The Future for the Golden Knights After Losing the Playoff Series to the Dallas Stars

Now, the Vegas Golden Knights season is over. However, back in August when the playoffs were still going on between the Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars, it looked promising for the Golden Knights to win the series.

In Game 5 of the Western Conference Final, the Knights quickly scored two goals to put them in the lead against the Dallas Stars. However, the Stars caught up quickly scoring two goals, leaving the two teams to go into overtime. The Golden Knights lost in overtime, 3-2 to the Dallas Stars, bringing the Golden Knights home to Las Vegas.

The Golden Knights entered Game 5 with back to back losses against the Dallas Stars. From the start of Game 5, the Knights showed passion and hunger for winning the game. But, it faded away in the third period as the Dallas Stars scored two goals and eventually won the series in overtime.

“We all feel like this was a wasted opportunity,” said Reilly Smith, who has played for the Knights since the beginning. “This is probably the best, most skilled team that I played on in my career.”

With the Golden Knights first coming to NHL in the 2017-2018 season, it seemed like a fairytale when they almost won the Stanley Cup their first year together. The Golden Knights built their team around their goalie, Marc Andre Fleury, who was acquired from the Pittsburg Penguins and won three Stanley Cups for them. With Fleury, the rest of the team seemed to be the most popular thing to has happened to Las Vegas in years. The fans of the Golden Knights team helped to make them the powerhouse they are today. Their first season was the most successful season by any expansion team in sports history.

In the 2019-20 season, the Golden Knights traded for a new coach, Peter DeBoer. At the same time, the Knights added back-up goalie, Robin Lehner. However, Lehner quickly become a star and the leading goalie for the Golden Knights after winning many games for them. With Lehner seemingly becoming the new main goalie, Fleury fans were not happy that he wasn’t getting much play time.

With fans forced to watch the games from their couches due to Coronavirus, a new goalie controversy stewed up quickly. Fleury’s agent was quick to post a picture on Twitter of Fleury being stabbed in the back, due to barley playing. With many Fleury fans upset, Fleury is hopeful about his future with the Golden Knights.

“I get along really well with Robin so I think everything would be fine. I still love to play,” Fleury said. “I don’t think I just want to be a substitute, but I’m going to train hard, try to play well and hopefully get games, but it always depends on the coach’s decision. Whatever happens, it happens. I’ll do my best to come to camp in good shape and do well from there.”

The manager of the Golden Knights, Kelly McCrimmon, has stated that he understands why fans are upset that Fleury was basically replaced by Lehner. “I think he was the face of the franchise. His reputation as a person as well as his abilities as a goalkeeper make him a fan favorite and a guy who played a great goal for us. It’s really difficult as a manager. You should always do what you believe is in the best interests of your team, that’s what I did,” said McCrimmon.

The future with Fleury remaining on the Golden Knights is still unclear. However, what is clear is that the Golden Knights signed Lehner to a five year, $25 million deal. McCrimmon says that keeping Lehner and Fleury together is a viable option that could work in the Knights favor.

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