3 things the Vegas Golden Knights must do to return to the Stanley Cup Finals

Ladies and gentlemen, a new Stanley Cup champion is being crowned this month. What can the Vegas Golden Knights do to hoist the prestigious trophy again?
US President Joe Biden hosts the Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights
US President Joe Biden hosts the Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights / Anadolu/GettyImages
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It's tough watching another team hoist a trophy that you won last season. All the fun memories of becoming the champion of a respective sport flies by, watching players eat hot dogs out of the Stanley Cup. There's also the occasional player in a conga line with the illustrious trophy and a bunch of kids following. In short, the memories flood like a good 1990s movie for a 30-year-old person (or older).

The Vegas Golden Knights are victims of this, with their title defense ending in the first round. The Dallas Stars did them in behind a dominating performance that went a surprising seven games. Hockey fans will have a new champion this month, with the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers fighting in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Golden Knights fans might watch or be indifferent to the matchup. Their beloved team isn't competing for the prized trophy, so why should it matter to them? But they're probably not thinking about the matchup. Their thoughts consist of what the team must do to get back, already anticipating the start of next season.

And who could blame them? The high of the first Stanley Cup still courses through their veins. Moments like the fulfilled promise, the breathtaking save from Adin Hill, or even the celebratory heart photo made the run special. Why not go for another run and get more iconic memories for the fanbase?

That's what Vegas fans deserve, especially after their miraculous run during their inaugural season. Of course, they can't try the same thing as this season. That strategy didn't win them anything. However, making the following three adjustments will ensure the Vegas Golden Knights are back in the Stanley Cup Finals, with a chance to win a second title.

The Vegas Golden Knights must bolster their power play

Certain things in life are mere formalities. Death, taxes, and the Vegas Golden Knights's power play not doing anything. The lifetime percentage for the unit is 19.6%, which is surprising and depressing. When your best season on the man advantage is 22% (2019-20), that's a major cause for concern.

What did Vegas do to bolster the unit? Add proficient offensive pieces to the unit, keeping them for the long term. Noah Hanifin and Tomas Hertl were brought in to add more muscle, which they did. For the defenseman, he scored two power play goals and three power play assists in 19 games with his new team. For Hertl, he had a goal and an assist on the man advantage in six games for Vegas.

With the new pieces, the unit saw a dramatic turnaround. They scored on 46.7% of their man advantage opportunities after April 7, finally breathing new life into the group. With more time together, the team will become better as they adapt to one another. However, the Stanley Cup Finals return won't happen if they don't bring back one particular "Misfit..."