Vegas Golden Knights: Where Would a Stanley Cup Win Rank in Greatest Sporting Upsets?
**DRAFTED May 29**
The Vegas Golden Knights have not only been the story of the 2017/18 NHL season; they’re the story of North American major league sports this year. In their inaugural season, the Golden Knights have shocked ice hockey fans all over the world by surging to the top of the Pacific Division and then going on to feature in the Stanley Cup Finals.
So, if the Golden Knights were to go on to win the Stanley Cup, where would their achievement rank in comparison to other team achievements throughout the history of sports, and what recognition will they get for making it to the Finals?
Leicester City wins the English Premier League
Known all over the world as the toughest, most competitive, and richest league in soccer, the English Premier League witnessed one of the greatest moments in sport back in 2016. Having narrowly avoided relegation in the 2014/15 season, the Foxes decided to sack their manager, Nigel Pearson, and bring in Claudio Ranieri to run the team. With this, Leicester was given odds of 5000/1 to win the Premier League – a fool’s bet that mostly only super-fans put a couple of notes on.
But then, they started to win. It wasn’t until late in the season when analysts started to believe that little Leicester could go on to win the league; which is exactly what they did.
New York Giants win Super Bowl XLII
Hailed as one of the greatest Super Bowl upsets of all-time, which also featured the legendary helmet catch, the New York Giants winning Super Bowl XLII will go down as one of the biggest moments in football history.
To make it to the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots had achieved a perfect 16-0 regular season with two comprehensive wins in the playoffs. The Giants, on the other hand, entered as a wild card with a 10-6 regular season record. But, thanks to the Giants defense overwhelming the Pats’ star man, Tom Brady, and Eli Manning playing like a superhero, the Giants snagged a 17-14 win.
Any team that can overcome the incredibly dominant duo of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick deserves recognition. It’s one of the reasons why the Philadelphia Eagles are a favorite pick to win the Super Bowl with the Paddy Power free bet via Oddschecker. Super Bowl XLII showcases one of the greatest giant killers in the sport.
Team USA defeats the Soviet Union
In North America, it is spoken of as the greatest moment in the history of sports. At the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York, Team USA came second in its group to make it to the final round. In the first game of that final round, they faced the undefeated favorites, the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Union dominated all game but, with exactly ten minutes left to play, the USA was remarkably on top 4-3. They absorbed everything that their opponents could throw at them and came out with a momentous win. It’s known as the Miracle on Ice and led to the USA winning gold.
How the Vegas Golden Knights compare
The Vegas Golden Knights making it to the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season already trumps that of the New York Giants’ triumph, who had built a team of strong star players over many seasons to put in a great showing in one final game. If the Golden Knights were to come back from being 3-1 down in the Finals, that could rank level with Team USA’s win over the Soviet Union in 1980, if not outrank it as Vegas conquered the best teams over a whole season and pulled back three consecutive wins against the mighty Washington Capitals – a team loaded with elite-level Russian talent.
However, it’s hard to see the Vegas Golden Knights closing in on the spectacle that was Leicester City’s Premier League win. It may be Vegas’ first season, but the rules of the expansion draft allowed them to pick some top talents from around the league. Leicester, on the other hand, had a team purchased on a far smaller budget to that of the big teams and they defeated those big-money teams en route to becoming champions.