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Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Author: Jason Pothier (Page 2 of 35)

Pacioretty Frustrated He’s Struggling To Find Chemistry On 2nd Line

It’s tough to understand the amount of pressure professional hockey players take on throughout an entire season. It’s a grueling 82 games and if a player or team is struggling they get bombarded with negative questions picking on every little detail. Sounds stressful right? Now triple that for players in feverish markets like Toronto, New York, Boston and Montreal. That’s been Max Pacioretty’s life for the past decade, so after seven contests and only goal scored it’s not surprising he’s feeling the frustration.

Our line has been struggling, so we have to find that chemistry a bit more. We need to make life easier on each other out there. It’s frustrating, because we haven’t produced at all… but we’ll get it going. -Max Pacioretty

Part of the problem is the plan of who Pacioretty was supposed to play with hasn’t exactly been followed.

My two linemates (Paul Stastny and Alex Tuch) got injured right at the start of the year and that makes it hard. I haven’t found that chemistry yet.”-Max Pacioretty

Haula and Pacioretty have been skating together since Tuch’s injury on September 30th, yet it still hasn’t clicked. When might it?

Never been in this position. Played ten years in one spot, so this is all new to me. -Pacioretty

The veteran winger knows he’s a dangerous weapon and if he’s not scoring, in his eyes he’s not doing his job. Which requires him playing consistent minutes. That didn’t happen for Pacioretty or the second line against Buffalo.

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Defense Feeling Confident; But Know They Can Still Be Better

Fleury is a big reason for the defense’s confidence. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s obvious the Golden Knights are glad to be back home in Vegas. Right from the start of practice on Monday, players were smiling and laughing as if their record was 4-2, not 2-4. It was business as usual from City National Arena.

It felt good to get another win. Helps start getting things going in the right direction. We knew we needed that one. -Jon Merrill

Merrill said the team responded well in Philadelphia after three lackluster performances. Defensively, the team played well and simplified their game plan allowing their goaltender to perform his magic and shut out the Flyers.

Like football, defensemen in hockey also take pride keeping the opposition off the board.

Absolutely, for Flower. To have a shutout and all of the big saves he had in that game, it’s unbelievable. We definitely take pride in getting those shutouts, but winning is the most important thing. We’ll take them anyway we can get them. -Merrill

The defenseman admitted there were costly mistakes against Buffalo, Washington and Pittsburgh. However, the amount of goals allowed isn’t the best way to evaluate team defense.

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George McPhee Discovers New Wave Beverage At Age 60

How has he never realized this!?! The guy lives in an ice rink! (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

If you thought you drank too much coffee, then you’ll enjoy this great anecdote from NBC Sports’ Pierre McGuire. The ‘Between the Benches’ analyst joked about bumping into a fully caffeinated George McPhee at an early Vegas practice in Washington.

You know you’re supposed to go to the rink everyday and learn something new. So, I came to the rink today in Washington and I’m sitting there and it’s dark and I’m by myself. Then all of a sudden this really in shape 60-year-old man sits next to me, George McPhee. Maybe, one of the best dressed general managers in the league, and obviously one of the toughest. He was a nasty piece of business. –Pierre McGuire on TSN 690 Montréal

When an award-winning GM and a high-profile hockey personality are casually sitting together, you’d think they’d be talking about something important. You know, like VGK’s PP deficiencies or highly rated prospects like Erik Brannstrom. Nope, the two spent time together talking about what was in McPhee’s cup.

So he says to me, ‘See what I’m drinking?’ I said no what are drinking George? He goes ‘I’m drinking coffee. In all my years in the league I didn’t start drinking coffee until this year… I feel that it helps my workload.’ I’m not kidding you. I was stunned. -McGuire

Everyday jamokes like me, can’t function without a hot cup of joe, and with all of the pressure being an NHL general manager brings, McGuire was floored by McPhee’s newest (off the ice) discovery.

At sixty! At sixty he just started drinking coffee. -McGuire

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Golden Knights Lacking Offense; But Why?

No stats account for missing wide open nets though, and the Golden Knights have had their fair share of those through three games. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In their first three games, the Golden Knights are outshooting opponents 104 to 72 in shots on goal. The numbers are even more staggering when you include all shots, 197-125. That’s a Corsi For Percentage of 61.2%!  Yet Vegas is 1-2-0 and have been outscored in the only category that matters, goals, 10 to 5.

So the stats seem suggest Vegas had plenty of scoring chances in Buffalo but Jack Adams winner Gerard Gallant didn’t agree following the game.

Well there were a lot of shots but I didn’t see many scoring chances to be honest with you. We had a few chances in the second half of the game but the first half I thought we were sound alseep. -Gallant

Sometimes Gallant can be a little emotional, irrational even, in the pressers after losses, so we decided to take a little deeper dive to see if the Golden Knights are indeed taking harmless shots, if it’s just been a case of tough luck early, or if it’s some combination of both.

According to NaturalStatTrick.com, the Golden Knights had 22 scoring chances on 37 shots. That’s down significantly from the first two games in which Vegas had 33 (PHI) and 31 (@MIN) scoring chances. 22 is very low for the Golden Knights when compared to last year. Just 13 times did they have fewer than 22, including the other time they visited Buffalo. However, the Golden Knights went 8-3-2 in the games in which they had fewer than 22 scoring chances. So, that’s not a great indicator of success.

The next stat, and this is an odd one, is Corsi or Shot Attempts. Vegas outshot the Sabres 67-35 for a Corsi For Percentage of 65.7%. Only one time all year, including the playoffs, did the Golden Knights create a higher discrepancy in shots. That was the famous night before Thanksgiving game in Anaheim where they overcame a 2-0 lead to win 4-2. Vegas hit 64% or more five other times last season and they went a winless 0-3-2 in those games. In other words, massive Corsi differences does not equal success for the Golden Knights. Instead, it likely indicates they are forcing bad shots and inflating the numbers rather than working for good ones.

That brings us to the heat charts. Where are the shots coming from?

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Marchessault: “It’s All On Us” – But Was It Really?

Not much went right for the Golden Knights in the opener. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

No doubt about it, last night’s 5-2 loss to Philadelphia was an ugly start to the season.

They played a good game and we played a bad game, and that’s usually a bad mix. -Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

It’s all on us. The D has the puck and we didn’t give options on the wall, we were far from each other, we didn’t manage the puck well at both blue lines and just bad decisions the whole game. -Jonathan Marchessault

The Golden Knights will toss it away and move on to Minnesota like they normally do. After all, even though it was the first game of the season, it’s still just one game and a lopsided loss is the same as a close loss in the standings.

But the question certainly needs to be asked, how did the Golden Knights look so bad? Was it the Flyers stellar play or mistakes the Golden Knights made, and more importantly, is this something that might continue?

We need to be ready. This was definitely not good enough of an effort. Every night there’s a good hockey team, if we’re not ready we’re going to get spanked like we just did. -Marchessault

From the winning locker room, Philadelphia believed it was a combination of both their strong execution and Vegas’ miscues.

We took advantage of what we got. It was a solid game, we did a good job of creating opportunities. -Wayne Simmonds, Flyers forward

On the Flyers first and second goals, Vegas made costly errors from their defensemen and forwards. Jon Merrill made a timing mistake in the offensive zone which led to an odd-man rush on the first one, and Oscar Lindberg made an egregious backhand dump attempt that Philly picked off and stormed to the net to score the second. Both mistakes led directly to goals.

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Golden Knights Trivia Game: Who Am I?

Can you figure out who each guy is? (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen) 

With the season opener just about a day away, we decided to have a little fun with you and play some trivia. We’ve put together a group of “Who Am I?” questions. We’ll give you a fact about a player, and you have to guess who it is we are talking about.

ANSWERS HERE

I’ve played a total of 154 NHL’s games, including playoffs but tomorrow will be my first opening night. Who am I?

My first NHL game was on opening night. I played great but my team lost. Look, we weren’t very good that season but we still had one of the greats on the team. We added another great the next year. We’re all still good buddies. Who am I?

Neither of us were drafted by the Bruins but Torrey Krug and I shared our first opening night game in 2013. Who am I?

I’ve been in Gerard Gallant’s opening night lineup for three straight years. I scored the first goal of the game in my first opening night appearance. Who am I?

In my first opening night game, my teammates Taylor Hall and David Perron registered a point. Surprisingly I had the most shifts on the team. Oh and opponent Deryk Engelland had roughly the same amount shifts. Who am I?

In my first opening night game, I played 3 minutes but spent more time in the SinBin for fighting Zack Stortini. I better get more than 8 minutes on Thursday. Who am I?

My first NHL game was on opening night. I had a second period roughing penalty. On my second opening night I scored a goal. In my third opener, I had a goal, an assist, a roughing penalty, a spearing penalty and a game misconduct. It was an interesting night. Who am I?

In my first opening night, I faced Nick Holden who was also playing his first opening night game. My second opening night, my teammate Zach Parise had a hat trick in a 5-4 win. My team was down 3-0 and we faced another central division team. Nick Holden was on that team too. Who am I?

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VGK Has Become The Hunted

The Golden Knights have basically become the bully of the Pacific. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Rivalries grow over time. Years and years of brutally beating up on each other, battling for divisional crowns and eliminating one another in the playoffs. Or so I thought…

Stevens had that to say after last week’s preseason game at the T-Mobile Arena. On Sunday, Sharks coach Pete DeBoer wouldn’t go as far as Stevens, but if this sure sounds like rivalry coach-speak to me.

It’s great. It’s great for a couple reasons, one, it felt like an important game because of the environment, the situation the crowd so that’s always good to get you prepared for that. -Pete DeBoer, San Jose coach

Both San Jose and Vegas suited up most core players as if it were a meaningful game. The Sharks were looking forward to their final preseason matchup at Vegas.

We felt like it was our last chance to have a tune up for us, be ready and get ready. Parts of our game we think we’re ready and other parts there still a lot of room for improvement. -Joe Pavelski, Sharks forward

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Reaves Brewing A Beer That Will Knock You Out

“Would you like a pint of Grim Reaver, Mr. Wilson?” (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

As if Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves needs to prove his manhood anymore, he’s going out and showing up most men yet again.

I’m starting up a little beer company and see how it goes. It started a little in St. Louis, I called it the Grim Reaver. It did pretty well in St. Louis…”- Ryan Reaves on Spittin’ Chiclets Podcast

In the city where Budweiser is brewed, Reaves’ Grim Reaver was rated 3.8 out of 5. Not bad. His namesake IPA was described as “offering big, juicy grapefruit and citrus notes.” You might say the Vegas power forward knows a thing or two about beer.

Hopefully, everyone doesn’t think I’m an alcoholic because I’m not. I like a nice beer and something to do after I’m done playing.-Reaves on Spittin’ Chiclets Podcast

I asked Reaves where things stood with his new Vegas brew.

It’s not being brewed yet, we’re still in the process of finding a deal with the right brewery. -Reaves

This probably won’t surprise you, Reaves is not drinking your everyday light beer. Oh no, he wants his custom suds to pack a powerful blow like his $2.75 million punch.

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Pay Now, Save Later, That’s The Idea On Shea Theodore’s Contract

The holdout is over!

At $5.2M per season, Shea Theodore becomes the Golden Knights highest paid defenseman (by far). The 23-year-old gets a big time raise that many believed he earned, including his General Manager.

If you’re going to do a long term deal, and short term deals but certainly long terms, then you have to get the right numbers. Really have to trust your instincts, trust the experience, trust the scouting reports from your pro staff, trust the analytics data, and make a good decision. We rely on all those resources to make a good decision and we think we made one here and time will tell. -George McPhee

Theodore and the team are happy with the deal, and of course the fans are too. But how did the organization fare committing to a seven-year deal? Remember, McPhee didn’t have to offer Theodore anymore than the required qualifying offer (around $1 million).

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When you peruse through the salaries of today’s NHL defenseman, $5M AAV suggests the player is a top 50 defensemen. Out of 227 signed NHL defensemen, Theodore’s new deal makes him the 45th highest paid defenseman in the league. Here are a few players right around his salary for this season.

Torrey Krug
Age: 27
Shoots: Left
5’9″, 185lbs
398 Games
235 Points (52 Goals, 183 Assists)
20:28 ATOI
0.59 Points Per Game
40.4 Point Share
+28
38 Playoff Games

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Keegan Kolesar’s Role Includes Unshattered Glass

He’s a little different than both Reaves and Carrier, but he’s certainly in the next generation of those type of players. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Down the line, prized possessions like Cody Glass and Erik Brannstrom will be inserted into the lineup and eventually take over as the next generation of Golden Knights stars. But while they continue to develop, other Vegas prospects have other roles to grow into.

Every guy has a different role and a different attribute and physicality is one of mine. Whenever I can be physical and give myself some more room, it creates space for everyone else. Everyone else feels more comfortable out there. -Keegan Kolesar

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Kolesar’s game feels like a sort of a hybrid of William Carrier and Ryan Reaves. He has a better shot than both Vegas bruisers, and can land just as mean of a hit. In the ECHL, the 21-year-old averaged 0.88 points per game, totaling 16 points (9 Goals, 7 Assists) in 20 games with Quad City. Once Kolesar hit the AHL his PPG dropped significantly and totaled 46 penalty minutes in 44 games.

He has to play that way. He has to be physical and he’s made some nice plays. He has the ability to play with good players and produce offensively. I use him in a lot of different periods of the game, playing on the power-play. He also looks after guys too. -Rocky Thompson, Chicago Wolves Coach

Kolesar already has that protective older brother relationship going on with the 19-year-old Glass and other up and coming Golden Knights.

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