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Eller to live-tweet NBC rebroadcast of 2018 Capitals' Cup win

Center scored championship-clinching goal for Washington

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

Lars Eller isn't what you'd call a social-media animal.

This calendar year, the Washington Capitals center has tweeted twice.

Since June 7, 2018, when the Capitals won the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas, he has tweeted 50 times; that's roughly one tweet every 14 days. Since he joined the platform in September 2012, he has tweeted 321 times, about 3½ per month.

His Instagram isn't a lot busier. Since Eller's first post on June 8, 2017, he has uploaded 57 photos, a languid pace of about 1½ per month.

Washington Capitals center Lars Eller, behind Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, is about to score the 2018 Stanley Cup-winning goal.

 

But on Sunday, Eller will go crazy -- for him -- when he live-tweets NBC's 3 p.m. ET rebroadcast of Game 5 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. On his personal account, it's possible he'll hit double digits in a single day's tweet count, which would easily be a career best.

"Sometimes you just have to embrace something different," Eller said with a laugh Friday. "I'm going to do it, even if it's not something that I'd usually spend my time doing or seek to do."

He will no doubt will mention his game- and Cup-winning goal in the Capitals' 4-3 Game 5 victory against the Vegas Golden Knights, making him the first NHL champion from Denmark.

Tweet from @lellerofficial: I���ll take it. https://t.co/28O79zJYOa

Hurricanes forward Justin Williams live-tweeted NBC's rebroadcast of a classic -- Game 7 of the 2018-19 Eastern Conference First Round between the Hurricanes and Capitals. Carolina won 4-3 in double overtime.

Williams covered the game in 21 tweets, so Eller has his work cut out for him, even if his game was a period and a half shorter than what Williams tweeted.

"I followed Justin on Twitter when we were teammates (with Washington in 2016-17)," Eller said. "I never unfollowed him when he went to Carolina and this month I saw he was tweeting a bunch of stuff from Game 7. I saw how this can be a really cool window into what the players might be thinking, their perspective on what went on in a game."

When the Capitals approached Eller about doing likewise for NBC's rebroadcast of Washington's Cup-clinching game, he was all in.

"With the game airing on NBC, and the network and the NHL marketing it, supporting it, I thought it might be fun to tweet it," he said. "I think I might bring a little something different to the table."

Tweet from @lellerofficial: Kom til R��dovre p�� onsdag kl.14:00 og hj��lp mig med, at byde @stanleycup trof��et velkommen til Danmark for f��rste gang nogensinde. Der vil v��re salg af merchandise b��de p�� R��dhuspladsen og i Sk��jtearenaen. Alt overskuddet g��r direkte til ungdomsarbejdet i RSIK. pic.twitter.com/MqM2lJIlzE

This will be a different social-media venture for Eller, who calls himself "more of a follower than a tweeter." He uses his Twitter and Instagram platforms for issues dear to his heart; his second of two Twitter posts this year was for a COVID-19 relief initiative, his first was to promote mental health.

"Social media is a great tool to have your own voice if you really want to get something out there," Eller said. "I'll use it mostly to support a good cause. You won't be seeing me put up a ton of stuff with my family or what food I eat."

Eller watched Game 5 against Vegas from start to finish about a year ago, sitting with a Danish journalist for a feature story. He says that without video or photos, "the game would all be a blur for me."

Those visual reminders rekindle strong emotions every time he looks at them, especially seeing himself on T-Mobile Arena ice in the celebration of the Capitals victory, his wife, Julie, and his parents and brother with him.

Lars Eller takes the Stanley Cup for a skate on T-Mobile Arena ice in Las Vegas, and photographed with his wife, Julie, and daughter, Sophia, during the Capitals' victory celebration in Washington.

 

"Those videos and photos are priceless in that sense, when you see yourself in the midst of them," Eller said. "I can keep coming back to them, there are so many of them, and they bring really strong feelings in you. Many photos of that day are framed in our house. Each and every one tells a different story. Having Julie and my family there, I get emotional now just thinking and talking about it."

Eller partied with the Stanley Cup in his native Denmark on Aug. 8, two months after the Capitals' victory parade in Washington. But he says one of the greatest things about the victory, then and still now, was the dressing-room celebration.

"It was being with all the guys, sharing those moments," he said. "The guys, staff, coaches, everyone around the team… those were some priceless moments. They are embedded in my mind. You were on such a high right after we won. Now the weight is off your shoulders and it's such a relief, so you just let loose. You've just accomplished everything you've worked for your entire life and dreamed of and now you get to share it with 30 guys who are just as pumped up as you are. It was an amazing atmosphere."

Eller will tweet the game Sunday from a living-room sofa, joking that daughter Sophia, 7½, "might help me with what to say."

Stanley Cup-champion Washington Capitals pose for a team photo on T-Mobile Arena ice in Las Vegas on June 7, 2018.

 

For a number of reasons during the pause, the family chose to stay in the Washington area rather than going to Denmark. The unpredictability of a return to action was just part of it; the Ellers are expecting a second child, a son due to arrive in August. 

Like virtually everyone else, they have been laying very low during the pandemic, going out only for groceries. Sophia is home-schooling and spending quality time with her father, rare for this time of year.

"We do a lot of outdoor stuff, a lot of ball games in the driveway, street and garage," Eller said. "Hockey, soccer, basketball are the main three, and tennis too. When the weather's bad, we play board games, learning a few new ones, having fun as a family. All of that to gravitate a little bit away from the iPads and the TV screen, an easy thing for them to fall into. Hours just go by with that stuff sometimes."

One of the fittest, best conditioned players in the NHL, Eller has expanded his home gym and is working out ferociously without any sense of when hockey might return.

"I bought a bunch of stuff to make [the gym] even better, not knowing how long I have keep doing this," he said. "I just feel better when I'm doing something. I'm not used to doing so little for so long, it's very unusual."

Lars Eller and his daughter, Sophia, ride in the Washington Capitals' Stanley Cup parade on June 12, 2018.

 

Sixty-nine games into the season, Eller already is at an NHL career high for points (39), tied for his career peak in assists (23) and with 16 goals is two shy of equaling his best in that category.

"I've had a good year on a personal level," he said. "I feel I can keep finding ways within my game to get better. I think I've done so. You come to an age now where you're not going to get a lot faster or stronger or shoot harder, but there are different areas in the game where you can improve and become smarter and more efficient, building on your game.

"I continue to strive to do that. On the [point scoring], it looks like I'm doing some things right. I feel I am getting better, but I still think there's room for improvement."

For a couple of hours Sunday, Eller happily will be a couch potato to once more watch the most memorable game of his life. He's eager to share on Twitter the emotions he's sure will flow.

"Tweeting the game will be more about the journey than the ending," he said. "Everybody knows the ending. I'll be reliving these moments in my head, in real time. And I'll be sharing what was in my head and in my gut."

Main photo courtesy: Julie Eller

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