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Cinderella Knights

When you think Las Vegas, what do you think about? Typically, people think about casinos, elegant hotels, and fantastic food buffets. However, they’re never had a professional sports team. Therefore, the city didn’t have anything to be proud of. However, “Sin City” now has something else to be proud about. The Vegas Golden Knights were established this year and are wrapping up their inaugural season at T-Mobil Arena.

The Knights, who are 48-21-7 this season, have broken numerous records this year. They are the first expansion team to make the playoffs in their first season. Vegas one-upped this record by clinching the Pacific Division. Through 77 games, Vegas looks to finish 2nd in the entire Western conference and 4th in the entire NHL.

To put this in perspective, previous inaugural teams have failed miserably in their first seasons. In fact, no expansion team has ever made the playoffs as a 1 or 2 seed. The Washington Capitals (74-75) finished the season with a record of 8-67-5, and the Oakland Seals (67-68) finished with a dismal 15-42-17 record. Vegas has smashed the previous record holder of best inaugural season by 20 points, and there’s still a few games left in the regular season.

How was this fantastic season made possible? Well, it was a combination of a good draft, influential coaching, and impressive performances from key players. Since last year was an expansion draft, teams could only protect a certain number of players, leaving talented players open to be drafted. Vegas picked up key players like goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and power forward James Neal. Other players who played big rolls this season were goal scorer William Karlsson, Jonathon Marchessault, and David Perron.

Coach Gerard Gallant approached the season with a positive outlook, hoping to make the playoffs within the first 3 seasons of the team’s existence. However, they did it in 1. He gave every single person an important role which created a competitive environment along with promoting teamwork. This has sparked the Cinderella Knights. Now, people believe they can compete with the best teams in the NHL (Nashville, Winnepeg, and Tamps Bay). It’s no question that Vegas is on a hot streak!

Because of this, Vegas is coming into the playoffs as one of the hottest teams in the league, and they still have records to break. They have the potential to be the first expansion team in history to win the Western conference. If they play good enough, they can possibly hoist the Stanley Cup at the end of the season. It’s been one for the record books for Vegas thus far, but the question is, can they achieve greatness in their first season? I guess they’ll prove us either right or wrong.

Written by: Andrew Grewette

 

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