No PLayoffs For Vegas
By: Colby R
For the first time since they entered the league during the 2017-18 NHL season, the Vegas Golden Knights will not be fighting for Lord Stanley. With a lineup containing Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, and now, Jack Eichel, the playoffs seemed to be a given for the Golden Knights. However, Vegas struggled to find rhythm after Eichel arrived and, following loses to the Stars and Blackhawks on back-to-back nights, are officially eliminated from the 2021-22 NHL Playoffs.
This will bring many mixed opinions throughout the hockey world as Vegas begins to become one of the most hated teams. As a Sabres fan, I am on the side of pure joy. No playoffs for Eichel just adds to what feels like a trade victory for Buffalo. But apart from Eichel, what makes Vegas so unlikeable? It starts with the management and decisions that have been made to try push them towards the Stanley Cup. Firstly, after winning the Vezina trophy and being proclaimed as the NHL’s best goaltender, Marc-Andre Fleury was sent to Chicago for a prospect and a bag of hockey pucks. The moving of Fleury helped set up some major contracts for Vegas that sent away many of the misfits that made them so likeable to begin with. In addition to the Fleury trade, Vegas took the image of trying to build a super team signing players such as Mark Stone, Alex Pietrangelo, and Jack Eichel. Nobody likes a super team.
On the contrary, Vegas being in the playoffs is enormous for the league itself. Sin City has quickly become one of the most energetic hockey markets in the world and the money the city brings to the sport is not to be overshadowed. With sold out arenas pretty much every night, and wild entertainment throughout their games, there are downsides to no Vegas in the playoffs. Alas, the best time of the year is here and we got a fresh 16 teams competing for the Stanley Cup.