If you plan on traveling over the next few weeks, be prepared to chit-chat about the 2023 Stanley Cup champions. From the West Coast, Midwest, and Northeast, the Golden Knights Cup run has become a common conversation among sports fans.
I just don’t understand how a team can be so competitive and capture a Stanley Cup in six seasons. It’s mind-boggling to me that my team hasn’t been able to put together something so impressive like Vegas has. Maybe, we needed that coach behind our bench. -Dennis McCaul, Connecticut native & NY Rangers fan
At this moment Vegas fans cannot understand what it’s like to go through decade-long droughts like Islanders, Rangers, or Canadiens fans have gone through since before the turn of the century. Albeit all three clubs are massively popular with their fanbase, but to them it’s still a failure of a season if their team wasn’t the last one standing.
Local fans were introduced to a winning culture from the first puck drop of their 2017-18 inaugural season (“We played Arizona, and we beat the shit out of them”), but the Golden Knights didn’t take center stage in the sports world like they have now. Winning a championship brings more attention, more out-of-town observers, and more jealousy. While Ranger fans are frustrated with their team’s disappointing season, they were entertained and impressed with Vegas’ five-game Stanley Cup accomplishment.
I’m not sure why I cared. I was so pissed off by the Bruins performance I stopped watching the playoffs. Towards the middle of the conference finals I started paying attention again and the Golden Knights were the team I was rooting for. Obviously, Cassidy was a big reason for that but I also enjoyed watching the players on the team. They played like a team. Really, what I expected from the Bruins. Don’t even get me started, but overall I was glad to see Vegas win. -Jim Selvitella, Massachusetts native and Bruins fan
Specifically, Boston fans felt a connection to the Golden Knights because of their respect for former Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. Many B’s fans have convinced themselves that if Cassidy hadn’t been let go in Boston, their team would’ve lifted their first Stanley Cup since 2011. Others were happy the coach won before their favorite team. That’s typical behavior from a fanbase with so much disdain for the Bruins brass. In their opinion, the wrong people were let go and Cassidy ended up being the scapegoat.
Overall, it’s been a mixed bag of emotions from mostly Eastern Conference hockey fans. You’ll notice more anger, frustration, and sourness from Western Conference and specifically Pacific Division fanbases. Outside of Miami-Dade County, East Coast fans are largely happy the Golden Knights became this season’s champions. The players, the coach, the theatrics. Vegas stole fans away from eliminated teams along their 2023 Stanley Cup chase. The bandwagon will likely end on opening night in October.