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Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Author: Ken Boehlke (Page 2 of 135)

Two Stories About George McPhee Surface; One Good, One Not-So-Good

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

One of our habits here at SinBin.vegas is to scour the Internet for any and all stories about the Golden Knights. Whether they are about ex-players, prospects, coaches, executives, or in today’s case the General Manager, if it’s out there, we find it. George McPhee’s name popped up in multiple places this week starting with an interview on Hockey Central in which he gave an update on Paul Stastny’s status, but that was the least interesting thing we found concerning the architect of the Golden Knights. Two stories worth sharing found their way onto the web, one good one, one not-so-good one.

We’ll start with the good story.

When McPhee was senior in college at Bowling Green the team he captained started the season 0-6-1. They went on to turn things around and win the CCHA regular season and playoff titles and made the national tournament. The head coach of that team was Jerry York. York’s team this year has another McPhee, George’s son, Graham. Graham’s team at Boston College was 0-5-0 and York had McPhee turn to his old man for a little reassurance.

I said ‘Graham, call your dad and ask him.’ It’s still a long year. We have a lot of work to do, but we’ve got a pretty good club. –Jerry York to CollegeHockeyNews.com

You guys have probably never been 0-5-0. You just haven’t. But I’ve been there. Graham McPhee’s father was our senior captain at Bowling Green. We started 0-6-1. I told them I’ve been there, and that this team has a chance to become a very good team for us. Believe me, just because you start 0-5-0, doesn’t mean you have to have a lousy year. -York

A few days later, Boston College won their first game of the season and have won three straight since. Who knows what McPhee actually said to his son and how much of that message made it to Graham’s teammates, but it makes for a good story if we give all the credit to George, so we’re going to do that.

On to the other story, which is not nearly as positive for the Golden Knights GM.

While McPhee was the GM of the Washington Capitals he made a trade that sent Jaromir Jagr to the New York Rangers, for now NBC studio host, Anson Carter.

As the story goes, (you can read the whole thing here) the Capitals arranged a driver to bring Carter to his condo to gather his belongings before heading out to the Caps next game. Carter says he was on the phone with a female hairstylist while in the car setting up a time for her to meet with him to tend to his glorious dreadlocks.

Later, when he got to Washington D.C., Carter was called into the head coach’s office.

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Hockey Central Rips Pacioretty, Golden Knights

Any time the Golden Knights head to Canada, specifically Toronto, the major media heads north of the border tend to weigh in on what they are seeing from Vegas. Following the 3-1 loss at the Maple Leafs, the voices of Sportsnet’s Hockey Central were not shy in tearing down the reigning Western Conference Champs.

Vegas played fast last year. They were a fast relentless team. I remember sitting down at breakfast with Gerard Gallant this summer and I said, you know Stastny, he slows things down. I mean I hope the pace is (still) pretty good. Then you throw Pacioretty on that wing and all of a sudden you are saying where’s the pace, where’s the speed with this group. -Doug MacLean, former NHL GM and head coach

We’re all in agreement that the shine on some level for many reasons has worn off on that Vegas team. -David Amber, Hockey Central host

They also had a singled out a specific new member of the Golden Knights.

I watch Pacioretty and he is not the 30 goal scorer we saw in previous years with the Montreal Canadiens. For me, he’s just not engaged, involved. He’s got to find a way to start getting into the trenches to score goals again. I don’t know whether or not it’s just the needle moving at the speed of the game the last two or three years, but if you don’t have that dynamic step it’s tough to get into spots to score goals. -Nick Kypreos, former NHL player

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5 OTTAWA SENATORS 3 (7-8-1 15 PTS)

After killing off an early penalty in their own zone, the Golden Knights scored not one, but two power play goals in the 1st period. With new power play lines, Jonathan Marchessault netted the first one for the new top PP line, while Shea Theodore got the second one for the other unit. The Golden Knights extended the lead to 3-0 with a goal from Nick Holden, his first as a member of the team. Then, following a fight with Ryan Reaves and Mark Borowiecki, the Senators got on the board. Ottawa climbed all the way back to tie it at three, but a pair of “4th line” goals by William Carrier and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare restored Vegas’ lead and gave them the win.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at  Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre

  • Respected hockey voice says Pacioretty and Stastny have slowed VGK down.

Three Stars
*** Jonathan Marchessault
** Thomas Chabot
* Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

Nate Schmidt Speaks About Suspension After Returning To Practice In Ottawa

On September 2nd the NHL informed the world that Nate Schmidt had been suspended for 20 games for violating the league’s Performance Enhancing Substance Program. On that day, Schmidt, his agent, and the Golden Knights organization released strongly worded statements claiming his innocence.

Since then, he skated with the Golden Knights throughout all of training camp, then went to Viena, Austria to practice with a team there while being suspended, and now he’s back with the Golden Knights awaiting the final five games of his suspension to elapse.

“When you can look in the mirror and know you didn’t do something, that’s all that matters.” (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

For the first time since the suspension, Schmidt was made available to the media. This occurred in the visitor’s locker room at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa yesterday. (Stick tap to David Schoen of the Review-Journal for posting the video which is embedded below.)

Schmidt’s same jovial personality came through, as it always does, but two things were clear in hearing and watching him speak. First, he still firmly believes he did not do anything wrong. Second, it pains him deeply that his career will forever be linked to this suspension.

Right after it happened I called George and said, it’s not the games or the money, it’s my reputation. I couldn’t care less about the money I’m giving up and it sucks to miss the games but really it’s about your character being attacked. But the outpouring of support from guys on this team, and guys in the league, and friends and family, and even guys from other sports, it was incredible. It made you know at the end of the day that when you look in the mirror and you know you didn’t do something that that’s the only thing that mattered to me. I know I can say that I didn’t do anything intentionally or ever tried to do anything, that’s not me. When you can look in the mirror and know you didn’t do something, that’s all that matters. -Nate Schmidt

Schmidt does understand however that most people may not believe him. He says he’s can’t let that effect him though.

The internal support and my own personal belief in knowing (I didn’t do anything wrong) is enough for me. -Schmidt

Maybe the most interesting piece of information that came from Schmidt’s first interview since the suspension was his answer to the question, “do you know where the substance came from?”

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SinBin.vegas Podcast #130: Risk Outweighing Reward

We’re starting to grow frustrated as the Golden Knights sound like a broken record. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • Recap of the Toronto loss
  • Fear of risk over excitement for reward
  • When/why did they stop coaching and managing like they did last year?
  • A lesson on pinching
  • Jason’s over packing for trips
  • Buy tickets to the next Monday’s Dark!

And much more…

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

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First Line Has Gone Quiet

What the heck is happening to our beloved 1st line?!? (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Over the course of the first 10 games of the season, the Golden Knights top line of William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault, and Reilly Smith tallied 10 of the teams 21 goals. They also accounted for 24 of the team’s 49 points. In short, as we wrote about at the time, they were carrying the team.

Unfortunately, that has come to a screeching halt. In the past five games, the top line has scored just two goals, racked up a measly three assists, and have a disastrous combined -11 rating. They’ve also allowed four even-strength goals after allowing just four in the first 10 games.

To make matters worse, their shot totals, scoring chances, and high danger chances are all down, while their goals against, shots against, and chances against are all up. We also haven’t seen the killer forechecking we’ve grown so accustomed to over the past five games either. Quite simply, they are no longer carrying the team, and with the injury to Erik Haula, that has to change.

I’m not sure I’m ready to say it’s time to break them up, but with the lineup in a bit of turmoil, it has to at least start creeping into consideration. A move like this could ignite Max Pacioretty, it could breathe a little more scoring into the 2nd line, and if reigning Jack Adams winner Gerard Gallant decides to really shake it up it might lead to the return of the balanced attack that the Golden Knights became known for a year ago.

Much like a majority of last season, the top line had been scoring almost three points a game as a unit, but it’s been nearly two weeks since that’s been the case. If it returns, all will be well, but if it doesn’t, that line may look a lot different in the next two weeks.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS 3 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 (6-8-1 13 PTS)

A mistake in his own end by Nick Holden led the Leafs to score their first goal in the first two periods of a home game in quite some time. The Golden Knights fell asleep in the first :09 of the 2nd, conceding again. Then, things turned around in a big way. Vegas completely dominated the remainder of the period but only got one goal from Cody Eakin in it. Through two periods the Golden Knights attempted 61 shots, only 30 made it to the goal and only one went in. The Golden Knights continued the pressure but couldn’t get the tying goal. Erik Haula was injured and taking off on a stretcher in the 3rd period. Yet another similar story to so many games this year.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena

  • Carp’s column on Haula

Three Stars
*** Connor Brown
** Mitchell Marner
* Frederik Andersen

Max Pacioretty Is Back; Timing Couldn’t Be Better

Welcome back Max. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Key offseason acquisition Max Pacioretty has missed the last four games with an upper-body injury sustained on a pretty nasty hit. He didn’t travel with the team to Nashville and St. Louis and only re-joined practice the day of the Carolina home game. Now, on this trip East, he’s ready to re-join the lineup.

Obviously, any time would be good to get a player like Pacioretty back in the lineup, but a November game against Toronto is literally as good as it gets for Max.

 Goals per GameAssists per GamePoints per Game
October.31.25.56
November.36.37.73
December.26.30.56
January.46.28.75
February.36.39.75
March.34.41.75
April.47.561.03

For some reason, October and December are not great months for Pacioretty. In every other month, he’s about a .75 point per game player and he scores once every 3rd game. 

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Patience The Cure For Knights’ Ills

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

We’ve all had the flu. And what happens? We’re in bed. We’re lethargic. We essentially feel like crap.

And here’s what else that happens. There’s no magic cure. You’re not going to instantaneously get better. The doctor says you have to let it run its course.

Which brings us to the Golden Knights.

Think of your favorite team as a flu-ridden patient that is trying to get better. Right now, the Knights have the bug, and I’m not talking the infamous “Vegas Flu.” They lack consistency. They are lacking focus in certain areas. Some of the team’s top players are in a funk while others are simply struggling (we see ya, Jon Merrill!).

Coach Gerard Gallant is doing everything but provide chicken soup for the hockey soul. But he is limited in the number of remedies he can use. He benched the struggling Merrill in St. Louis Thursday for Brad Hunt. He returned Marc-Andre Fleury to the crease against the Blues. He continues to juggle his third line in the hopes of finding a spark.

But the team dropped both games on the brief road trip to Nashville and St. Louis earlier in there week. However, they bounced back with a solid effort Saturday to beat Carolina 3-0 at home with Hunt scoring the game-winner in the first period.

How big was the win? For starters, it snapped the modest two-game losing streak. It also pulled the Knights to within a game of .500 at 6-7-1. The 13 points ties Vegas with Anaheim for sixth place in the Pacific Division and they’re just five points out of first place, a number that’s hardly insurmountable on Nov. 4.

Finally, it gives the team some positive momentum going into the upcoming four-game road trip which begins Tuesday in Toronto. Pick up a few points on the East Coast swing and suddenly the sky isn’t falling.

“I thought we played three or four really good games and this one was in the mix for sure,” Gallant said of the consistent effort his team gave over 60 minutes Saturday. “I hope it carries over and continues on the (road) trip.”

We all know this team is missing some key pieces. Not having Nate Schmidt on the blue line has impacted the Knights far more than anyone could have imagined and his return is still a couple of weeks away. Paul Stastny is out for another month or so. Max Pacioretty will return soon, but his absence has been noticeable.

Combined, that’s three players who would be making a major impact on any given night.

However, you knew what the reality was, especially with Schmidt. That 20-game suspension, which Gallant said he treated like an injury, has really hurt this team. Unlike a year ago when Fleury missed 29 games with a concussion, the Knights managed to hold together their goaltending situation. The defense has not been able to do that this year with Nate out of the lineup.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 CAROLINA HURRICANES 0 (6-7-1 13 PTS)

A frantic 1st period with over 20 scoring chances total from both teams combined. Brad Hunt jumped up into a play and put a perfect pass from Erik Haula into the back of the net. Ryan Reaves tallied another goal, his fourth of the season, in the 2nd. Vegas scored the game’s third goal as well with William Carrier’s first in over a year. Marc-Andre Fleury was tremendous all night earning him the shutout. Great game through and through for VGK when they really needed it.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Carolina Hurricanes at T-Mobile Arena

  • Steve Carp’s Sunday column

Three Stars
*** William Carrier
** Brad Hunt
* Marc-Andre Fleury

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