As you’re more than likely well aware by now, the Vegas Golden Knights play pretty well inside the T-Mobile Arena. The Golden Knights, who currently sit atop the Western Conference standings with 46 points (!), are 14-2-1 at home. Only two other teams in the NHL, the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers, have won as many games on home ice.
So what makes Vegas such a tough place to play? I asked Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos following the Golden Knights’ thrilling 4-3 victory over the Bolts Tuesday night.
"Well, there's probably a few reasons. The crowd is great. You know, this is a pretty entertaining city to be in for teams. I can't speak for other teams, but, you know,” Stamkos said, chuckling.
“It's loud, it's exciting and I think the number one answer is they're a good team. There's no question that they're very well-coached. They have guys that work extremely hard and they have some very good offensive players and they got a great goalie, so they're a really good team in this league."
Stamkos isn’t the only one to recognize the Golden Knights’ dominance at home, either. Vegas defenseman Nate Schmidt is also well aware of his team’s major advantage on home ice as well.
"When we go into a city, we have a routine. Get in. Put your stuff down. Change. Go to dinner. Hang out with the guys. Come back. Watch some TV,” Schmidt told ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski. “But here, there are a few more things to do. Maybe you do some little thing that just throws your clock off. It doesn't take much. And we'll take anything that throws you off of your game."
The epidemic is being referred to as the “Vegas Flu.” And until teams start to figure out how to beat the Golden Knights in the T-Mobile Arena, it doesn’t appear the moniker will be going away anytime soon.