With their OT win over the Winnipeg Jets last night, the Golden Knights improved to a historical 34-12-2 record, becoming the first NHL franchise to win 33+ games in their first season… and they did this in UNDER 50 games! When following Vegas’ journey into the league this past year, I followed their moves very closely and came to one conclusion; they were building this team to win. We all called their owner crazy when he said their Stanley Cup Title window was around 5-8 years, solely because of the fact that we’ve NEVER seen an expansion franchise do that well after just coming into the league. Not just in hockey, but in ALL sports! Well, VGK went up and beyond our uninspiring expectations and as of right now, are in first place overall. And let me tell you, this is anything but a fluke. You don’t need to be a genius to figure out how they’re playing so well, because it’s simple. This team is full of the most inspired players throughout the league who were considered “outcasts” by their former teams, and sent to kickstart this new franchise and city, which meant a ton to them. The Golden Knights have no undisputed star, and are comprised of several awesome teammates and players such as Jonathan Marchessault, James Neal and Marc Andre Fleury. When the question arouses about whether they could compete in the postseason, I believe this team is very capable of putting up a strong fight for the Cup. This is for two reasons. First of all, the veterans will prove to be pivotal down the stretch and provide great leadership throughout the whole playoffs. Second of all, don’t underestimate how important home-ice advantage will be for them, especially if they notch the top-seed. The fans in Las Vegas only have this team to root for, and let me tell you, they come out there to support their city and team when it comes to their games. These fans will be absolutely pumped and will make such a huge difference in close games. Whether your a hockey fan or not, this is an awesome story to follow of a group of resilient athletes looking to make history.
(P/C: USA Today)