Schmidt On Golden Knights' Run: "It's Pretty Surreal"

"We were all thinking, ‘How is hockey going to work (in Las Vegas)?’" Schmidt said. "It’s definitely been working.”

The DA Show
April 24, 2018 - 2:18 pm

USA Today Images


As if winning the Pacific division wasn’t impressive enough, the Las Vegas Golden Knights swept the Los Angeles Kings 4-0 in their first-round playoff series and will face the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference semifinals.

The Knights are an expansion team.

How is this happening?

“It’s pretty surreal,” Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt said on The DA Show. “You look at it from the beginning of the year, you look at what we were supposed to be, and we had some guys who had some experience around the league – but no one really that had the types of years that we’ve had individually and collectively as a group. It’s been incredible. It’s been the most fun I’ve had playing hockey in a long time. We just have a great group in the room, and Vegas has been incredible. I got to tell you: It’s unbelievable playing here. We were all thinking, ‘How is hockey going to work here?’ It’s definitely been working.”

The Knights went 51-24-7 this season and tied for the second-best home record (29-10-2) in the league. 

“It’s almost hard to go play on the road sometimes,” Schmidt said, laughing “It’s another show in Vegas. We got Cirque du Soleil during intermissions, we’ve got performers all over the place – it’s a heck of a time. When people come to town, they definitely get their money’s worth.”

The Knights won all four games against the Kings by one goal and allowed just three goals in the series. Schmidt was a big part of that. So was Marc-Andre Fleury, who stopped 127 of 130 shots faced (.977).

“He’s caused me a lot of pain and hardship over the years when I was playing in Washington and then Pittsburgh,” Schmidt said, laughing. “But he’s an unbelievable guy as well. To have that calming factor in Marc-Andre Fleury back there, he’s incredible. You know that in every big game and at the end of games . . .  he relaxes the rest of us. We have that type of leadership and that kind of quality of player back there to (back us up) every night.”