Out West in Edmonton we’ve got bubble hockey. It’s August and like usual the Oilers are out golfing but there’s still playoff hockey. Vegas took care of Chicago in five games even though it felt like a sweep. Vancouver knocked off the defending Stanley Cup Champ Blues in six games where the Canucks had control the entire series. Setting up an exciting matchup with a spot in the Western Conference Finals on the line.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around Peter DeBoer behind the Vegas Golden Knights bench. Another thing that makes this matchup interesting is goaltender Jacob Markstrom. In 2008, Jacob Markstrom was drafted by the Florida Panthers, one week prior to the draft Peter DeBoer was named head coach of the Panthers. That was DeBoer’s first head coaching job in the NHL so you might guess the relationship between DeBoer and Markstrom has to be pretty special. 12 years later, Jacob Markstrom is one of most elite goaltenders in the league looking to lead these young Canucks to their first Stanley Cup since the 2010-2011 season.
It wouldn’t be playoffs without drama in Vegas. Marc-Andre Fleury has always been the clear cut starter until the Golden Knights acquired Robin Lehner from the Chicago Blackhawks. Inside the locker room it appears there’s no problem as Marc-Andre Fleury has repeatedly said he is happy to play whatever role as long as the team has a chance to win. The media seems to have a different take painting an uglier picture. Agent Alan Walsh who represents Fleury tweeted a controversial image which has now been deleted following Fleury’s request. Remember to think before you tweet, especially if you’re an agent maybe talk to your client first, before firing out sensitive media.
Let’s take a step back and look at this from Robin Lehner’s perspective. TMS has always been a Robin Lehner bandwagon. The dude has been trying to find a home his entire career which is weird because of his work ethic and loyalty.
Vegas is now that home and no matter who is in net between Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner there’s no doubt in my mind these Golden Knights will win the West. Not every team has the luxury of having two elite high caliber goaltenders. The challenge continues as Peter DeBoer and the Vegas Golden Knights quest for Stanley Cup lives on, in the next test with old pal Jacob Markstrom and the Vancouver Canucks.