Hockey May Be Las Vegas’s Downfall

Monday, May 21st, 2018

The Vegas Golden Knights are a first-year expansion team in the National Hockey League, based in the desert of Las Vegas. That sounds like a joke, but it’s entirely true. Much like the entire city of Phoenix, a Las Vegas ice hockey team is not something which should exist.1 Even their logo is an abomination!


“But Paul, it’s got a hidden V! Like the FedEx arrow!”
“Yes, but it also has clearly visible awfulness.”

And yet not only do the Vegas Golden Knights exist, they’re good. In their inaugural season, an expansion team usually struggles just to attract fans and win games. Unlike previous blowful expansion teams, the Golden Knights have been selling out their arena and winning games. They soundly won their division, and after three playoff series victories, they’re headed for the Stanley Cup finals. There are 4 teams in the 31-team league who’ve never made the finals, and they had a combined 83 seasons to do it before Vegas did.2

Vegas will face either the Washington Capitals or the Tampa Bay Lightning, and they’ll still need four more wins to claim Lord Stanley’s cup. If the Golden Knights do manage to win it all, they’ll have bested 13 current franchises which have never won a championship, across a combined 369 seasons.

Even if you don’t care about hockey, you may enjoy the Medieval Times-on-steroids spectacle that is the Golden Knights pre-game introduction. When I saw this on Wednesday, there were more than a few looks of incredulity, as well as plenty of “What the fucks?” uttered. This reminded me of nothing so much as the Vancouver Olympic Games opening ceremonies, which I also happened to watched in a bar with no audio. If you missed it live, be sure to give the video a watch.3 I’ll wager that you’ve never seen a man masquerading as a knight while wearing ice skates face off against a digitally projected fighter jet quite like this before.


Personally, I’d always bet on the guy with corporeal form.

Speaking of wagers, if the Golden Knights manage to claim the 2018 NHL championship, it will be to the detriment of Vegas’s local sports books. At the beginning of the season, the odds on the Knights winning it all were as low as 500-1, which could translate into millions of dollars in losses for casinos. Surely everyone can be pleased with that. I know who I’ll be rooting for in the finals. Go Knights!


Footnotes:

  1. King of the Hill had its moments, and this particular video is archived here. ↩︎

  2. Those four teams are the Arizona Coyotes (formerly the Phoenix Coyotes and originally the first Winnipeg Jets), the current incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets (originally the Atlanta Thrashers), the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Minnesota Wild. ↩︎

  3. This video is also archived, so future generations can see just what we did as the climate began to burn around us. ↩︎


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