The image of the Washington Capitals lifting the Stanley Cup on the ice following their historic Game Five win was an enduringly powerful and emotional moment for fans everywhere.
Now, thanks to a new NHL feature on Evgeny Kuznetsov, we have been treated to perhaps the cutest Cup-lift photograph to ever exist.
Meet Ecenia Kuznetsova, Stanley Cup champion.
Kuzy’s daughter Ecenia will be four years old in May. Here she is holding aloft a mini Cup like her papa.
The adorable moment between the father-daughter duo was shared as part of a feature on Kuznetsov by the NHL released late last week. There were other never-before-shared snaps of the Kuznetsov family from the 2017-18 season, playoffs, and post-Cup win.
Kuznetsov mentioned his daughter in the video as the inspiration behind his iconic bird-walk celebration.
“Some people still not like it,” Kuznetsov said. The celebration has been mocked and criticized in the past, most recently by Don Cherry who called Kuznetsov a “jerk.” (PS – Here’s our shirt.)
But Kuznetsov said he’ll keep doing the celly as long as his daughter loves it. She’ll even cry if he doesn’t do it in a game.
“But as long as my daughter she like it, then every time I get back home first thing she ask me, ‘Why you did not do the bird celly?’ And then I feel so bad because she start crying every time. I will always pick my daughter side than some other people, right? That’s who I am,” Kuznetsov said.
But while Ecenia is arguably the biggest fan of her dad’s bird celly, there are many other admirers across the DMV area who were showcased in the NHL feature; including Nathan and Ryan of Knuble’s Knights and Brouwer Rangers fame, and superfan Marcus Wu.
The video also showcased the work of creative sign-maker Julia Pettella, who made a moving bird walk celly sign that brought Kuzy to giggles.
And here’s Ovi, doing his version of the celebration during the Capitals championship parade ceremony last summer.
With as beloved the celly is with Ecenia and Caps fans alike, we hope Kuznetsov has many more opportunities to unleash it on opponents as the Capitals inch closer to the playoffs.
Headline photo: NHL
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