The Vegas Golden Knights’ dream inaugural season will conclude with a Stanley Cup showdown against either the Tampa Bay Lightning or Washington Capitals.
It’s not a scenario many, if anyone, would’ve predicted at the start of the playoffs let alone at the beginning of the season. Almost equally as surprising, however, has been the breakout campaign we’ve seen from William Karlsson.
The Swedish forward became perhaps the most unlikely 40-goal scorer in NHL history this past season when he tallied 43 times, nearly quintupling his previous career high of nine goals.
Golden Knights head coach Gerrard Gallant had a rather simple explanation for why Karlsson took his game to new levels in 2017-18.
“He took advantage of ice time,” Gallant said Monday during an appearance on Hockey Central at Noon. “He took advantage of playing with two guys that’ve been really solid hockey players that I know pretty well in Reilly Smith and [Jonathan] Marchessault, and they clicked from day one when they went together.”
It’s not outlandish to say that trio was the best line in the NHL during the regular season—the Bruins top unit of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak also have a strong case—and they’ve continued to thrive in the playoffs.