Caps vs. Golden Knights Is Feeling Like a Rivalry

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Posted October 10, 2018

Nicklas Backstrom scored his first goal of the season on Wednesday. (Caps Outsider)

Usually, playing an expansion team means you’re more likely to win, as every team beat the Caps in their inaugural season and the Caps beat the expansion Florida Panthers for 20 straight years. But the Golden Knights proved they weren’t an ordinary expansion team last season, even beating the Caps in their two meetings before, you know, that Stanley Cup thing.

But even in those four Caps victories, plus the 5-2 win on Wednesday in their third regular season meeting, the Caps/Knights games have been extremely competitive, like a rivalry of sorts is brewing. After all, it was the eighth meeting of the two teams in less than a year, the sixth in the last eight games, and matchup No. 9 is scheduled Dec. 4.

“It’s always fun games to play against them, especially the way we ended last year,” said Nicklas Backstrom after the game. As for facing them going forward, they’ll always have fond memories of the Cup, but can’t dwell on it. “We’re not going to talk about it on the ice but it’ll be in the back in the heads.”

Wednesday’s win showcased two very determined teams battling as if it were personal – not in the let’s hurt the guy sense, but in the good hockey sense. Perhaps we’ll get another solid game in December, but unless these two teams square off again for Lord Stanley, it’s likely what feels like a rivalry now will fade away and Vegas will one day just be known as that team the Caps beat to win their first Stanley Cup. That’s fine with us.