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Former Knights coach soaks up Game 7 win: ‘I am going to enjoy it’

Updated May 6, 2024 - 3:09 pm

DALLAS — The news conferences were running long Sunday night when Pete DeBoer entered a media room in American Airlines Center and sat down.

“Took awhile,” DeBoer said. “I’ve already had two, three beers, I think.”

Oh, there was some celebrating going on from the Dallas side of things.

Be sure of that.

DeBoer, the former Golden Knights coach now in charge of the Stars, had just watched his team win a Game 7 in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Dallas beat the Knights 2-1 to eliminate the defending champions.

Last year, it was the Knights sending the Stars on vacation in the Western Conference Final.

This year, it was top-seeded Dallas moving on.

An emotional time

“It’s obviously emotional,” DeBoer said. “So many emotions going back to last year and losing, the mixed emotions. There are so many great people over there that I worked with. I have great affection for them, and we were happy for them to win, but we really wanted to win this series.

“We wanted our turn. We did all the right things all year to get the first seed, and then you draw a team like Vegas, which I honestly think has a deeper team than last year. To plow through the adversity of being down 2-0 in (the series) — there is a lot there to unpack.”

DeBoer was fired by the Knights in May 2022 after the team missed the playoffs for the only time since entering the league in 2017. But he also went 98-50-12 in three seasons and saw the team lose 500 man games to injury his final season.

He is 8-0 in Game 7s as a coach, and four of those have involved the Knights. He was San Jose’s coach when an infamous major penalty call on center Cody Eakin sparked a Sharks rally in 2019. He coached the Knights to a win over Vancouver in the 2020 bubble and a victory against Minnesota in 2021. Now he’s earned another Game 7 victory on the opposing bench.

“I’ll own (8-0) and roll with it until it stops,” DeBoer said. “My explanation is a lot of great players, a lot of good fortune, some bounces, some double overtime games in there, some bad penalty calls I’m sure the Vegas guys will remember. I’m fairly lucky, but I’ll take it. It’s a great thing to have.”

DeBoer was also asked about his team’s next opponent in the Colorado Avalanche. The series begins Tuesday in Dallas. He doesn’t appear to have much time to bask in his team’s victory. That won’t stop him from doing so.

“I am going to enjoy it,” DeBoer said. “I can get a lot done in 48 hours.”

Oh, there was some celebrating going on Sunday night.

Be sure of that.

Contact Ed Graney at egraney@reviewjournal.com. Follow @edgraney on X.

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