The reigning champions, the Vegas Golden Knights, have become the first team in the history of the NHL to start their season with six victories. They set a new record with 7-0-0 before their first loss (against the Blackhawks 2-3 after OT). Vegas are playing fast and aggressive hockey, which creates problems for their opponents. It doesn't matter if they play against the Arizona Coyotes, Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, or New Jersey Devils.
Always play with your style
Coach Bruce Cassidy is doing an amazing job, and his players maintain even better shape than during last year's regular season. The Oilers have McDavid and Draisatl, the Rangers have Panarin, and the Stars have Robertson. But the Golden Knights have a whole team. Jack Eichel and Jonathan Marchessault show their skills in every game and are highly productive; Alex Pietrangelo, Alec Martinez, and Shea Theodore are doing well in defense; Mark Stone is the right man for a captain's job, plus, Adin Hill and Logan Thompson created one of the best goalie tandems in the league.
Adin Hill, Vegas Golden Knights (AP News)
You don't know how they hit you, but you know it will happen. The Vegas Golden Knights won their first Stanley Cup last season, which they did during their sixth year in the NHL. This organization knows what the show means. Their players play hockey not only for the win, but they try to do it in the most entertaining way possible. T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, where VGK play their games, is regularly sold out and has become some sort of fortress. It’s not easy to win there, for example, the Florida Panthers lost Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals 2023 on this ice 3-9, which speaks volumes.
Don’t forget to have fun!
Hockey fans may ask themselves why the Golden Knights are so good. Some of the reasons are the chemistry between the players and the mood in the dressing room. Of course, there are battles for spots on a roster, but at the same time, all boys play for the same goal, and many of them are friends off the ice too. They know each other, core of a team has been together for several years, and you can see how they have fun during the games.
Shea Theodore, Vegas Golden Knights (IG/vegasgoldenknights)
In the last decade, only the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins have won back-to-back Stanley Cups. Can Vegas also do it? Nobody knows what will happen, but they have a serious chance. The most important thing for this team will be to stay healthy. The number of injuries defined the 2021–2022 season, the only time in history when the Vegas Golden Knights struggled to make the play-offs.
The Golden Knights have all the ingredients they need to win another Stanley Cup. But everything will be decided on the ice and it’s nearly impossible to predict how this season will end. NHL is one of the most competitive leagues in the world of sports for the reason. Every year brings another story about underdogs. Just ask 2019 Stanley Cup champions St. Louis Blues or last season’s finalists Florida Panthers. Or better, ask Vegas Golden Knights, who were huge underdogs during their inaugural season 2017-18 when they made the Stanley Cup Finals.
Featured Image Credits: John Locher (AP Photo)