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That's betterhelp.com slash positive. David Pagnotta of the Fourth Period and Sirius XM NHL Radio. David, you're there in Vegas. You saw these first two games before you traveled to Florida. What's your reaction to at least the Golden Knights winning the first two? A combination of a total amount of dominance from the Vegas Golden Knights and just deer-in-a-headlight kind of reaction that we've been getting from the Florida Panthers so far in this one. In these first couple of games. On the first two periods of game one, feeling out process, it was tight, it was close, it was 2-2. And then just Vegas turned up the heat in that third period.
And really, they haven't stopped. They haven't taken their foot off the gas in the last four periods. As you said, record amount of goals in the first two games of a cup final by Vegas with 12. They've got nine different goal scorers in the first two games, which is another record in the Stanley Cup final going back to 1943-44 season. So in the modern era, setting another record, this Vegas team, we're seeing what their depth is capable of. And as much as Florida is throwing the body around and out hitting them, it has not phased Vegas whatsoever. You mentioned Florida's reaction and deer-in-the-headlights.
I would not have expected that from a Panther squad that already stared down the Bruins in a game seven on the road and then of course swept in the East Finals. So why is that? Great question. I mean, I'm trying to figure this out. They're certainly trying to figure this out. When you've got such a break off in between games, and it was a big break for the Florida Panthers from the conference final to going into this one into the final, it might have messed up with their mojo a little bit, which is understandable.
And sometimes it takes a little bit of time to get things going again. Maybe going home, there's two days off now in between games. Game three isn't until Thursday. They're going to go home, maybe regroup, feel a little bit more comfortable on home ice, and try to get back into this thing in game three. We know that they're capable of coming back against some of the best opponents in the National Hockey League, as you mentioned, against Boston in the first round.
So I don't think they're phased just yet, but the performance definitely has to step up. How would you describe what we've seen so far from Aidan Hill? Holy cow. Unbelievable. I mean, even tonight, I'm looking over at some of my colleagues in the press box after he's making, I can't remember who shot it, but he made a ridiculously tremendous glove save.
And I'm like, really? Where'd this guy come from? He has been, and I say that obviously tongue in cheek, but making a name for himself, no question. And sometimes seizing an opportunity really does wonders. And that's what he's been able to do for his career and in this playoff run for Vegas, coming in for Laurent Brossois against Edmonton. I was there for that, covering that series or part of that series as well. He came in calm, cool, collected guy. We talked to him on media day.
I'm enjoying all of this and talking to us and having to deal with this. And he's like, honestly, I'd rather just be on the ice. He's totally dialed in. And when you've got a huge, strong presence in front of you with your six defensemen, it adds to your confidence level, no question. And Aidan Hill has been absolutely tremendous and he's outperformed Sergei Bobrovsky without question in these first couple of games. David, I've spent a little time looking at him and trying to research his background. And what stood out to me is that he's never in any season that he's been in the NHL started more than 25 games.
You say it tongue in cheek and maybe rhetorical. Where did he come from? But seriously, where did he come from? Look, you know, sometimes you're brought into a situation and into an environment and the thought process is, you know what, let's get him a few games in. He'll be a backup plan for either a backup or a backup plan for the backup third string kind of guy.
When he was brought in here and acquired earlier on in the season, he told us as well, he's like, I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know what my role was going to be. Was I going to be a backup? Was I going to be able to start some games? Was I the third string guy? You know, he just went into this season with Vegas and into these playoffs, just with the mindset of, I'm going to do my thing and I'm going to be here for my team.
And if an opportunity pops up and I can, you know, grab the reins a little bit, I'm definitely going to do that. But that wasn't his mindset going in. He wasn't trying to go out there and take the starter's job or anything like that. Obviously, I mean, these guys are competitive, but his mindset was I'm going to play my game and whatever happens happens and a lot's been happening lately for him.
It definitely has, man. What an incredible first two games in the Stanley Cup final. We're so excited to reconnect with David Penota, who is with the fourth period editor-in-chief. And also you can hear him on Sirius XM NHL radio. It's after hours on CBS Sports Radio. Want to ask you about the, we'll call it a collision between Matthew Kuchuk and Jack Eichel late in the second period.
What was your perspective on that, David? Oh, it was a great hit. I mean, it's physical and Jack Eichel set it after the game to clean hit.
It's a physical sport. You're going to get hit sometimes. I, at first, I thought maybe he dished out the puck and maybe they were looking at this and going, maybe there was a charge coming, a charging penalty coming against Kuchuk, but the puck was right with, with Jack Eichel. It was a clean hit, a strong check. He tried to brace for it and kind of toe picked a little bit and fell into him. And that's kind of what led to the, really the impact of the overall collision, but he seemed fine after the game talking to reporters and saying, he's good. It's just these kinds of things happen.
You just deal with it. I'm glad to hear that he's okay. Cause that made me nervous at first, considering his history. I'd love to ask you about Jonathan Marcheso too, because it feels like he has had one heck of a playoffs. Uh, what have you seen from him? That's impressive.
Oh, everything. Uh, uh, his, his overall, um, offensive performance has been absolutely tremendous. And the eye for the net, he's got 11 goals. Uh, so far he's tied now with Jack Eichel for the team lead in points, which I believe memory serves me correctly. If I'm, I think they're both now tied for the franchise record in points in a playoff run for Vegas, which in six years, pretty decent considering they've been to a cup final twice, but you know, for, for Marcheso, he's, he's out there capitalizing on some of the chances. And we've seen that in the first couple of games, two goals tonight, uh, gets an assist and has been just an overall dominant performer offensively for this group. And you look at the depth of the Vegas golden Knights. I mean, he's one of the offensive guys that kind of leads the charge for them. And he's making a hell of a case, uh, for con Smyth his playoff MVP. And we'll see kind of how the rest of the series goes, but between him and Jack Eichel, it's now a bit of a two headed race here to see who's going to take that prize and they can pull this off. I go obviously a very highly touted draft pick.
It didn't work out. Why has he found a home in Vegas? As soon as he got there, they embraced them and it, it pretty much eliminated a lot of pressure on him, you know, cause second overall right after Connor McDavid, the pressure of being in Buffalo, trying to get that team back on the climb and on the rise coming into Vegas. I mean, they, they welcomed him with open arms after making that trade and he felt a bit at ease and again, lack of lack of pressure. I mean, obviously he wants to go out there and compete, but it just, the comfort zone for him was a lot better with, or has been with this group than with what was going on in Buffalo. And, and between that contract negotiations and management and a few things that kind of clashed, he found his home here and he got comfortable right away. And he's obviously cementing some strong roots here in Vegas.
David Pannota is with us from Las Vegas after the golden Knights take a two oh seriously in the Stanley cup final over Florida. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence here on CBS sports radio, the golden Knights have what six guys remaining from the team that went to the 18 Stanley cup final and their inaugural season. How did they get to this point?
Right? Well, look, first of all, I mean the original misfits, those six guys, they're, they're playing tremendously and just doing wonders for this group, but overall look, they've got an owner in, in bill Foley that wants to win and he was willing to do whatever it takes, whatever it took and spend whatever was needed to be spent in order to make sure that they, they insulate this group with the right pieces. They went out and made the huge trade for Mark Stone, who later becomes their captain. When we talked about the acquisition of Jack Eichel, they weren't afraid to spend the money and they went right after Alex Patrangelo as a free agent and, and got him away from St. Louis after the blues won the cup. They brought in other key pieces that have won before Alec Martinez from the Los Angeles Kings. He comes in after acquiring him, they, they keep him around two Stanley cup rings under his belt.
Jonathan quick, they make that acquisition earlier on in the season and quick, by the way, has been fantastic in the room with a, from a leadership perspective, especially in, in helping out aid and health. So it's about bringing in the right pieces and the right guys that can compliment each other. And they've done that with their original group and they brought in the right guys that, as I said, compliment the rest of the team and the rest of the roster. They got a ton of stars and Eichel's now, you know, entering that superstar status, but this wasn't a matter of just, let's go get the best we can and go from there. They brought, they brought the right pieces in place that work well together. And it's obviously shown because they're just, they're on it here.
Yes, they definitely are. David, you had a chance to catch up with the commissioner, Gary Bettman on your pregame show for Sirius XM. What stands out about that conversation? One of the biggest things for me that's, that, that stood out at that one was the term non-traditional hockey market.
He hates it. And you're looking at, you're looking at Vegas and what's going on here. You look at South Florida and the arena in sunrise for away games was packed.
They filled it. So you're looking at this market and that market and, and the non-traditional doesn't work anymore. It's about embracing the market that you're in, taking the local community and applying it to your team and connecting with that fan base. And if you're able to do that, you build a strong culture right away. I mean, even if like Seattle has got a lot more hockey history than, you know, Vegas, but even then you needed to, you needed to to take that local culture and implement it and apply it right into your hockey club.
So you can have that connectivity with the fans. That's what they have here in South Florida, bit of a different sports beast. It's more of a, what have you done for me lately type of environment in pretty much any sport. But they're embracing it. And for me and hearing, you know, the commissioner talk about the, the the plans that are put in place to focus on these markets and connect with the local fan base to eliminate that non-traditional term.
That was a standout for me. Is he happy with how everything's going otherwise? Oh yeah, he better be.
Yeah, he seemed like it. But this is, yeah, this is great. Look, when you have these two markets, you could build up on the league and build up the fan base across the board for the national hockey league in those types of markets. We've got the NHL awards and the NHL draft coming up in a couple of weeks in Nashville. You know, we're not talking about Toronto and New York and Chicago and Detroit and things like that. We're talking about these other markets that have totally embraced this sport and you're building a strong culture across the board. And you know, you're seeing in markets like Arizona and a bit of a different beast what's going on there, but in terms of, you know, that market and California and even, even Florida, you're getting now kids that are playing the sport and are now being drafted into national hockey league from those types of markets.
I mean, that's, that's fantastic. David, before I let you go, I have to ask you this because you're based in Toronto. And last week on my show, we were talking about the fact that between the NHL and the NBA, there are three franchises that could win their first ever title. And obviously in the NHL, some franchise will win its first ever Stanley cup. And so I was asking my listeners who's next, what franchise, what fan base desperately needs a title. And of course, I hear from a ton of Canadian hockey fans, any team in Canada, just any team in Canada, Toronto is an original six, Edmonton Oilers, who've done so much work to put together this quality franchise and yet still not yet.
Is there a common denominator or do you think at some point with the work they're doing, we're going to see them break through? I got to think at some point soon, one of these teams, whether it's the Leafs, maybe the Oilers are best positioned to bring the Stanley cup back North of the border. We haven't seen, as you said, a championship in Canada, in the NHL since 93, when the Montreal Canadians won it's tough. It's tough to do it.
It's tough to find the right pieces in place. You can have the best player in the world in Edmonton and Connor McDavid and still not be there. Cause you have to have the right pieces impressive as some of the individual accolades are in order to win international hockey league, you have to do it as a collective group.
You have to have lines one through four rolling. You have to have your defense on on point and you need to have strong goals. If you have all those pieces and whatever works for you, again, it doesn't have to be the best of the best, but it has to be the right group that works. That's how you win a championship in the NHL and teams like Edmonton and Toronto are probably the closest. Honestly, I think we're going to see a lot of movement out of Edmonton over this off season with the draft coming up. They want to change that narrative, bring that championship to their city.
And I think they're going to be active in trying to do that and finding those pieces this summer. Well, right now the pieces seem to be in place for the golden Knights, two wins away from a Stanley cup and David Pagnotta of the fourth period and Sirius XM NHL radio is in Vegas headed to South Florida soon. You can find him on Twitter at the fourth period, spelling out the fourth. Always great to catch up with you. Thanks so much for making a couple of minutes for us.
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