Sports Damien Cox: Golden Knights show regular season was no fluke

00:52  17 april  2018
00:52  17 april  2018 Source:   thestar.com

Damien Cox: In era of overnight NHL success, building a contender has lost some of its meaning

  Damien Cox: In era of overnight NHL success, building a contender has lost some of its meaning It’s the NHL that Gary Bettman and the owners wanted. Presumably, the players are good with it as well, given the NHL Players Association now has more say in how the game is designed and played than at any previous time in its 51-year history. Finally, the guess here is that this is what fans want. The Bettman administration has always liked to survey its customers, and try to tailor the game to their desires.So if everyone’s good with it, you have to wonder why something just feels a little funny with the NHL circa 2018. Something just not quite right.The Colorado Avalanche were dead last and doggone horrific last year.

The Vegas Golden Knights have taken the hockey world on a multi-step reeducation process this season . What began with surprise moved to disdain, and then on to disbelief and incredulity. Damien Cox ’s column appears Tuesday and Saturday.

“All season long, I didn’t know any records about expansion teams,” goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. “We just do what a regular team would, we just play the game and try to win. Opinion | Damien Cox : Golden Knights show regular season was no fluke .

Golden Knights centre Cody Eakin (21) celebrates his third-period goal against the L.A. Kings Sunday. The Golden Knights are a game away from sweeping the Kings.© Chris Carlson Golden Knights centre Cody Eakin (21) celebrates his third-period goal against the L.A. Kings Sunday. The Golden Knights are a game away from sweeping the Kings.

The Vegas Golden Knights have taken the hockey world on a multi-step reeducation process this season. What began with surprise moved to disdain, and then on to disbelief and incredulity.

We have now arrived at the fifth step. Acceptance.

We can only wonder how many more steps there are left. Lifting hockey’s most famous trophy?

Even if you want to grasp at the very last straw and suggest the Knights got the very best possible opponent in the first round of the Stanley Cup, the fading and punchless Los Angeles Kings, you must still accept that Vegas is continuing its season of historic accomplishment by wiping the mat with the Kings, not easy to do to any playoff opponent.

Golden Knights fans revel in 'dream' season as 1sts continue to pile up

  Golden Knights fans revel in 'dream' season as 1sts continue to pile up Golden Knights fans revel in 'dream' season as 1sts continue to pile up They won their first-ever regular season game against the Dallas Stars. They won their first-ever home-opener against the Arizona Coyotes.

Opinion | Damien Cox : Golden Knights show regular season was no fluke . If there’s one player standing in the Sharks’ way of a second trip to the Western Conference final in three years, it might be Fleury, the former No

Damien Cox : Golden Knights show regular season was no fluke . Make no mistake — this expansion fairy tale could end with a trip to the Stanley Cup. Video shows Drake honouring hockey team, addressing Raptors after win over Wizards.

L.A. has the stars — Drew Doughty, Jonathan Quick, Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter — and the massive contracts to go with them. For Game 3 on Sunday night, after losing Games 1 and 2 in Nevada, the Kings brought out the off-ice stars as well, with actor Margot Robbie, Dodger third baseman Justin Turner and soccer icon David Beckham among the sellout crowd. That crowd roared as L.A. finally scored first and leaned hard on the Knights as if to communicate a message that the fun was over and it was time for the adults to take charge.

In the end, however, none of that mattered. The Knights still won. The momentum won in Vegas stayed in Vegas.

The Knights won with a dagger to the heart, scoring two goals in 21 seconds in the third period. On the second goal, the victim was Doughty, who just wandered away from where he needed to be, leaving the Knights most dangerous scorer, William Karlsson, completely alone. Karlsson hammered the puck past Quick to five Vegas a 3-1 lead, and the Knights ultimately registered a 3-2 triumph and now lead the best-of-seven series three games to none.

Fleury outduels Quick as Golden Knights down Kings for 1st playoff win

  Fleury outduels Quick as Golden Knights down Kings for 1st playoff win Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves for his 11th career playoff shutout, Shea Theodore scored in the first period and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Los Angeles Kings 1-0 on Wednesday night to win the franchise's first playoff game. The expansion franchise will try to take a 2-0 lead in its first-round playoff series Friday night.

Damien Cox : Golden Knights show regular season was no fluke . Make no mistake — this expansion fairy tale could end with a trip to the Stanley Cup.

There’s really no disputing the success of the Knights any more. It’s certainly not a fluke. In the modern, parity-stricken NHL, they have proven you don’t need years to build a contending team. Just months will do, thank you very much.

The NHL expansion model of 2018 is light years beyond what it was a quarter-century ago, when Ottawa and Tampa Bay entered the league with shaky investors and makeshift, temporary home arenas. It’s not that much more sophisticated than the expansion efforts at the turn of the century that brought Nashville, Atlanta, Columbus and Minnesota into the league, but the league, by bringing in a salary cap system, has generated an environment in which excellence is non-sustainable and unlikely, thereby laying the ground for the success of Vegas.

That’s the hard, logistical reality. The exciting part, however, is that the Knights are among the most interesting and enjoyable clubs to watch. Vegas attacks and skates, and in this series, haven’t just outsmarted and outskated L.A.; they’ve brought a higher level of energy and passion, as well.

Vegas earns third win over Kings, closes in on series sweep

  Vegas earns third win over Kings, closes in on series sweep James Neal scored the tie-breaking goal with 5:37 to play, and the Vegas Golden Knights rallied from a third-period deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night. Cody Eakin tied it with 13:50 left, and William Karlsson scored 21 seconds after Neal’s goal in a third-period flurry for the Golden Knights, whose storybook debut season just keeps getting more exciting and more outlandish.

In some ways, this is very familiar. It was in the spring of ’96 that the Florida Panthers captivated the attention of the hockey world in a similar way. But even that isn’t the best comparison. Florida was a third-year team, and had the benefit of being able to use young, talented draftees like Ed Jovanovski, Rob Niedermayer, Rhett Warrener and Radek Dvorak.

Vegas is a first-year team with no drafted players in the lineup. George McPhee just crafted a roster out of the expansion draft and hired Gerard Gallant to coach that group. That’s about it.

It seems likely that, regardless of how far the Knights go, their success is going to reverberate around the NHL. Why should the Islanders sign John Tavares if this kind of team success is possible without that kind of expenditure? Ditto for Ottawa and Erik Karlsson, and you can bet Eugene Melnyk is taking the success of Vegas as confirmation of his belief that spending millions buys you nothing in today’s NHL.

You can say the Knights had better expansion draft pickings than any first-year NHL outfit in history, but only Neal and Fleury were front-line players, and Fleury had been relegated to the backup in Pittsburgh. Marchessault wasn’t a core player. Alex Tuch and Colin Miller weren’t.

Golden Knights improbable season is no figment of imagination

  Golden Knights improbable season is no figment of imagination Imagine putting another hockey team – an ice hockey team – in the desert and plopping it down behind the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. Imagine stocking it with players other teams didn’t want, and asking working people who had never seen hockey to pay major-league ticket prices to support the new team, called the Vegas Golden Knights. Imagine these fans buying every ticket and screaming their lungs out at games for players they don’t know, dancing and believing and finding community in this new hockey team that became a rallying point after the mass murder of 58 people in their city.

So McPhee, like a hockey version of Billy Beane, identified undervalued assets. Either that or he exposed the fact that the difference between stars and plumbers, between first rounders and other players, isn’t as substantial as we’ve been led to believe.

It seemed like Washington just had to keep Dmitry Orlov (second round pick, $5.1 million cap hit) rather than Nate Schmidt (undrafted, $2.25 million cap hit), but apparently that wasn’t necessarily true. That’s the kind of individual case that could have repercussions when it comes to free agency and the trade market this summer.

That’s all for later. For now, we must accept Vegas as a serious post-season threat. Period. End of discussion. Whether acceptance now leads to congratulations, engravings and rings, we shall see.

Damien Cox’s column appears Tuesday and Saturday.

‘Fleury is on fire’: Sharks aim to attack Golden Knights goalie differently in round 2 .
SAN JOSE, Calif.—Sharks goalie coach Johan Hedberg provides enough material in his scouting reports on opposing goaltenders to make a short novel out of all of his findings on their tendencies.Chances are Hedberg’s had to update his notes on more than one occasion for Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who has made the necessary adjustments in his style over the last two years to once again be considered one of the NHL’s best at his position.Fleury, 33, allowed just three Los Angeles goals for a 0.65 goals against average and a sparkling .977 save percentage to help the Knights sweep the Kings 4-0 in their first round series.

Source: http://ca.pressfrom.com/news/sports/-70945-damien-cox-golden-knights-show-regular-season-was-no-fluke/

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!