Before the puck officially dropped in Dallas for the inaugural Vegas Golden Knights franchise opener in the NHL, there were 300 reasons to think those taking the 300-1 odds to win the Stanley Cup were either homers, dreamers or had money to burn.
Three weeks later those critics are silent.
You won’t see 300-1 now and may not get 100 after Vegas continued a first year start like no other in the 100-year history of the league, improving to 7-1 after Tuesday night’s 4-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Golden Knights are now 5-1 on the current homestand which ends this Friday against Colorado in a special 3 pm start at T-Mobile Arena to celebrate Nevada Day. The team will also don their road white uniforms for the occasion against the Avalanche, currently 5-4 on the season.
And it doesn’t seem to matter who plays goalie, whether it’s Marc-Andre Fleury, Malcolm Subban or Oscar Dansk, who answered the call after those that preceded him wound up on injured reserve. Dansk stopped 29 shots for his second win in two career appearances.
“Everything’s gone our way right now, we’re working hard and competing hard,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. “It’s all about a team with us. It’s a team game and that’s how we want to play.”
Dansk made his first NHL start after replacing an injured Subban during a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. The 23-year-old gave up goals to John Hayden and Patrick Kane, but was otherwise stellar for the Golden Knights.
“I try not to think about it too much. I just tried to play my game,” Dansk said. “They’re top-10 players in the world. I was just trying to do my part.”
The Golden Knights fell behind 1-0 in the first period but responded with goals from William Karlsson and Tomas Nosek within a minute of each other to take a 2-1 lead.
Pierre-Edourard Bellemare extended the lead to 3-1 late in the second on an assist from Nosek and Jonathan Marchessault added a big insurance goal with 9:40 left in the third period to make it 4-1.
The Blackhawks added a power play goal from Patrick Kane to cut the deficit back to 2, but Vegas killed off the final minute when Chicago pulled goalie Corey Crawford for the extra attacker