Nosek: Hockey in Vegas is one big party, the club kicked off its first season

Nosek: Hockey in Vegas is one big party, the club kicked off its first season

Nosek: Hockey in Vegas is one big party, the club kicked off its first season

Boston hockey player Tomáš Nosek (back) celebrates his goal on Edmonton ice in an NHL game on February 28, 2023.

Boston (USA)/Prague – Dedicated fans i owner Bill Foley, a pleasant environment for hockey and a very successful entry among the elite in the NHL in the premier season 2017/18. According to Czech striker Tomáš Nosk, these are the main ingredients that helped his former team Vegas Golden Knights reach the hockey Olympics last season, as he stated in a telephone interview with ČTK.

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The Golden Knights, whose colors were defended by Nosek for four seasons between 2017 and 2021, were able to win the Stanley Cup already in their sixth season since 2017, when they expanded the peloton of NHL participants. They ended the extraordinary season with a 4:1 final triumph over the Florida Panthers. Celebrations are planned for Saturday and can be expected to be spectacular in the “city of sin”. Also because of how much people enjoy hockey in Las Vegas.

“They say they have it like their baby, that it's their little baby. With the arrival of the Golden Knights, the fan base got their first team from the four biggest professional competitions in the USA. And you can tell. The atmosphere is great there. And they say the hockey environment in Vegas is the best in the league. The people there aren't that hockey educated and many didn't really know hockey to begin with, but they are incredibly dedicated and enjoy it so much. Hockey in Vegas is one big party. They know very well how to make a show out of it,” explained Nosek.

In his opinion, the way he entered the league helped the team tremendously. Immediately upon his debut in the 2017/18 season, he shocked the entire NHL by advancing to the finals, in which he was not good enough for Washington. Since then, they have claimed the top spot every year, only the previous year 2021/22 brought disappointment, when the Golden Knights ended the season for the first time already after the regular season.

“I think the first year he really kicked it off and got the crowd into it a lot, got them in. Just making the playoffs every year is very difficult, whether you've been in the league for a short time or a hundred years. In Vegas he was but a successful team from the very beginning. And it was confirmed in the years after that,” Nosek recalled the years 2020 and 2021, when the Vegas team failed only in the fight to advance to the finals.

“I guess the air is good there,” laughed Nosek. “I think it's one and the other. I know the owner, he's a great guy who will do everything for the team and everything for success. It's set up well overall. And the way the expansion draft is set up helped, thanks to players like Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault from Florida could come, for example. I think the fact that in Vegas you have 300 days of sunshine a year also has a certain influence. Even if it's not always warm, it's certainly pleasant,” Nosek added more seriously.

The last piece of the successful puzzle was coach Bruce Cassidy, whom he knows well, as the 58-year-old coach was the head of the Boston rotation in Nosk's first year with the Bruins in the previous season.

“I listened to an interview with the captain Mark Stone who said that the coach brought the intensity. That's how it probably worked and it probably will. The truth is that the two coaches that were there and I was able to recognize them were completely different,” he recalled Nosek of previous coach Gerard Gallant and Peter DeBoer. “Bruce Cassidy is new blood. And also a coach who can make you a little uncomfortable in an attempt to squeeze a little more out of you. Some people have the mental ability to endure it and it will kick them on, while others don't, but then it's up to the coach to evaluate it,” Nosek pointed out.

He himself watched the final series with mixed feelings. “I won't lie to you, the cast of the final was a bit unpleasant on a personal level. One team knocked us out in the first round and I played for the second. It wasn't much to watch from this side, but I watch the final if I can. And since I'm still in America and there was time for it, I watched it, although not very enthusiastically. But everyone cares who wins. And with Vegas being there, I still cared a little more,” admitted Nosek.

It is obvious that Florida was much worse for him in the finals, which managed to send the Bruins on vacation in the 1st round, even though the regular season sovereign and the main favorite to win the Stanley Cup had a 3:1 lead on his side. “It's like that in the playoffs, and it will always be like that, that the regular season is completely wiped out. We're not the first and certainly not the last to be eliminated like that in the first round. There are no certainties there. It's cruel for the players of the team to be eliminated like that , but I think it's certainly interesting for an unbiased viewer when it's not clear who will win. And absolutely anyone can win,” Nosek said. bonds. “It's not that I have any best friends in the team, but I congratulated a few guys, yes. However, I really like the city as such. I was there for four years with my wife, we built a family there, both of our children they were born there… After Pardubice, it's a second home for us,” explained Nosek.

The thirty-year-old native and pupil of Pardubice himself is now experiencing a period of uncertainty about what his immediate hockey future will be. His two-year contract worth $3.5 million in Boston is expiring and he can become an unrestricted free agent. free agents, as it happens every year. I would definitely like to stay in Boston, that's my priority. We like it here a lot and there's a great group of players here, but we'll see how it all turns out in the end,” Nosek concluded.