544 days ago the words Vegas Golden Knights meant absolutely nothing. Now, those same words and the logo they’re represented by are on T-Shirts, caps, sweatshirts, and pennants next to the words “Western Conference Champions.”
No matter what anyone says about the price tag, the rules, or other GM’s messing up, this story is nothing short of preposterous. An expansion team, Western Conference Champions and heading to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season
They started the season 8-1-0 including winning their first three games five, six, and nine days after the worst day in the history of the City of Las Vegas. By Thanksgiving, they were squarely in a playoff position and it appeared they would stay there until the end. On Christmas, the Golden Knights had the best record in the Western Conference, and on January 21st they had the best record in the entire NHL. They waltzed to a playoff berth, then a Pacific Division title. They swept the Kings, dispatched the Sharks, and now have knocked off the Winnipeg Jets in five games to punch their ticket to the NHL’s grandest stage.
It’s just unbelievable and it’s all a credit to all the people that created the franchise and that worked for the franchise before we even got picked up to come to Vegas. When we got to Vegas we all felt welcome and at home. Even if you don’t have the biggest superstars in the league, you still have a bunch of guys that are going to work as hard as they can and they will be tough to beat. -Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
It started with The Creator, his neighbor Murray Craven, and a “stupid idea” (those are Craven’s words) to put an NHL team in Vegas. Now, the only people using the word stupid about the Golden Knights those who wish their team was as good as the one in Las Vegas.
If I would have guessed that I would be sitting here doing this at this time I would have been a little skeptical. -Deryk Engelland
When the clock hit zero in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final the Golden Knights became champions, again. Their de-facto captain Deryk Engelland broke tradition, skated over and picked up the Campbell Bowl (more on this later), brought it to his teammates and they celebrated. They are now at worst the second best team in the National Hockey League, but for every smile that was cracked or handshake that was dolled out, it was clear, they aren’t okay with second best.
All the work that we’ve done, if we come up short, it would mean nothing. Obviously all those records, it doesn’t mean anything if you are not the last team standing, and I think we have a lot of gas left. -Jonathan Marchessault
It’s been an amazing ride, we just want to keep it going now. -Engelland
We’ve won three series, we’re going to the Stanley Cup Final, but again, this isn’t what we wanted, we want to win. -Gerard Gallant
The Golden Knights will now await the winner of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals series to see who they’ll play and where they’ll go to make their Stanley Cup Final debut. (Game 1 will be in Tampa vs. the Lightning or in Vegas against Capitals)
We’re far from satisfied. We’ve got a big series to get ready for. I’m glad we won today, we’ve got some time to get our players rested. It’s great to be the Western Conference Champions, but that’s not what we’re here for. -Gallant
The story is already ludicrous, but if they reach what they’re really “here for” it’ll become the craziest, most incredible, most unbelievable story in the history of North American sports.
It’s insane. -Deryk Engelland
And it’s not over yet.