“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” might be true in many respects, but where the Vegas Golden Knights are concerned, nothing could be further than the truth. As the U.S., Canada, and the world follow the implausible story from which legends are born, songs are sung, and movies are made, we here in Sin City continue to be amazed with our team’s “impossible” success in a city where “hockey will never work.”
How would you naysayers like your crow?
It’s been unreal following the Golden Knights from inception through the playoffs. Now they are in the Stanley Cup Finals and have won Game 1 thanks to a late goal by Tomas Nosek (who, incidentally, tapped in an empty net goal as extra insurance in the final seconds of the game.) Everyone stepped it up. In their 6-4 victory, goals were also scored by Colin Miller, William Karlsson, Reilly Smith, and Ryan Reaves. Interestingly, league goal leader Alex Ovechkin scored nary a goal in this first game as the incredible defense of Nate Schmidt, Brayden McNabb, et al. took away his scoring opportunities much like they did against Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine, the league’s number two goal scorer, in the previous round. Of course, however, Karlsson, the league’s third-place goal scorer was not to be deterred. And let’s not forget the sublime Marc-Andre Fleury who leads the league in postseason wins this year, as well as placing third in goals against average and save percentage during these playoffs.
I went to my local Albertsons this morning and it was unreal the number of people—employees and customers—who were decked out in Golden Knights gear. Of particular interest were how brand spanking new many of these new fans’ shirts and hats looked. One lady even had the tag still attached to her new Western Conference Champions t-shirt (of course, I discretely told her for which she thanked me profusely.)
I, on the other hand, was not wearing my gear; however, when I took my Golden Knights wallet out to pay, it attracted attention from my team-clad cashier and the woman in line behind me. Of course, I then had to show them my Golden Knights cell phone case, keychain, and pictures of my Golden Knights floor mats, and hockey puck gear shift. I then mentioned I was considering a tattoo, and this was met with incredulous “oohs” and “aahs.”
It’s such an awesome (for want of a better word) experience seeing an entire city bonding together over a sports team. In recent months, there has been considerable backlash against some leagues, teams, and players for certain activities (of particular note the NFL anthem kneeling “protests” and conservative backlash as a result.) However, in Sin City, our “Cinderella” team of ragtag “throwaways” has truly united us all. And it is glorious to see and be part of.
For those of you unfamiliar with Latin, the title translates as “One for all, all for one.”
Photo credit: USA Today
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” ~ Michael Jordan