A couple of games into this series, the NHL head office has got to be absolutely elated with what they’re seeing. You have two teams scoring goals, competing hard, disliking one another right away and did we mention scoring goals? Indeed, the Stanley Cup final between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights has been outstanding. For anyone (cough….me) who thought that this would be a short series, they were sorely mistaken. This feels like a heavyweight fight that’s going the distance.
Capitals vs Knights Final 2018
So yes, I do believe Washington isn’t completely out of gas and still has the hunger to get this thing done, particularly as it shifts back to D.C., although they haven’t exactly been unbeatable at home.
There are a couple of reasons why I think that the Caps have a shot in this series. It starts with the play of Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury over the last couple of games. He’s been beatable, something that has got to raise the confidence of Capitals forwards. Fleury had been incredible in previous rounds and a consensus as the Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP) front runner. But those days feel like decades ago. At the moment Washington goaltender Braden Holtby might have crept into that conversation, right alongside teammate Alex Ovechkin.
The Pregame game has changed
We can’t unsee what Vegas has done with its pregame ceremonies. The pageantry, the showmanship, the parade of celebs, the hype. Vegas has been very Vegas when it comes to setting up a playoff game for the home fans. You could argue that they’ve revolutionized the pregame forever.
So would it be wrong to expect more from now on from every other playoff team prior to the puck being dropped? I don’t think so at all. In fact I believe that pregame show producers at arenas everywhere are all currently sitting in front of whiteboards, trying to figure out how to bring more fun and excitement to their home rinks. In the end, this will be nothing but great news for those who pay premium ticket prices for the privilege of being at the game.
Matthew Ross is a sports commentator and a radio host on TSN 690 Radio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He’s also a contributor to ESPN 101.3 Plattsburgh/Burlington. Follow him @MatthewWords.