He once went an all-time NHL record of 332 minutes, 1 second without allowing a goal. So if there’s anybody qualified to talk about how red-hot playoff goalies can go tepid, it’s Brian Boucher.
Like leading scorer William Karlsson, Vegas Golden Knights’ good-luck charm Stanley the ceramic rooster has become a successful reclamation project in the team’s quest for the Stanley Cup.
By now, you’ve probably seen the asterisk or the parentheses, which is how one TV graphic listed the 1967-68 St. Louis Blues in context with the Golden Knights and making it to the Stanley Cup Final as an expansion team.
It has been a quarter-century since a Canadian-based franchise has hoisted the Stanley Cup, which has become something of an issue north of the border.
It wasn’t exactly Joe Namath guaranteeing a victory at the Miami Touchdown Club three days before Super Bowl III. But when the Golden Knights’ Jonathan Marchessault spoke his mind before Game 2 of the Western Conference Final, the Golden Knights responded.
From 1993 to 1999, the Las Vegas Thunder shared the Thomas Mack Center with the UNLV basketball team, outdrew the Rebels at the turnstiles and showed that pro hockey not only could survive in the Las Vegas desert but also could flourish.
Heading into Game 7 of the Winnipeg-Nashville second-round series, the home teams have won 31 games in the NHL playoffs and the away teams have won 33.
It has been 28 years — 27 if you count the Rebels’ return to the Final Four in 1991 when they lost to Duke — since a local sports team has captivated and galvanized Las Vegas in the manner of the Golden Knights.