Where does the Golden Knights’ season rank among all-time best?

Updated May 27, 2018 - 10:02 pm

WARNING: The following has no definitive conclusion, an exercise that for years has frustrated and angered and pushed sports fans to their emotional brinks, more contentious than conversational, more obsessive than objective.

More lunacy than lucid.

There is no unified answer. There is no unanimous opinion.

Yeah.

We’re about to examine one of those greatest-ever lists.

Underdogs have forever played a major role in scripting some of history’s better storylines, and the Golden Knights this NHL season certainly qualify as a narrative of unforeseen achievement.

They open Monday against Washington in the Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena, and the fact an expansion team owns home ice advantage in the best-of-seven championship series just adds more annoyance for those who can’t fathom such a remarkable run from a first-year franchise.

I mean, the thought of it is driving some bonkers.

Canada is this close to proclaiming Monday a national day of mourning, and I’m pretty sure Winnipeg goaltender Connor Hellebuyck never admitted the Western Conference Final ended and has been showing up for morning skates this week.

But it allows us to evaluate one of those ultra-popular subjective arguments, ones that make for good water cooler banter and fill segments across sports radio.

It’s Michael vs. LeBron sort of stuff, sure to elicit personal feelings and tastes and judgments on both sides.

It’s just not possible for many to merely accept the Knights have earned a place among all-time astounding sports stories, that no matter which side of the fence you exist in terms of how much of an expansion draft advantage they received — and it was significant, for sure — winning the Pacific Division and going 12-3 in the playoffs to reach this final is in itself worthy of inclusion.

Some folks just always have to compare.

“You have to think we’re up there with the craziest things that could happen in sports,” said Knights defenseman Luca Sbisa. “People tell us they think a movie will be made about this. Look at the sports books. They made us 500-1 odds (to begin the season), and I’m sure they’re now all clinching their butts a little bit. But that’s why people love sports. Every now and then something like this happens, and it’s just nice to be part of it.”

Man, if they’re clinching at 500-1, what in the world were they doing at 5,000-1?

‘Do you believe in …’

The latter were initial betting odds for Leicester City to win the Premier League in 2015-16, for a club from the East Midlands region of England to claim the country’s top division of football, a side that had to play near flawless soccer the last few months of the previous season to avoid being relegated.

Leicester City is the poster child for all things implausible in sports, and yet it hardly owns the patent on long shots creating magical memories.

There wasn’t a Knights player born when the Miracle on Ice occurred with the 1980 U.S. Olympic team, and yet while just a handful in the room are Americans, most understand Kurt Russell is an actor and wasn’t really the late Herb Brooks.

But the political legacy alone of that semifinal victory by the Americans over the powerful Soviets, in the midst of a tense Cold War between the two countries, along with the fact it changed the face of hockey in the States, places the result squarely among the greatest sports stories.

SHORT DESCRIPTION (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

How to really decide?

Is the guarantee by Joe Namath in Super Bowl III more impressive than North Carolina State shocking Phi Slama Jamma? Was the fact Villanova beat Georgetown more compelling than the Miracle Mets? Where do the Giants of Super Bowl XLII rank?

Know only this: That all such examples, and several more like them, include those critical elements needed for consideration, things like theme and plot and interesting characters and a certain style and tone and drama to such incredible journeys.

And they all own a resolution … except one.

“I think we are the same kind of story as (Leicester City),” said Knights forward Tomas Tatar, resident soccer expert within the Vegas roster. “But the difference is, they finished on top. We haven’t won anything yet. We have one final step to make and it’s going to be the hardest one. We’re close, but we have a hard job left.

“I saw the movie (“Miracle”). It’s just so hard to compare. All we know is that this is something amazing, special for sure, and we’re one step away. We have to finish it, and then we can talk about comparing it to other great stories.”

Or it can be left to what it is: A 500-1 shot at season’s outset owns home ice in the Stanley Cup Final.

There’s nothing subjective about that.

Where does it rank?

Who cares?

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.

ad-high_impact_4
Golden Knights Videos
Golden Edge: Eakin Scores Winning Goal During Final Road Trip Game
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Knights final game of the road trip against the Philadelphia Flyers
Would the NFL be accepted abroad?
Review-Journal columnist Ed Graney takes to the streets of London, England, ahead of the Oakland Raiders facing the Seattle Seahawks to find out if the NFL is accepted, if the game is understood and what its fan base is like outside of the United States.
Golden Edge: Phil Kessel Has Hat Trick in Win Over Knights
The Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Las Vegas Golden Knights 4-2. Ben Gotz and David Schoen report from Pittsburgh.
Golden Edge: Knights Lose First Stanley Cup Rematch
The Golden Knights lose 5-2 against the Washington Capitals and fall to 1-3 on the season. David Schoen and Ben Gotz report from Washington.
Golden Edge: Mailbag — October 9, 2018
Adam Hill is joined by Ben Gotz via skype from Washington, D.C. to answer questions submitted from Golden Knights fans.
Gallant on Washington Capitals rematch
Golden Knights Coach Gerard Gallant plays down the connection between Wednesday's game against the Washington Capitals and the Stanley Cup Final results last season.
VGS themed games from AGS at G2E Global Gaming Expo
A Golden Knights-themed slot machine was on display Tuesday at the G2E Global Gaming Expo as AGS showed two products that came out of a 3-year contract with the Knights. A video roulette game featuring a Knights helmet and an enormous slot machine were on the floor along with Knights cheerleaders, the Drumbots and Chance, the Knights' mascot. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Edge: Knights Fall to Sabres 4-2
The Sabres defeat the Golden Knights 4-2 with 3 goals in the second period. Ben Gotz and David Schoen report from Buffalo.
Golden Edge: Knights Beat Wild In Shootout
Ben Gotz and David Schoen go over the Knights comeback win against the Minnesota Wild. The Knights won 2-1 in a shootout against the Minnesota Wild. (October 7, 2018)
Golden Edge: Knights Fall In Season Opener
Elaine Wilson, Adam Hill, Ben Gotz and David Schoen go over the Golden Knights 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in their season opener. (Videographer: Heidi Fang, Edited By: Nathan Asselin)
Golden Knights React To Season Opener Loss
Golden Knights react to their 5-2 loss against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Gold Carpet Before Golden Knights Season Opener
John Katsilometes is on the gold carpet before the Golden Knights season opener.
Golden Knights talk after practice
Marc-Andre Fleury, Max Pacioretty and Cody Eakin in the locker room on Wed. October 3, 2018.
Golden Edge: Last Practice Before Season Opener
Adam Hill and David Schoen at City National Arena during the Golden Knights' morning skate and media day before the opener Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Media Day: Gerard Gallant and George McPhee Presser
Head coach Gerard Gallant and GM George McPhee talk about Alex Tuch, Cody Eakin, Nate Schmidt, and the start of season number two for the franchise.
Golden Edge: Mailbag — October 2, 2018
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill answer questions submitted from Golden Knights fans.
Vegas Golden Knights show support at blood drive
Members of the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team showed up for a community blood drive on the first anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting, Oct. 1, 2018. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Edge: Knights Beat Kings 2-0
Adam Hill and David Schoen report from T-Mobile Arena after the Knights beat the Kings 2-0.
Golden Edge: Shea Theodore Returns to Practice
Adam Hill, Ben Gotz, and David Schoen are at the Golden Knight's practice where Shea Thedore is suited back up for the first time this season.
Golden Edge: Mailbag — September 25, 2018
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill answer questions submitted from Golden Knights fans.
Golden Edge: Knights Lose 5-3, but re-sign Shea Theodore
Bryan Salmond is in studio while Ben Gotz, Adam Hill and David Schoen report from T-Mobile Arena on the Knights preseason game vs. the Colorado Avalanche.
Golden Edge: Knights Lose 5-3 but Re-Sign Shea Theodore
Bryan Salmond is in studio and Ben Gotz, Adam Hill, and David Schoen report from T-Mobile arena on the Knights preseason game vs the Colorado Avalanche.
Golden Edge: Knights Rally To Win During Shootout
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Golden Knights shootout win against the San Jose Sharks.
Golden Edge: Knights Win Third Preseason Game
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond and Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen go over the Knights 7-2 win over the L.A. Kings.
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Golden Edge: Vegas Fans Show their Love at Fan Fest
Bryan Salmond is on the red carpet at the downtown Las Vegas Events Center as the 2018-2019 Golden Knights show up for Fan Fest.
Golden Edge: Knights Back From Colorado
Golden Knights reporters Adam Hill and Ben Gotz talk about Knights preseason training camp and how Max Pacioretty is fitting in with the Knights.
Golden Edge: Mailbag — September 17, 2018
Ben Gotz answers questions submitted from Golden Knights fans.
Golden Edge: Knights Win First Preseason Game
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond, David Schoen, Ben Gotz and Adam hill recap the Golden Knights first preseason game win against the Arizona Coyotes.
Golden Edge: First Practice
Adam Hill and David Schoen discuss the first day of practice for the Golden Knights.
Golden Knights Presser Max Pacioretty
Max Pacioretty speaks about his first impressions coming to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Golden Edge: Mailbag
Ben Gotz answers questions submitted from Golden Knights' fans about recent roster changes.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Rookies Faceoff Against The Sharks Good
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond breaks down the 5-4 loss the Golden Knights rookies had against the San Jose Sharks.
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects after a breakout season in Sweden. He slid to the fifth round in the 2017 draft after being projected to be selected much higher. “I wasn’t happy about being a fifth-rounder. But it was good for me, too, because I didn’t have so much pressure when I came here," Elvenes said. Elvenes posted five goals and 16 points in 28 games while playing in the top league in Sweden. The Knights signed Elvenes to a three-year, entry-level contract in June.
Golden Knights rookie camp - Day 2
The Golden Knights held their second day of rookie camp at City Arena in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Golden Edge: Deryk Engelland Rides With Kurt Busch
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond heads to city national arena and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to see Kurt Busch attempt to learn how to play hockey, and Deryk Engelland hop in a race car.
William Karlsson and the Golden Knights are headed to arbitration
Of all the salary arbitration cases in the NHL this summer, none is more compelling than the one involving William Karlsson and the Golden Knights. Karlsson is seeking $6.5 million annually in arbitration. The Knights countered with an offer of $3.5 million annually. Karlsson's arbitration hearing is scheduled for Saturday in Toronto. During the hearing, the player and team present evidence. The arbitrator then has 48 hours to render a decision, and the team decides on a one- or two-year contract. Karlsson’s agent and the Knights can continue to negotiate a new contract prior to the hearing.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like