stood up there and I just yelled out 'TIGER!' as loud as I could. And all the boys was of course loving it. And it's just been sticking since that day. It just kind of became a thing after that, and then somehow – I don't know how – the media got a hold of it and then all of a sudden they're playing the song when I score at home. And yeah, here we are."

Robbins held his motivational seminar with the Capitals in April 2017, a year before they won the Stanley Cup.

While it didn't help them to victory that postseason, Robbins' returned presence was revealed as a major influence as their championship lore unfolded a year later.

And in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals, it was Tiger who scored the game-winning goal.

It wasn't until Sept. 2018 – long after the Capitals' endless Stanley Cup celebrations were complete, and after half a season of "Eye Of The Tiger" at Capital One – that local media finally learned the true 'Tiger' origin.

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