It’s been a tough start for the Golden Knights and everyone is aware. Players are scratching their heads, fans are panicking, and some are flipping their lids. Heck, I can’t even keep Ken under control (but honestly, he’s not wrong in his premise).
Here's what my lineup would be Wed at ARI
Scratch – Pacioretty, Hunt, Engelland
Down – Hyka, Merrill (waivers), Lindberg (waivers)
— SinBin.vegas (@SinBinVegas) November 20, 2018
With only 19 points in 22 games, the pressure is starting to build, but the Golden Knights front office remains cool and collected despite the sluggish start.
We’re working our way through, like a lot of teams go through in different times of the year. We had a tough schedule, we’ve had some injuries, some of the things everybody deals with over the course of an 82-game season. -Kelly McCrimmon, Assistant GM
During the Flames pregame show, Vegas assistant General Manager Kelly McCrimmon discussed his team’s disappointing first quarter of the season. While concerned, the second man in charge wasn’t shocked by the Golden Knights early struggles.
We’ve encountered some bad luck obviously, Nate Schmidt being out of the lineup for the first twenty games was a key loss for us. We’re trying to stay in the pack and give ourselves a chance to make a move here as we get a little bit healthier. -McCrimmon
Of course, it’s not the start the Golden Knights front office expected but they still feel confident in their club, and they are definitely not feeling the heat from the fans and whack-job
bloggers writers who cover the team.
Well, when you’ve been to the Stanley Cup Final, teams use that as a measuring stick that following year. We’re getting everyone’s best game, that’s fine in the long run. I don’t think we’ve had any tremendous pressure put on us from our fans or the media. Like you might more so in a Canadian market. We put a lot pressure on ourselves. It’s hard league to win in and we’re working extremely hard to get our share of victories to make sure we’re in the playoffs. -McCrimmon
The Flames studio host asked McCrimmon an interesting question about the Max Pacioretty trade. The question simply was, did the Pacioretty trade get done because of the 2017-18 Golden Knights cup run?
Well, that would’ve been a different circumstance for sure. We would’ve looked at quite differently… We didn’t expect that’s what Year One would look like, but it was. We liked a lot of our players, we knew that we weren’t going to keep all of our players through free agency. We wanted to try to improve our team. That’s why we signed Paul Stastny as a free agent. Why trading for Max Pacioretty was really important for us. Nick Holden is another free agent that’s played real well. -McCrimmon
Always thinking forward, McCrimmon assured fans the organization is focused on today, and tomorrow.
We’re like a lot of teams where you’re trying to do things simultaneously. You want to try and be a playoff team and a contending team. That’s certainly our goal. At the same time you always got to be drafting and developing to make sure you have people to fill in as time goes on. -McCrimmon
Lastly, the assistant GM doubled-down on the Golden Knights team’s playoff quest. The reason for his confidence is one we’ve all discussed.
The interesting aspect for us is we’ve played very few games in the division. We have five divisional games in seven days. One of the things that served us very well last year, probably allowed us to win the Pacific Division was our record within the division. That’s going to be really importantly nt. The Flames, San Jose I think are playing well and I expect them to continue to get better. All based on how strong their personnel is. It’s not easy to win and those divisional games are going to be very, very significant for all of us. -McCrimmon
After the blowout loss in Calgary, I’m sure McCrimmon and his contemporaries are concerned. Rightly so, but one thing of note, the assistant GM sounded calm and frankly unconcerned with his team’s slump. Which could be a good sign for fans.