Oh no. Oh the poor, poor Vegas Golden Knights. Why is it that bad things always happen to bad people?
With 4 games left to go in the regular season and a wild card spot quickly slipping out of their grasp, all Vegas had to do was grab a quick win against a lowly San Jose Sharks team at home. A team with a -43 goal differential on the season and was officially eliminated from playoff contention 2 weeks ago. Seems simple enough, especially when Vegas was holding on to a 4-2 lead with just over 2 minutes left in the 3rd period. Surely there's no way they can blow…
Okay fine. A 1-goal game with 2 minutes left. The boys just have to buckle down here for the next 126 seconds. Get out of there with the 2 points they nee….
Oh my god. Timo Meier at the buzzer. ONIONS!!
But here's the thing. I mean sure, the Golden Knights probably would have preferred to get the win in regulation. But it's not like San Jose picking up a point in the standings makes any real difference since their season is over anyway. So all Vegas has to do is regather themselves and pick up that 2nd point in overtime or a shootout. Less than ideal, but 2 points are 2 points. And when you've got guys like Jack Eichel making $10M, Mark Stone making $9.5M, Alex Pietrangelo making $8.8M, and Max Pacioretty making $7M, you can expect that you have the top tier fire power to bounce back and get the job done in OT.
Or, ya know, it could all come down to 20-year-old Thomas Bordeleau playing in his 5th NHL game in his career after spending the whole season until a week ago with Michigan.
So now with 3 games left to play and $10 million over the cap, here's what the situation looks like for the 2021-22 Vegas Golden Knights.
They've got the Stars in Dallas tomorrow night which could be the nail in the coffin if Dallas wins in regulation. But even if Vegas gets 2 points there, it's not like they control their own destiny. Vegas has the Stars tomorrow night, at Chicago on Wednesday, and at St. Louis on Friday night.
Dallas has Vegas tomorrow night, and then close out the season with 2 more home games against the Coyotes and the Ducks. Keep in mind that Arizona is 0-8-2 in their last 10 games so uhhhh yeah.
Nashville might have a tougher go at it with the Flames tomorrow, then at Colorado on Thursday and at Arizona on Friday night. But all they need is to pick up 3 points and they're good.
Again, it's just so sad to see such a storied franchise which has operated with such class and such dignity become this big of losers this year. And not only would this year be a colossal failure to not even get into the playoffs, but they are fucked beyond belief moving forward with the salary cap. Good news is that it's not like George McPhee and Kelly McCrimmon have acted like total pricks in the past so I'm sure there are plenty of other GMs around the league who will be more than willing to help them out of their salary cap hell in the offseason.