77°F
weather icon Clear

History clear as Knights trail Stanley Cup Final 3-1: Good luck

Updated June 4, 2018 - 10:24 pm

WASHINGTON — So, yeah, the T-shirt slogan just took on a completely different challenge.

They say, “Create History,” and are worn by Golden Knights players, who find themselves in the sort of predicament that is perhaps too high a mountain to scale, even in a season full of incomprehensible ascents.

History is fairly clear on what happens to teams trailing 3-1 in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final series, a reality for Vegas after dropping its third straight game to the Capitals.

The final on Monday in Game 4 was 6-2 at Capital One Arena, where Vegas just might have played its best game of this final and still came up far too short.

Think about that. The Knights competed almost exactly as they needed to and still trailed 4-0 after two periods before losing, which says as much about how good the Capitals have performed than anything.

A difficult hike back?

Teams with a 3-1 lead have won the Cup 31 straight times.

The last time a team rallied from such a deficit was 1942, when the United States made its first air raid attack on the Japanese in World War II, a gallon of gas was 15 cents and Glenn Miller and his orchestra were dominating the music charts.

So, yeah, the T-shirt just became Everest, a climb that continues with Game 5 on Thursday night at T-Mobile Arena.

When things really become must-win for Vegas.

“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves,” said Knights forward James Neal. “It’s do-or-die for us, so we have to go find a way to put pucks in the back of the net and play the same way we did in this game.”

You can talk about lucky and unlucky bounces, about hitting posts at one end and scoring off the aid of a blocker at the other, about calls that were made and missed, about any sort of rationalization you desire to explain how the Knights are one game from elimination.

None of it means more than this: Washington is just better right now.

At everything.

It’s blocking more shots, getting better goaltending and coaching, scoring on its power play, killing those penalties against it. It has since losing Game 1 totally grabbed hold of the series and dictated the past three outcomes.

Four games in, it’s just better, is all.

“We’ve been in this position before, where people don’t believe we can do something that we end up doing,” said Knights forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. “We played our system better this game. We worked hard. Shots didn’t go in. But we also can’t win three games in one night, so the only thing we are thinking about is the next one.

“Just one game. Win that and then worry about the next.”

Daunting task

It would make for the ultimate conclusion to a season no one in their right minds predicted, should the Knights somehow do what only the Maple Leafs have accomplished in a final, rallying from three games down to beat the Red Wings some 76 years ago.

Wouldn’t that be the most unforeseeable of endings?

Wouldn’t it be, given where this journey began, the most poignant of final chapters?

It’s also true that Washington hasn’t won the Cup, and as an organization has blown more playoff series than any team when up three games, including the most recent example in 2015 against the Rangers in the second round.

So there is a different type of history working here.

“We understand those are footnotes, but we also realize this (specific) team hasn’t been to a final before and we want to write our own story,” said Capitals forward T.J. Oshie. “We haven’t dwelled on the past. We don’t even dwell on the previous game, let alone what has happened years ago.

“There has been a lot of heartbreak here. We know that. But we’re just going to keep working and trying to do something pretty cool.”

The Knights are just trying to stay alive and breathing.

We are gathered here today to honor the memory of a magical season from an NHL expansion team …

Too soon?

Maybe.

But history is fairly clear: While it might not be time for any Amens to conclude a season’s eulogy, it wouldn’t be inappropriate for folks to begin filling in the pews.

Create History has never appeared so daunting a task.

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact columnist Ed Graney at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Golden Knights Videos
Vegas Golden Knights President Kerry Bubolz on the Golden Edge Podcast
Review-Journal reporters Ben Gotz and David Schoen talk with Golden Knights president Kerry Bubolz about his experiences with LeBron James, the team's new initiatives, a possible MLS expansion team and more.
George McPhee Conference Call on Nikita Gusev trade - VIDEO
Golden Knights President of Operations George McPhee answers questions on a conference call about the teams most recent trade of Nikita Gusev to the New Jersey Devils.
Vegas Golden Knight's Deryk Engelland Happy to Re-Sign - Video
Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland is happy to stay in Las Vegas after signing a one-year deal with the team.
Golden Aces hold Tryouts For 2019-2020 Season - Video
The Golden Aces hold tryouts for the 2019-2020 season for the Golden Knights.
Golden Knight's owner Bill Foley's House for sale in The Ridges - Real Estate Millions
Vegas Golden Knights, Fleury Make Day for Critically Ill Teenager in ESPN “My Wish” - Video
A 13-year-old Las Vegas boy who has faced Hodgkin’s lymphoma is treated to a special day by the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights in a new ESPN “My Wish” Series feature debuting Wednesday, July 17, on SportsCenter. In the feature, Doron Coldwell spends a day with the team and even gets an opportunity to replace his favorite player, three-time Stanley Cup winner Marc-Andre Fleury, in the net.
Golden Knights Sell "Battle Worn Armor" To Season Ticket Holders - Video
The Golden Knights sell their "battle worn" apparel throughout both of the teams seasons including pucks, sticks, helmets and skates.
Summerlin 4th of July Parade - VIDEO
On July 4th Summerlin will be hosting the 25th annual Summerlin Council Patriotic Parade, an event that has grown massively over the years
Golden Knights McPhee talks on the first day of NHL free agency - VIDEO
Golden Knights incoming president of operations George McPhee addresses the media as free agency starts.
Golden Knights Trade Colin Miller as Development Camp ends - VIDEO
George McPhee speaks to the media following the end of the Golden Knights development camp.
Golden Knights Development Camp Day 4 - VIDEO
Nic Hague stands out at day 4 of Golden Knights development camp.
Golden Knights Hold First Scrimmage of Development Camp - Video
The first of three scrimmages was held at the 2019 Golden Knights Development Camp. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writers Adam Hill and David Schoen discuss what stood out to them.
Golden Knights George McPhee Discusses Erik Haula Trade - Video
A day after it was announced that Erik Haula had been traded to the Carolina Hurricanes, incoming President of Hockey Operations George McPhee spoke to the media discussing the move.
Golden Knights Trade Erik Haula - Video
The Golden Knights have traded Erik Haula to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for prospect Nicolas Roy. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writer Adam Hill discuss the trade.
Golden Knights Coaches Looking for Veterans to Step Up in Development Camp - Video
Day two of the 2019 Golden Knights Development Camp is in the books. Director of Player Development Wil Nichol says his staff is looking for the veterans of the camp to step up and be leaders to the younger guys, while at the same time doing their best to impress the coaching staff.
Golden Knights Draft Player with Strong Hockey Bloodlines - Video
The Golden Knights drafted Mason Primeau in the 5th round of the 2019 NHL Draft. Primeau is no stranger to professional hockey, both his dad (Wayne Primeau) and his uncle (Keith Primeau) played in the NHL.
Golden Knights Kelly McCrimmon Talks Development Camp - VIDEO
Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon talks about what he expects from everyone at development camp on their first day.
Golden Knights Dylan Coghlan On Veteran Experience - VIDEO
Golden Knights defenseman Dylan Coghlan talks about his veteran experience playing in Chicago and development camp.
Golden Knights President George McPhee talks about Williams Karlsson's 8 year deal
George McPhee presser highlights June 25, 2019.
Golden Knights Center William Karlsson speaks to media about 8 year contract
William Karlsson presser highlights June 25, 2019.
Golden Knights Development Camp at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada
For the third consecutive year, Vegas Golden Knights Development Camp participants participated in a special community event at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
2019 NHL Awards Highlight Video
The 2019 NHL Awards took place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Wednesday night. Though Vegas Golden Knights forward Mark Stone came close to winning the best defensive forward trophy, St. Louis Blues center Ryan O' Reilly took home the coveted Frank Selke Trophy. Jason Zucker, who was raised in Las Vegas and plays for the Minnesota Wild, accepted the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership and humanitarianism. Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov took home the NHL's MVP Award. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gary Bettman discusses NHL rule changes - VIDEO
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the media after Wednesday’s Board of Governor’s meeting.
Golden Knights' Mark Stone up for Selke Trophy
Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone is a finalist for the Selke Trophy. The award goes to the best defensive forward in the NHL. Stone led the league in takeaways last season with 122. His competition is St. Louis Blues center Ryan O'Reilly... And Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron. Stone will find out if he wins Wednesday at the NHL Awards.
Vegas Golden Knights announce preseason schedule
The Golden Knights announced their preseason schedule Tuesday, as well as the date of their rookie camp and training camp.
Mark Stone and Stanley Cup visit MGM Grand
Mark Stone took photos and signed autographs for Golden Knights fans at the MGM Grand on Sunday. The Stanley Cup also made its way into the MGM Grand Main Lobby. The most revered trophy in hockey is on display to celebrate the upcoming 2019 NHL awards at the Mandalay Bay Center on June 19th. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights, Raiders Unite for Charity Softball Game - Video Highlights
Golden Knights and Raiders players alike were more than excited to join together in a charity softball game to raise money for pediatric cancer. Players from both teams cannot wait for the Raiders to arrive in Las Vegas so more joint events can take place.
Golden Knights and Raiders Raise over $100K in Charity Softball Game - Video Highlights
In the first-ever Battle For Vegas Charity Softball Game, the Golden Knights and Raiders raised $136,000 for the Tyler Robinson Foundation. At the end of the nights, it was the Raiders that raised the Battle For Vegas trophy, after beating the Golden Knights 20-16. Take a look at some of the highlights from the game!
Golden Knights' Reilly Smith Ready to Battle for Vegas - Video
Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith is ready to Battle For Vegas in a charity softball game that will feature various celebrity athletes, including teammates Jonathan Marchessault, Ryan Reaves and Erik Haula. Smith's team will face off against former Raider Marcus Allen and his teammates, including Vontaze Burfict, Josh Jacobs and Maurice Hurst. The charity softball game is set to take place on Saturday, June 15th at the Las Vegas Ballpark.
Golden Knights Will Have a New Home in Henderson - Video
The Golden Knights are saying goodbye to the Henderson Convention Center and hello to the team's new hockey facility that will be located in the second largest city in Nevada. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights and Henderson make deal on new facility - VIDEO
Henderson City Council unanimously approved a lease agreement with the Vegas Golden Knights to build and operate an indoor ice hockey facility in downtown Henderson, Tuesday evening. ( Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
‘Helmetgate’ is sort of drama Raiders get with Antonio Brown

How can a guy like the Pro Bowl wide receiver, who works so hard on his craft — more committed and diligent and driven than anyone, says head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr — also be so contentious about something like which helmet he wears?

Don Banks, giant of NFL writers, gone too soon

Banks died in his sleep early Sunday morning at the age of 57, alone in a hotel room in Canton, Ohio, having attended the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies and earlier filing his first story for the Review-Journal.

 
Raiders hoping Trent Brown lives up to massive paycheck

A Super Bowl champion with the Patriots last season and then made the highest paid offensive lineman in NFL history by the Raiders, Brown at right tackle will be among those protecting quarterback Derek Carr.