Eight teams remain as we head into the second round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Out of those eight teams, my pick to win the Stanley Cup is the Vegas Golden Knights.
At the start of the season, they had the longest odds to win it all, but they shocked the world in the regular season by making expansion team history on multiple occasions and winning the Pacific division. Even though they were a top seed, fans and analysts were skeptical about how they would fare in their first ever playoff series against the experienced Los Angeles Kings. The Golden Knights once again shocked the world by sweeping the Kings in four games and are now co-favorites to win the Stanley Cup according to the Westgate Sportsbook.
The Golden Knights went from a team that seemed to be destined for the bottom of the standings to a Stanley Cup favorite so why not keep making history?
The Golden Knights goaltender, Marc-Andre Fleury, is a seasoned veteran and is also a three-time champion. He’s playing some of the best hockey of his career and if he can keep it up, there’s no reason the Golden Knights can’t defeat any of the remaining playoff teams.
Not only do the Golden Knights have Fleury, they also boast a roster of breakout stars and hungry veterans. Some of those breakout stars include William Karlsson, who lead the team with 43 goals and 78 points, and Jonathan Marchessault, who finished the regular season with 75 points.
The veterans include David Perron, who had his best year of his career this season, and James Neal, who also had a solid year and is looking to make a statement after the Nashville Predators let him go in the expansion draft this past summer.
This team started the season with little to no expectations. A group of determined players looking to make names for themselves, or statements to their former teams who let them go in the expansion draft came together to become one of the top teams in the league. While their regular season accomplishments alone make their inaugural season a huge success, the Vegas Golden Knights still have their foot on the gas pedal and aren’t done making history just yet.