A year ago at this time, the Vegas Golden Knights didn't have a single player on their roster. Now, they're headed to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season.
The Golden Knights wrapped up a gentleman's sweep of the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday, taking their Western Conference Final series four games to one. As a result, the NHL's newest team becomes the first expansion team in all of sports to reach the championship round since the St. Louis Blues did it in 1968.
It must be noted that the Blues faced a different set of circumstances when they advanced to the Stanley Cup Final back then. It was the first season that the NHL had expanded beyond the Original Six, and the Blues were one of six expansion teams placed in their own conference. The Blues entered the postseason in a field of eight, and they went on to be swept by the Montreal Canadiens in the Cup Final.
The Golden Knights, meanwhile, are the league's lone expansion team this season, and they entered the playoffs as one of 16 teams vying for the Cup.
They've put on a stunning performance throughout the postseason, going 12-3 through the first three rounds and making rather quick work of the Jets, who were considered to be one of the best teams in not only the conference, but in the entire NHL.
The Knights have gotten stellar contributions from their top line of William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith, but their leading candidate for Conn Smythe at this point is undoubtedly goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. The veteran goaltender, who won three Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins before being selected by Vegas in last summer's expansion draft, has posted a .947 save percentage throughout the playoffs so far.
The Golden Knights entered the regular season with 500-1 odds of winning the Stanley Cup. Now they're just four wins away from defying those long odds.