BILLINGS – While the professional sports fairy tale continues for the Vegas Golden Knights, it also skates on for former Billings Bulls trainer Mike Muir.
When MTN Sports caught up with Muir in Las Vegas last December, the expansion Golden Knights were rattling the NHL with a red-hot start. Now they’ve stunned the league by tearing up history books to rewrite their own.
Among franchise and NHL records, the Golden Knights most recently eliminated the L.A. Kings to become the first expansion team to sweep a playoff series.
And, according to the team’s assistant athletic trainer, Vegas can’t get enough.
“Now, with the playoffs going, it’s even more crazy,” said Muir in a Wednesday afternoon phone interview. “We had a DJ and cheerleaders at practice today. We literally have 600 to 800 people come to practice every day.”
Was there a point in the last three or four months where he thought, ‘Okay, the wheels have got to fall off.’
“Haha, no I really don’t think so,” Muir said. “Once it was going, I didn’t really see any reason why it would stop. Of course, everything snowballed and it was great, but it didn’t seem to matter who we played. We played the top teams in the league, the ones who were in the Stanley Cup Finals, and we still seemed to be able to beat them. So it gave confidence to all the guys.”
This sort of expansion start will likely never happen again, in any sport. So witnessing it from the inside is beyond memorable for Muir.
“You know, it’s pretty special,” he said. “I’ve told everyone that I’ve spoken to that I’m extremely lucky to have the opportunity. Taking advantage of it for sure. This city has really taken a hold of the team, and for all the doubters that didn’t think hockey would work in Vegas, they’re proving them wrong.”
The Golden Knights open Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Thursday night at home against San Jose. The game will be televised on NBC Sports Network starting at 8 p.m. MDT.