The Golden Knights proved all the critics wrong starting off the 2017 NHL season with a record of 5-1-0 through the first six games. Prior to the start of the season, tragedy struck the city of Las Vegas as a shooter killed 59 people and injured hundreds. The city looked for a rallying cry and clung to their new NHL expansion team to bring the city together.
Entering the season, the doubt surrounding the Golden Knights was massive. YouTube videos projected the Golden Knights at the bottom of the Pacific Division. The Golden Knights’ hot start matches the Montreal Canadiens’ 100-year record for a new expansion team.
James Neal was selected by the Golden Knights in the expansion draft from the Nashville Predators. He is a very strong player as he leads the team in points, combining with Cody Eakin with 16 total points on the year together. Alec Cohen, a senior and new fan of the Golden Knights, loves James Neal because “he scores the most goals.”
The team has the second-best record behind the red-hot Tampa Bay Lightning with 10 points for the year. The Golden Knights’ only loss came from the Detroit Red Wings after starting goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was knocked out of the game from a concussion.
To be successful in the NHL, a team must have a strong goalie to save shots that slip past defenders. The Golden Knights selected Fleury from the Penguins and Malcolm Subban from the waiver wire who both impacted the team instantly. After Fleury went down with a concussion, Malcolm Subban stepped in and shut down opposing offenders and has won every game he started so far.
The introduction of the Golden Knights has sparked the interest of non-hockey fans at Boys’ Latin to the sport of hockey. Patrick McDermott plays hockey but never truly found NHL interesting to follow because of the erratic schedule, but the news of the Golden Knights made McDermott an instant follower.
Senior Hunter Isaac was a Washington Capitals fan, but because “The Capitals couldn’t win the cup,” he took his support to the desert for the Golden Knights.
Longtime hockey fans haven’t seen an expansion team perform this well for years. Butch Maisel, a longtime hockey fan, coach, and player, said the Golden Knights are hot because “they are in the right place at the right time; they have the right people in the right system with hot goaltending.” Although the Golden Knights are on fire, Maisel believes injuries and lack of depth will haunt the team down the stretch.
A historic run to begin the Golden Knights’ inaugural season was fueled by a strong expansion draft and support from the heartbroken community of Las Vegas. The team’s determination to prove the NHL community that they’re a legit contender in the western conference was heard. Sitting in second place in the western conference, the Golden Knights’ hot start may lead to an unexpected and historic run through the 2017-2018 NHL regular season.