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Vegas Golden Knights Colin Miller Reflects On The Team’s Successful Regular Season
(Photo by Ross D. Franklin/ Associated Press)
Las Vegas–Ahead of their final road trip of the 2017-18 regular season we caught up with Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Colin Miller.
Recently the Golden Knights clinched their first ever Stanley Cup Playoff berth in club history against the Colorado Avalanche as well as winning the Pacific Division Crown for the first time when they defeated the San Jose Sharks in front of a record breaking crowd of 18,458 hockey fans.
With their inaugural season being so successful, the Golden Knights have really surprised a lot people in the hockey world in what they have been able to accomplish in such a sort period of time in the existence of the 31st franchise.
Getting off to a hot start at the beginning of the season by going 3-0-0 was something that got the attention of people very quickly because for a first year NHL franchise that feat was never achieved in the 100 year existence of the league until the Golden Knights crossed that off the list.
“It’s great obviously, I think starting off at the beginning of the year I don’t think anybody expected to have this type of year but I think there were a lot of guys you know had opportunities that they haven’t before in different organizations, guys try to take advantage of it and now were obviously happy with the situation and just got to finish off strong these last three games.” Miller said.
The successful first month of the campaign in particular winning of 6 of 7 home games to the goaltending carousel the team relied on Oscar Dansk, Maxime Lagace, and Dylan Ferguson that rolled into November with Fleury being out for a bit and Subban out short term with the injury bug was an early season story line for Vegas.
How they were able to weather their own internal storm was an impressive thing to see and the hockey world continued to stay engaged.
“It’s funny having a junior guy in there for a little bit (with a laugh), stuff like that, I mean it happens, it’s kind of something that I think our team did a good job battling thru and it showed our depth, got Soups (Subban) some opportunity there which was great early on and he ran with a did a great job.” Says Miller
With the success of the team as whole over the course of the season stems from the chemistry and bond of the players up and down the lineup has helped the Golden Knights be in a position of where they are today but Miller talked with us about the process the team went thru.
“Early on you didn’t know how it was going to come together, I think the lines got started out pretty early up front there, they did a good job with finding that chemistry early and that was something that was huge, I think Will’s line with Marchy and Smithy has been great all year.” Miller continued.
The Golden Knights top line of William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault, and Reilly Smith have scored 91 goals, 114 assists for 210 points combined between the three of them and are a +118.
Which was something again that nobody anticipated this season by that unit.
But for the Golden Knights their contributions came elsewhere in the lineup as particularly in the bottom six forward group.
“Belly bringing that fourth line and keeping solid was a huge thing, there’s some many pieces that have come together this year which has been great.” Miller replied.
With Pierre-Edouard Bellemare his group of forwards have come up big in a lot of ways with Alex Tuch who spent a good portion of the season on the third line has produced 15 goals, 19 assists for 34 points and has a plus/minus rating of +11.
Another player that has added depth as Miller talked about has been the addition of former San Jose Sharks forward Ryan Carpenter who Vegas picked up via the waiver wire by General Manager George McPhee.
Carpenter in 33 games with Vegas this season has pitched in with 9 goals of his own, 4 assists at 13 points.
This team has been really fun to watch all season with all the records that they have been able break left and right in year one of the franchises history.
As the Stanley Cup Playoffs draws near, this team hopes to create even more history to their young story.
According to VegasInsider.com has them at 6/1 in taking the 2018 Stanley Cup.