Jonathan Marchesault’s Natural Hat Trick Makes Vegas Stanley Cup Favorites

Jonathan Marchesault (left) scored his second goal of the second period in Game Six of the second round of the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs against the Edmonton Oilers.

Jonathan Marchesault (left) scored his second goal of the second period in Game Six of the second round of the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs against the Edmonton Oilers.
image, Getty Images

the edmonton oilers’ The ability to turn back the clock officially turned off on Sunday night. Despite having two of the top five players in the league, a deep playoff run was again not in the cards. Three straight goalless goals came off the stick of Jonathan Marchesault in the second period The Golden Knights’ Series-ending win over Oilers, sending Edmonton home first Western Conference Finals. The final score in Canada was 5–2, a 3-goal margin, with Marchesault scoring the game-tying, game-winning, and the last non-empty-net goal of the series.

What is the natural hat trick?

The natural hat trick is a rare feat, no doubt about it, only 8 percent NHL games feature one player scoring three goals. And only a few of those are scored without another player finding the back of the net for the team. And with the competitiveness of the playoffs, it’s even more rare, with the most recent coming the Sunday before last season, when Evander Kane surpassed it against Calgary. Before that, it was Sidney Crosby against Philadelphia in 2018. The last match in any NHL game was the Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov in March.

i predicted a dozen days ago that the winner between Vegas and Edmonton would lift the Stanley Cup. And I feel even more confident in that selection now that the series is over. Florida is not winning this. Carolina will likely be the league’s runner-up. And whoever comes out of Game 7 between Dallas and Seattle doesn’t have the depth to be with the Golden Knights. Vegas has only been playing in the NHL since 2017 and has made the playoffs in five of the six seasons in franchise history. This is also the fourth time the Golden Knights have been one of the Final Four teams. start. Vegas rode the NHL’s bizarre expansion rules to pick a solid player from every other NHL team to bolster their original campaign, the team’s only trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. And that trip was in his first season, where the Golden Knights were dusted by the Capitals in five.

Golden Knights’ route to the Cup

The previous year was Vegas’ only season ending in 82 games. That disappointment paved the way for a re-tooling of the roster and coaching staff. The Golden Knights could no longer rely on the momentum of the expansion draft to win, rules that were changed for the Kraken, making Seattle’s postseason run this year in their second campaign all the more impressive. The new blood is so evenly spread that Edmonton and Winnipeg play their glorified game of taking poison. And there was too much arsenic in their Tim Horton’s. Marchesault’s natural hat trick was just the finishing touch. His first two goals were tap-ins in back-to-back shifts. Before the second period ended, a 4-on-3 wrist shot from the left faceoff circle beat Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner.

Vegas still has the aura of the new kids on the block for the NHL and yet will be facing genuine neophytes or a team that has been to the Stanley Cup Finals more recently than the Western Conference Finals. And I’m not looking at Kraken or STARS, but what the team has shown after the season Can hang with what the Golden Knights have displayed so far? The answer is simple: nothing. And for the first time since that first trip, should Vegas be back in the Stanley Cup Finals, that would make all the difference.