The Washington Capitals culminated their season on Thursday night by defeating the Las Vegas Golden Knights by a score of 4 to 3 and becoming the 2018 Stanley Cup Champions. The win marked the first Stanley Cup Championship in the 40 plus year history of the Washington Capitals organization and as you would expect that was a cause for celebration.
The players were celebrating with one another on the ice and the fans in attendance in Las Vegas were celebrating in the crowd and thousands upon thousands of fans in Washington took to the streets to celebrate there. It was an incredible moment, as you would expect it to be, but there were comments made during the post game by Washington Capitals star forward T.J. Oshie that brought us back to the sobering reality that while sports can be amazing, there are things that are bigger than even moments like this.
Oshie, being one of the most popular players on the Washington Capitals roster, was conducting a number of post game interviews following the biggest win in Capitals history and as you would normally expect in a moment like this he was all smiles for the vast majority of them. However when Oshie got around to speaking with National Hockey League analyst and former NHL player Jeremy Roenick one of Roenick's questions seemed to hit particularly close to home.
Roenick asked Oshie what this moment meant not only for himself the player, but his family, friends and the people that he loves in his life and you could tell that the question had caused Oshie to reflect on something in the back of his mind. The comments that came pouring out of Oshie's mouth when he finally spoke where nothing short of heartbreaking.
"My dad.... oh boy... he doesn't remember a lot of stuff these days," said Oshie with tears flowing down his face.
For those unfamiliar with why Oshie might be making this comments, his father has been struggling with Alzheimer's disease as of late and his family has been forced to watch as his memory slowly deteriorates over time. It isn't a fatal disease in the same way that say cancer would be, but if you ever speak to anyone who has had a parent or loved one with Alzheimer's they will tell you that it is one of the most terrible experiences imaginable for a family. There is a special kind of horror to watching the person you love disappear right before your very eyes while their body remains in seemingly good health, and it seems that unfortunately Oshie is all to familiar with that himself.
It wasn't all bad though, Oshie brought things back by saying confidently that he believes that his Stanley Cup victory, a moment that he had no small part in creating, will be a lasting one for his father.
"He remembers enough but I tell you what, he's here tonight I don't know where he's at but this one will stick with him forever, you can guarantee that."
I certainly hope that T.J, is right and that his father will be able to cherish at least this memory forever.