The Vegas Golden Knights have endured all odds – they go to the Stanley Cup playoffs.
With a 4-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night, Vegas was the first NHL team to win a playoff in its first season since the Oilers and Whalers did so in 1
Which teams have the best shot to reach a playoff spot? Who deserves a better shot in the first election? Here are the latest projections for both, along with critical matchups that are on display today and much more.
The Oilers, which include Wayne Gretzky and the Whalers, with Gordie Howe came from the WHA after a merger. The Golden Knights entered the NHL this season after owner Bill Foley paid a $ 500 million extension fee.
Although their expansion format was cheaper than the previous expansion years, the Golden Knights opened the worst-performing season – 500-1 – to win the Stanley Cup, after the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. These odds have now improved to 7-1.
When asked about the team slogan "Playoffs in three [seasons] Cup in six" and whether he considered that realistic, head coach Gerard Gallant said he was "definitely scared" when he first got it
"The playoffs are really tough," said Gallant, who won his 200th career coaching victory on Monday. "For an expansion team that makes the playoffs, it's incredible."
Vegas currently ranks first in the Pacific Division. With 103 points, the Knights are only four points behind the Nashville Predators in the race for the Presidents' Trophy for the league's best record.
Of 64 expansion teams among the four major US sports leagues since 1960, Vegas (19659004) While Vegas is the fifth NHL expansion team – with no mergers like the Oilers and Whalers – to make the playoffs since the league's first ever in 1967 Spread wings over the original six -68, the other four did so with a little asterisk.
The first six expansion teams, in & # 39; 67 -68, were all placed together in the Western Division, with the Original Six forming the East. This not only guaranteed that four of the expansion teams would make the playoffs – despite not one of them a winning record – but that one of them would be in the Stanley Cup final.
The only non-NHL expansion team to play in that period is the 1966-67 Chicago Bulls, who were 33-48 years old in their first NBA season. Interestingly, the Golden Knights are in the playoffs in a season in which four of the Original Six teams – Detroit, Chicago, Montreal and the New York Rangers – will be suspended after injury time.
Vegas played well at home, went 27-9-2 in the T-Mobile Arena and has sold seats with 103.7 percent capacity, third best in the NHL behind the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild.
"It feels pretty unbelievable, good to cling on home ice, they've been with us since Day 1," Knights Center's William Karlsson of the Vegas fans. "It was a great ride, we had a good start and that kept us busy for the rest of the year." Vegas has dropped nine years behind career years from players like Karlsson (40 goals, previous career highlights), winger Jonathan Marchessault (72 points, previous career high was 51) and winger David Perron (66 points, previous career high was 57).
Goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup winner with the Pittsburgh Penguins, has missed some time with an injury, but was impressing with a .931 save percentage and 2.12 GAA in 43 starts.