The Stanley Cup final that was never meant to be Knights Caps primed for Game 1
LAS VEGAS - An expansion team on a jaw-dropping run, an opponent that started the season with perhaps its lowest expectations in years, a superstar finally getting his first chance at glory, a head coach left at curb 18 months ago and a city that connected with its new club after an unspeakable tragedy.
As the Vegas Golden Knights - yes, the Vegas Golden Knights - prepare to host the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final Monday in Sin City, those are just some of the compelling storylines.
And through it all, Nate Schmidt, who played parts of four seasons for Washington before getting plucked in the expansion draft by Vegas, might have put it best.
'The Stanley Cup final that was never meant to be, right'' the Knights defenceman said at Sunday's media day. 'You look at this group on both sides, they were both down and out. You look at the players that we have, it was supposed to be a down-and-out team, we weren't supposed to be that great. And a closing window for (Washington) that just got younger, got hot and started playing well.'
On one side of this series no one expected, let alone dreamed of, eight months ago is a first-year Vegas team peppered with players sent to the scrap heap by the league's other 30 clubs that finished the regular season with an astonishing 109 points.....
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