By Shane Bidwell
From a faint idea on paper to a meteoric rise that has them sitting at 2nd in the West, the Las Vegas Golden Knights have captured the hearts of hockey fans young and old, and are looking to push for the Stanley Cup in their very first season in the league
What made the Knights a contender in their inaugural season was the NHL trying to build a solid team from the beginning instead of having another situation like the Coyotes. The Coyotes were an expansion team that came into the league and struggled greatly. What the league decided for the expansion draft was the Knights could take players off of any team with some exceptions. The Knights used this “Golden” opportunity to build a contender from the jump.
The cornerstone of the franchise in Vegas is William Karlsson, a young star acquired from Columbus, enjoying breakout success in his new home. Karlsson currently leads the team in goals with 35 and his playing the best hockey of his life. Karlsson combined with likes of Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith, and David Perron creates one of the most deadly offensive units in the league putting up an eye popping 3.4 goals per game, good for second in the NHL. Coupled with a potent offense is a stingy defense anchored by proven veteran Marc Andre-Fleury in the net averaging just 2.8 goals against. When it hasn’t been Fleury between the pipes, Malcom Subban has filled the role perfectly guiding this red hot Knights team to victory.
Recently this team has been injury riddled, but has remarkably been able to find ways to keep winning games. Once the likes of James Neal, Malcom Subban, and Nate Schmidt return, this team becomes even scarier.
Another reason the Golden Knights have sky-rocketed to national attention is a strong social media presence on Twitter. The Knights have nearly 300 thousand followers on Twitter, but what really sets them apart from the rest of the league in the social media department is their light-hearted joking attitude about everything. Those in the social media department in Vegas have done a wonderful creating jokes about both wins and losses in order to grab the attention of younger fans, and keep spirits high
The Knights have made all the right moves so far, and are reaping the fruits of their labors. The team is humming with a deadly scoring attack, and a more than capable D-Unit that keeps other teams off the board. The Las Vegas Golden Knights are truly building something special, and they have the pieces in place to hoist The Cup in their inaugural season. The rest of the league should be on notice as the Knights are for real… and they aren’t going anywhere.