SUNRISE, Fla. — The Vegas Golden Knights are one win away from their last goal, and the word “Stanley Cup” says something they don’t shy away from.
There are no superstitions. All business.
with He won 3-2 The Golden Knights take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series against the Florida Panthers in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals at FLA Live Arena on Saturday.
They fly home on Sunday, take the rest of the day off and deal with everything that comes with being on the cusp of the trophy – family trips, ticket inquiries, party plans.
cool. Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; TNT, truTV, CBC, SN, TVAS) as they have a refocusing practice on Monday before trying to pitch in front of their home fans in Game 5 in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
“If that means discussing some things with family members about the Stanley Cup or whatever you want to talk about, I think that’s fine,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I mean, that’s what we’re playing for. I don’t think there’s anything taboo about it.”
“You can’t bring that on Monday at practice or Tuesday when it’s time to play. But tomorrow is the day to take yourself a little bit further and think about how hard it was to get here and what it took to finish. The work. I think that has to build, right? You’ve worked hard to get here.”
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The Golden Knights have reason to feel confident. They dominated most of this series, and only one team in NHL history lost the Cup Final after taking a 3-1 series lead: the Detroit Red Wings at the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1942.
If it weren’t for the Game 3 finish — where they gave up a breakaway goal late in regulation, the game-winning goal early in overtime and lost 3-2 — the Golden Knights would have already clinched the trophy.
Vegas took a 3-0 lead in Game 4. Florida scored another goal to take a 3-2 lead, but the better team won.
“I think the whole 60 minutes we played faster than they did.” Riley Smith he said. “I think we created a lot more chances. They still got big saves and put the game away, but you know, I think these are the four games in a row that we’ve outplayed.”
The Golden Knights are 8-3 at home in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including 2-0 in this series.
“We played well at home here in the playoffs, so you have to feel good when you go home with a 3-1 lead,” the defender said. Alex Pietrangelo he said.
Of course writing off the Panthers would be silly.
At the end of December, they were nine points out of a playoff spot and rallied for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. They came back from a 3-1 series deficit in the first round to beat the Boston Bruins, after the Bruins set NHL records for wins (65) and points (135) in a regular season. They then defeated the Maple Leafs in five games in the second round and swept the Carolina Hurricanes in the conference finals.
But the Golden Knights seem more likely to take the Panthers lightly. They are experienced, mature and on a mission.
“I feel confident,” said the forward Chandler Stephens“There are a lot of guys who have been in this position before, and I think that’s something that’s good for us, and everybody’s going to be ready,” said the Washington Capitals, who won the title with the Washington Capitals when they beat the Golden Knights in five games in 2018.
Pietrangelo, who won a title with the St. Louis Blues in 2019, lost a shutout in Game 6 against the Bruins and ended his career in Game 7 in Boston.
“I think you can overthink things,” Pietrangelo said. “For us, let’s get on a plane tomorrow, get some rest, spend some time with our families and get ready to get back to work.”
goalkeeper Adin Hill He didn’t want to admit that he couldn’t do anything but think about the trophy.
“It’s the ultimate goal in hockey, right?” Hill said. “So there’s no way you can shut that off in your mind. You’re thinking about that. But at the same time, it’s just staying in the moment, focusing on the next game, the next shift.”
There are no superstitions. All business.
“We understand the magnitude of the process, but we’ll go home and treat the game as Game 1 for us, so we won’t change anything.” Mark Stone he said. “We’ll make some adjustments to our game, I’m sure, but we want to continue to play our brand of hockey and be ready to go Tuesday night.”