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Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Author: Jason Pothier (Page 1 of 23)

Steven Stamkos Unknowingly Predicts Golden Knights Success… In 2015

One day we are going to get a player to admit that this is the reason they are so good at home. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen) 

Exactly two years before the Vegas Golden Knights hosted their first home game, superstar center, and mortal enemy for the next 10 hours, Steven Stamkos was predicting their future. On October 10, 2015, Tampa’s captain joined an NHL roundtable with Sidney Crosby and Erik Karlsson. Host George Stroumboulopoulos served up easy one-timers, chatting everything from the league’s best goaltenders to Lebron James. Near the end of the discussion, the trio was asked about the NHL’s best cities to play in, and that’s when Stamstrodamus was born.

(The whole video is great, but the the moment of interest is at 7:15)

What’s the best arena to play in, if it’s not yours? -Stroumboulopoulos:

Montreal.- Crosby

Same. -Karlsson

Yeah that’s probably me too. -Stamkos

Will your answer change if there’s a team in Vegas? Stroumboulopoulos

They might have the best home record in the league. -Stamstrodamus

There you have it. Nine months before the Golden Knights were awarded to The Creator and Las Vegas, a prophet in Tampa hinted at a flu that would only effect visiting NHL teams. Not only does Vegas hold the league’s best home record, but Stamkos and the Lightning were one of the 18 teams to aid VGK’s home-ice advantage.

Yeah, that’s a crappy way to lose a hockey game. We fight back to tie the game. I don’t think anyone would’ve complained if he doesn’t call that penalty on them at the end. That’s an iffy call. Then I think he feels the need to make up for a mistake. At that point in the game, the puck’s in the corner, there’s a battle going on. I know it’s tough. I just think it was the wrong call at that time in the game.- Steven Stamkos after December 19th game at T-Mobile Arena

Tampa will try to avoid a season sweep by the Golden Knights. Heck, it could’ve been the other way around had present-day Stamkos listened to himself from 2015.

Bobfather Says Golden Knights Won’t Sell; TSN Colleague Disagrees

It’s time for another edition of “Buy, Sell, or Hold!” Today’s contestants weighing in on the Golden Knights trade deadline dilemma are two of TSN’s finest. First up, the Bobfather.

Well there’s no question, they’re not selling. -Bob McKenzie, TSN

McKenzie went on to explain that McPhee and staff have identified a core, and are attempting to lock them up. Following the trend of extending Jonathan Marchessault and Brayden McNabb.

They’ve got a core of young D that they really like. Nate Schmidt, Shea Theodore, and Colin Miller, those guys aren’t going anywhere… I think they’re probably in negotiations with David Perron and James Neal. That’s not to say contracts are absolutely going to get done. -McKenzie

Now to the contrarian argument from the author behind the ever popular Trade Bait, which still has James Neal listed in 10th.

A lot of people are surprised to see Neal still on this list. The fact that he hasn’t been re-signed so far, and we haven’t heard a lot of chatter about that possibility existing. Even though the Golden Knights are in a strong position to be a solid playoff team this season, they’re going to try and accumulate assets for the long-term. With Neal producing the way that he has this year, certainly there will be a lot of interest in him at the deadline. If, the Golden Knights make him available. -Frank Seravalli, TSN

If Bob says it, we believe it. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Keep in mind, Seravalli’s role at TSN is to track trade rumors and whispers from around the league. He’s not saying Neal is gone, but he’s simply warning fans that things could change before the deadline. Especially, since Neal is such an attractive rental for other contenders.

As much as I respect Seravalli and his efforts, it’s tough questioning The Bobfather. If he says Vegas won’t sell, I believe him, which means Neal’s not going anywhere.

Quality Time With Oilers Forward Pat Maroon

The only other major fan base to experience success in Vegas. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s been a tough ask to beat the Golden Knights once for teams in the NHL, never mind twice. Edmonton is the only team in the NHL that’s picked up four points in two games against the Golden Knights. Beyond the obvious (the McDavid is good), what’s behind the Oilers successful strategy?

I just think we play pretty hard against them. They’re a good hockey team over there. They’re fast, they’re tenacious. We got our breaks. We knew they were a heavy stand team, and we backed them up a little bit. -Pat Maroon, Edmonton forward

Maroon had a productive Saturday night in Vegas. The eight-year veteran had the game’s opening goal, and assisted on Drake Caggiula’s game tying goal.

We got our chance off the rush to tie it up, and Nursey pops one home. I think off the rush we did a really good job, backing them off just a tad and pushing the forward out. -Maroon

Not only did Edmonton pick up a much needed two points, but they beat the Western Conference’s best team after beating the conference’s worst the night before. It gives the Oilers some positive momentum for as they begin their bye week.

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How Do You Stop Connor McDavid? Reloaded

Doing this to him probably wouldn’t hurt. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

We gave Nate Schmidt the chance to answer this question before the Golden Knights first opportunity to play against the league’s best player. His answer was succinct, educated, and actually seemed do-able. Then the Golden Knights lost 8-2 and McDavid went off for two goals and an assist in the butt kicking. Schmidt’s answer has changed a bit since.

It’s a healthy medium. Sorry for the cliche. – Nate Schmidt

Most athletes and coaches say they play one game at a time and always move on to the next game. Classic sports cliches. Well, that’s not always the case. Vegas defenseman Nate Schmidt clearly remembers getting lit up in Edmonton.

We didn’t do a very good job of it. I didn’t do a very good job. That top line is productive, and we didn’t do enough to stop them. -Schmidt

Schmidt spent plenty of time sharing the ice with McDavid. He led the team with 29 shifts, shorthanded minutes (3:55), and total ice time (23:39) against the Oilers. Schmidt ended the night -2 after being on the ice for four of Edmonton’s eight tallies. He hit for the cycle while on the ice; two power-play goals, one shorthanded goal and one even-strength goal. Well, actually I guess McDavid and the Oilers hit for the cycle.

He had his way with us, and that’s what makes this game that much more exciting for us. Especially, after what happened the last time we played them. -Schmidt

What can Vegas do to contain McDavid this time around?

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William Karlsson, Not An All Star, But A Legit Hart Candidate?

When the All-Star rosters came out earlier this week, there was a loud collective groan from the NHL’s newest fanbase. Of course, Vegas fans were happy to see Marc-Andre Fleury and James Neal make the Pacific squad, but the snubs of William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault ticked off the VGK faithful… including someone I know.

Without getting into the dynamics of the All Star Game, like all leagues, the NHL focuses on big-name players. Lesser named stars are having to wait their turn, which is pretty lame. Neal and Fleury fit the league’s criteria; notable players, having productive seasons, their team is in first place, and they are a part of an amazing story. Boom, they’re in.

Who needs the ASG when you’ve got Hart on the mind? (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Unfortunately, it stiffs guys like Karlsson and Marchessault. Who are both deserving of an All-Star nod, but will be forced to be alternates. However, Karlsson should look at the bigger picture… the Hart Trophy.

NHL.com recently published an article on the Hart as part of their “Trophy Tracker” series. Unlike the All Star Game, they did not overlook the Golden Knights lesser named star.

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Golden Knights Get Ahead, Stay Ahead Often; Leading Time Statistical Breakdown

This is probably the 10th time we’ve used this picture. Don’t care, it’s awesome. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

At the midway point of the year, the Golden Knights have played 2,460 minutes of hockey. Over the course of the first 41 games, Vegas has outscored their opponents 141-111. The team has been tied or in the lead for the majority of the first half. Here is a breakdown of minutes spent in the lead for the Golden Knights.

VGK spent 919:29 in the lead
VGK averages 22:41 in the lead per game
VGK spent 321:22 out of 780 minutes in the lead against top NHL Teams (13 games; DAL, NAS, STL, TB, TOR, WAS, WPG)
VGK averages 24:44 minutes in the lead per game against top NHL teams
VGK spent 275:21 out of 720 minutes in the lead vs the Pacific
VGK averages 22:58 minutes in the lead per game vs the Pacific

Game by game time spent in the lead

Game 1 @ Dallas: 2:44 Win
Game 2 @ Arizona: 0:00 Win (OT)
Game 3 vs Arizona: 57:29 Win
Game 4 vs Detroit: 7:57 Loss
Game 5 vs Boston: 25:22 Win
Game 6 vs Buffalo: 33:11 Win (OT)
Game 7 vs St. Louis: 17:25 Win (OT)
Game 8 vs Chicago: 54:14 Win
Game 9 vs Colorado: 31:10 Win
Game 10 @ NYI: 21:05 Loss
Game 11 @ NYR: 20:33 Loss
Game 12 @ Boston: 0:00 Loss
Game 13 @ Ottawa: 46:21 Win
Game 14 @ Toronto: 0:00 Loss (SO)
Game 15 @ Montreal: 0:00 Loss
Game 16 vs Winnipeg: 53:19 Win

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SOG Magic Number Strikes Again; Now 11-0

35 = W (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In early December, we pointed out winning trend for the Golden Knights. It’s quite simple, when they get 35 shots on goal, they win. When we published that article, Vegas as 7-0, after last night, it’s 11-0.

Game 2 @ Arizona: 42 SOG (VGK wins 2-1 OT)
Game 19 vs LA: 40 SOG (VGK wins 4-2)
Game 20 @ Anaheim: 49 SOG (VGK wins 4-2)
Game 26 vs Arizona: 45 SOG (VGK wins 3-2 OT)
Game 27 vs Anaheim: 43 SOG (VGK wins 4-3 SO)
Game 28 @ Nashville: 39 SOG (VGK wins 4-3 SO)
Game 29 @ Dallas: 39 SOG (VGK wins 5-3)
Game 32 vs Florida: 40 SOG (VGK wins 5-2)
Game 33 vs Tampa: 36 SOG (VGK wins 4-3)
Game 36 @ LA: 39 SOG (VGK Wins 3-2 OT)
Game 40 @ Chicago: 43 SOG (VGK Wins 5-4)

Last night in Chicago, Vegas relentlessly pressured poor Blackhawks backup Jeff Glass with 43 SOG. In fact, the Golden Knights hit the 35 shot mark by the 40 minute mark. The Blackhawks noticed.

It wasn’t a great night for our [defense]… We gave them the puck and possession on almost every entry, not denying them what we wanted to do. -Joel Quenneville, Blackhawks Head Coach

35 shots or more continues to be the golden number for the Golden Knights. During their unprecedented thirteen game point streak, the Golden Knights hit their magic number seven times. After last night, Vegas is (18-4-0) when outshooting their opponents. Their high shot volume is causing major issues for opposing goaltenders. The combination of more chances, and wearing down the opponent is a winning strategy for the Golden Knights.

But honestly, what isn’t a winning strategy for this team?

Brayden McNabb: VGK’s Only True Physical Presence

At least we’ve got one guy who will hit you. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights are a lot of things, but one thing they are not is physical. In years past, that would be a major incitement as bigger, tougher, skilled teams would seemingly always win. Nowadays, it’s more skill, speed and possession, something the Golden Knights are excellent at. However, not being physical doesn’t mean Vegas isn’t aggressive.

We play a hard game. We win puck battles and some one on one battles, and that’s a big part of being physical. -Gerard Gallant

As we’ve seen all season the winning formula for Vegas has been tempo, pressure, and playing smart with the puck. The overall balance of the club has been incredibly important, as Gallant is one of few NHL coaches able to truly roll four lines and three pairings. Trust in his roster depth is a good reason why Vegas is winning so often. Every player from #3 to #92, gets a the opportunity to impact a game.

Speaking of #3, defenseman Brayden McNabb’s nightly presence can have the ability to change opponents mentality. Players hesitate chasing pucks in the corner or getting into a board battles with the 6’4 defenseman. Against Toronto, McNabb put on a show with consecutive knockout blows on one shift. His bodycheck changed the momentum for both teams. The most impressive part of McNabb’s physical play is his ability to deliver clean hits. Brutal, but clean. Checks look more dangerous coming from a bigger defenseman, but point of contact is legal. McNabb has crushed opponents 669 times over his career, and never been suspended in the NHL.

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Sin City vs. Smashville; Which Atmosphere Is Better?

I’m shocked, SHOCKED, none of the players talked about this when comparing atmospheres. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

After each game opponents consistently praise the Golden Knights, the arena, and you, the fans. Last night we thought we were dealing with a different animal though. Nashville was the darling of the NHL a year ago, and the atmosphere in and around Bridgestone Arena has been described as second to none. Neither Ken nor I have been there so we left it in the hands of those who have, and we were quite surprised by the answers.

Oh, I think ours is way better. The atmosphere today was incredible, when we score the first goal the crowd gets into it. Even when we don’t the media (game ops) people do an incredible job of getting people involved in the game and it’s been really unbelievable. It’s been a big part of our success. -Alex Tuch

It’s very similar. The crowds, the way they are reacting, they are standing and yelling. It’s really fun to play in front of. -Shea Theodore

It was a really cool experience being there last year. It’s a lot like that here. -Brad Hunt (was a healthy scratch for the Predators throughout the entire playoff run last year)

Ok, fine, we weren’t surprised by those answers. But these…

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The Golden Knights Continue To Frustrate The Los Angeles Kings

The Los Angeles Kings are going through a stick shortage.

The Golden Knights continue to frustrate LA’s stars so much that if I had gone into anger management rather than blogging, writing, whatever the heck I do, I’d be standing at the doorsteps of Staples Center with pamphlets in hand screaming, “I can help!”

All kidding aside, it’s easy to understand why Quick was so frustrated after David Perron’s overtime game-winning goal. The Kings goaltender played brilliantly and still couldn’t help his team earn a victory. Early on, Quick made a few difficult saves preserving a 1-0 first-period lead. In the second he stopped quality chances by James Neal, William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault. It was Quick’s unbelievable effort that forced Marchessault to shoot multiple times before scoring.

“We’re lucky to get the point. Quickie had to obviously play well again. They outshot by a pretty big margin. We had a real bad second period. I don’t know, in some ways I don’t think we deserve a point.”- Drew Doughty, Kings Defenseman

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