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Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

WINNIPEG JETS 4 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 (28-17-4 60 PTS)

Vegas spent a majority of the first two periods on the power play, including a late 5-on-3, but the only goal that came from it was a shorthanded goal for Winnipeg. A  turnover at the blueline led to the Jets second goal and the Golden Knights headed to the locker room down a pair in the 2nd. Vegas finally got on the board early in the 3rd, but Laurent Brossoit played unbelievably. Winnipeg added two empty-netters late.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place.

  • Nikita Gusev update from George McPhee
  • Carp’s Wednesday column presented by the Jimmerson Law Firm

Ken’s Three Stars
*** Laurent Brossoit
** Laurent Brossoit
* Laurent Brossoit

Scoring Goals, The Only Thing Wrong With VGK PP

One of VGK’s best PP guys has been struggling to score, but the chances have been there. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights are one for their last 24 on the power play. They matched their longest stretch of the season by not scoring a PP goal in six straight games and have dropped to 12th in the league at 18.8% on the season.

So, the obvious question is, what’s going wrong that’s keeping the Golden Knights from converting?

The answer, and please don’t want to hurt me when you read this, is nothing. The power play has actually been quite good except for the end product. They’ve been successfully entering the zone with regularity, they’ve won a majority of face-offs, they’ve spent most of their man-advantage time in the offensive zone, and they’ve created a ton of chances, many Grade A+.

In the 24 power play opportunities, the Golden Knights have created 46 scoring chances, 24 of them high danger (according to NaturalStatTrick.com). That’s almost two chances per PP and at least one of them either in the blue paint or right around it.

I watched all 24 power plays and counted just two that I would consider below average. More than 15 were what I consider good or great.

Here are four examples of great chances that aren’t converted into goals.

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William Karlsson Embraces Being A Role Model To Kids In Las Vegas

I grew in the era of high-profile, wealthy athletes proudly stating “I am not a role model” to their young fans.

For those of you that don’t remember, NBA legend Charles Barkley starred in a semi-controversial Nike ad in the 90’s. While the message by Barkley was actually quite important, kids like myself had no clue what Sir Charles was expressing. We just assumed he didn’t care about us or the game and was only in it for the money.

But times have changed since Barkley played. Social media and other outlets have made it easier for players to interact with fans. Some grasp it, and some don’t, but either way, players have much more access getting their message out to fans.

One guy that understands the responsibility of being a local role model is Golden Knights center, William Karlsson.

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

There are little kids watching and looking up to you, and you want to make a good example for those kids. Overall, in life you just try and be the best person you can be. And if that’s what being a good role model is, then I hope I am. -William Karlsson

Karlsson and I chatted a few weeks back about striving to become a good example for kids on and off the ice. In his point of view, it’s critical for the 26-year center to represent himself and the city of Las Vegas with class.

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The Jon Merrill The Golden Knights Hoped For Has Finally Arrived

**Steve Carp’s twice-weekly column publishes every Wednesday and Sunday during the Golden Knights season.** 

When the Golden Knights took Jon Merrill in the NHL expansion draft from New Jersey a couple of years ago, they basically were betting on the come.

Merrill had a little NHL experience. But the former University of Michigan defenseman could do a lot of things. He could skate. He could move the puck. He could take the body. He had good size. Basically, there were enough tools in the box for general manager George McPhee to take a shot.

And he didn’t cost a lot either. According to CapFriendly.com, Merrill was scheduled to make only $1,137,500 for 2017-18, so it was well within GMGM’s budget.

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

But Merrill didn’t get a chance to show he was ready to be an NHL regular. In 34 games last season, he averaged just over 16 minutes of ice time, had one goal and two assists. Many fans thought he wouldn’t be back for 2018-19.

However, he had a lot going for him. There was the salary. He was only 26. He was a good soldier and was liked by his teammates and coaches. It was more a matter of opportunity.

And when Nate Schmidt was suspended for the first 20 games of the season, Merrill got his chance. Coach Gerard Gallant paired him with Nick Holden, the free agent the Knights had acquired over the summer and who had essentially replaced Luca Sbisa.

But the pair struggled to find chemistry early. They were vulnerable in their own end. They made questionable decisions in when to pinch to keep the play alive in the offensive zone. And the skeptics figured Merrill would be the scapegoat and would be sent to the minors or just waived outright.

Yet, he stuck around after Schmidt returned Nov. 18. He didn’t see a lot of ice time and was a healthy scratch for 17 games of an 18-game stretch. But he never stopped working and assistant coach Ryan McGill, who works with the defensemen, kept Merrill engaged and didn’t let his confidence sag. At some point, another opportunity would present itself.

And it did. On Dec. 17, Colin Miller sustained an upper body injury against Columbus. He has been out ever since. But unlike Schmidt’s suspension where Merrill may have played somewhat cautiously, he has been aggressive and sharp. Gallant reunited Holden with Merrill as the third D pairing (Schmidt and Brayden McNabb are the top pair with Deryk Engelland and Shea Theodore the second pairing) and voila! They’ve connected and have been a big part of the Knights’ recent success. The team won seven straight and have won eight of their last 10. The Knights have 60 points, one less than second-place San Jose and two behind first-place Calgary.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS 3 (28-16-4 60 PTS) – OT

A horribly sloppy 1st period dug the Golden Knights a two-goal lead that could have been three if not for an offside challenge. Vegas got it going early in the 2nd getting on the board with an Alex Tuch rebound tap-in, but six straight minutes of penalties could not be killed off restoring the Blackhawks two-goal cushion. As the period was winding down, a terrific shot by Ryan Carpenter got the Golden Knights back within one. It appeared Pierre-Edouard Bellemare tied the game but a “kicking motion” took the goal off the board. The game-tying goal did come on a weird angle shot by Paul Stastny. In OT, Shea Theodore skated directly at the goal and a fluky own goal ends up winning it for the Golden Knights.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Chicago Blackhawks at United Center.

  • Steve Carp’s Sunday column on Jon Merrill

Ken’s Three Stars
*** Paul Stastny
** Shea Theodore
* Alex Tuch

Max Lagace’s Wild Ride As A Golden Knight

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When the Golden Knights take the ice tonight there will be a familiar face on the bench. With Malcolm Subban out with an injury, Max Lagace will don the pads and serve as the back-up for Marc-Andre Fleury for the second straight game. This isn’t a new experience for Lagace and nor should it be for fans to see him in a Golden Knights sweater. However, it’s easy to forget how wild a ride last season was for the 26-year-old French Canadian goaltender.

July 1, 2017 – Lagace signs as a free agent with the Golden Knights.

October 5th, 2017 – Lagace does not make the opening day roster with the Golden Knights, is optioned to the AHL.

October 14th, 2017 – Following an injury to Fleury, Lagace is called up to back-up recently acquired Malcolm Subban.

October 19th, 2017 – Without appearing in a game, Lagace is sent back to the AHL and replaced on the roster by Oscar Dansk.

October 22nd, 2017 – Lagace is recalled to the NHL following the injury to Malcolm Subban. Dansk assumed the role as the starter after helping lead Vegas to a win over St. Louis and then shutting out Colorado.

October 30th, 2017 – About halfway through a game against the Islanders, Dansk is injured and Lagace makes his NHL debut. He allows four goals on 11 shots in a loss.

November 1st, 2017 – The very next night, Lagace is the now the starter for the Golden Knights against the Rangers. He allows five goals on 37 shots in a 6-4 loss.

My first game in Madison Square Garden was pretty crazy. I can’t even remember the first few minutes of the game and then after it started to sink in. -Lagace

November 4th, 2017 – Lagace earns his first career NHL victory is a 5-4 win over Ottawa.

November 7th, 2017 – The Golden Knights travel to Montreal to play the Canadiens, Lagace gets the start.

The Montreal game was something else too. Being from there, the story of that building, and I had about 20 people (family and friends) in the building there. -Lagace

November 10th, 2017 – Lagace appears in his first game at T-Mobile Arena, a 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets.

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SinBin Radio – CBS Sports Radio 1140 – 1/12/19

We argue about fake injuries, talk about Colin Miller’s impact on the team, and make predictions on how the next two games will go.

You can listen to our show every Saturday from 10-11am on 1140 AM or streaming live on the Radio.com app. All shows will be archived as well.

SinBin.vegas Podcast #138: It’s An Emergency

Brandon Pirri spent a portion of the day in the AHL before playing with the Golden Knights. That meant we spent a whole day speculating what in the world is going on. Then, Ken figured it out. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • The emergency recall
  • Does this Golden Knights roster have enough to win?
  • Trade deadline discussion
  • Jason’s continued fascination with McPhee’s hair
  • Ken doesn’t dream

And much more…

We are on iTunesStitcher, and Google Play. Subscribe now!

Why Brandon Pirri Was Sent Down And Recalled Within Two Hours

By George this one was crazy. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

UPDATE: The transactions which are referenced in this article have since disappeared from the AHL transaction list.

George McPhee, appearing on the VGK Insider Show on Fox Sports 1340 flat out denied it ever happened.

Well, there wasn’t a transaction, so I don’t know where that’s coming from. Nothing happened yesterday and nothing has happened today. We’ll see where we are tomorrow but I would expect that he’ll be in the lineup. -McPhee

As you can see from the screenshot above, there were transactions. The only way for a transaction to appear on this page is if this form has been submitted to the NHL offices. Why the transaction was there and has since disappeared, I do not know.

Following the game, I asked Gerard Gallant about the transactions…

Can you offer any clarity to the Brandon Pirri situation that occured this afternoon? -SinBin.vegas

I worry about playing the players and transactions work themselves out. He’s on my roster, I’m playing him. -Gallant

We are going to continue to dig on this to see what else we can find.

ORIGINAL STORY

Before tonight’s game against the San Jose Sharks, the Golden Knights sent Brandon Pirri to the AHL and then recalled him within two hours. All along he remained in Las Vegas and eventually played in the night’s game.

The question is, why?

There were speculations of trades, belief that salary cap was involved, even the Chicago Wolves schedule came up as a point of conversation. But all along the transaction was simply made to exploit a tiny rule in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that effectively resets the waiver clock for Pirri.

Let’s start with the original rule that has been at the center of the Pirri waiver situation. First, here’s the actual rule from the CBA.

Subject to the provisions of this Article, the rights to the services of a Player may be Loaned to a club of another league, upon fulfillment of the following conditions, except when elsewhere expressly prohibited:

(a) Regular Waivers were requested and cleared during the Playing Season Waiver Period; and

(b) the Player has not played in ten (10) or more NHL Games cumulative since Regular Waivers on him were last cleared, and more than thirty (30) days cumulative on an NHL roster have not passed since Regular Waivers on him were last cleared. -NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement

What that says is if a player has cleared waivers, which Pirri did on 10/4/18, he can be recalled and play in up to nine games OR be on active roster for up to 29 days without having to once again re-clear waivers.

Brandon Pirri was recalled to the Golden Knights on 12/18/18. Prior to tonight has played in eight games since being recalled. He’s been the on the roster 19 days.

Thus, if he played in two more games OR was on the active roster for 11 more days he would once again be subject to waivers in the event the Golden Knights wanted to send him down to the AHL.

That brings us today. Due to injuries and illness, the Golden Knights only had 12 active and available forwards on the roster with Pirri. Reilly Smith, William Carrier, Erik Haula, and eventually we learned Cody Eakin, were all unavailable to play in tonight’s game. Thus, without Pirri, the Golden Knights would only have 11 available forwards.

Enter a different CBA provision called “the emergency recall.”

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SAN JOSE SHARKS 3 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 (27-16-4 58 PTS)

The Golden Knights came out firing dominating the first 10 minutes or so and scoring the first goal. The game started to slip as the period ended but VGK held on to the one-goal lead. San Jose mustered up only five shots in the 2nd but one found its way past Marc-Andre Fleury. A surprising hero emerged in the 3rd to give the Golden Knights a goal as Jon Merrill recorded his first of the season. However, a pair of quick goals put the Sharks back in front. The Golden Knights had a late power play in which they went 6-on-4 but couldn’t find the equalizer.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs San Jose Sharks at T-Mobile Arena.

  • The wild ride that has been the life of Max Lagace as a Golden Knight.

Ken’s Three Stars
*** Jon Merrill
** Tomas Nosek
* Tomas Hertl

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