Within minutes of the Washington Capitals first Stanley Cup ever, their victory was chalked up to “Russian meddling.” When the team, featuring Alex Ovechkin and two other Russians, claimed the Cup, Twitter just couldnt resist.
The Washington Capitals defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in game 5 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals on Thursday. Alexander Ovechkin became the first Russia-born player to captain his team to the most coveted prize in hockey.
Of course, Twitter wouldnt be Twitter if it passed up the chance to make a few jabs.
The majority of the jokes, however, were light-hearted.
Trump becomes President. Washingtons hockey team immediately makes it to the Stanley Cup Final. Led by a RUSSIAN. Coincidence? This needs to be investigated.
— Darin Latham (@darinlatham) June 3, 2018
Others seized upon the opportunity to peddle the Russiagate narrative.
If Ovechkin wins the Stanley Cup it will be only the second most important Russian Victory for Washington in the past 18 months.
— John Storey (@celticstorey5) June 5, 2018
Am I the only one – in the Era of Trump – who finds it incredibly ironic that the star player of the NHL Champion Washington Capitals and MVP of the Stanley Cup Final is a Russian and Putin supporter? #NHL#StanleyCup
— Hawkeyes Mic (@HawkeyesMic) June 8, 2018
US President Donald Trump, who seemingly cant get a break from the Russian collusion story, was dragged in as well. Some Twitter users said he now has no choice but to invite the Capitals to the White House, since Ovechkin is not just any Russian, but a well-known supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin – who, according to the most ardent Russian meddling theorists, is Trumps puppet master.
So now that Ovechkin finally won the Stanley Cup, does this mean Trump can finally have a legit excuse to invite a Russian to the White House?
— Mr. Pilkington (@Onikuno) June 8, 2018
I bet Washington Capitals wouldn't skip White House invite from Donald Trump if they win Stanley Cup. Then again, their captain is Russian.
— Kevin Gorman (@KGorman_Trib) June 5, 2018
CONGRATS TO THE HOME TEAM! https://t.co/HRDvUrg14M
— Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq) June 8, 2018
Capitals fans, however, were hardly worried about Putins sinister plots as they descended upon the streets of DC in the thousands to celebrate the long-awaited victory.
Ovechkin has never hidden his affinity for the Russian leader. Last year, ahead of the Russian presidential election, he launched Team Putin – a movement in support of his candidacy. His political views did not sit well with everyone: recently, US-based sports journalist Slava Malamud wished death upon the NHL superstar for supporting Putin.
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