Getaway pulls Golden Knights even closer –

LAS VEGAS — The picture speaks 1,000 words — or perhaps 60 points, the number the Vegas Golden Knights have earned halfway through their inaugural season.

It is on the Instagram account of forward Brendan Leipsic. Hanging out on a boat off the cost of Mexico during their five-day break this week were eight members of the Golden Knights (from left to right): Reilly Smith, James Neal, Alex Tuch, Erik Haula, Leipsic, Nate Schmidt, Colin Miller and Shea Theodore.

What makes it significant is they were all in the same boat in another sense a few months ago. They had come from established teams to join an expansion team in a new city. For the most part, they hadn’t played together. They didn’t know each other.

Now they’re second in the NHL standings entering their game against the Edmonton Oilers at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV) and tight enough that they want to spend their free time together. The bonding is both a cause and effect of winning.

“It’s awesome how we came together as a group here,” Haula said. “We’re close, close guys, and we get along well, and it shows.”

Usually when players report to training camp, there is a hierarchy. There are veterans and new guys. Often the veterans are trying to keep spots, the new guys trying to take them.

When the Golden Knights reported to training camp, there was little to no hierarchy. There were players with varying levels of experience, but everyone was a new guy in Vegas.

“It’s not your typical, ‘Come in to training camp, say hi to the guys that you’ve been around for the last few years, get back to work,’ ” Neal said. “You’re honestly saying hi to them for the

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