Something eerily similar about Golden Knights

After squandering leads of 2-0 and 4-1, the Golden Knights survived a double-overtime scare in Winnipeg by defeating the Jets, 5-4.

It was going to be extremely disastrous, or a sigh of relief for the Vegas Golden Knights.

Fortunately for them, the latter came through Saturday afternoon, albeit on thin ice.

Michael Amadio’s goal at 3:40 of the second overtime gave Vegas a critical 5-4 victory over the Winnipeg Jets and a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference quarterfinals.

Vegas squandered leads of 2-0 and 4-1 before re-securing home-ice advantage with the win.

And after seeing a dominating rendition of the Golden Knights in Game 2, and the survival-mode version they’ve resembled throughout this season in Game 3, there’s something eerily familiar about this band of brothers.

I remember a group five years ago that found ways to win.

The story’s been told and doesn’t need repeating, of “the little franchise that could” and sent Vegas into a tizzy by landing in the Stanley Cup Final with a group of players 30 other teams didn’t want. Those guys figured out many ways to win. Including a double-overtime victory over the Los Angeles Kings en route an opening-round sweep. The rest is history.

Not to be confused with a group of misfits from five years ago, though, these guys were constructed to fit.

They were built to win, slowly but surely with some of the biggest names in the league.

It too has authored many ways to win.

And like in 2018, it too can do something very special if both Games 2 and 3 provided us with an undeniable indication of what we’re in store for this postseason.

“We have a veteran group so two things go into that,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said to media members Saturday. “You shouldn’t give up a lead when you have a veteran group, right? You should find a way to get to the finish line. But we also have a veteran group that can put it behind us. … We’ve found different ways to win, so put another one in there.”

After a lackluster showing in Game 1, the Golden Knights have scored five goals in both Games 1 and 2, with star power leading the way.

Captain Mark Stone scored two goals and added an assist in Thursday’s win. Jack Eichel also scored his first-ever playoff goal in his second-ever postseason game, and then netted two power-play goals in Saturday’s win.

Hmmph… three goals in Eichel’s first three career playoff games. Not bad for the guy who everyone in western New York – from Buffalo to Depew to Cheektowaga – finds nothing but negative to say about.

But it stretches beyond them, with guys like William Karlsson playing some of his best hockey of the season, Chandler Stephenson providing the consistency we’ve become used to regardless of which forward line he’s on, Alex Pietrangelo leading a group of seasoned blueliners, and dare I forget to mention the guy between the pipes.

Laurent Brossoit responded to a 5-1 loss in the opener (he allowed four of the goals), and showed his mettle in both games. He not only limited the Jets to two goals in Game 2, but he then outdueled Vezina candidate Connor Hellebuyck through four-plus periods in Game 3.

I could probably find something to brag about up and down the roster, as they all contribute.

It’s a win-by-committee team that has been finding ways to win, down the stretch of the regular season to earn the West’s No. 1 overall seed, and now in the postseason with a chance to bring a 3-1 series lead back to Vegas for Game 5 next Thursday.

“We feel we have a very good hockey team,” Eichel said after Game 2.

He’s not wrong.

“I don’t want to miss this, I want to be part of it,” Stone added Thursday before the team departed for Winnipeg. “Like I’ve said since I got traded here, this is the team I want to play for, a team I want to win with, go to war with.”

It’s the same vibe a certain group of misfits felt five years ago.

I think I’m with Stone. I don’t want to miss this either.

All indications point to something special brewing all over again.