Maxime Lagace doesn’t need to be reminded he’s on the biggest stage in hockey.
The Golden Knights’ goaltender had a podium Sunday at the NHL’s Media Day at T-Mobile Arena. And Marc-Andre Fleury’s backup thought it was pretty cool to even be here on the eve of the Stanley Cup Final.
“It’s different for sure,” said Lagace, who will dress for for Game 1 while Malcolm Subban continues to rehab from an undisclosed injury suffered in practice during the Western Conference Final. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.”
A couple of weeks ago, Lagace was in goal for the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves in a triple-overtime Calder Cup playoff game trying to stave off elimination. Now, he’s with Fleury every day, learning and listening.
“Flower’s been great,” Lagace said. “He’s helped me relax and enjoy everything, and I wish him all the success in the world.”
Coach Gerard Gallant said Subban could return later in the series but he’s definitely out for Game 1 and probably Game 2 Wednesday.
“He’s rehabbing his injury, so we’ll see what kind of progress he makes,” Gallant said of Subban, who has not played in the postseason and last played in a game April 7 against Calgary replacing Fleury in the second period of a 7-1 loss to the Flames.
Media Day brings with it some hi-jinks, though not quite on the level of the Super Bowl.
There were no reporters dressed as brides asking William Karlsson to marry them. But players from the Knights and Capitals decided to serve as television “reporters” and ask funny questions of their teammates.
Ryan Reaves served in that role for the Knights, asking Erik Haula about his favorite nickname (Famer) and Luca Sbisa if “The Simpsons” idea of time travel was something he believed in (he said yes).
Andre Burakovsky was the Capitals’ “reporter,” asking goaltender Braden Holtby about who had the worst beard on the team. To no one’s surprise, Holtby told Burakovsky that his ranked near the bottom.
Hoping to regain touch
David Perron has yet to score in the postseason, but the left wing does have seven assists since returning to the lineup for Game 3 of the opening round against Los Angeles.
“I’m going to keep working hard and do what I do to make some plays and help the team,” Perron said. “We’re playing well as a team right now, so you hope to make the most of your opportunities.”
Perron said he struggled a bit in the first round but thought he played better in the second round. Then he got sick during the conference final and he’s still trying to get his timing back.
“Probably a little,” he said. “But I’m working every day and feel like I’m ready (for the final).”
Ticket requests done
For the Stanley Cup Final, each player and coach gets four tickets to the home games. Road games must be purchased through the team in an allotment it receives from the NHL.
Most of the requests were handled last week after the Knights clinched their spot.
“It’s an exciting time for the families,” Gallant said. “Sometimes you have to say no to people but they understand. A lot of them will be happy just to watch on TV from home.”