What the San Francisco 49ers Can Learn From the Vegas Golden Knights

The San Francisco 49ers had their hearts torn after Super Bowl 58. Here's what they must do by learning from the defending Stanley Cup champs.
Minnesota Wild v Vegas Golden Knights
Minnesota Wild v Vegas Golden Knights / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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2. Keep Your Composure

Mark Stone, Adin Hill, Nick Cousins
2023 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

It's story time, Niners faithful. So gather around! In Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals last season, the Vegas Golden Knights were up 3-0. Everything's all cool and cozy, with the Knights kicking their feet up and heading into the Fortress with a 3-1 series lead. Then, four minutes into the third period, the Florida Panthers are down by one. OH MY GOODNESS! MASS HYSTERIA! MON DIEU!

But the Golden Knights didn't flinch. Instead, they doubled down the remaining 16 minutes to hold on for a 3-2 victory. The next game? They hoisted the Stanley Cup in a rout, 9-3, at T-Mobile Arena. Same thing when the Dallas Stars were given a glimmer of hope in last season's Western Conference Finals. Vegas blew the Stars out of the water in Game 6, winning the series, 4-2.

It seems like the slightest inconvenience breaks the San Francisco 49ers when they're ahead. From Patrick Mahomes converting a fourth-and-one in overtime this year to Jacquiski Tartt dropping a crucial interception in the NFC Championship a couple of years back, they can't get out of their own way.

For Vegas, stuff like this used to happen (look at Marc-Andre Fleury's mishap in the 2020-2021 playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens as an example). But the group has fortified themselves without pointing fingers. The 49ers need to be on the same page the way the Vegas Golden Knights are.