How are things going for the Vegas Golden Knights? Marc-Andre Fleury is doing the wave:
No, really, how are things going for the Golden Knights? Try three goals in 91 seconds, with the crowd going absolutely bananas.
Try a 7-0 buttkicking of the Sharks in Game 1, with seven different players scoring. These Knights, who did not exist a year ago, have not lost in the playoffs. Fleury, who stopped 33 shots last night, has as many shutouts as as he does goals allowed.
What is going on here?
What if they’re just really good?
This prospect is still difficult for me to accept, though with each win it’s becoming more difficult to deny. I admit my resistance is no longer entirely evidence-based, instead still stemming from everything inculcated in me by the entire modern history of sports that says an expansion team is supposed to suck. Could the Golden Knights possibly be for real? Well, define “for real.” A team doesn’t entirely fluke its way to a 109-point season. A merely-above-average team doesn’t usually sweep the Kings and smoke the Sharks. Something’s going on here, and it’s either the most unlikely confluence of events, or the Golden Knights are truly, legitimately great, and maybe it’s both.
The players, though possessing no lack of confidence, were eager to credit their fans.
“Honestly, the fans helped out a lot,” Alex Tuch said. “I didn’t know how it was going to be not playing in nine days, but as soon as they yelled “[K]night” during the national anthem, I knew we were in for a good game.”
Tuch said the noise in the building was “chilling” and that he couldn’t even describe how loud it was. David Perron said “every goal was like a party.” A lot of parties, then.
To answer my own question, I have absolutely no idea what’s going on here, but I love it. This is an unconscionable amount of fun, and it’s truly pleasant to made to realize I know nothing and should expect nothing. Because what’s the point of sports if everything only happens the way it’s supposed to?
I picked the Golden Knights in the first round, and I like them to beat the Sharks, and I think they’re going to get stomped by either the Jets or Predators in the conference final. But they’ve spent all year proving me and everyone else wrong. This is a party, may as well enjoy it until we get kicked out.