Vegas Golden Knights showing they have the mental fortitude to win it all

This Vegas Golden Knights team is made of some strong stuff.

You need to be resilient, determined and mentally tough during the course of a long and gruelling championship run, and the Vegas Golden Knights are ticking all of those boxes right now.

We covered it in a piece here but the Golden Knights have already had to deal with a hell of a lot of adversity this postseason.

They are having to adjust to life inside The Bubble, which is the same for all teams in the Stanley Cup Playoffs granted, but they have also had to deal with a lot of outside noise.

For starters, there has been a lot more scrutiny on this team ever since the front office shocked the hockey world by canning Head Coach Gerard Gallant and replacing him with the man who led the loathed San Jose Sharks.

Pete DeBoer.

Given that DeBoer has taken two teams to the Stanley Cup Final in his first season behind the bench, it was clear that the Golden Knights were putting all of their chips in the middle of the table.

And, if it wasn’t clear then, then it was abundantly clear at the Trade Deadline when Vegas pulled the trigger on a stunning trade for elite goalie Robin Lehner.

That sent a clear message to everyone that nothing less than a Stanley Cup this year would be deemed a huge failure by Owner Bill Foley, and nothing has changed on that front.

Of course, we should have foreseen that Lehner was brought in as the man to help Vegas win now rather than ease the load on Marc-Andre Fleury, and that in itself has created its own storm.

But the Golden Knights toughed it out in the wake of that graphic Tweet from Fleury’s longtime agent Allan Walsh, and all of that will be background noise if Lehner leads Vegas to glory this summer.

They also banished some notable demons after avoiding a repeat of last year’s disaster.

A year after blowing a 3-1 series lead and a three-goal lead in Game 7 to the San Jose Sharks, the Golden Knights were on the cusp of being haunted from their ghosts of the past this season.

Seemingly in cruise control in their Round 2 matchup against Vancouver, they allowed the Canucks to win two straight games and extend the series to a Game 7.

They were shutout in Game 6 and it looked like the Knights could choke in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second consecutive year.

However, Robin Lehner was huge and the offense woke up to get the job done in Game 7 and deliver when it mattered most.

Robin Lehner #90 of the Vegas Golden Knights celebrates with his teammates after defeating the Dallas Stars in Game Two

Robin Lehner #90 of the Vegas Golden Knights celebrates with his teammates after defeating the Dallas Stars in Game Two of the Western Conference Final. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

And it happened again on Tuesday.

After being shutout by a very good, a very loaded, a very heavy and a very versatile Dallas Stars team in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final, the Golden Knights had more adversity to deal with.

They were completely dominated on Sunday, bullied at points, and it didn’t look as if though they could deal with Dallas’ suffocating forecheck.

The Stars are a step up in opponent too, no disrespect to the Chicago Blackhawks and the Vancouver Canucks of course, but Dallas’ mix of experience and youth is a deadly concoction.

But, with questions looming over their stagnant offense and their inability to get it going on the power play, this group responded in a huge way yet again.

They toughed out the first period in Game 2 and then went to work in the second period, scoring three unanswered goals including a goal on the man advantage to completely blow away the Stars.

Lehner then shut the door for his fourth shutout of the postseason and, just like that, Vegas made it a series.

It was a gigantic response from a team that thrive in bouncing back and that mental fortitude and steely resilience are key ingredients in any championship-winning season.

And, in that sense, the Vegas Golden Knights are showing right now that they possess the heart and character you need to climb the mountain and win a Stanley Cup.