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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5 WINNIPEG JETS 0 (42-27-5 89 PTS)

The game couldn’t have started any faster for the Jets and the Golden Knights. On the first shift of the game Mark Stone laid a hit on Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler which the Jets captain didn’t appreciate. The 6’5 Wheeler and the 6’4 Stone slugged it out in a good old fashioned heavyweight bout. Both players were given five-minute major penalties for fighting.

After tempers settled down William Karlsson and Reilly Smith took over. Karlsson scored his 21st goal of the season 1:24 into the game, and Smith added his 16th seven minutes later. The 1st period was a big success for Vegas but unfortunately, Max Pacioretty left the game late in the period with an apparent injury.

The Golden Knights would have to start the 2nd period down a man as Pacioretty wouldn’t come back. Vegas would be forced to kill multiple penalties in the second frame but it didn’t impact their offense. Tomas Nosek nabbed his 8th goal of the year on shorthanded shot just under the crossbar. Smith and Karlsson would join the party again and both added 2nd period goals :24 seconds apart. After forty minutes in the books the Golden Knights controlled the game 5-0.

In the third Malcolm Subban continued to turn away every chance the Jets had.

In the third Malcolm Subban continued to turn away every chance the Jets had. Overall the goalie had 20 saves for his third consecutive victory. Subban and his teammates smoked the Jets 5-0 and his first career shutout.

The Golden Knights improve their record to (42-27-5) and remain in the Pacific Division’s 3rd place position, with eight games left to play. The team will get back on the ice Saturday as Vegas will host the Detroit Red Wings. Opening faceoff is scheduled for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets at T-Mobile Arena.

  • What are the Golden Knights best at? (This story is coming eventually)
  • Hopefully a Max Pacioretty update

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** William Karlsson
** Reilly Smith
* Malcolm Subban

 

Subban’s Fresh And Ready For His Workload

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

I used to play them in the AHL not too long ago. Saturday, Sunday, you know. It’s something that you try not to think about. The mentality is just to be ready to play and ignore the outcome of the night before. -Subban

The former first round draft pick has recorded solid numbers as a Golden Knight in limited play: 19-11 with a 2.85 Goals Allowed Average. Subban may be the backup to Marc-Andre Fleury, but he practices for an 82 game season like a starting goaltender. He’s in great shape, so 120 minutes played in two days was not much of an isssue for Subban.

Beyond being a younger goaltender he has low mileage in the NHL so naturally his body is fresher than most.

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SinBin.vegas Podcast #148: Confidence Is High

Coming off a dominant victory over the Sharks, we couldn’t help but to start looking forward to the playoffs. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • Is this the most confident we’ve ever been about the Golden Knights?
  • How this year’s top six is like last years.
  • What could go wrong that could sink VGK?
  • Ordering chicken at a steak place

And much more…

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

Golden Knights’ “Top” Line Playing Like It – Just In Time

**Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Famer, Steve Carp’s twice-weekly column publishes every Wednesday and Sunday during the Golden Knights season.** 

For the first couple of weeks of March, you were sure the world had flipped upside down.

Paul Stastny, Max Pacioretty and the recently acquired Mark Stone were the Golden Knights’ top line. They were competing. They were scoring. They were dominating at both ends of the ice.

It made you wonder what was going on with William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith, the Knights’ regular No. 1 unit. They had been running hot and cold most of the year and if you were the opposing team’s coach, you had greater concerns for the Stastny line.

But as we have seen the past week, Karlsson, Marchessault, and Smith are playing like the top line they should be. And could the timing be better?

We’re in the final push to the playoffs. The Knights, who are likely to remain in third place in the Pacific Division, have 41 wins and 87 points with nine games to play, seven behind second-place San Jose and nine in front of Arizona, which is batting for the final wild card spot.

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

And while it’s easy for us to look ahead to the second week of April and the Stanley Cup Playoffs, if you’re Karlsson, Marchessault and Smith, these final 2 1/2 weeks, beginning Thursday at T-Mobile Arena against Winnipeg, are critical in building momentum and confidence. You want to go into the postseason playing your best hockey and we’re seeing signs of that from the line.

Here’s the way things have broken down over the last five games, which saw the Knights go 4-1 as part of their current 9-1 run:

Marchessault — 4 goals, 3 assists, 7 points
Smith — 2 goals, 6 assists, 8 points
Karlsson — 1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points

That’s a combined seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points, an average of four points a game for the line. Any coach would take that kind of productivity.

So what changed?

Part of it is Smith is 100 percent healthy and he has remained on the line after Gerard Gallant moved him around after he returned to the ice after he missed nearly a month in early January with an injury. When he’s right and playing his game, Smith is arguably the best two-way winger on the Knights, though some may point to Stone and say he has supplanted Smith in that role.

Marchessault? His thing is putting the puck in the net. And with back-to-back two-goal games, he may be finding his groove. Granted, he beat a sieve of a goalie Sunday in Edmonton’s Mikko Koskinen, who could have the worst glove I’ve seen from an NHL goalie in years. But think about all the times we’ve seen Marchessault look up to the heavens after hitting a crossbar, missing an open net or getting robbed by the other team’s goalie? Things tend to even themselves out in hockey and if you’re a goal-scorer like Marchessault, your puck luck ultimately finds its level.

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Malcolm Subban Gets A Lot Better As Games Go On

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Life as a backup goalie isn’t particularly easy, especially when you are sitting behind a potential Vezina candidate with a head coach and goalie coach that seem to want to ride the starter at every pass. It might be an excuse, but I think it’s because of this that Malcolm Subban has become the brunt of a lot of criticism this year.

He’s started 13 games and the Golden Knights are 6-7-0 in them. He’s allowed 42 goals, good for a .901 save percentage and 3.11 goals per game. He’s also yet to record a shutout and his road record is a nightmarish 2-7-0.

But, when we dig deeper into the stats we find a major trend that could explain his inconsistent numbers. As the backup, Subban has only started games within a week of each other twice, including last night. In those four, he’s a stellar 3-1-0 with a .920 save percentage and just 2.50 goals per game.

Going even further, we see that Subban normally takes a bit to get comfortable in the goal. In his 14 starts, he’s allowed 21 goals in the 1st period, while just 12 in the 2nd, and only 9 in the 3rd. For comparison sake, Marc-Andre Fleury has allowed 37 in the 1st, 59 in the 2nd, and 53 in the 3rd.

Thus, he allows 50% of the goals he gives up in the 1st period. That leaves 24% in the 2nd and 21% in the 3rd. Amazingly, Subban has not allowed multiple goals in a 3rd period any time this season, he’s done it six times in the 1st and three times in the 2nd.

Also, the first goal has been allowed in the 1st period in 10 of his 13 starts including five straight.

The question remains if this is due to “rust” or not. We’ll probably never have the answer to that, but a trend is a trend and the Golden Knights need to be aware of it. It might be smart to play like they are protecting a lead in the 1st with Subban in the net rather than playing as if it’s tied. Once he works his way into the game, then unleash the offense.

All in all, the irrational concern over the Golden Knights backup goalie is unfounded for the most part. Is Malcolm Subban the best backup goalie in the NHL, no, he is not. But he’s certainly not the worst either… well, except for the first 20 minutes of the game.


Opponent – Time of First Goal – Goals By Period

at PIT – 8:30 1st / 1-3-0
at NSH – 11:27 2nd / 0-2-1
at BOS -2:54 1st – 2-1-1
at CGY – 2:36 1st – 5-2-0
at CBJ – 0:40 3rd – 0-0-1
at LAK – 19:55 1st – 1-0-0
vs NJD – 5:06 1st – 2-0-0
vs NSH – 4:17 3rd – 0-0-1
at COL – 6:36 1st – 1-1-1
vs FLA – 14:34 1st – 3-1-1-0 (0)
at CGY – 2:40 1st – 3-1-1
vs EDM – 13:14 1st – 1-1-1
at SJS – 0:30 1st – 2-0-1

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 7 SAN JOSE SHARKS 3 (41-27-5 87 PTS)

It was a wild first period in San Jose. The Sharks needed only :30 seconds to score their first goal, but the barnburner was just beginning. William Karlsson would earn his 20th goal of the season three minutes later to tie the game 1-1.

Mark Stone would give Vegas the lead 2-1 on his third goal as a Golden Knight and his second in back-to-back nights. Stone’s goal was the Golden Knights first PP goal in four games. The lead wouldn’t last long as 39-year-old Joe Thornton tied the game on a high zone shot. However, Vegas would get the last goal of the period on Jonathan Marchessault’s 23rd. After an exciting opening twenty minutes VGK held the 3-2 edge.

It was a penalty filled second period, as both teams had multiple man-advantages. It took a while but Vegas would score their second PP goal of the night doubling up the Sharks 4-2. Paul Stastny nabbed his tenth goal of the season and his fifth points in the last five games. After a chippy two periods, the Golden Knights held a two-goal lead.

You would’ve thought that the Harlem Globetrotters took the ice for Vegas to start the third period. Reilly Smith created a turnover in the Sharks zone and began a combination of beautiful passes setting up for the Golden Knights fifth goal of the game. Smith played back and fourth with Karlsson to create a commanding 5-2 lead. San Jose’s Logan Couture added his second to get the Sharks within two. Marchessault and Cody Eakin would add two more late goals to blow out their Pacific rivals. The game ended in a lopsided 7-3 contest won by the Golden Knights.

Vegas improves their record to (41-27-5) and remain in the Pacific Division’s third place position, with nine games left to play. The team will get back on the ice Thursday as Vegas will host the Winnipeg Jets. Opening faceoff is scheduled for 7PM (Recap by Jason)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks at SAP Center.

  • What are the Golden Knights best at?
  • Subban gets better as the games go on.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** William Karlsson
** Jonathan Marchessault
* Reilly Smith

Timeout vs. Challenge; Gallant Prefers The Latter

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

To begin all NHL games both teams are awarded one timeout. They can use it at any time during the game except after an icing. Most coaches use it to set up a play late in a game or to give the top power-play unit a rest if they’ve been on the ice for a while and the coach wants to keep them out there.

However, there’s one other use for the timeout and it’s a big one. In the event a team wants to challenge a play for goalie interference, they must risk their timeout. If you don’t have your timeout, you can’t request a challenge.

Thus, holding on to that one timeout can be crucial, especially in a game in which a team is leading.

That’s why I don’t use it a lot. I want to really save it because if goals are scored on an interference you really want to save it. If I think we need it because our defensemen on the ice are exhausted and Gilly (defense coach Ryan McGill) wants to keep them out there then I’ll use it but it’s tough because you’d hate to see a tying goal go in when there’s a goalie interference that you might be able to challenge (and you don’t have the timeout). -Gerard Gallant

The purpose of the timeout in hockey has essentially changed.

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Alex Tuch Readies For The Playoffs

**Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Famer, Steve Carp’s twice-weekly column publishes every Wednesday and Sunday during the Golden Knights season.** 

When Mark Stone was acquired by the Golden Knights on Feb. 25, it impacted the entire team.

But no one was more affected by bringing Stone into the fold than Alex Tuch.

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The 22-year-old from upstate New York was playing on the second line with Paul Stastny and Max Pacioretty. Since the trade, Tuch is now skating on Vegas’ third line with Cody Eakin and either Tomas Nosek, Brandon Pirri or Ryan Carpenter.

He has gone about his business, working harder in the defensive end of the ice, fitting in with his new linemates, finishing his checks and forechecking hard.

The second-year right wing has 49 points. He has already surpassed last year’s totals of 15 goals and 22 assists with 19 goals and 30 assists after scoring the final goal in a 6-3 win Sunday over Edmonton at T-Mobile Arena.

It hasn’t really been an adjustment. I’m supposed to go in there and not change my game. I might be in a different place at a different time, but you can’t change your style. I don’t think it matters who I’m out there with. My job is to use my speed, get shots and make plays. -Tuch

All of this bodes well for the upcoming playoffs, a brand of hockey that seems well-suited for Tuch’s game and skill set. There are 10 games left to the regular season. Whether or not Tuch wins the team scoring race should be secondary to the fact his game is really good at the moment and he can be expected to carry his solid play into the postseason.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 6 EDMONTON OILERS 3 (40-27-5 85 PTS)

The color green was on full display at the T-Mobile Arena for a St. Patrick’s Day matchup against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers.

Vegas came out fast, launching the first six shots of the game. The Golden Knights continued pursuit paid off 5:40 into the first period on Mark Stone’s 31st goal, and second as a Golden Knight. Later in the period, Edmonton would tie things up on a PP goal by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Cody Eakin would regain the lead for Vegas back scoring his 18th goal of the season on a beautiful top shelf wrist shot. After twenty minutes of play the Golden Knights led the Oilers 2-1.

Edmonton didn’t take long to even the game 2-2 on Leon Draisatitl’s 43rd of the season. Luckily, the game wouldn’t be tied for long. Jonathan Marchessault tallied his 21st goal giving Vegas the 3-2 lead.

Marchessault would celebrate again :40 seconds into the final frame giving Vegas the two-goal lead. With #81’s second goal, the first line had a total of six points. Edmonton would chip away getting a third goal past Malcolm Subban early in the period. However, Vegas wasn’t done on offense as Brayden McNabb registered his 4th goal of the season. The Golden Knights captured their second two-goal edge of the night leading 5-3. Then Alex Tuch took one away from a defenseman and tallied Vegas’ sixth of the night.

Vegas improves their record to 40-27-5 and remain in the Pacific Division’s third place position, with 10 games left to play. The team gets back on the ice tonight as they’ll play a back-to-back in San Jose. Opening faceoff starts at 730PM. (Recap by Jason)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Edmonton Oilers at T-Mobile Arena.

  • Steve Carp’s “Sunday” column on Alex Tuch’s playoff impact. (Delayed for reasons beyond our control)
  • How Gerard Gallant values his timeout.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** William Karlsson
** Reilly Smith
* Jonathan Marchessault
(Honorable *) Mikko Koskinen

SinBin Radio – CBS Sports Radio 1140 – 03/16/19

The Golden Knights are a well-rounded team that quite frankly is just really good, but what are they best at? Plus, the best trades in franchise history.

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.

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