The Vegas Golden Knights have played 11 NHL games. A lot has happened.
Forget the fact the Golden Knights have started 8-3 and are this weird anomaly in the NHL. Not only has Vegas been winning, but there were moments throughout the Golden Knights’ first month of hockey existence that made these first 11 games flat-out weird and fun.
From heart-stopping goals to mind-numbing saves, to the Golden Knights playing their fourth goalie in one month, this has been an eventful first month of hockey for the NHL’s newest team.
Somehow, the task to rank the 10 best plays of the month is upon us, and this was headache-inducing. Let’s take a look.
10: Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith team for goal against Red Wings
Not a lot of good came about on this Friday night at T-Mobile Arena (because of that Fleury ordeal, you see), but Jonathan Marchessault’s first goal as a Golden Knight was a beauty. It begins and ends with Reilly Smith doing Reilly Smith things. So good.
9: Marc-Andre’s flurry leads to first win in Golden Knights history
Speaking of Marc-Andre Fleury, his 45-save performance on opening night against the Dallas Stars is still ridiculous to think about. Early in the second period in a scoreless game, Fleury flew around the crease for a good 20 seconds to stop shots from Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and others. Just for old time’s sake, I am here for #PrimeFleury.
8: Alex Tuch’s first NHL goal is a beauty
Alex Tuch is on the main roster because he can do things like this. Forget the fact Vadim Shipachyov bobbles the puck in the slot and doesn’t get a shot off. Tuch steals it back at center ice, turns on the jets and rips the puck past Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask. Good lord.
7: Oscar Dansk saves the day against St. Louis
Before Oscar Dansk became the NHL’s second star of the week, he filled in for the injured Malcolm Subban in a 2-1 game against one of the Leauge’s best offenses. The game went to overtime, with the Blues given a chance to win a minute in. Jaden Schwartz was all alone in the slot, but Dansk made an unreal pad save to keep the game tied. Thus, a star was born.
6: David Perron orchestrates game-winning goal
The Buffalo Sabres should not have scored three goals in the final 10 minutes of the third period to force overtime, but alas, Vegas. Nevertheless, the Golden Knights won 5-4 in overtime thanks to David Perron’s second goal of the night. Perron, with possession of the puck at the blue line, said he told James Neal to cut toward the net so he could have enough space for a clear shot. Teamwork, y’all.
5: The Real Deal’s game-winner on Opening Night
Golden Knights color guy Shane Hnidy said it best: “How did he get this away?” Neal’s second goal of the game against Dallas, the game-winner with 2:44 remaining, came on one knee and over the head of Stars backup goaltender Kari Lehtonen. Sometimes, we have to ponder what would’ve happened if Ben Bishop never left the game. Vegas is probably thankful he did, as proof of this beautiful goal.
4: Dansk turns away John Tavares
I mean ... what? How? There are only two ways to describe this tomfoolery: 1) This was against one of the best scorers in the game, and thus ridiculous. 2) This was the end of Dansk’s amazing run before exiting due to a lower-body injury. Try and hold back any tears you may have, as this should be a save-of-the-year candidate.
3: William Karlsson glides Vegas to victory
In addition to Dansk’s heroics in an emergency situation, here’s William Karlsson finishing the 2-on-1 in overtime against St. Louis. Just watch this video while listening to R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.” I just did and it’s glorious.
2: Deryk Engelland does it for Vegas
There may not be a more important goal in the history of the Golden Knights until they score their first playoff goal. In the midst of Vegas’ four-goal blitz in the first period of the home opener against the Coyotes, Vegas resident Deryk Engelland’s goal remains one of the best times I’ve ever done a double take in game. Just amazing and all the chills.
1: Oscar Lindberg did what?
Where do we begin? The hustle to get to the puck? Forcing the turnover in front of three Avalanche players? The nice deke to avoid the poke check? The swift shot? The long review that went all the way to the nearest millimeter? You name it, you got it. Oscar Lindberg has the best goal in Golden Knights history at this moment.
Which play do you think is the best of October? Leave your thoughts in the comments.