There are a lot of annoying things about the Vegas Golden Knights. As our colleague Slak pointed out on a podcast, the only league that has expansion teams at the top of the standings is MLS and that league is a joke. So that’s top. The Twitter feed, the coverage, wherever you want to start.
But there can’t be a bigger indictment of hockey players than the fact that the Knights have the best home record in the league. Yes, they’ve been a surprise. They should not have been this surprise. And that’s because NHL players can’t be asked to act like a fucking professional for one goddamn night.
It’s like hockey players have never heard of Las Vegas before. They know they can go there in the offseason or on bye weeks or All Star breaks, right? Or do they not know that New York, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Los Angeles, and Miami are also great places to go out? There’s nothing in Vegas you can’t do in NYC. And don’t say gambling, because if you’ve never been in a back alley dice game in Queens then you haven’t been to New York.
Like seriously, you have a game to play. Vegas has tons of great restaurants. Have a nice dinner, and then go out after the game. Scrap your travel until the next day. It’s not hard.
Maybe I don’t understand what it’s like to be young, rich, and good looking (I was never any of these). Maybe all of the temptations of Sin City, some of which are just out of reach for the plebes like us, are just too alluring. Maybe you just can’t say no. Maybe this will be a problem for any football teams that arrive there soon enough when the Raiders move. Then again, football coaches would never allow that shit and would probably keep their teams out in the desert until an hour before kickoff.
And the Hawks had done this before. It was always a stop on the Circus trip between legs, and yet they always seemed to have a good record on the Circus Trip. Because they didn’t have to play. I don’t think it’s asking much to treat it like a business trip. Anyone who’s done the convention thing in Vegas knows you save the good stuff until the end otherwise you end up blowing millions of the company’s money and you now have a business-hooker.
But getting hockey players to act over the age of 12 has always been a challenge.
Game #57 Preview