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House 'Always Wins' For Vegas At Home; Credit The Hard Work

Golden Knights players provide some explanation for the team's standout performance at T-Mobile Arena

by Gary Lawless @GoldenKnights /

Want to know why the Vegas Golden Knights are winning games? Center William Karlsson sums it up in one quick sentence.

"If a guy isn't working hard - he's going to hear about it in the room. Someone is going to say something to him," said Karlsson. "And then he's going to go out and work his ass off to make up for it."

Coaches can preach about work ethic, desire and will but it is the players that lace up the skates and step on to the ice and perform. They determine the effort level.

Winning puck battles, applying back pressure and outworking the opposition is a controllable variable. The Golden Knights have realized this and made it their foundation. It makes them so fun to watch and so easy to like.

Skill is mysterious and fleeting. It bends to puck luck. Vegas isn't steeped in talent. So this team makes up for it with effort. It's easy to say but much harder to execute.

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"Accountability in the room is a great thing for a coach," said Golden Knights bench boss Gerard Gallant. "Coaches can set the tone but the players have to make it happen. And when they police themselves like our guys have - it's a great foundation for a team. They know what I want and what I expect. And they've delivered on that with hard work. It makes them a fun group to coach."

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Vegas is the glitziest town on the planet. But it's underpinned by hard work. The show doesn't happen by accident. It is planned and then executed through grueling spadework. People love a great show but they understand what goes into the making of one.

Which is why they have come to love this inaugural version of their Golden Knights.

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Reports had close to 2,500 Winnipeg Jets fans in T-Mobile Arena on Friday night. Jets Nation is known to travel well and to dwarf the home crowd with their relentless willingness to make noise. Not on Friday.

Vegas fans picked up the sword and took up the fight. They met each swell of noise provided by the opposition fans and pushed it back.

"Anything you can do, we can do louder," was the home side's mantra. The result was the best atmosphere of the season for the Golden Knights, home or away. It started loud and stayed loud. It was a passion play in the stands and on the ice. It was a meshing of fans and players. It was awesome.

And underneath it all was a willingness to grind. To win puck battles and to finish checks.

Vegas won't win many games on flash and dash. They just don't have the talent to make that happen right now. Team, however, beats talent. And that's Vegas has right now. A team.

And if that fails, well, Nate Schmidt offered the following as to why Vegas is 7-1 at home.

"The house always wins in this town," smiled Schmidt.

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