NHL: Vegas Golden Knights’ fairytale debut season continues

The ‘expansion’ team looks to make history in the 2018 Stanley Cup final

Vegas Golden Knights NHL Stanley Cup final 2018
Vegas Golden Knights players celebrate with the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl after beating the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 in game five of the Western Conference Finals
(Image credit: Jason Halstead/Getty Images)

The Vegas Golden Knights have secured a place in the Stanley Cup final in their National Hockey League (NHL) debut season.

The ‘expansion’ team will play the Washington Capitals or Tampa Bay Lightning after winning the Western Conference final yesterday. The Knights progressed to the Stanley Cup final with an overall 4-1 victory against the Winnipeg Jets in the best-of-seven Western Conference series.

After becoming Las Vegas’s first major professional sports team, the Golden Knights are “on the verge of history”, says the BBC. They are the first expansion team in 50 years to progress to the Stanley Cup final in their inaugural season. Toronto Arenas (1918) and St Louis Blues (1968) also reached the finals in their first year.

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On getting to the final, Vegas general manager George McPhee said he just wanted the team to enjoy their Western Conference success. He said: “I don’t even want to deal with that [the Stanley Cup final]. I want to enjoy what this team has done and we’ll get that in about a day or so.

“I just know that this felt really good tonight. We are in the Stanley Cup final. It’s pretty nice. I’ve had a chance to be there before and I’d really like to win it this time.”

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All hail the ‘Golden misfits’

Describing the achievement as “the unthinkable”, USA Today heaped praise on the Golden Knights and said if they beat the Washington Capitals or Tampa Bay Lightning, they would considered “one of the most unlikely champions in sports history”.

USA Today’s Kevin Allen said: “In a city where Frank Sinatra crooned, the Rat Pack roamed, Sugar Ray Leonard fought and Liberace headlined, the Golden Knights are proving to be one of the most celebrated acts in Las Vegas history.”

ESPN’s Emily Kaplan also hailed the “Golden misfits” - the team’s nickname for themselves - for extending their “improbable run”. Winger Ryan Reaves told ESPN: “We call ourselves the Golden Misfits for a reason. We’ve proven everyone else wrong all season.”

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‘Best story in sports history!’

We look at the reaction on Twitter to the Golden Knights’s NHL fairytale:

‘Little expansion team who could’.

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Forget ‘Rudy’ or ‘Remember The Titans’...

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‘When I was a kid…’

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Will more history be made?

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Expansion success.

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‘One of the best NHL stories of all time’.

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What a difference a year makes.

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A real sporting fairytale.

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