Vancouver Canucks: Who to cheer for in Stanley Cup Final

Vancouver Canucks: Who to cheer for in Stanley Cup Final

Kelly Kisio, a longtime executive for the WHL's Calgary Hitmen and now a professional scout for the Vegas Golden Knights, sometimes needs the distraction. And they turned out to be real good players.

"I don't think there was like a day or a game that made us think that we were it", Fleury said. "Maybe the neatest, most unique experience".

Summer heat hasn't quite settled onto Las Vegas yet, but the upcoming week looks like a scorcher.

The love affair between a city and its new team wasn't totally unexpected.

On the Washington Capitals' side, Griffins assistant and West Michigan native Mike Knuble played three of his final four seasons with the Caps.

"You know, we wanted to be good", McPhee said. "So we overreached on the ask, and that's the way it went".

"Route 91 was a very big negative, but our city turned it into a really big positive and I think the Golden Knights has been a really big part of that", Brad Sugars told KLAS-TV. Even Gallant was unceremoniously dumped from his last job, kicked off the team bus after being fired by the Florida Panthers. Now they cross again in the most unexpected of ways.

The long layoff will probably hurt Washington more in this spot because the Eastern Conference champs would have likely preferred to stay active and keep rolling.

The Knights then went 12-3 through the first three rounds of the post-season, brushing aside the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets with relative ease.

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"As a player chasing the Cup, the closest I got was the semifinals twice", said coach Gerard Gallant, referring to the 1987 and 1988 Detroit Red Wings. "It's definitely not one on one with people, but you see the fan support that we get is unbelievable".

Since entertaining those wistful visions, Engelland has played for 10 teams - including two in Las Vegas - in four leagues on two continents. He has appeared in six postseason games with one goal. Alex Tuch was watching the son of an assistant coach play, but a lot of other people at the ballpark were watching him.

Golden Knights general manager George McPhee also stocked up on picks and added a few key pieces in trades, agreeing to either select or steer clear of certain guys in the expansion draft in exchange for pot-sweeteners.

Indeed, a first-time NHL champ will be crowned next month after a Final between two teams that arrived at hockey's ultimate destination from very different directions. For others, it began when Foley announced the team would be called the Golden Knights and started selling season tickets. A watch party for Game 3 will take place Saturday at Toshiba Plaza and a watch party for Game 4 will take place at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center on June 4.

Benefiting from the most favourable expansion rules in NHL history, hockey fans have come out of the woodwork to proclaim the Knights' success was a foregone conclusion.

England's speech was short, his message poignant.

Capitals: Braden Holtby did not start the first two games of the playoffs but is 12-6 with a 2.04 goals-against average and.924 save percentage since replacing Philipp Grubauer. When the Capitals were an expansion team in 1974-75 they were the worst team in National Hockey League history.

And when you're paying that much, you expect more in return.

In a city that values winners, it helps that the team McPhee put together is a big victor.

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