You’ll hear the year 1968 a lot if you watch the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals. The Las Vegas Golden Knights are the first team in four major sports (NHL, MLB, NFL, NBA) since 1968 to reach the final in their inaugural season. Oddly enough, the last team to do it was the St. Louis Blues.
The Golden Knights defeated the Winnipeg Jets in five games, 4-1. It was a series that started off fantastic for the Jets and then it became tumbling down. The Jets only had a day of rest before they kicked off the Western Conference Finals at home. They had a battle with the Nashville Predators that finished with a dominating Game 7 win.
Vegas finished off the San Jose Sharks in six games, allowing a week of rest and practice before the Conference finals. The Sharks have been the best battle for the Golden Knights so far this postseason earning two wins against Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury has posted a .947 save percentage, a 1.68 goals against average and four shut-out victories in 15 games this postseason.
Once again, the Knights will be taking it easy before the Stanley Cup. Monday night, the Washington Capitals extended the series tied 3-3 taking it back to Tampa Bay. Please take a note of the sequence resulting in a Devante Smith-Pelly goal in the third period. I even had to applaud the craft work to result in a goal to have the Caps go up 2-0.
Regardless of the outcome of Game 7. If I was a betting man, which I’m not because if I was I would have taken the Golden Knights at the beginning of the season with 100 to 1 odds to win the conference. Spoiler alert: Not really, but that’s just for dramatic effect. The Vegas Golden Knights will win the 2018 Stanley Cup over the Washington Capitals in their first year and Fleury will win the Conn Smythe Trophy. The Smythe is awarded to the MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.