Lull before the storm
The Vegas Golden Knights and Washington Capitals continue to rest up before Monday's start to the most improbable Stanley Cup Final in recent memory.
It may even rank as the most unlikely match-up in NHL history.
No one expected the Golden Knights to be competitive this season in their inaugural campaign with expansion franchises in professional sports traditionally fairly turgid in the first couple of years.
Hockey is a little different in that expansion franchises can, and do, the Florida Panthers being one such example, get better more quickly than the rest, but even so reaching the Stanley Cup Final is beyond the wildest imagination.
Moreover it should not be overlooked that the first time that Vegas loses to the Capitals in the Stanley Cup Final will be the first time that the Golden Knights have lost to Washington having swept the Capitals in the regular campaign.
Vegas won 3-0 at home two days before Christmas with goals from Alex Tuch, Oscar Lindberg and William Karlsson as Marc-Andre Fleury posted his first shut-out for the Golden Knights.
More impressively Vegas them went into the Capital One Arena in early February and defeated their hosts 4-3. Tuch scored the winner with a little over five minutes to play in regulation.
Interestingly Alex Ovechkin did not have a point against Vegas this season and the big Russian has something to prove after making his first Stanley Cup Final.
Washington has never won a game in the Stanley Cup Final, having been swept in their only appearance by the Detroit Red Wings, and so the NHL is set for a series of firsts however the Final shakes out.
The Capitals are 1.15 to win the Stanley Cup, while Vegas are 5.75. The Golden Knights are 8.50 to win the series 4-2.
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