Vegas Golden Knights has made it to the Stanley Cup final in its initial season, much to the shock in the hockey world. Goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury has been an important ingredient to that success and is the leading candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of playoffs at this time. But what about the players in front of him?
Who has been the most valuable knight, not named Marc-Andre Fleury?
Emily Kaplan, National NHL Reporter: I'm joining ] Jonathan Marchessault . Not only does he lead Golden Knights in goal (eight) and others in assists (10) produce in a rather impressive 1.2 points per game rate – but that is my leading argument. Marchessault has also come into his own when it comes to bravado, bending a trust that exemplifies these Golden Misfits. Keep in mind that after the game Winnipeg Jets game 1
The Vegas Golden Knights expansion defeated Jetsna 2-1 on Sunday in Winnipeg to beat its unlikely ticket to the Stanley Cup final.
With a Canadian heavy roster and their style of play, Golden Knights – not Winnipeg Jets – should be Canada's root interest.
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So what did Marchessault do? He scored two goals and had eight shots on goal in a 3-1-win that strained this four-winning winning stretch to close the jets. It's fun to see Marchessault flourish, like a guy who used to drive a Hyundai to NHL training camp and now a ridiculous cool Lamborghini has released home on playing days to drive to the arena. Actually, the entire top line – William Karlsson, Marchessault and Reilly Smith – have been fantastic these matches, combining for 15 points, seven goals (half of Golden Knight's goals in the series against Winnipeg).
Chris Peters, hockey prospects writer: So many of these players deserve credit for what's happening, but those of us in the media have written a lot about the lack of a true No. 1 defender on this list. It feels like Nate Schmidt has become the player, at least for now, and it has been really remarkable to see his transformation. He is very much the performance of how this team plays and how they succeed in their speed, strength and high quality of games throughout the whole fall season.
Schmidt is on average 24:53 of ice age per game this after-season, more than two minutes higher than his closest closest teammate, at a team height 462 shift. He plays in all situations and gets very difficult missions. According to Natural Stat Trick, Schmidt's most frequent opponent in the three series at five to five was Joe Pavelski, Anze Kopitar and Mark Scheifele. The knights have not necessarily dominated these players from start to finish, but Schmidt has helped make sure they do not hit them. He may have only six points so far this fall season, but he allows the Golden Knights to play in the way they do.