The Las Vegas Golden Knights, a first-year expansion hockey team, is making headlines as they swept the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, beating the LA Kings in all four games. They were the first team this season to perform a sweep, and potentially the only one if the San Jose Sharks don’t beat the Anaheim Ducks tonight. What makes their dominance even more impressive however is that they are the first expansion team to clinch the playoffs in its inaugural year, and are now only the third NHL, NBA or MLB team to sweep the first series of their first time in the postseason. The last NHL team to do so was the 1970 Pittsburgh Penguins, so it’s been a while since something this spectacular has occurred.
During their four games against the Kings this past week, the Golden Knights won 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, and 1-0. Though none of these wins were by more than one point, they did have the incredible feat of holding the Kings to only three goals the entire series. That success can be tributed to veteran goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, a former Pittsburgh Penguin and three-time Stanley Cup winner. The rest of the team, much like Fleury, is made up of undrafted players that other teams didn’t protect last season. Some notable Golden Knights are William Karlsson, a former Columbus Blue Jacket and Brayden McNabb, a former Buffalo Sabre and LA King.
An expansion team with leftover players from other teams isn’t supposed to be good, but the Golden Knights have proved all the doubters, and history, wrong. They sealed the playoffs, won their division, and are now heading to round two where they will be facing either The San Jose Sharks or the Anaheim Ducks and will continue to try and bring this Cinderella story to the Stanley Cup finals.
The Golden Knights swept the Kings
(File that under tweets nobody expected to see from this account on April 17, 2018)
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) April 18, 2018
— #NHL18 (@EASPORTSNHL) April 18, 2018