Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Category: Personnel Page 2 of 23

Colin Miller Ready To Re-Adjust With Nate’s Return

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

Nate Schmidt’s 20-game suspension impacted the entire Golden Knights roster, but Colin Miller may have been one of the most impacted.

The 26-year-old defenseman found himself on the first defensive unit with Brayden McNabb. Normally, that would be considered a good thing from Miller’s perspective. His minutes increased as did his responsibilities. He added penalty killer to his resume along with his usual shift on the VGK power play.

It also meant playing against the other team’s top line and trying to keep them off the scoresheet. Miller has had to focus more on thinking defense-first. It may contribute to the fact he is goal-less through the first 20 games after scoring 10 goals last year as part of a career-high 41-point season which led all of the team’s defensemen.

As Sheryl Crow sang, “A change can do you good.”

Schmidt makes his 2018-19 debut tonight in Edmonton against Oilers. To begin the game he’ll step in to play with Shea Theodore, but Gerard Gallant says the pairs may change as the game goes on. Whether Miller stays with McNabb or not though, his responsibilities will change with Schmidt back in the lineup.

For me, I’ve been playing in all sorts of different roles since I got here. It doesn’t really affect me much. It’s great to have Nate back. He’s a huge part of this team and he brings a lot to our team — power play, penalty kill. -Colin Miller

Gallant said Miller hasn’t performed badly and even though he is without a goal 20 games in, Gallant likes what Miller has done.

I think Colin had a good start to the year. He’s been solid. I wish he had four or five goals. But he has gone through some bad luck. But he’s played well. -Gerard Gallant

It’s what you would expect both player and coach to say. But maybe the Knights wouldn’t be struggling as much if Miller were contributing more offensively. That bad luck once again manifested itself in Friday’s 4-1 loss to St. Louis. Miller let loose a laser that traveled hard and low across the ice and would have beaten Jake Allen, the Blues’ goaltender.

Instead, the puck hit the post and Miller’s drought continued.

But lack of goals aside, the return of Schmidt will undoubtedly impact Miller’s role. He won’t be going up against the other team’s top line and that should make him more effective defensively.

Read More

With Haula Out, Eakin Gets Bigger Role

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

Everyone was hoping the news on Erik Haula’s injury suffered last week in Toronto would be good. Or, at the least, optimistic.

But it appears the Golden Knights are going to be without their second-line center for the foreseeable future. We may hear something prior to tonight’s game with Anaheim as to exactly what the prognosis is going forward.

Whether the Knights call up someone from the AHL’s Chicago Wolves, make a trade or stand pat, it doesn’t impact Cody Eakin. He has been moved up from the third line to Haula’s spot and he even found himself on the first line Sunday in Boston, skating with Jonathan Marchessault and Alex Tuch.

Gerard Gallant said afterward it was basically a one-off, that he was trying to get his team going. So expect to see Eakin centering for Tuch and Max Pacioretty against the Ducks as the Knights look to turn things around on this short two-game homestand at T-Mobile Arena.

There haven’t been many bright spots through the first 18 games for Vegas. Tuch and Marchessault have been the team’s top two players. But after that, you can make a case for Eakin as the next best performer.

In 15 games, he’s fourth on the team in scoring with five goals and three assists. He’s been an important part of the team’s penalty killing unit. He’s winning 48 percent of his face-offs and he’s averaging 14:21 in time on ice. His shooting percentage is 29.4 percent though he has only taken 17 shots.

He has also been doing this while playing with numerous linemates. With injuries and slumps, Gallant has had to move things around. But Eakin has performed with whoever Gallant has flanked him with.

He appears to be stronger on his skates. His forechecking has been more effective. He’s not turning the puck over as much. And playing with Tuch seems to have helped perk up his offensive stats.

I always found Eakin to be somewhat underappreciated. He’s a quiet guy who doesn’t draw a lot of attention to himself. He works hard, tries to make every shift a good one and seems to be a good teammate.

Yet, I remember reading and hearing talk during training camp that Eakin was expendable, that maybe he doesn’t make the opening night roster, that he’s not that good a player.

I’m not hearing that now.

Look, I’m not nominating Eakin for the Hockey Hall of Fame. What I’m saying is you should appreciate his contributions, especially during a trying time for the franchise, one that remains fraught with uncertainty as Haula joins Paul Stastny on injured reserve.

**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.**

Golden Kights Prospect Paul Cotter Leaves Western Michigan For OHL’s London Knights

Paul Cotter showed he can score during his short time in Vegas for Development Camp. Now he’ll have a chance to show it in the OHL. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Paul Cotter was selected in the 4th round by the Golden Knights and within days became one of the most promising prospects in the Vegas system. At Development Camp, Cotter flashed in drills as well as scrimmage before heading off to Western Michigan University to play his freshman year in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

Cotter did not score a goal and registered just one assist over his eight games at Western Michigan. His roles on the roster ranged from healthy scratch to top line center for the Broncos. Then, Cotter decided to leave.

Cotter will now join the London Knights of the OHL and likely instantly step into their everyday lineup.

He’s really grown as a player and he’s a mature young man. We believe he’s going to bring leadership and character to our dressing room. I think he can score at this level. He’s a good two-way hockey player. –Mark Hunter, London Knights GM to London Free Press

So what does this mean for the Golden Knights?

Read More

Results Aren’t Changing, So Something Else Must

Let’s try changes before it’s 3-0. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Following their latest nightmare of a road trip, all three trips have been now, the Golden Knights now sit at 3-8-0 on the road, 7-10-1 overall, and with a measly 15 points in the first 18 games. If you extrapolate those numbers over a full 82 game season, that’s 11-31-0 on the road, 32-46-4 overall, and 68 points. That is a disaster.

That is also why something has to change. Of course, the easiest change will be made available to the Golden Knights in two games, when Nate Schmidt is eligible to return from his suspension. It will almost certainly help, but relying on one player to completely turn the fortunes of a team around is like walking up to the craps table thinking you’re going to win rent for the month. It might happen, but realistically, it’s probably not.

Following the loss in Boston, reigning Jack Adams winner Gerard Gallant responded to a question about swapping Max Pacioretty and Jonathan Marchessault mid-game with this answer.

If you are not winning you are going to try things. That’s what a coach’s job is supposed to be. So you try and get a little spark. -Gallant

However, the team has barely tried anything nearly a fourth of the way through the season. They’ve made one call-up from the AHL, they’ve made voluntary changes on just one line, and they’ve never swapped more than one defenseman if not dealing with an injury.

Read More

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: 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?”

Read More

2017 Draft Class Has Had Success In The NHL, It’s Time For VGK To Take The Plunge And Give Pick #15 His Shot

The 2017 NHL Draft was a big one for the Golden Knights. Following the Expansion Draft, Vegas went into their first Entry Draft with three picks in the top 15 and four in the top 35.

Cody Glass, Nick Suzuki, Erik Brannstrom, and Nic Hague were the Golden Knights selections, and between the four of them, they’ve played a total of 0 NHL games 17 months after they were selected.

That’s not common at this point for that draft class, look.

1 – New Jersey – Nico Hischier – 92 games, 62 points
2 – Philadelphia – Nolan Patrick – 82 games, 34 points
3 – Dallas – Miro Heiskanen – 12 games, 4 points
4  – Colorado – Cale Makar*
5 – Vancouver – Elias Pettersson – 8 games, 10 points
6 – Vegas – Cody Glass
7 – NY Rangers – Lias Andersson – 7 games, 2 points
8 – Buffalo – Casey Mittelstadt – 19 games, 8 points
9 – Detroit – Michael Rasmussen – 11 games, 3 points
10 – Florida – Owen Tippett – 7 games, 1 point
11 – Los Angeles – Gabriel Vilardi
12 – Carolina – Martin Necas – 8 games, 2 points
13 – Vegas – Nick Suzuki
14 – Tampa Bay – Cal Foote
15 – Vegas – Erik Brannstrom
16 – Calgary – Juuso Valimaki – 12 games, 1 point
17 – Toronto – Timothy Liljegren
18 – Boston – Urho Vaakanainen – 2 games, 0 points
19 – San Jose – Josh Norris*
20 – St. Louis – Robert Thomas – 6 games, 1 point
21 – NY Rangers – Filip Chytil – 21 games, 5 points
22 – Edmonton – Kailer Yamamoto – 20 games, 5 points
23 – Arizona – Pierre-Olivier Joseph
24 – Winnipeg – Kristian Vesalainen – 5 games, 1 point
25 – Montreal – Ryan Poehling*
26 – Dallas – Jake Oettinger*
27 – Philadelphia – Morgan Frost
28 – Ottawa – Shane Bowers*
29 – Chicago – Henri Jokiharju – 13 games, 7 points
30 – Nashville – Eeli Tolvanen – 3 games, 0 points
31 – St. Louis – Klim Kostin
*Playing in NCAA

17 of the 31 players selected in the 2017 NHL Draft 1st round have played in the NHL, 15 of them have registered a point, yet the Golden Knights are 0 for 3.

Read More

Ryan Reaves 2.0

Reaves jokes about buying a new pair of hands with his new contract, but his off-ice workout regimen which has turned him into a different player is no joke. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The highest point total Ryan Reaves has tallied in his NHL career is 13 in 2016-17. His best goal scoring season was the same year when he scored seven. Yet here we are, 11 games in the season and Reaves already has three goals and is on pace for 20+ points.

But it’s not just the goal scoring that has Reaves impressing on the ice, it’s the speed at which he’s playing that has allowed he and linemates, William Carrier and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, to consistently create chances mostly born out of ferocious forechecking.

Quite simply, the VGK version of Reaves is not the one the NHL grew to know (and in some cases love, other cases hate) over his first seven years in the league.

The last two years in particular I’ve done a lot less sitting in the gym pumping iron. I think that was the old me who had to go out and fight 6’5″ guys every other night. The game is changing so I’ve got to adapt. I’m not nearly as heavy as I was. I work on a lot of explosiveness, a lot of weighted vest skating, jumps, just a lot of power in my legs, so I can keep up. I’m still a heavy guy but I’ve got to keep up with the fast pace of the league right now. -Ryan Reaves

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When you add in the series-winner in Winnipeg and the goal in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, Reaves has scored five goals in his last 16 games. At no other point in his career has he come close to that type of scoring output.

Read More

Is It Time For Line Changes? Massive Line Changes?

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – 2nd line center? (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights top line made up of William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault, and Reilly Smith have a total of 24 points. That’s the exact same total as every other skater on the roster combined. 24 points.

One of the reasons for the Golden Knights early success a year ago was eventual Jack Adams award winner Gerard Gallant’s willingness to switch his lines. Because there was no history of success or failure, there was no fear of letting guys skate with anyone, anywhere, in the lineup. This year that hasn’t really been the case.

(If you haven’t checked out our Line Charts yet, you really need to.)

Last year, Erik Haula went from third line wing to first line center within the first 10 games of the season. William Karlsson from playing with Haula and Brendan Leipsic to Marchessault and Smith. Vadim Shipachyov from first line center to retired cry-baby. Oh, and all of this happened while the Golden Knights raced out to an 8-2-0 start.

Read More

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.

Read More

Defense Feeling Confident; But Know They Can Still Be Better

Fleury is a big reason for the defense’s confidence. (Photo Credit: 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.

Read More

Page 2 of 23

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén