LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The Golden Knights have reached the halfway point of the Stanley Cup playoffs with eight wins in their pocket, they need eight more before they can hoist the Stanley Cup.
Thursday night at T-Mobile Arena, the Golden Knights beat the Colorado Avalanche for the fourth straight time, advancing to the final four. Vegas becomes the the third team in NHL history to reach the round prior to the Stanley Cup in three of their first four years of existence.
UPDATE (AP) -- When Alex Pietrangelo signed with the Vegas Golden Knights in October, he di…
"It's so hard to get to this point," explained Golden Knights head coach Pete DeBoer after a 6-3 Game 6 win. "Everybody talks about winning the Stanley Cup, but I'm an Ontario guy, I watch the Toronto Maple Leafs closely, I was drafted by the Leafs, I've always been a fan of the franchise. They haven't gotten out of the first round I think someone said in 17 years and that's a good franchise, a well run franchise, well coached. This is hard, it's hard to win a series, hard to make the playoffs in this league, it's hard to win a series, so what these men here have accomplished is really unreal."
FANS MADE THE DIFFERENCE
After staring at an 0-2 series deficit, the Golden Knights returned home for Game 3 and were able to find their winning formula, a credit the guys in gold give to the sold-out capacity crowd inside T-Mobile Arena.
"It was awesome to celebrate that with our fans, it changed the series for us coming back home in game three to a sold out rink," Golden Knights captain Mark Stone said. "I really think the tide changed when we got them involved, so it was pretty awesome to acknowledge them after a big series win."
"The advantage of the full rink in game three, four, and six, huge advantage for our group," said DeBoer. "Honestly if the rink, if we don't have full capacity and the rink rockin' like it was in those games, I'm sure we're playing a game seven here on Saturday night. Huge shout out to T-Mobile and our fans and the Governor for allowing it."
NEXT UP: MONTREAL
The Golden Knights were given the day off on Friday, with all eyes now turned to the Montreal Canadiens, a franchise whose inaugural season was 100 years prior to the Golden Knights in 2017. That's the largest such gap between two teams meeting in a postseason in NHL history.
"The Montreal Canadiens are the Montreal Canadiens, an original six franchise, I'm from western Canada," said Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon. "You grow up it's the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens in that country at that time and it's a storied franchise certainly and a fabulous city that we won't have the opportunity to enjoy much with the protocols of the times, but it's always special when you play in that building, it's always special when you see those uniforms, yet business is business and we'll be excited for the challenge."
The Canadiens have won seven straight games this postseason, knocking off the top-seeded Toronto Maple Leafs in the opening round despite trailing 3-1 in the series. They then followed that up with a four game sweep of the Winnipeg Jets.
"Great goaltending with Carey Price," said McCrimmon. "Really you look at the three, four teams left playing, great goaltenders all around, so Carey Price has certainly been a real strength for their team this year, for many years. I compare them to the quality of Minnesota when you look at those top four defenseman that Montreal have, Minnesota was similar that way, big heavy, big minutes. Hard to get inside and then real good balance up front from the forward group."
The Golden Knights beat a team in Colorado that had a Hart finalist, Norris finalist, and a Vezina finalist on their roster. However, now they will have to beat a team that is led by a former Hart and Vezina winner in Carey Price.
"I think you can almost go through every series that's been played in the Stanley Cup playoffs this year and when you look at the end of the series at the team who moved on and the team that didn't, without having it in front of me, the team with the better goaltending advances," said McCrimmon.