The Knights continue to break records and add chapters to the story of the greatest expansion team to ever be, so surely a Cup isn’t out of the question?
When the NHL decided way back to expand into Vegas, the decision was met with mixed reviews. Levels of uncertainty and skepticism were conveyed throughout most of the time leading up to Expansion Draft, and even on to the start of the regular season.
But, boy, did we not know what we were about to experience. The Knights have been winners since the start of the season and have battled every adversity imaginable with brilliance and poise.
The Knights are the best story of the season without a doubt and with all the new and groundbreaking records they’ve set:
- Most wins by a team in an inaugural season.
- The record was 34, the Knights currently have 51 wins with one game left in the season
- Most points by a team in an inaugural season.
- The record was 84, the Knights currently have 109 points with one game left in the season
- First team to make the playoffs in their inaugural season since 1979-80
- First modern era-expansion team to win their division in their inaugural season
Who can stop the Knights from being the first modern era-expansion team to win a championship in their inaugural season? The answer?
This is a team that has the talent to a win a championship. It has the healthy mix of veteran experience and youth presence, with the likes of Marc-Andre Fleury and William Karlsson taking up major roles with the team.
Speaking of the Flower, he can still roll with the best of them after 14 seasons. Fleury is enjoying a career-year and has been a steady presence for the Knights all season long. Combine that with the experience that he brings from three Stanley Cups on four trips to the Final and you have a bonafide leader for a young team that has never played in a playoff series together.
The Knights play a very fast-paced style of hockey, encapsulated by their ability to produce offense. They currently sit with a +50 goal differential on the season, led by the emergence of William Karlsson.
The Swedish center has been the key piece in a line that includes Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith. They have been nothing short of excellent, with all three line members breaking career numbers.
This is all capped off by the season of Karlsson specifically. He currently leads the league in plus-minus with a differential of plus-49.
This is made even better by the fact that his two linemates are second and third behind him. Karlsson currently sits third in the league in goals with 43, just one behind Patrik Laine and three behind Alex Ovechkin — a far cry from his previous career high of nine!
In a playoff series, this kind of consistent offensive output will be extremely difficult to contain, especially as the Knights have a top-10 ranked power play as well.
There are so many things that can happen in a playoff series and the game is not the same as it is in the regular season.
The Knights clinching their division and having such a good record at the end of the season could really boost their chances to make a run for the Cup.
Vegas will have home ice advantage in as many as all four series if the team advances. This is big, as teams have not played well at Vegas this year — the Knights have the second-best home record in the NHL.
The only people that can stop this team from continuing to shatter expectations is themselves. They have the talent in the right places and have been receiving consistent production all season long. They have the veteran leadership and they have the potential hometown advantage.
They haven’t stopped surprising us yet, so why should they stop now?