The NHL season is coming to a close and to say that the Golden Knights performed well would be an understatement. The newest team to join the league has been analyzed all season and while the secret sauce of their success may still be a mystery, Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt explains it succinctly: “It’s Vegas, right? They say the house always wins.”
Let’s take a look at the Golden Knight’s inaugural season, their successes, and what we can expect for the remainder of the year.
The 2017-2018 Season
The Golden Knights are the NHL’s first expansion team in 17 years and started the season with an 8-1-0 record back in October. Only three of the past nine expansion teams that began playing since 1991 won more than one of their first seven games, but that didn’t scare the Knights. In the beginning of the season, even the players themselves were impressed. “I don’t think anyone was expecting a start like this, even though we knew we were pretty good,” forward William Karlsson said. “It’s been working so far. We had some dips, too, but we seem to find a way to win games still. So far, so good.”
At the time of writing, the Golden Knights are seeded #1 in the Pacific with 44 wins and 19 losses. These stats put them fourth in the entire league (trailing Tampa Bay, Nashville, and Boston). Now that the season is coming to a close, we’re looking toward the Stanley Cup.
The Stanley Cup 2018
Called “the surprise team of the season,” the Golden Knights have secured their playoff spot, with a 100% probability. The playoffs begin on April 11th and while the schedule has yet to be decided, below are the current standings and top three teams of each division at the time of writing:
1.Tampa Bay Lightning
3.Toronto Maple Leafs
1.Vegas Golden Knights
2.San Jose Sharks
It will be interesting to see who ends up making it to the playoffs and, eventually, the championship.
The Golden Knights
So who is this new team that’s taken the league by storm? Let’s learn a little more about the hockey team that calls Las Vegas home.
In 2014, Foley and other investors held a season ticket drive to gauge the public’s interest in having an NHL team, and the drive drew more than 5,000 deposits in the first day and a half. Needless to say, the NHL expansion team was welcomed with open arms in 2016. Since then, the team has recruited plenty of young talent, plus veterans who have come from other NHL teams. Right wing James Neal was part of the Nashville Predators’ first Stanley Cup Finals appearance and was an alternate captain during his time with the team. His leadership makes him a great fit that has guided the Golden Knights.
Left wing David Perron was a top scorer for the St. Louis Blues with 159 career goals, which definitely helped boost the Golden Knights in their first year. Shea Theodore, Marc-Andre Fleury, and Deryk Engelland are all also touted to be top performers for the team. As we close the season, we have seen Jonathan Marchessault lead the team with points scored, and William Karlsson lead goals scored. Perron has had 45 assists. And who could forget Chance the Gila Monster? He made his official debut as the team mascot and has appeared as a regular at the rink, building a community and fan base around the NHL’s newest hockey team.
Vegas is a city full of change and the electric momentum that the Golden Knights have brought to the city couldn’t have come at a better time. Thinking of visiting Vegas to catch one of the remaining games to see this momentous team in action? The D is only twenty minutes away from the T-Mobile Arena, the Golden Knights’ home turf. Stay and play Downtown for the ultimate convenience.