It’s a story that’s been somewhat beaten to death over the course of the season, but with the Golden Knights having home-ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Final the impact of T-Mobile Arena will play a role in the series.
The Golden Knights finished the regular season with a record of 29-10-2 at home and have built on that with a home record of 6-1 in the playoffs.
The numbers get even more staggering when you look at team’s first visit to T-Mobile Arena in the regular season and playoffs. In the regular season teams who made their first trip to Vegas were 7-21-2. In the playoffs, they are 0-3. The Kings, Sharks, and Jets were all losers in both their first trip in the regular season and postseason.
Plus, in each of the three playoff games, the Golden Knights scored within the first five minutes of the game. 3:23 in against Los Angeles in Game 1 Round 1, 4:31 in against San Jose in Game 1 of Round 2, and 0:35 in against Winnipeg in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.
The question is, why?
First off, the Vegas Golden Knights are a really good hockey team. Beating good teams on the road is challenging for anyone, let alone having to do it against a team that is equal to or better than you.
Next, Vegas Flu. We can act like it didn’t exist in the regular season, but there’s pretty clear evidence to the contrary. Multiple teams claimed to have hosted their “rookie dinner” in Vegas, a few teams completely changed travel plans in order to avoid it, and there are countless anecdotes of NHL players being seen at the tables, clubs, and bars on the Strip.