Lars Eller: D.C. has 'turned into a hockey city'

Chris Lingebach
June 11, 2018 - 7:06 pm
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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Lars Eller has finally had a moment to catch his breath since Thursday, when, for the first time in franchise history, the Capitals hoisted the Stanley Cup.

Now that he's had time to leaf through social media, and see the hordes of Capitals fans who have taken over the city with a larger and larger presence throughout the Stanley Cup Final (culminating with a sea of red engulfing the District in celebration of Washington's decisive Game 5 victory), Eller is in awe of the transformation.

"It just almost gives you chills," Eller told The Sports Junkies on Monday. "This city has just... turned into a hockey city here."

"The support, and to see how much it means to people, I did not expect that, if you had asked me a couple months ago: What would the scenery be like? What would happen if we went all the way?" he said. "It's been incredible to see and I can't wait to go out there and share another unforgettable moment tomorrow at the parade."

With 18 points (7 goals, 11 assists), Eller was a top contributor throughout the Capitals' playoff run, but his biggest contribution came with 7:37 remaining in Game 5, when Eller pushed in the game-winning Stanley Cup-winning goal (Burakovsky-to-Connolly-to-Eller).

"There was no time to think," Eller said of the goal as the play developed. "I saw (Brett) Connolly was gonna get it, and I know he likes to shoot between the legs from kind of his position. I was trying to get in front of Fleury, but he was so far out, I could only get behind him and the puck just trickles through. I was at the right place at the right time and I beat my D-man in front to the puck, so it all happened really quick."

Right place. Right time. That's for sure.

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NBC

Asked which Stanley Cup memory will stick with him the most, Eller said, "I think sharing the celebration with my teammates. All the stuff that comes after, that's really what it's all about, and that's going to last forever and those memories are going to last forever."

"During the game, you're so focused that it's not -- you'll remember it, but it's not something you enjoy in the same way as all the stuff that comes after," he said. "So the celebration on the ice after, all the stuff in the locker room -- that's just a champagne orgy for a couple hours. Those are all great memories."

Eller isn't yet sure when he'll get his day with the Cup, but plans to bring it home to Denmark when it is his turn, and share it with those who helped get him to this moment.

"I will definitely take it back to my home club, to the arena in my local town," he said. "I expect to share it with a lot of people there, because that club has been a big part of my life, and not just a big part of my development, but all the people there. My mom still does volunteer work in that club, and my brothers grew up playing there and my dad coached, so it's just been a big part of my life. So I'll definitely share it with those people, share it with the city of my hometown and it's going to probably be some kind of family and friends party as well. It's gonna be a great, great 24 hours."

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