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Vegas dominates en route to 1st Stanley Cup 2023

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Best Knight ever: Vegas dominates en route to 1st Stanley Cup




LAS VEGAS -- When the Vegas Golden Knights entered the NHL in 2017 as an expansion team, their owner Bill Foley said his plan was to win the Stanley Cup in six years.


That prophesy was emphatically fulfilled on Tuesday night in Las Vegas, as the Golden Knights blew out the Florida Panthers 9-3 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final to win their series, 4-1, and capture the first championship in franchise history.


Captain Mark Stone authored a hat trick and Jack Eichel had three assists in the win. Goaltender Adin Hill outplayed Florida's Sergei Bobrovsky, making 31 saves in the win.

The six-goal margin of victory was the largest of the series, surpassing Vegas' 7-2 win in Game 2.


The Panthers, who were seeking their first Stanley Cup win, saw their remarkable playoff run from lowest seed in the Eastern Conference to the final round end in frustrating defeat. Florida was without a key contributor to that run in Game 5: star forward Matthew Tkachuk, who leads the Panthers in goals (11) and points (24). He was limited in their Game 4 loss by an upper body injury and wasn't healthy enough to play in Game 5 -- a critical blow to the Panthers' chances to rally in the series.


The Golden Knights were rolling from the moment the puck dropped.


Hill was particularly sharp in the first period, with point blank saves on Anton Lundell and Aleksander Barkov. The latter save on the power play preceded the Golden Knights' first goal. A turnover by Sam Bennett sprung Knights captain Mark Stone on a 2-on-1 with Chandler Stevenson.


Stone patiently waited until defenseman Brandon Montour slid out of position and stopped in front of the crease. He snapped into the top corner of the net for a shorthanded goal and a 1-0 lead at 11:52.

The Knights made it 2-0 just 1:49 later. Center Jack Eichel flew into the attacking zone and put a backhand shot off of goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who lost his stick. A scramble ensued in the crease until defenseman Nicholas Hague slid the puck into the net at 13:41.


The referee's whistle blew before the puck was put over the goal line. However, the NHL confirmed to ESPN that the goal was allowed under the "culmination of a continuous play" rule, as the puck was in motion towards the goal line when the whistle sounded.


The first period ended with the Knights up 2-0. Florida struck back just 2:15 into the second period. Forward Nick Cousin stripped Knights winger Ivan Barbashev of the puck and passed it back to defenseman Aaron Ekblad, whose shot from the blueline found its way past Hill. It was Ekblad's second of the playoffs.


But the Knights pulled away later in the second period with two goals just 1:45 apart. Their top line completed a long shift with a pass from Eichel to defenseman Alec Martinez, who fired the puck past Bobrovsky for his second goal of the playoffs.


Martinez is no stranger to Stanley Cup Final Game 5 heroics: His double-overtime goal in 2014 won the Stanley Cup for the Los Angeles Kings.


Reilly Smith scored his fourth goal of the playoffs at 12:13 to make it 4-1. The onslaught was on. Stone scored again, on a stoppable shot for Bobrovsky, at 17:15. Then the real dagger: Michael Amadio scored with 1.2 seconds remaining in the period on a delayed penalty against Florida to extend the lead to 6-1.


The Knights made it 7-1 with 11:38 left in the third period, as another Eichel backhand shot rebounded off of Bobrovsky and Barbashev put it home.

The Panthers cut the lead to 7-2 just 25 seconds later on a goal by Sam Reinhart. Another Panthers goal by Sam Bennett made it 7-3, but it was too little, too late. Stone completed his hat trick with an empty net goal with 5:54 left in the game to make it 8-3.


It was the first hat trick in the Stanley Cup Final since Colorado Avalanche star Peter Forsberg had one in Game 2 of 1996 -- against the Florida Panthers.


The Knights celebrated at the final buzzer as the gold-clad Vegas fans cheered wildly. They previously made the Stanley Cup Final in 2018 during their inaugural season and over time have turned this new NHL market into one of the league's hottest fan bases.


A few fans raised signs that read: "We've Been Waiting 6 Long Years For This."

Edited by Brewin Flames
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Golden Knights thrash Panthers in Game 5 to win first ever Stanley Cup

TSN.ca Staff

For the first time ever, the Vegas Golden Knights are on top of the hockey world. And just like the city they're from, they did it in style.


In just their sixth season since entering the NHL, Vegas brushed aside the Florida Panthers 9-3 on home ice Tuesday night to win the Stanley Cup in front of their home fans by a series score of 4-1.


Mark Stone had three goals -- including the opening score of the night -- and Jack Eichel tallied three assists as the Knights closed out the series in lopsided fashion.


After Stone got things started, Nicolas Hague doubled Vegas' lead by jamming a loose puck past Sergei Bobrovsky on a scrum in front of the net. The Florida netminder attempted to cover the puck and protested after the goal was counted on the ice, and officials upheld the decision after a short discussion.


Aaron Ekblad got one back for the Panthers near the start of the second period, beating a screened Adin Hill with a wrist shot from the point. 


But like they have all postseason, Vegas answered in a big way, scoring two goals in the middle of the period and two more toward the end as they look a commanding 6-1 lead into the third. Stone netted a hat trick on an empty-netter after the Panthers pulled their goalie. 


Hill made 30 stops in the victory, while Bobrovsky struggled, turning away 22-of-29 shots he faced.


The championship comes less than seven years after an expansion bid was approved by league owners, putting the NHL's 31st team in Las Vegas and giving the city its first major North American men's professional sports team. The Knights began play in the 2017-18 season and burst on the scene with 109 points during the regular season, reaching the Stanley Cup Final.


But it wasn't meant to be as the Washington Capitals defeated the Knights in five games, giving Alex Ovechkin his first career Stanley Cup.


Now, just over five years later, the Golden Knights are celebrating a first Cup of their own.

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The Vegas Golden Knights have defeated the Florida Panthers in decisive fashion to win the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup.

It's a remarkable achievement for an organization that didn't exist a decade ago. With six of their original "Golden Misfits" still on the roster, the Golden Knights built a staggeringly deep team in a very short period of time, acquiring the likes of Alex Pietrangelo, Mark Stone, and Jack Eichel to complement a truly outstanding supporting cast at each position group with some serious star power.


Stone got the festivities started early on with one of the nicer shorthanded tallies you'll ever see. With the Golden Knights attempting to hold off a buzzing Panthers power play, Stone managed to corral the puck at his own blueline and barrel up the ice, creating a two-on-one the other way. Despite having another forward with him, Stone displayed a level of patience that few would ever be capable of when faced with such a moment, waiting until a sliding Brandon Montour was completely out of the way before rifling it past Sergei Bobrovsky to open the scoring. 


After a disappointing opening frame, the Panthers had life. 

And then Alec Martinez took it away. 


Almost immediately after Ekblad's goal, the Golden Knights began an onslaught on the Panthers' net, controlling the game for minutes at a time and launching attack after attack that Florida's defenders simply had no answer for. When you play with fire, you're going to get burned. And Martinez lit quite the fuse, taking a feed from Jack Eichel at the right circle to beat Bobrovsky and restore the lead to two. 

Then, the floodgates opened. 


Vegas wasted no time continuing their decimation of Florida's defense, setting up shop right back in the offensive zone and pelting Bobrovsky with pucks at an unprecedented rate. As the levies began to bend with pressure, the Panthers found themselves simply unable to clear their own zone, allowing Vegas to cause a frenzy in front of the net that resulted in Reilly Smith, one of the original gang of misfits, breaking free and firing the puck into an open net. 


With a towering lead, Golden Knights simply cruised through the third period, needing only to quell some last-ditch attempts at redemption by the Panthers that were all ultimately for naught. Sam Reinhart and Carter Verhaeghe managed to counter Ivan Barbashev's 7-1 goal before the final buzzer sounded to pull his club back within four, but that's precisely where they would stay. That is, until Stone's empty-netter sealed the victory and the captain's hat trick, and Nicolas Roy added one final dagger in the final two minutes to make it 9-3. 

As the clock ran out, the packed building exploded in joy, as the Vegas Golden Knights staked their claim as champions of the world. 

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Congratulations to the Knights.
They have been in and around the playoffs since their inception, and coming very close before to winning it all....finally doing so tonight and in grand fashion as well!

Whatever red hot fire the Panthers had, whatever super power they held over the Bruins, Leafs, and Canes to get here must have simply run out as they had almost zero answers for Vegas.

I know Vegas has their detractors....what with how they entered the league, having LOTS of advantages not only as a Year 1 expansion team, but immune to the Seattle expansion raid also....AND of course, people will point to the ol IR thing, circumvention, and all that other nonsense, but the bottom line is, the Knights were simply the deeper, better overall team than the Jets, Oilers, Stars, and tonight, the Panthers during these playoffs....and, they were the best team in the West all season long.

George McPhee took what was given to him, and made the absolute most of it in terms of players, expansion, and playoff rulesets.
Any team's GM...ANY ONE of them, would do the same if given the chance...and their respective fanbase would expect no less.


So....now that the Knights have achieved their goal, do they go 'soft' a bit and not go as 'all out' to try and string together Cup wins in the coming seasons?
They've got a number of UFA/RFA players to look at, as well as soon to be UFA's.

I will be interested in how they handle business from here on out.

But for now, they are the NHL Champions and the work they put in to achieve that cannot be discounted.

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7 minutes ago, NHL HHOF said:

Gary Bettman didn't get booed by the Vegas fans!


Nor should he.
Not on this occasion anyways.
He allowed for Vegas to have every chance to win since they came into the league, and McPhee and company finally put it all together, and won.

I'd call "idiots" if fans DID boo him in Vegas! 😄

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01. 1984 - Grant Fuhr (Edmonton Oilers)
02. 1985 - Grant Fuhr (Edmonton Oilers)
03. 1987 - Grant Fuhr (Edmonton Oilers)
04. 1988 - Grant Fuhr (Edmonton Oilers)
05. 1990 - Grant Fuhr (Edmonton Oilers)
06. 1990 - Eldon Reddick (Edmonton Oilers)
07. 2010 - Dustin Byfuglien (Chicago Blackhawks)
08. 2013 - Ray Emery (Chicago Blackhawks)
09. 2013 - Jamal Mayers (Chicago Blackhawks)
10. 2013 - Johnny Oduya (Chicago Blackhawks)
11. 2015 - Johnny Oduya (Chicago Blackhawks)
12. 2016 - Trevor Daley (Pittsburgh Penguins)
13. 2017 - Trevor Daley (Pittsburgh Penguins)
14. 2018 - Devante Smith-Pelly (Washington Capitals)
15. 2018 - Madison Bowey (Washington Capitals)
16. 2023 - Keegan Kolesar (Vegas Golden Knights)

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Who are the haters?


I mean sure, we all hate the Flyers upper management. We hate what Clarke and Holmgren have done to this once proud franchise. We hate that they hired the worst manager in sports history just because he's the son of a buddy. We hate that he made some of the dumbest trades and stupidest signings in NHL history. We hate that he built the team around a slow lazy slug and his buddies. We hate that it took fans up in arms before they finally fired his sorry arse. We hate that they STILL use "used to play for the Flyers" as the most important quality when hiring, even though it's NEVER worked.


So ya, there's plenty left to say. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, LasVegasTed said:

Game 5.  9-3. Don’t think there’s much else left to say. 



Welcome to the site....


No haters here, but i am sure there are plenty out there.




Hopefully, you are here for some real hockey discussion, but tonight you may celebrate.

Edited by Brewin Flames
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Vegas' Jack Eichel: Wasn't sure I'd ever win Stanley Cup

  • wyshynski_greg.png&h=80&w=80&scale=crop
    Greg Wyshynski, ESPNJun 14, 2023, 03:30 AM ET

LAS VEGAS -- Jack Eichel admitted there were times he had lost hope.


The Vegas Golden Knights star didn't make the playoffs for the first seven years of his career. He was often injured and maligned during his time with the Buffalo Sabres -- drafted second overall in 2015 as a franchise savior, but unable to save the franchise. His first season with Vegas was also the first time it missed the playoffs.


Was it him?

"I think it's only human nature to have some doubt creep in when you don't make it to playoffs for an extended period of time," Eichel said. "You're wondering if it will ever happen. So many people go through their whole career without having the opportunity to hoist the Stanley Cup. It's the hardest thing in the world [to win]."


When the final horn sounded Tuesday night to end Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, a 9-3 rout of the Florida Panthers, Eichel skated with his arms extended into a pile of teammates. The doubts were gone. There was only one thing running through his mind.

"We did it. We're Stanley Cup champions, man," Eichel said after Vegas captured its first championship in the franchise's six-year history. "I'm just so proud of our group and so happy to be a part of this organization and this city, with these fans. I feel really fortunate and blessed."

Eichel spent six seasons with the Sabres, scoring 355 points in 375 games, but was unable to return Buffalo to the postseason. He was criticized as a one-dimensional offensive player and someone that hadn't lived up to his eight-year, $80 million contract that he signed in 2017. But the Sabres were unable to build around Eichel, who had five head coaches and three general managers during his tenure.

Sensing the Sabres were entering another rebuild, he asked for a trade in 2020. But one didn't materialize.


Eichel and the Sabres finally hit their breaking point when the center suffered a herniated disk in his neck in March 2021. Buffalo management preferred that Eichel undergo fusion surgery. Eichel and his team wanted him to have an artificial disk replacement surgery, which had never been performed on an NHL player to that point. Under NHL collective bargaining agreement rules, teams have the final say on how to treat injuries.


In November 2021, Eichel was traded to the Golden Knights, who allowed him to have his preferred surgery. He was limited to 34 games last season due to injury recovery. Vegas missed the playoffs, making it seven seasons in a row Eichel missed the postseason.


That streak was finally broken in 2023.


"First playoff and first [Stanley Cup] win for him, right?" forward Jonathan Marchessault said. "That's a pretty good average."


Eichel and Marchessault were the Golden Knights' most dynamic duo during their Stanley Cup run. Eichel finished with 26 points (6 goals, 20 assists) to lead the playoffs. Marchessault had 13 goals, tied with Leon Draisaitl for most in the playoffs, along with 25 points.


"Honestly, ever since he came here, we were just a different team," said Marchessault, as he sat next to the Conn Smythe Trophy he won as playoff MVP. "He's a game-changer for the group. And this trophy could have definitely went to him. I could never have that without him."

Eichel elevated his play during this season, playing a 200-foot game where his defense was often as good as his offense. The Golden Knights credited new coach Bruce Cassidy with aiding in that transformation.

"I know it was a little tough for him in his previous spot," Cassidy said. "I couldn't be happier for him."


Cassidy said he had a relationship with Eichel before coming to Vegas, from his days in Boston. Eichel skated with the Bruins in the summer and Cassidy was friends with his skating coach. They met right away when Cassidy was hired by the Golden Knights. They talked about what the coach expected from his centermen and asked what Eichel needed from him.


"This was a fresh start for both of us," Cassidy said. "That's the way I looked at it. Let's see if we can do this together. Jack's been super from Day 1. There's been no pushback in terms of what the ask was. All he wants to do is win."

As Eichel stood on the ice after skating with the Stanley Cup, he was surrounded by loved ones, including his father, Bob.


"You get choked up seeing your family," he said. "They've been with you since the beginning, so you almost want to win it for them more than for you. You think about the s--- you've been through and they're by your side every day. It means a lot."

Eichel had three assists in Game 5, playing as large a role in their Cup-clinching game as anyone. On the biggest stage, in the biggest moment, Eichel made a difference.


"A superstar like that gets so much media attention. And he delivered," Marchessault said. "I'm so happy for him and proud of him."

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01. 24 – Montreal Canadiens
02. 11 – Toronto Maple Leafs
03. 11 – Detroit Red Wings
04. 6 – Boston Bruins
05. 6 – Chicago Black Hawks / Chicago Blackhawks
06. 5 – Pittsburgh Penguins
07. 5 – Edmonton Oilers
08. 4 – New York Rangers
09. 4 – New York Islanders
10. 3 – Colorado Avalanche
11. 3 – Tampa Bay Lightning
12. 3 – New Jersey Devils
13. 2 – Los Angeles Kings
14. 2 – Philadelphia Flyers
15. 1 – Vegas Golden Knights
16. 1 – St. Louis Blues
17. 1 – Washington Capitals
18. 1 – Anaheim Ducks
19. 1 – Carolina Hurricanes
20. 1 – Dallas Stars
21. 1 – Calgary Flames




01. Buffalo Sabres
02. Vancouver Canucks
03. Winnipeg Jets
04. San Jose Sharks
05. Ottawa Senators
06. Florida Panthers
07. Columbus Blue Jackets
08. Nashville Predators
09. Minnesota Wild
10. Arizona Coyotes
11. Seattle Kraken

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Vegas started celebrating with 20 seconds left. That's too much! Never happened before. Why didn't the Florida players attack and try to get more goals? It would have worked. That's what I would have done.

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I'm not sure why it's never happened before, or why i never noticed it...but, seemed like the Vegas players came over the bench very early to start the party.


Too many men on the ice...Fla goes on the PP.


Just another lame reason for panther fans to accuse the NHL of being rigged.



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