Haula: "It's Been Quite The Ride"

Division champ? Conference champ? Check. Check. Las Vegas is playing for a Stanley Cup

Tiki and Tierney
May 23, 2018 - 6:36 pm

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Flash back to October 6. Golden Knights’ first game. The first in franchise history.

What were you expecting? 

Were you expecting them to win the Pacific? Were you expecting them to sweep the Kings in the first round? Were you expecting them to go 12-3 in the playoffs and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals? Did you?

Because you might be lying.

“Yes, it’s been quite the ride, to be honest,” Golden Knights center Erik Haula said on Tiki and Tierney. “It’s just a lot of fun for our group. I’m super proud to be part of this group.”

Vegas swept the Kings, beat the Sharks in six and downed the Jets in five. It’s been a surreal run – one that began last offseason. Yes, with a new roster, roles were unknown. Playing time was undecided. Every player had every opportunity to become what they wanted to become.

“I think it made our team a lot stronger,” said Haula, who finished second on the team with 29 goals. “Everyone started on the same playing field and we were all competing for the jobs and eventually, through your performances, you got what you deserved. We’re a proud group, and I’m just really happy to be a part of this.”

Marc-Andre Fleury has been lights out for las Vegas. He sports a 94.7 percent save percentage in the playoffs to go with four shutouts.

“We have a good leadership group,” Haula said. “Everyone has so much respect for (Fleury) obviously. He’s won three Stanley cups. (James) Neal was adamant we were going to make the playoffs right away. Him losing the Stanley Cup playoffs last year and obviously him getting back to that spot is rewarding. I can’t really single one guy out of our locker room. We have a really vocal group in general. I think those two guys, if I had to pull somebody out of the pile, it would probably be those two guys.”

Haula was asked if Las Vegas has been a distraction this season. Sin City, of course, is known for its entertainment and nightlife. 

“Not at all,” Haula said. “It’s a fair question because that’s what everybody thinks. You have the option if you want to go and catch a show or (go to) the restaurants, all the stuff obviously that you’re going to go through here and there. But it really isn’t a distraction at all. It’s probably helped that we’ve been so competitive all season long, and we’ve been fighting for playoff spots and everything so we don’t let anything come in between that. We’ve had a good group. There haven’t been any issues with that whatsoever.”

The Golden Knights will host Washington in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Monday. The puck drops at 8 p.m. ET.

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