Rosen: Golden Knights Are The Best Story In Sports; No Reason To Think Their Run Will End Soon

Las Vegas' love for the Golden Knights is "unlike anything we've seen in a long time," Dan Rosen said

Taz and the Moose
April 12, 2018 - 10:14 am

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The Las Vegas Golden Knights have been the best story in hockey this year. From expansion team to Pacific champion, the Golden Knights have endeared themselves to fans in Las Vegas and beyond.

This isn’t just an NHL story; it’s a sports story; it’s a human story. 

“Is there any better story in sports right now that the Vegas Golden Knights?” NHL.com senior writer Dan Rosen asked on Taz & The Moose. “This team went from scratch. Yes, they had favorable expansion-draft rules, but that didn’t mean they could draft Sidney Crosby in the expansion draft. They got depth players in their expansion draft. Those were the players that were available to them. They got a No. 1 goaltender in Marc Andre-Fleury, but they got depth guys and they needed one or two or three of these depth guys that they got from other teams to step up and become high-end, front-line guys.”

Four Golden Knights finished with 60+ points this season, including William Karlsson (78) and Jonathan Marchessault (75). Karlsson scored a team-high 43 goals, while Marchessault had 48 assists – second only to David Perron’s 50. Fleury, meanwhile, finished third in goals against (2.24)

“Terrific story,” Rosen said. “They win 51 games, they win the Pacific division, nobody saw it coming – it’s a spectacular scene in Vegas. They have embraced and wrapped their arms around this hockey team unlike anything we've seen in a long time. They’ve wanted professional sports there. The NHL got there first, and they love this team. It is a terrific, terrific environment.”

And it might not end any time soon. The Golden Knights beat the Kings, 1-0, in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series Wednesday. Shea Theodore scored a first-period goal, while Fleury had 30 saves in the shutout.

“I picked the Kings to beat them in the first round, but that’s sort of an iffy pick because Vegas has been good all year,” Rosen said. “There’s really no reason to believe that the Vegas Golden Knights are going to drop off at any point. I remember at the start of the season, there was a lot of emotion in the building and in the city because of the mass shooting there. The Golden Knights really became a fabric of the community. They were out in the community, they were helping, they were doing whatever they possibly could – and so there was a little bit maybe playing off that emotion and they were good at the start.”

Many people, however, felt that hot start was unsustainable. 

It wasn’t. 

“People were like, ‘Well, they’re going to drop off.’ They didn’t drop off,” Rosen said. “Then it’s, ‘Well, they got a lot of guys who were let go by their previous teams (who had) something to prove, but eventually that’s going to come back at them.’ Never happened. So why should we say it’s going to happen right now? They got home-ice advantage, they got a terrific goaltender, they play like a team, they got an excellent coach, the home crowd is unbelievable – there’s no reason to believe this run can’t continue for a long time.”

Game 2 is Friday at 10 p.m. ET.