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It’s ok if you’re happy that the Vegas Golden Knights are heading to the Stanley Cup Final

Hockey fans are torn between this being the greatest story on ice or an affront to all mankind.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Vegas Golden Knights at Winnipeg Jets James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

Thumbing through hockey Twitter after the Knights defeated the Jets looked a lot like this:

There were people either grumbling that a team had the gall to make the finals in their first season (and in a league where expansion teams weren’t guaranteed that in their first season, to boot!) or people who were really, really happy about the whole thing:

As a former Atlanta Thrashers fan, I had the requisite moment of “man, I wish we had an expansion draft like that!” And yes, the Golden Knights did get Marc-Andre Fleury and James Neil in that draft - but they also got more third line players than the Blues have in any given season. They managed to build a chemistry that’s unheard of for an expansion team who haven’t had the opportunity to build as a squad for a season or two.

Maybe there’s a bit of jealousy out there that firmly established NHL teams like the Sabres, Canucks, Capitals, and Blues still haven’t won the Stanley Cup, but that’s not the Golden Knights’ fault. It’s the fault of decades of mismanagement and assembling of teams that are always pretty good, but never good enough. A piece is always missing - a goaltender, an intangible (like cohesive team chemistry), depth scoring.

George McPhee didn’t time travel in a phone booth to screw over your team, or our team.

This is an embarrassing stat. Whose fault is it? It’s the Blues’ (and I’m not saying @StlBlueshistory is blaming it on the Knights, because I know he’s not). The team’s consistently come up short for 50 years. I get the disappointment, because I feel it too. We all feel it every year, and it’s more acute when a team just waltzes into the league and punches their ticket to the Finals with a 12-3 record.

But it’s ok to admit that it feels a little unfair while still admitting that fairness has nothing to do with it. Suffering builds character, after all, and we have some of the most character out of all hockey fans. At least we have that on ‘em.

And hey, seeing their batshit pre-game ceremony at least two more times next round can be something that all hockey fans should be excited about.