Another first-year team, St. Louis, reached the NHL Final in 1968 but from an entire division of new clubs from which one had to make it. They finally broke a string of second-round exits this year. Vegas has the better record in the 2017-18 playoffs winning 4-0 (Los Angeles Kings), 4-2 (San Jose Sharks) and 4-1 (Winnipeg Jets), while the Capitals won 4-2 (Columbus Blue Jackets), 4-2 (Pittsburg Penguins), and 4-3 (Tampa Bay Lightning). "We work so hard all year".
But perhaps the most touching, most human, story heading into the final no one saw coming is how the Knights connected with Las Vegas in the aftermath of the massacre that saw a gunman kill 58 people and injure hundreds more at an outdoor concert in early October. Even Gallant was unceremoniously dumped from his last job, kicked off the team bus after being fired by the Florida Panthers.
Of course, the beauty of it all is that history only matters until the moment the puck is dropped and Game 1 of the 2018 Stanley Cup final begins.
Most NHL GMs choose their assistants from among their past colleagues.
We made our selection, and then (Capitals GM Brian MacLellan) called and asked if there's any way we could do a deal for him to get Schmidt back, and I said, I don't see anything, but we'll try to come up with something to give you a chance to say no. "I have an away white, so looking forward to that". "It's definitely not one on one with people, but you see the fan support that we get is unbelievable".
"I think he needed a break from the game, needed a break from how it went down for him here and it just took time", MacLellan said.
"It's one of the best shots in the league", Fleury said with a smile, perhaps flashing back to the moment he stopped what appeared to be a surefire goal by Ovechkin with the shaft of his stick in the Penguins' Game 7 win over the Capitals in the second round previous year.
When nobody bet on the Golden Knights at 300-1, the Westgate Sportsbook in Las Vegas moved the odds to 500-1 to encourage gamblers, according to Forbes.
That awkwardness carried over into the Golden Knights' expansion draft last June.
As Markazi noted, the Raiders also took out an ad for the Las Vegas Aces ahead of their first WNBA home game. He added that the Golden Knights have the "best fans and best arena in hockey, hands down-it's always insane here".
England's speech was short, his message poignant. If you listen to him talk, you can feel the respect he has for this group.
Capitals: Braden Holtby did not start the first two games of the playoffs but is 12-6 with a 2.04 goals-against average and.924 save percentage since replacing Philipp Grubauer.
I suffered a broken orbital bone where they had to put a plate underneath the eye.
"I think it's weird seeing that team here, being in the Cup the first year", said Brooks Orpik, the only Washington player with a ring.
But an interesting twist, one reason the Knights are so good is the Washington Capitals franchise they'll face in this best-of-seven championship round.