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Pirri Picks Up Where He Left Off

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

It’s like Brandon Pirri never left.

“I’m happy for him getting the opportunity and he comes in there and scores a huge goal for us.” -Gallant (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

You may recall when the Golden Knights brought up the veteran center late last season and he responded with three goals in two games. Thursday, Pirri was back in the NHL, playing in T-Mobile Arena for the first time in a regular season game. Once again, he delivered, scoring Vegas’ first goal after trailing the New York Islanders 2-0 in the second period.

The goal was the wake-up call the Knights needed as they scored four unanswered to rally and beat the Islanders 4-2.

Why was it working for Pirri?

Things happen a little quicker up here (in the NHL). So I’m just trying to keep things simple. -Brandon Pirri

Pirri came up from the Chicago Wolves after leading the American Hockey League in scoring. He was paired initially with Paul Stastny and Alex Tuch. But Gerard Gallant decided to shake things up in the second period, moving Tuch to the first line and dropping Reilly Smith down to the second line.

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William Carrier – Goal Scorer: Has A Nice Ring To It, Doesn’t It?

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

When you look at the Golden Knights stats, all the familiar names are at the top.

There’s William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault. There’s Reilly Smith and Alex Tuch. Max Pacioretty’s name is up there too.

But you probably weren’t counting on seeing Cody Eakin with 11 goals. And it’s highly unlikely you figured Ryan Reaves would have six goals at this point.

Yet, there’s one name that sticks out when we’re talking about lighting the lamp: William Carrier.

In just 36 games, the rugged left wing has seven goals. That’s more than his entire NHL career going into this season.

Carrier scored all of one goal last season — back on Oct. 27, 2017 in a 7-0 rout of Colorado. He only played in 37 games due to a series of injuries that had him in and out of the lineup.

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When Carrier takes his first shift Thursday against the New York Islanders at T-Mobile Arena, it will match his number of appearances from a year ago.

And consider when Vegas selected Carrier from Buffalo in the expansion draft, he had scored just five goals for the Sabres his rookie season of 2016-17. So it wasn’t like we were talking Auston Matthews here.

But George McPhee sees things through a different lens than the rest of us. He knew Carrier was a fast skater. He could win footraces to loose pucks. By doing so, he enhanced his ability to create scoring chances.

There was a stat that came out Tuesday that Carrier led the NHL in wrap-around opportunities and that’s due in part to his speed. But also it has something to do with strength. Carrier’s a strong guy and he’s hard to knock off the puck.

But Carrier also has softer hands than everyone thought. He has decent touch near the net and while no one will mistake him for a sniper like Marchessault, he knows what to do when he gets the puck on his stick. He is shooting at a career-best 10.8 percent (seven goals on 65 shots).

He has found a comfort level playing on Pierre-Edouard Bellemare’s line. And whether it is Reaves or Tomas Nosek skating on the other wing, Carrier has worked well with both, even though Reaves and Nosek are polar opposites when it comes to style of play.

The line’s been playing pretty good. We complement each other really well and we’re looking to score. -William Carrier

But seven goals?

I think a lot of it is maturity. I’m a year older. I know what to expect and I’m more comfortable out there. I think I’m having a little more puck luck this year. Last year, I was getting great chances but the puck wasn’t going in for me. This year, it is. -Carrier.

Bellemare has a theory as to why he and Carrier work well together:

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It Was Only A Matter Of Patience For William Karlsson To Heat Up

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

When the Golden Knights step onto the ice at Madison Square Garden today, a familiar face will be at the top of the stat sheet.

Yes, that’s William Karlsson’s name on the first line of goals and points.

Karlsson leads Vegas with 13 goals and is tied with Jonathan Marchessault with 26 points. He’s made a few subtle adjustments and he’s starting to find the back of the net. I don’t know if he’ll get to his high-water mark of 43 goals and 78 points from a year ago, but the fact he’s putting the puck in the net with more regularity of late bodes well for the Knights in their quest to secure a spot in the postseason come April.

Karlsson heating up is mirroring last year. He had just three goals in October of 2017 and at this juncture a year ago, he had 15 goals thanks to a big November which saw him score 10 times. So maybe it was just a matter of patience… again.

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Rare is the circumstance that a team does well despite its number one line failing to produce. The Knights are getting that production from their top line and give Gerard Gallant credit for not breaking up Karlsson, Marchessault and Reilly Smith early in the season when they weren’t dominating. He had unwavering faith in his top trio and he didn’t panic when Karlsson struggled early on.

At first, I thought maybe it was an equipment issue that was the cause of Wild Bill’s early struggles in October. Maybe he had changed sticks and the move didn’t work. Or maybe his old stick had run out of magic from a year ago.

I think it was more of lacking some puck luck and teams defending him better and trying to take away areas of the ice where he liked to have the puck passed to him so he could unleash his deadly one-time shots that handcuffed unsuspecting goaltenders last season.

And like most good players, Karlsson adjusted. He’s working the corners more, then eluding checks to get free. Smith, who has an uncanny knack for holding the puck long enough, and hitting open teammates with an on-the-tape pass, knows where to find Karlsson. Same with Marchessault, an underrated passer given his sniping ability.

You can bemoan Smith for not having more than six goals, but his team-leading 17 assists is indicative of how important his contributions have been to the line, which has accounted for 31 goals and 44 assists for 75 points in 34 games.

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Big Opportunity In The Big Apple

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

In baseball, it’s normal for a team to arrive in a city and spend four or five days. At least it used to be.

With baseball teams playing more two-game series than in the past, setting up camp in a town isn’t as common these days. But you still see four-game series more often than not.

In hockey, scheduling is more like a rock music tour. Show up, play and get out of Dodge to the next stop. It’s rare an NHL team gets to stay in one place for more than a day or two.

However, there’s one exception.

The New York metropolitan area has three NHL teams — the Rangers, the Islanders, and the Devils, and when the schedule-makers are kind, they give a visiting team a chance to play all three teams in a single span.

The Golden Knights are one of those teams that were given that opportunity. They’ll play all three New York-area teams over five days, beginning tonight in Brooklyn against the Islanders at the Barclays Center. Friday, they travel across the Hudson River to face the Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark. The New York trip wraps up Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers.

Oh, and there’s one more leg of this trip, and it’s a big one. Monday, the Knights play the Blue Jackets in Columbus on the second of a back-to-back. The good news is with the Rangers game in the afternoon, they’ll get to Ohio’s capital at a reasonable hour Sunday night and should get a good night’s rest for Monday against the second-place team in the Metropolitan Division.

The team arrived in New York late Monday afternoon and set up camp at a hotel in lower Manhattan. They’ll be there until Sunday. The benefits are obvious. No planes. No switching hotels. It’s a chance to do some team bonding, most likely a nice dinner in Manhattan, though it would be cool for the Knights to do some fun things — maybe a visit to Rockefeller Center, or a trip to the 9/11 Museum, located a few blocks from the team’s hotel. Maybe an outdoor practice at the Wollman Rink in Central Park. Or perhaps everyone jumps on the subway to travel to Brooklyn for the morning skate Wednesday instead of being stuck in traffic on the team buses.

Now THAT would be team bonding.

If they did that, maybe they’d run into Ken, who is in New York and will be at Barclays Center tonight and will be taking the subway from his upper west side Manhattan hotel.

It’s going to be nice, just to go to our room for a full week. No planes, no time difference or flying around, so I think it’ll be good. -Marc-Andre Fleury

Whatever happens, the players will get into a routine they normally don’t get to experience while on the road. It’s easy on everyone, from the equipment staff to Rick Braunstein, who oversees the team’s travel. In fact, navigating the traffic to Brooklyn and to Newark will be the biggest challenges.

If you’re Gerard Gallant, you need to take full advantage of this opportunity. It’s unique and rest is one of the most important commodities a player has. They’ll get plenty of it and there’s no reason why the Knights shouldn’t come out playing fast and with some jump, especially Wednesday against the Islanders, the only team in the NHL they’ve yet to register a victory against.

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Reid Duke Finally Made It To The NHL, Now Does He Get To Actually Play?

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

It was nice to see the original Golden Knight, Reid Duke, get called up from the AHL’s Chicago Wolves on Wednesday.

He was having a pretty good season to date with the Wolves. In 22 games, he had six goals and seven assists.

Duke was the fourth call-up by the Knights to date, joining Jake Bischoff, Tomas Hyka and Daniel Carr.

Injuries to Paul Stastny, Erik Haula and Max Pacioretty played a partial role in some of the moves. The Knights have been without Stastny since October 9 after he got hurt in Buffalo the day before. Haula has been out since injuring his knee in Toronto on November 6. Pacioretty missed a few games last month and didn’t play Tuesday against Washington, but returned to the ice Thursday against Chicago.

So you always want to have that 23rd body available, if nothing else than for practice.

Carr did nothing wrong. He is a victim of the waiver exemption rules. He had to go back to Chicago or risk being eventually claimed by another team or being with Vegas permanently.

But I also think there may be another reason why George McPhee opted to do what he did.

One reason for the call-ups may be to give these guys a little familiarity with the way the Knights do things, how Gerard Gallant coaches and see what they can do in the event they are needed down the road.

GMGM is always thinking ahead and while calling up Duke may not be a big deal short-term, he may want to see if Duke has the ability to contribute if he’s given a significant role. McPhee could have called someone else up (read on to see who). But he chose to bring up Duke, who perhaps should be rewarded for his fine play in the AHL. But he has teammates who have performed as well, if not better, who have yet to get a call to Vegas.

So, here’s the question: does Duke ever get into the lineup? Or is this merely a chance for McPhee to bide his time until Stastny returns?

Stastny has been practicing and all signs point to him rejoining the Knights soon. Perhaps his return comes late in the upcoming four-game east coast road trip in New York against the Rangers a week from today or the following night in Columbus against the Blue Jackets.

Duke was a healthy scratch Thursday against Chicago and again Saturday in Los Angeles. Maybe he gets in tonight against Dallas. But after hearing Gallant’s response when I asked him about Duke, I’m not too optimistic.

I’m worried about winning games. I’m not worried about individuals coming into our lineup. He’s coming up here because some guys have been hurt and we’re short bodies. I don’t know if he’s going to play. It depends on our roster. We’re playing real good right now. I’m not going to mess up our lines just to put somebody in. -Gerard Gallant

And based on the ice time given the previous call-ups, it doesn’t look good for Duke to get over the boards. Of the three previous call-ups, Hyka played 17 games, averaged 11:46 TOI, had one goal and three assists before being sent back down to Chicago. Carr played six games, averaged just 9:50 TOI and had one goal. Bischoff never even suited up.

So I get where Gallant is coming from. Hyka and Carr both had prior NHL experience and Gallant may have felt more comfortable in giving them a shot instead of maybe playing Oscar Lindberg.

And speaking of Lindberg, good for him for finally lighting the lamp with his first goal of the year Saturday in the 5-1 loss to the Kings. He was one of Vegas’ best players on the ice at Staples Center and he’s probably staying in the lineup tonight against the Stars because of his strong play Saturday.

To Duke’s credit, he’s handling his “promotion” well. In some ways it’s similar to when he joined Chicago right after the Knights signed him in March 2017. He practiced with the Wolves but never got in a game. However, Duke said back then it was a great opportunity to learn from the older players and make the transition from juniors to pro hockey. He said virtually the same thing Friday about his call-up to the NHL.

I’m very thankful to be called up here. It’s a great thrill and I’m just looking to learn all I can and help the team if I get the opportunity.-Reid Duke

Duke has the right mindset. He doesn’t control his ice time. Gallant does. But he does get to benefit being around an NHL locker room, watching how guys prepare on a daily basis. He gets to skate with them in practice, get a feel for the higher tempo in which things are done at this level. And even if he doesn’t play, at least he gets a small taste of NHL life.

He went through this last year after his shoulder injury sustained in a rookie scrimmage against the Kings in September forced him out of action until the spring of 2018 where he played 14 games with the Wolves. A lot of his rehab was spent in Las Vegas and he tried to take advantage of it.

I wasn’t playing last year and I had a great opportunity to be around the team and see how they come to the rink every day, their work ethic, their attention to detail. I got to watch a lot of hockey and learn the ins and outs of the team. -Duke

The good news for Duke is he’s only 22 years old. Time is on his side. I have no doubt he’ll play in the NHL at some point. He’s got good size (6-0, 191 pounds), he has a good feel for the puck and knows how to find the back of the net. He’s also tough and won’t be intimidated. But he may have to wait a little longer to play that first NHL game.

He’ll probably get sent down in a few days. So who would be next to get the call from Chicago not named Hyka or Carr?

* Brooks Macek — He leads the team with 15 goals. His shooting percentage is 34.1 percent, which is Karlsson-like (circa 2017-18). If the Knights need a winger, he’s a likely possibility.

* Gage Quinney — I thought he might have gotten a chance by now, especially when Haula went down. He’s got 15 points (7 goals, 8 assists) in 23 games and he’s reliable at both ends of the ice, much like Carr showed when he was up with the team.

* Brandon Pirri — If the Knights need some scoring, he’s your guy. He leads the Wolves with 34 points (13 goals, 21 assists) and he has lots of NHL experience. He’s somewhat of a liability defensively and that’s always been the rub against him.

And what about Erik Brannstrom, you ask?

I go back to what I wrote a few weeks ago. When and if the Knights call up Brannstrom, it’s for good. They’re not going to yo-yo him between Vegas and Chicago. He’s making great progress learning from Rocky Thompson and he’s going to be wonderful when he gets to the NHL. I have no doubt about that. But GMGM isn’t going to bring him up just for the heck of it.

Of course, waiver exemptions, the calendar, and the Golden Knights 23-man roster will play a big factor in any future call-ups. Macek and Quinney are waiver exempt, so they can go back and forth freely. Pirri is not, so like Carr, if he’s on the Knights for 30 days or plays in 10 games, he’d have to re-clear waivers. But of course all of this disappears on February 25th, the NHL trade deadline, when the roster limits disappear, and McPhee is free to call up as many players as he would like.

Last year, McPhee didn’t really utilize the expanded roster as the only recall was Tomas Hyka and he was returned a week later. May this year be different? Only time will tell.

As for now, enjoy the NHL life, Reid Duke. Hopefully you get a spin. If not, maybe it will be better to wait. That way your dad will have his passport and be able to come watch you in Vegas the next time around.

**Steve Carp is the author of “Vegas Born — The remarkable story of the Golden Knights.” Follow him on Twitter @stevecarp56. All of Steve Carp’s work here on is presented to you by the Jimmerson Law Firm. For over twenty-five years, the Jimmerson Law Firm has been widely recognized as one of Las Vegas’s preeminent full-service law firms. Specializing in high stakes business, civil and family litigation, the Jimmerson Law Firm has an unparalleled track record of winning when it matters most. To reach the Jimmerson Law Firm, call (702) 388-7171 and tell them sent you.**

Welcome Seattle

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

The NHL officially grew by one Tuesday as the Emerald City joined the league as its 32nd team, effective for the 2021-22 season. The price tag? A hefty $650 million, 30 percent more than the $500 million Bill Foley paid to bring the Golden Knights into the NHL in 2016.

The Metropolitans or Totems or whatever they’re going to be called (I’m rooting for Totems, the idea of a Let’s Go Mets!” chant in a hockey arena is not what I want to hear) have a tough act to follow and they know it.

The fan base in Washington State has responded in similar fashion to Las Vegas with more than 32,000 deposits for a 17,000-seat building at the once-again refurbished KeyArena. And they’re going to demand the same kind of success the Golden Knights enjoyed in their inaugural season.

Could lightning strike twice? Sure. If Seattle’s Dave Tippett hires the right general manager and the right coach, if the team drafts well in the Expansion Draft and can pull off a few shrewd moves and have a decent amateur draft, yeah, they could have a memorable Year One.

But that’s a lot of if’s.

Frankly, I’m not so sure they can pull it off for a number of reasons.

Let’s start with the rules themselves.

If you recall, the Knights were able to select one player from each of the 30 existing NHL teams. They were also allowed to make side deals where if you didn’t take a certain player from a team, that team would trade you another player and/or a draft pick.

George McPhee skillfully exploited the rules and took a couple of teams to the cleaners, most notably Minnesota and Florida. He got Alex Tuch and Erik Haula from the Wild by agreeing not to take Matt Dumba. He got Reilly Smith from the Panthers along with Jonathan Marchessault.

Ironically, both opposing GMs, Chuck Fletcher in Minnesota and Tom Rowe in Florida, ultimately lost their jobs. (Fletcher resurfaced Monday in Philadelphia as the Flyers’ new GM.)

I’m guessing Fletcher learned his lesson in Minnesota and will be very wary about dealing with Seattle when it comes time for the Flyers to expose their unprotected list. Dale Tallon’s back in charge in Florida and assuming he’s still there two years from now, he’s not going to repeat the mistakes his predecessor made.

And that goes for the other GMs too. You’re not likely to see a lot of side deals made with Seattle. Better to just lose one player and not perpetuate a gaffe.

The exception? GMGM.

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Is Tom Wilson Just Wired Wrong?

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

The call didn’t come.

Should it have? Probably.

But Tom Wilson’s phone never rang Saturday after it was determined his hit from behind on New Jersey’s Brett Seney Friday was not going to be subject to supplementary discipline from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.

Which means No. 43 will be on the ice Tuesday at T-Mobile Arena when the Washington Capitals face the Golden Knights. Unless, of course, he pulls a cement-head move Sunday against Anaheim and the league decides it needs to do something.

Wilson, who must have some of Raffi Torres’ DNA, took a run at Seney and hit him from behind late in the second period of the Capitals’ 6-3 win over the Devils. Seney obviously never saw Wilson coming and Wilson was given a match penalty and ejected.

Immediately, the hockey world called for major sanctions against Wilson, who only recently returned from a league-imposed 20-game suspension from the preseason when he KO’d St. Louis’ Oskar Sundqvist. Wilson appealed and, eventually, an arbitrator reduced the 20-game ban to 14.

It was more kind of back of my shoulder. I don’t know if he was intending to do it or what. I haven’t had the chance to look at it yet. -Brett Seney

Seney was OK and he eventually returned to Friday’s game. But given Wilson’s rap sheet, it was assumed the DoPS would lower the boom on him.

Wilson has been suspended on four occasions by the NHL:

  •  September 22, 2017
    • In a preseason game against St. Louis, Wilson caught Robert Thomas with a late hit, resulting in a two preseason game suspensions
  • October 1, 2017
    • The NHL suspended Wilson for the first four games of the regular season for boarding Blues rookie forward Sammy Blais during each team’s 2017 preseason finale.
  • May 2, 2018
    • Wilson was suspended from three playoff games due to an illegal check to the head of Pittsburgh’s Zach Aston-Reese, who sustained a concussion and a broken jaw in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
  • October 3, 2018
    • Wilson was given his largest suspension to date —20 regular season games — after an illegal hit to the head hit on Sundqvist during a preseason game.

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

And that doesn’t include all the cheap shots over the years that didn’t get Wilson suspended. Golden Knights fans aren’t going to forget the run Wilson took at Jonathan Marchessault in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final last June. There was no real payback during the rest of the Final because the Knights couldn’t afford to lose a player. And there was no retribution on Oct. 10 when the teams met for the first time since June 6 as Wilson did not play.

But will there be something Tuesday? My gut tells me no. Even though Ryan Reeves, Will Carrier, Deryk Engelland, and Brayden McNabb could all take care of Wilson if they chose to. However, if, as Reaves so accurately put it after Game 1, “That’s Wilson being Wilson” and he pulls yet another stunt similar to the one on Marchessault or Friday’s on Seney, Gerard Gallant won’t have to say a word. The players will administer their own justice.

But let’s go back to the play Friday in D.C., and where I have a problem with the league’s lack of action. Seney was in a vulnerable position. His back was to Wilson. He had no idea he was about to get leveled.

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Nick Holden Finally Looks At Home In Vegas

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

I remember hearing all the negative comments about Golden Knights defenseman Nick Holden’s play the first month of the season.

He turned the puck over. He was out of position. He added nothing to the offense. And a lot of it was true.

But I also knew that it takes players time to adjust to a new team, a new system and living in a new city. Playing in a different division and conference also factor into the break-in period.

So I was preaching patience. But I’ll admit, my patience with the 31-year-old Holden was being tested. Here was an NHL veteran who was in his eighth season. I was expecting better. Not a whole lot better, mind you, but better than what I was witnessing.

The last few weeks, Holden has restored my faith in the free-agent signing George McPhee made on July 1. He has ramped up his play considerably and he has found a home on the third defensive pairing with Colin Miller.

I’m definitely comfortable. Any time you come to a new situation, you’re going to go through some adjustments. -Nick Holden

The biggest adjustments are learning the idiosyncrasies of your teammates, finding your role and comfort zone with your personality in the locker room and understanding what your coach wants and assimilating yourself in the team’s system and style of play.

When Nate Schmidt was serving his 20-game suspension, Holden was playing with several different partners. It was a difficult adjustment. Little things like which side of the ice you’re playing (Holden’s a left-handed shot), to knowing the speed of the forwards to headman the puck to them to simply having a feel for how the puck is passed to you can all contribute to a player’s comfort (or discomfort) level.

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

But if you look at Holden’s play the past couple of weeks, you’re seeing the player McPhee thought he was getting.

He’s reading the play better. He’s making smarter decisions when to jump into the attack and support the play. He’s picking up the opposing forwards better in his own zone and using his stick better to get into passing lanes and clear rebounds from in front of the net.

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Everyone Is In Hockey’s Fight Against Cancer

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

Saturday was my favorite night of the hockey season, and it had absolutely nothing to do with the Golden Knights’ 6-0 win over the San Jose Sharks

It was also the hardest night of the season, emotionally speaking.

The NHL’s 31 teams all celebrate “Hockey Fights Cancer” during November. It has been going on for 20 years now and has raised tens of millions of dollars for cancer research. From the special lavender jerseys the teams wear in warmups and are ultimately auctioned off, to the inspiring stories we hear throughout the league, to the signs fans hold up in arenas proclaiming who they “Fight For,” it’s one of the best things the NHL does.

Who among us hasn’t been impacted by cancer? Whether it was yourself, a family member, a friend, cancer doesn’t discriminate. Man or woman. Rich or poor. Black or white. American, Canadian or Russian. Cancer can get any of us.

We’ll get to how it got me in a minute. But first, I wanted to applaud Kendell Galor, who was honored in the pregame ceremony.

Kendell is a member of the Golden Knights family along with the UNLV hockey family. She is a strength and conditioning intern for the Knights and she is the trainer for UNLV’s hockey team.

Back in June, 2016, a rare form of brain tumor was found. After months of treatments and surgeries, she is winning her battle. (To learn more about Kendell’s story and to watch her ceremonial puck drop before the game, see the videos at the end of this column.)

Colin Magdon is also trying to win his battle. The 7-year-old who plays for the Junior Golden Knights, has leukemia. He recently had his first round of chemotherapy and his fight is well under way.

I hear these stories about young people and cancer and it breaks my heart.

Last year, the Knights visited the Nevada Childhood Cancer Center in Henderson to spend a couple of hours with kids who are waging a brave battle against cancer. To a man, every player who visited and spent time with those kids that day said it was one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. And remember, many of these same players the month before were in the community supporting the victims of the October 1 mass shooting.

It’s days like Saturday where sports and the community can bond, where we can be there for each other, where we can raise awareness for a cause that is worth fighting for.

And while everyone wants the Golden Knights to win on the ice, sometimes, getting a little perspective is even more important. Because as much as a win Saturday against San Jose will bring a smile to Colin Magdon’s face or make Kendell Galor feel a little better as she drives home from T-Mobile Arena, the fact they know people care about them and want to help them is more important than two points and a .500 record.

Now, my story.

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There’s No Simple Fix, But That Doesn’t Mean The Golden Knights Aren’t In Need Of Fixing

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

I was sitting in a restaurant Monday night in my Summerlin neighborhood watching the Golden Knights-Flames game. A couple of feet away was a gentleman and his daughter.

He was decked out in a William Karlsson jersey. The daughter, who I’m guessing was five or six, was busy wolfing down her dinner of Mac and Cheese while also doing some coloring. She was the smart one as she wasn’t paying attention to what was unfolding on the flat screen TV above her.

They lasted two periods of what would be a 7-2 debacle. As the Flames scored goal after goal, the dad looked on grimly, occasionally shaking his head.

As they got up to leave, I asked him, “So, what do you think is wrong?”

His response? “I don’t know.”

It’s a fair answer.

If everyone knew what to do to fix the Golden Knights, they would have addressed it and done it by now. But the reality is there is no one thing that if you fix it, all will be right in the VGK world.

One thing I do know — this team has been consistently inconsistent from opening night. They can’t seem to get on a positive run. Key players are underachieving. Role players are not contributing.

Frankly, the Golden Knights do not look like a playoff team.

Thanksgiving is Thursday and regardless of the outcome tonight in Glendale against the Arizona Coyotes, the Knights will sit down to dinner with a sub-.500 record, which does not bode well when it comes to history as far as postseason appearances are concerned.

If you’re on the outside looking in for the playoffs come Thanksgiving, you’re not likely to be there in the end and get in.

Since the Salary Cap Era began in 2005-06, roughly 78 percent of the teams that had accrued enough points by Thanksgiving ultimately made the playoffs. That’s 13 of the 16 spots.

Vegas is currently not one of the 16. However, they are just three points behind Vancouver for third place in the Pacific Division and five points out of the wild card.

So that’s not to say the Knights can’t turn their season around. After all, three-quarters of the schedule remains to be played. But if this team is going to have a reversal of fortune, it’s going to require a collective effort, some tweaking by the coaching staff, maybe a move or two by the general manager.

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