On Friday night, it became official: we could be just one game away from seeing an NHL expansion club reach the Stanley Cup Final in its inaugural season.
That seems almost impossible to comprehend, yet here we are. The Golden Knights have laughed, danced, and sang their way to an absolutely unbelievable season, and they’re capping it off by making the seemingly-powerful Winnipeg Jets looks absolutely silly.
Friday night was a close one, and the series has had plenty of competition in each of the games played. We have yet to see an absolute dismantling over 60 minutes, yet the Jets sit down 3-1 in their series; by Sunday afternoon, there’s a very real chance we’ll know who’s headed to the Final from the Western Conference.
Let’s not forget, though. As talented as most of the Vegas players were before they were selected, something still doesn’t make sense about this whole situation:
There are a lot of things about this Vegas team that don’t make sense. Karlsson. Fleury. Engelland. But I didn’t realize this whole season has been a fever dream until I just saw Luca Sbisa close down Patrik Laine on the wing.— DL (@davelozo) May 19, 2018
Flurries have been a bit absent this week due to a nice, nasty late-season flu that hit chez Silverman-Wilks late this past weekend, so we’re going to keep things a little short again (and if they don’t entirely make sense, I won’t apologize, I’m taking all the good cold meds).
To kick things off, though, here’s a really good - and unlocked for the general public - read on the late Mark Workman, the Vegas amateur scout who passed away this February. With every passing win, his family believes he’s still along for the ride somewhere. [The Athletic Ink]
Speaking of scouting, there’s been speculation about when an NHL team will try to work this into their combine interviews:
Apparently the #Pistons are using a unique tactic during the interview process. I've had several players tell me at the NBA Combine that Detroit is using virtual reality goggles. Here's what they do:https://t.co/t7ucJTJjWH pic.twitter.com/ksaMUTd1LY— James Edwards III (@JLEdwardsIII) May 17, 2018
Obviously nerves, personalities, and day-to-day variance mean that nothing is a perfect litmus test for a team, but it’s certainly worth considering how much something like this could improve a team’s ability to draft for fit and style.
Here’s a great story on what makes Marc-Andre Fleury tick, as well, talking about his optimism and attitude tips for younger netminders. [InGoal Magazine]
For the Avalanche, it’s obviously still offseason time, but we’ve still got a bit of content for you!
From earlier this week, here’s a look at the biggest impact that Carl Soderberg had on the team last year (and what that number means). [Mile High Hockey]
It’s also worth considering, as he comes back for two more seasons, what exactly Mark Barberio did to improve the blue line while you weren’t paying attention. [MHH]
Would James van Riemsdyk be a good fit in free agency? A look at whether or not he should be a summer target for the Avalanche. [MHH]
From our friends over at Mile High Sports, we’ve also got a look at what Alexander Kerfoot looked like this year. [Mile High Sports]
Oh, and ICYMI:
A warning to all Avs fans. There is a Ryan O’Reilly that is going to be drafted in the first three rounds of the #2018NHLDraft. To further complicate things, he’s committed to play at @DU_Hockey for the 2019-20 season.— Mile High Hockey (@MileHighHockey) May 17, 2018
Finally, the US Women’s U18 squad - who have won gold for the last four straight seasons - recently announced their new coaching staff, and it’s got a familiar name on it: