Several NHL teams have gotten off to quick starts in the
2017/18 NHL season, but the most surprising of all is the Las Vegas Golden
Knights. This is the club's inaugural campaign and the roster was filled
earlier this year via an expansion draft. The squad basically contains numerous
unknown young players with goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and forward James Neal
being the only ones who could be considered NHL stars. However, the Golden
Knights have jumped right out of the gate with a 4-1 record after their first
But as luck would have it, they'll now be severely tested as
Fleury has been placed on the team's injured list with a concussion along with
forward Jonathan Marchessault and it's unclear how long the pair will be out of
the lineup. This meant 23-year-old rookie Malcolm Subban faced the Boston
Bruins at home in the Knights' fifth game of the season on October 15tyh and
promptly beat his old team 3-1. Subban had been placed on waivers by the Bruins
just a week earlier and Vegas snatched him up.
With Subban joining the Golden Knights, Vegas then traded
goaltender Calvin Pickard to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Swedish forward Tobias
Lindberg and a sixth-round draft pick in 2018. The quick start saw the golden
Knights sitting in second place in the Pacific Division on October 16th,
just one point behind the Los Angeles Kings. Vegas's only loss of the season
was a 6-3 setback at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings on October 13th
with their wins coming against the Dallas Stars (2-1), the Arizona Coyotes (2-1
and 5-2) and the 3-1 triumph over the Bruins.
The 30-year-old Neal has definitely been the offensive spark
plug for the Golden Knights with six of the team's goals in his first five
games, including three game winners. Nate Schmidt, Brendan Leipsic, David
Perron and Luca Sbisa had also been helping out with three points each. It's
doubtful that the new Las Vegas team will be able to keep up its hot pace
though, especially if Fleury is out of action for an extended period of time.
Subban's win over the Bruins was just his third NHL start and Maxime Legace has
been called up from Chicago of the American Hockey League to help out in net.
Vegas fans are definitely enjoying things at the moment
though as their team is off to the best start in NHL history for an expansion
franchise. The team uses an aggressive forechecking approach and so far it's
paid off as they've been taking their opponents by surprise with their speed,
hard work and scoring prowess. After the sickening shooting attack in Las Vegas
recently, the club is certainly the feel-good story of the young NHL season and
is gaining new fans by the day. And deservedly so.
Labels: Ian Palmer