Year 2 – Second to None
They said Hockey doesn’t belong in the desert. Well, welcome to impossible! With the Vegas Golden Knights’ inaugural season came humility, excitement, tears and an overwhelming sense of the word community. Starting off their 2017-2018 preseason, VGK blew competitors like the Canucks, Avalanche, and Ducks out of the water. On October 1, 2017, against the San Jose Sharks, the Sharks defeated the Knights, but that wasn’t the only defeat our city would feel on that day. During the night of October 1, 58 people lost their lives and it was also a night that wouldn’t be forgotten by our beloved Vegas Golden Knights.
As the NHL kicked off the official hockey season, the Vegas Golden Knights paid tribute to the 58 victims who lost their lives at the Route 91 Harvest Festival during the Vegas opener at the T-Mobile arena on October 10th playing a moving video tribute in honor of the first responders, victims, and the unity of our city. The Knights continued to wow Vegas, the NHL, and the rest of the country with their passion for the new team.
Breaking history records, the Vegas Golden Knights; in their first season; became the first expansion team to have the most wins when they earned their 34th win of the season. Between December 3rd thru January 2nd VGK hadn’t lost one game, and in February broke the record once again for the most points scored by an expansion team in their inaugural season when they got their 84th point of the season. The Knights continued to give this city something to hope for, something to hang on to, something to lift us up, be thankful and root for. Game after game, the seats at T-Mobile would be filled at capacity and City National Arena had a swarm of fans awaiting the games arrival, and watch parties began throughout Las Vegas. Some believed hockey didn’t belong in the desert; locals and the Knights believed hockey was right where it belonged.
In March they became the first expansion team (since the 1979-1980 season) to make it to the playoffs and all around the valley fans cheered for goalie Fleury, centre Karrlson, right wing Reaves and crowd favorite Schmidt. Just about every car had a Vegas Golden Knights sticker, everyone was wearing VGK gear and yelling “Go Knights GO!” and we were a proud town. Myself, our CEO and our friends and family had the privilege and opportunity to attend the last game of the regular season.
The Vegas Golden Knights retired jersey number 58 and the whole stadium and what felt as though the whole city was at a standstill during this tribute. We stood for a 58 second silence in remembrance of the victims and tragedy and came together with even with the San Jose Sharks fans as community. VGK continued on to defeat the San Jose Sharks becoming the first modern-era expansion team from any of the four major sports to win in their division during their inaugural season. Welcome to impossible.
It’s a Sweep!
The Vegas Golden Knights once again made history winning the first round of playoffs against the LA Kings all four games in a row becoming the first team in NHL history to sweep their first playoff series in their inaugural season. Throughout the playoff season, fans continued to show our beloved boys the support to get them through their first ever playoff season as they beat the Sharks in the second round, and the Winnipeg Jets in the Western Conference Finals.
Stanley Cup Finals- Here we come!
Crowds gathered throughout the valley to support the Knights throughout this historic journey, even when the odds weren’t favorable. They brought a city together that needed to see a glimmer of hope again. Welcome to our turf, this is our home. As the Knights prepared for their biggest moments yet, we as locals, prepared ourselves to support them, after all, their biggest moments were ours too. Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals was that of a movie, outside of the T-Mobile arena, crowds swarmed to watch the infamous Lil Jon perform, the skilled Travis Barker lineup with our drum line, and our Chance mascot to take pictures with fans, as we patiently awaited puck drop. As VGK went first round to beat the Washington Capitals, the next four games The Vegas Golden Knights, fans, and the community were defeated by the Capitals for the Stanley Cup. However, Las Vegas overall was undefeated. As they say, the house always wins.
As we prepare ourselves for the second season of our city wide loved team, Real Vegas magazine had the pleasure and delight to meet terminator and right wing Ryan Reaves. He previously played for the Penguins and the Blues, Reaves joined the Knights in February, and assisted in the record breaking season when he made the game-winning goal in game 5 against the Winnipeg Jets, sending VGK to the Stanley Cup Final. In July of 2018, Reaves officially signed with the Vegas Golden Knights for a two-year contract. On the ice, he is known as the terminator and the enforcer due to his presence and his history of aggressiveness and know to engage in fights during games. During a news conference alongside Fleury, Reaves said “Everybody on this team has something to prove, we all call ourselves the Golden Misfits for a reason. We’re doing a good job of proving everybody wrong,” and that they did.
When we had the opportunity to catch up with Reaves at City National Arena’s Mackenzie River Pizza Grill & Pub, he was as humble as one can be. The right wing beast, started skating when he was 5 years old, loves a good old IPA and dances to Ed Sheeran during photoshoots. Throughout the course of the shoot, Ryan was noticed by fans who were practicing on and off the ice and was humble enough to stop and take pictures with youngsters both on and off the ice. He was taking selfies with fans and their smiles were sheer excitement that he was so approachable and kind. As most Las Vegas locals are eagerly anticipating and awaiting the 2nd season and what it holds, we will be once again supporting our magnificent team and will be watching Ryan Reaves a little closer now that we got to know him a little better up close and personal. From all of the Real Vegas magazine staff, we’d like to give a heartfelt thank you to all the VGK players, the management and fans for being so supportive in our local community and we are looking forward to seeing the Vegas Golden Knights defy the odds again this year!
by Cassie Youseff