Golden Knights Kind Of Looking Forward To Opening On The Road

May 12 10:19 2018

I’m staying with Winnipeg in the Western final, although I’m beginning to realize – expansion club or not – that the Golden Knights’ are a team to be reckoned with and not just some smoke and mirrors magic act from the Las Vegas Strip.

The Golden Knights have been resting for nearly a week, after their six game elimination of the San Jose Sharks in round two. “We play with confidence in here, and obviously, you know, you want to protect your home ice and get off to a good start in the series”. Whenever the three of them have been out on the ice together, the playing field has been tilted decidedly in the Golden Knights’ favour. They won 51 of 82 regular season games to capture the Pacific Division title and, starting Saturday night, will battle the Winnipeg Jets in the Western Conference final. They began the season having won eight of their first nine games and haven’t looked back since. “They’re for real. So it’s going to be a real tough matchup”.

Just how far they go will depend largely on the pads of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup victor with Pittsburgh. Called the “Yo-Yo” series because of all the up and downs (with each team taking turns stinking the joint out), it should be the Jets turn, who are carrying our nation on their shoulders, to come up big. Scoring in the win was Jonathan Marchessault, which was his 4th of the postseason, Nate Schmidt, which was his 2nd of the playoffs and Cody Eakin, which was his 3rd.

Game 2: Monday @ Jets, 8 p.m.

3 – Marc-Andre Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Pittsburgh Penguins, set career bests in goals-against average (2.24) and save percentage (.927) in the regular season.

Tampa Bay and Vegas have shown resiliency after a setback, as the are 19-8 following a loss, while the Golden Knights are 20-10-1.

These two franchises have faced each other only three times in history with the Golden Knights winning two of those National Hockey League matchups, including an overtime victory in Winnipeg back on February 1.

“Usually he plays better the more that’s on the line”. In my mind, they are the best expansion team in the history of major sports, not just hockey.

“We know what they bring, we know that they’re good, that they maybe surprised a few teams, but not really”, said Paul Stastny, whose Jets advance to the final with a Game 7 victory over the Predators on Thursday night.

Fleury had five days off in between series while Hellebuyck will have had just 48 hours to prepare for one of the fastest and most potent offenses in the league.

The Golden Knights deserve to be here, heading on the road to either Winnipeg or Nashville for Game 1 on Saturday. That it took the Isles only three seasons to reach the playoffs, when they sent shivers through defending Cup champ Philadelphia by coming back from a 3-0 series deficit to force a seventh game in the semis, was in of itself a tremendous achievement. Tyler Myers, acquired in the Evander Kane deal in 2015, scored the all-important first goal of the game, and Mark Scheifele, the Jets first-ever draft pick, seventh overall in 2011, scored a pair of goals in the win and finished the series with 11 points (7G, 4A). They basically took everyone’s trash, they won’t be able to compete with the California teams. Connor Hellebuyck was excellent as he made 36 saves on 37 shots.

Prediction: Jets over Golden Knights in seven games. “I’m going to go out and play the same way I’ve been playing all year”. Second-line centre Paul Stastny is also producing, with six goals, eight assists … I feel that all the edges point to the Golden Knights in this one and they should walk away with a hard-fought game one win.

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Golden Knights Kind Of Looking Forward To Opening On The Road
 
 
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