BlackJack Fletcher: VIVA LAS VEGAS (Golden Knights)!
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Well, that was something … wasn’t it? Even the most optimistic of Golden Knights fans (myself), did not see that absolute demolition coming. Four goals in the first period? Five to nothing at the end of two? Marc-Andre Fleury looking as splendid in net as anyone to ever play the game? Nope, didn’t see it unfolding quite that way. I thought the Sharks would be a worthy foe, but apparently, there is no such thing for this team.
The Knights did what they do best, playing at an incredible, almost frenetic pace and forcing the issue for 60 minutes. And make no mistake, this was not a perfect game by any stretch. They were hit with five penalties to kill, which could’ve caused a major problem. It also seriously wore out the penalty killers. But time and again it was Fleury making save after save to bail them out. He did that to the tune of a 33-save shutout. He has surrendered three goals now in five playoff games.
The offense functioned at maximum capabilities, including goals from Cody Eakin, Erik Haula, Jonathan Marchessault, Alex Tuch, Shea Theodore, Colin Miller and James Neal. It was the sustained and constant pressure that wore the Sharks down. We say it over and over but this Vegas team is the deepest in all of hockey. Their fourth line is capable of scoring in every game. They just don’t quit. They are always on the attack. From a hockey perspective they are simply dominant.
From a gambling perspective the Knights obviously covered both the money and puck lines, but also cashed the over all by themselves. We were on both the money line and the total, so this was just about the best way to end a great day. I cannot wait for Game 2 on Saturday.
Top Photo: Members of the Vegas Golden Knights celebrate after defeating the San Jose Sharks 7-0 in game one of the second round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs