When time came for the Vegas Golden Knights to lace up their skates for the first time this season, there were plenty of skepticism around the league as to how they would perform. Now, off the heels of their first ever home game, the Knights are a perfect 3-0-0, the only expansion team in league history to have this start.
With the way the Arizona Coyotes have performed in their existence, it only seemed to confirm that hockey does not belong in the desert. Here we are again with another team in one of the hottest locations in the United States. Not only is there a professional hockey team in Las Vegas, there is a team playing in a packed stadium. Season tickets for the Golden Knights were quick to sell out, and so far, fans have had much to cheer about.
They owe a lot of their success to key players picked up in the expansion draft. Mainly, Marc-André Fleury, a three-time Stanly Cup champion goaltender picked up from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Fleury knew coming into the organization he would have to be the glue that held Vegas together while the team developed.
Vegas started off at a cautious pace, picking up a 2-1 over the Dallas Stars to open the season. They followed that up with a 2-1 overtime win against their desert rivals, the Arizona Coyotes. James Neal scored both goals against Dallas, and netted the OT winner against Arizona to propel Vegas to 2-0-0.
When the Knights returned home, the atmosphere in the T-Mobile Arena was like that of a playoff setting. Feeding off the noise and energy, the Knights put up four goals in the first period. Capping the night off with a 5-2 win as their home debut, Las Vegas has shown the league that they belong.
No one expected Vegas to even open the season with a win against a revamped Dallas squad, let alone go undefeated through three games. The players now wait for the Detroit Red Wings (2-1-0) to come to town on Friday. They show no signs of slowing down, in fact, they are gaining momentum as the season gets into full swing. It’s safe to say, the casinos and shows will not be the only source of entertainment that night.
Sitting at 3780 S Las Vegas Blvd, the T-Mobile Arena can expect to have its seats filled by lifelong residents, and visitors alike. Not only is hockey a novelty there, but their team is good. Of course, it is too early to say where they will end up in April, but right now the Knights are showing us they belong at the top.
They say you should not bet against a streak. At the same time, in hockey, no one stays unbeaten forever. However, Friday does not look to be where the streak dies however. Vegas should still be riding high on the early momentum they have gained this season. Now that they have a taste of what home ice feels like, you can expect another high energy performance.