Watch CBS News

Vegas Golden Knights help a city still raw from massacre heal

LAS VEGAS -- The Vegas Golden Knights are headed to the Stanley Cup Finals, which was never supposed to happen. The odds were 500-to-1. 

Deryk Engelland is one of the stars of the Las Vegas Golden Knights, a brand-new team filled with players no one wanted.

"We just called ourselves the misfits because no other team wanted us, I guess," Engelland said. 

Now they're being called a miracle. But it's not just what they've done on the ice. 

Vegas Golden Knights v Winnipeg Jets - Game Five
Deryk Engelland #5 of the Vegas Golden Knights is presented with the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl after defeating the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals to advance to the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Bell MTS Place on May 20, 2018 in Winnipeg, Canada. Jason Halstead / Getty Images

The team's first home game was just a week after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history

"Like all of you, I'm proud to call Las Vegas home," Engelland said. He spoke directly to victims and their families. 

The Knights also retired the number 58, a moving tribute to the 58 people who died in the massacre.

"It's just a hockey game," Engelland said. "Three hours of time to shut off and not think about what happened. And that grew into people falling in love with the team and every guy in the room falling in love with the city. I think it went a long way to fuel us even more."

Fans like Kimberly Einiger agree. She knew several victims of the shooting. 

"This whole city was so somber and they electrified us," Einiger said. 

And this is still Las Vegas, where the show doesn't just go on -- it's over the top. You can't even find a seat at the team's practices, with everyone wanting to keep turning the page on this team's storybook season.

They're now poised to hoist one of sports' most iconic trophies. Whether or not they lift the Stanley Cup, they've already lifted up an entire city.   

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.