That buzz. It’s been in the air for months now, and it’s grown even louder since April 11. That’s the night the Vegas Golden Knights began their Stanley Cup playoff run, with a 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Few knew then that these Knights would go on to sweep the Kings, put the San Jose Sharks away in six games and then, after dropping the opener in Winnipeg, reel off four more wins to topple the Jets and reach the Stanley Cup Final against the Washington Capitals.
So this is what it’s like to be a major-league sports town, home to the hottest—and most-talked-about—team in the land. After decades spent waiting for a big-four entrant, Vegas has been more competitive than it ever envisioned, right from the jump. And the city, too has been better than anyone beyond the Valley imagined, supporting these Knights not just on game nights but on the days and nights between—with energy, passion and pure joy.
The Golden Knights have dominated conversation all over town, providing a fountain of positivity after the most tragic chapter in Las Vegas’ history. So here’s to you, VGK, for making all of Southern Nevada believe in something good.
BY THE NUMBERS
Days it took the Golden Knights to make a Stanley Cup Final appearance. The Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t been to a final in 51 years—or 18,649 days.
Regular season wins by the Golden Knights this season, 18 more than the previous best by an expansion team (1993’s Florida Panthers).
Regular season games it took the Golden Knights to achieve an eight-game winning streak. The Stars have never had one in 50 years as a franchise based first in Minnesota and then in Dallas.
(Thru Game 1.) Points by Jonathan Marchessault this postseason, the most ever by a player in their team’s first postseason run.
Teams that have won fewer playoff series than the Golden Knights during the past decade. Vegas won its third by beating Winnipeg, putting ahead of 43.3 percent of the NHL over the past 10 years (Arizona, Carolina, Minnesota, Winnipeg two apiece; Calgary, Dallas, Edmonton, New York Islanders one apiece; and Buffalo, Colorado, Columbus, Florida and Toronto none).
(Thru Game 1.) Golden Knights playoff wins in their inaugural season—four more victories than the expansion Washington Capitals posted in the 1974 regular season.
NHL teams in the NHL that have never made a Stanley Cup Final (Coyotes, Jets, Wild, Blue Jackets).
Major-league teams Las Vegas had competing this time last year. What a journey this has been.