Their only remaining obstacles are some desert-dwelling misfits who refuse to wait for anything.
It was impossible to live up to that kind of hype - except no it wasn't - because Game 1 between the Vegas Golden Knights and Washington Capitals was as entertaining a game you could ask for, ending in a 6-4 win for the home team. Depth players are already making their presences felt, so it's easy to see that both teams sport the sort of supporting casts you usually need to make it this far. Washington's Tom Wilson also flattened Vegas forward Jonathan Marchessault with a blindside hit that could reverberate through the Stanley Cup Final.
This time it was the fourth line, with Ryan Reaves - the Game 5 hero of the Western Conference final - cross-checking Carlson to the ice and then one-timing a pass in front to tie the game.
"We kept battling back", Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant said. "And everybody knows what Vegas did in the first year is very special". It's going to be a lot of fun, it's going to be a great series, it's going to be hard-fought. They never do. The Golden Knights are always going through their last bits of preparation and, even if they weren't, the ice is occupied. The game drew a massive 28.08 overnight in Las Vegas and a 16.02 in D.C. "It started off with the Atlanta Flames, then the Thrashers, and of course now it's the Golden Knights".More news: Not hosting: Auburn will hit road for NCAA Regional
"When you're working with [players], they're sometimes like your own kids", McPhee said. Neither team is ready to stop now.
In addition, the Vegas Golden Knights will host road game watch parties in the Valley.
Ovechkin is a formidable scorer and competitor, but he has never won an Olympic medal with Russian Federation or a Stanley Cup ring with the Caps.
"I'm definitely happy for the Caps", Harper said. "So we made a proposal that I didn't think would work, and it didn't work because our guys like Schmidt".More news: Storm Alberto maintains strength as it approaches Gulf Coast
Six-time Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator Mike "Doc" Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member and analyst Eddie Olczyk, and Emmy Award-winning "Inside-the-Glass" analyst Pierre McGuirewill call the 2018 Stanley Cup Final on NBC and NBCSN. "Come enjoy this moment".
Monday night's two-hour pre-game show on NBCSN will include in-depth interviews with Marc-Andre Fleury and Alex Ovechkin, as well as features on the Golden Knights' improbable run, the franchise's community efforts following October's tragic shooting, current Vegas general manager and former Capitals general manager George McPhee, and more. "Being a fan for a team for the first time in my life, really, it's pretty incredible". "Obviously, I'm not surprised (Fleury) is here. We haven't seen a championship or even a final in so many years", said Barber.
Capitals' superstar Alex Ovechkin led the National Hockey League with 49 regular-season goals and has scored 12 more in the playoffs; he will surely be on a mission to win his first Cup.More news: Danica Patrick's Career Ends With Crash At Indy 500