NHL breakdown

There’s a lot going on in the National Hockey League right now; not the least of which is the Vegas Golden Knights historic start.

As October comes to a close so does only the first month of the NHL’s regular season, but the 31st expansion team in Las Vegas has made it as exciting as when the season ends in April. The Golden Knights are 8-2-0, the best start of any expansion team’s inaugural season through the NHL’s now 100 years. During the Washington Capital’s first season they won eight games total (1975-76), and the previous best start to a new team’s season was held between the Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings in 1967-68, who each needed 17 games to win eight. The Vegas Golden Knights not only won eight games in nine, but their last five were all in a row. Typically, teams experiencing their first season expect to lose a fair number of contests. The Knights were no different when the season started, understanding that everybody in the league would be considerably better than themselves. Or so everyone thought. This assumption has been all but abandoned as the Knights beat the Colorado Avalanche 7-0 on Oct. 27 for their eighth win.

Making the Vegas Golden Knights’ start all the more remarkable is their unfortunate situation between the pipes. Their starting goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury (3-time Stanley Cup Champion, back-to-back champion in 2016-17), was injured after just a few games, giving up his starts to Malcolm Subban. Subban had been traded from the Boston Bruins and never won an NHL game. Not only did he win his first on Oct. 15, he did so against his former team before an injury also sidelined him. Enter Oscar Dansk, a third-string goalie that not only continued to win games for the Knights, but recorded the Knights’ first ever shutout in their win against Colorado.

Next up on the Knights’ schedule is a six game road trip against a few of the league’s hottest right now. But the Knights are hot themselves and everybody is aware that underestimating this new team is a mistake to be paid for with a resounding L.