With Wednesday’s 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks, the Vegas Golden Knights became the first team to clinch a postseason berth in 2021.
Fuelled by an eight-game win streak, the Golden Knights have rocketed to the top of the NHL standings.
“I think it’s something our group and organization should be proud of,” said Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault. “Four straight years in the playoffs, that’s how you build a franchise.”
Make no mistake, this is not the plucky bunch that shocked the world during their inaugural season. That underdog story has completely washed away. This is a team with legitimate Stanley Cup aspirations and nothing less will be satisfactory.
The Golden Knights have one of the deepest rosters in the NHL. They have sacrificed a lot of assets to bring in players like Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty and Alex Pietrangelo.
Their meteoric rise to the top of the NHL still deserves all the praise in the world, but without a Stanley Cup it falls a little flat.
This is the best team the Golden Knights have ever had and their best opportunity to win it all. Competition is stiff, specifically with the dangerous Colorado Avalanche, but you have to beat the best to be the best.
The tentative date for the start of the NHL postseason is May 11.
Let’s see if the Golden Knights can pull it off.