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Nate Schmidt Is Pumped For The Opening Games Against San Jose

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The last seven times the Golden Knights have played hockey it has been against th San Jose Sharks. Prior to those seven, the last two really meaningful games in the regular season were a pair of games also against the Sharks. To open the 2019-20 season, the Golden Knights will open with not one, but two games against who else, the San Jose Sharks.

Nothing like dumping gasoline onto a fire to start the year. What a blossoming rivalry we have we these guys. -Nate Schmidt on NHL Network

Schmidt joined NHL Tonight on the NHL Network to chat about his summer, the upcoming season, and his less than stellar Da Beauty League appearance. (The whole video is embedded at the bottom) But his comments on the Sharks were the highlight of the show. You can clearly tell, the Golden Knights and Sharks still don’t like each other. With each one ending the other’s season the past two years, both teams are going to be out for blood early.

Those things don’t just boil over they don’t just go by the wayside. Guys don’t have a short memory when it comes to playing in big rivalry games. -Schmidt

Whether it’s Ryan Reaves vs. Evander Kane, Gerard Gallant calling Pete DeBoer “a clown,” Cody Eakin’s return to the ice after #NotAMajor, or even potential retaliation for Joe Thornton for the hit on Tomas Nosek that saw him suspended, there’s no shortage of storylines headed into October 2nd and 4th.

I was reading something from Logan Couture the other week on just how fast our rivalry has gone from 0 to 100 these last two years and he couldn’t be more right. -Schmidt

The biggest question of the night though is really how the T-Mobile Arena crowd will respond to the moment that ended their season a year ago. Will there be hostility toward the refs (who aren’t even the ones who made the call)? Will the anger be directed towards the Sharks, and which ones? And finally, what if the Golden Knights fall down early, does the building lose its up-beat positive party-like atmosphere and turn into something resembling the Black Hole?

I can only imagine Vegas-style (on Opening Night), you’re not going to be able to hear the guy sitting next to you on the bench. -Schmidt

There’s only one way to find out and it sure sounds like everybody involved is ready to find out… in 37 days.

Golden Knights/Sharks Round 1; Dates, Times, TV Information

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The best time of the year is officially here! The NHL playoffs get underway on April 10th, and the NHL has just announced that the Golden Knights and Sharks series will begin that night. Here is the full schedule for the series.

Game 1 – April 10th – 7:30 PM – ATTSN – at San Jose
Game 2 – April 12th – 7:30 PM – ATTSN – at San Jose
Game 3 – April 14th – 7:00 PM – ATTSN – at Vegas
Game 4 – April 16th – 7:30 PM – ATTSN – at Vegas
*Game 5 – April 18th – TBD – TBD – at San Jose
*Game 6 – April 21st – TBD – TBD – at Vegas
*Game 7 – April 23rd – TBD – TBD – at San Jose
*if neccessary

An Educated Guess At When The Golden Knights And Sharks Series Begin

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The NHL playoffs officially get underway on April 10th. However, not all of the eight series will start that day. Instead, at least three will start the following night on the 11th. The schedule will not be released until Saturday at the earliest, but using some deductive reasoning we believe Vegas and San Jose will start on April 11th with games every other night through the 23rd. Here’s how we came to that conclusion.

As of this moment, only three teams have officially locked in home-ice advantage in the first round. They are Tampa Bay, Calgary, and San Jose. However, it seems fairly likely that Boston and Washington have their spaces under control. That leaves three we are waiting for.

The two series from the Central will start in two of the three of Winnipeg, Nashville, and St. Louis, so we’ll account for all three of those options. As for the Metropolitan, it looks like it’ll be in New York (Islanders) or Pittsburgh, again, we’ll account for both.

The best way to predict when each series will begin is to look at the arenas each team play in and see which dates are unavailable. Here are how all 10 arenas look for April 10th through 14th.

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Partnered Post: Secondary Market Prices For Golden Knights Tickets Are Down 27% Since Start Of Season

A year after winning the Pacific Division and becoming the first North American professional expansion team to reach a league final, the sheen may be starting to wear off the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. According to secondary ticket marketplace, the average asking price for a Golden Knights tickets have dropped from $271 at the beginning of the season to $199 – a decrease of nearly 27%.

Vegas fell from having the No. 2 priciest ticket on the secondary market in the first half of the season to the fifth priciest at the start of the second half. And the current $199 average asking price is the lowest in the team’s two-year history.

As of February 12, the highest average asking price in the NHL was $325 for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the lowest was $66 for the Arizona Coyotes. The Maple Leafs also started the season ranked No. 1, and currently have the only average asking price of more than $300 in the league. Arizona started the season with the cheapest ticket, and the average asking price has fallen just over 8% since the season opened.

For the first time since the Golden Knights came into existence, tickets on the secondary market are available for less than $100 for some home games. The cheapest game remaining at T-Mobile Arena, according to, is the February 28 game against the Florida Panthers, which is trending at $89. A total of four games have get-in prices under $100 between February 12 and the end of the season:

February 26 vs. Dallas Stars

  • Avg Price: $159
  • Get-in price: $90

Hard to figure exactly why this game is so cheap because as of February 12, the Stars were in sixth place in the Western Conference, behind the Golden Knights. The drop-off between fifth and sixth place is significant, though – Vegas had 66 points and Dallas had 61.

February 28 vs. Florida Panthers

  • Avg Price: $142
  • Get-in price: $93

As of February 12, the Panthers were in 13th place in the Eastern Division, and the teams have played only three times since Vegas’ inception. The Golden Knights beat Florida in Las Vegas, 5-2, on December 12, 2017, and lost to them at Florida, 4-3, in overtime on January 19, 2018. The most recent meeting was on February 2 at Florida, and the Panthers won, 3-1.

April 4 vs. Arizona Coyotes

  • Avg Price: $178
  • Get-in price: $98

This is the final regular-season home game for the Golden Knights, and they’ll be playing one of the weakest teams in the league in a game at the end of the regular season which may have no playoff seeding implication.

**TicketIQ is an official sponsor of Our readers get $20 off their first purchase by using the code SINBIN at checkout.**

Golden Knights Have An All-Star In Carnell Johnson

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

I was watching the NHL All-Star Game last Saturday and looking forward to a fun evening of hockey.

Then Lauren Jauregui ruined it.

Jauregui decided she would sing her own rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner at SAP Center in front of a worldwide audience. She must have thought she was on “American Idol” or “The Voice.”

As she screeched her way through the song (and bravo to the VGK fans who attempted to drown her out by yelling “KNIGHT”), I could only think of one thing:

“Where the hell was Carnell Johnson when America needed him?”

Understand that I usually don’t rant about national anthems, or pregame routines in general. Whether they are singers who perform or athletes who choose to stand respectfully (see Nate Schmidt) or prefer to kneel (Colin Kaepernick) I respect everyone’s right to sing it and listen to it however they choose.

I know it’s not an easy song to sing and I have been in every NHL arena and have heard it butchered more than once.

So this isn’t about Lauren Jauergui. If she wants to sing it her way, fine. I also don’t have to like it.

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

This is about Carnell Johnson, a man who sings it the right way every time. No schmaltz. No interpretation. He sings it the way it’s supposed to be sung — with respect for flag and for country.

Johnson is a 37-year-old Las Vegan who is a trained bass-baritone singer. He works as a gondolier at The Venetian and when (Pippo, his gondolier name) is on the job, he is the most requested person.

The man they call “Golden Pipes” is as good as any anthem singer you’ll find in any sport, anywhere.

Yes, Jim Cornelison is considered the gold standard in the NHL. Johnson himself says the man at the United Center whose voice cannot be drowned out by the Chicago Blackhawks’ fans and who points to the stars and stripes when he sings “that our flag was still there …” is legendary. Whenever NBC does a Blackhawks game in Chicago, it will show Cornelison on the telecast. Maybe it’s in Doc Emrick’s contract.

And there are plenty of other wonderful performers across the NHL. I still think Roger Doucet, who sang “O Canada” at the Montreal Forum during the 1970s and sang it bilingually, is the greatest anthem singer ever.

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Home Ice Disadvantage?

This picture was a joke when it was taken, it’s not a joke anymore. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

For the better part of a year and a half, the Golden Knights’ home building has rocked like it’s a playoff game every night. The raucous Vegas crowd aids their team when the Golden Knights are playing sluggish, or down a goal. It’s why home ice advantage can be important.

In Las Vegas it’s made a difference.

VGK Home Record:
2017-18: (29-10-2)
2018-19: (16-6-3)

Several Golden Knights players have spoken about the advantage the atmosphere of the T-Mobile Arena and Vegas fans give them during a game. Players tell us all the time that playing in their home building gets them amped up before and during games. Well, it happens to the opposition as well.

It’s a cool atmosphere to play here. It’s easy to get up for it. We try to play our game and rise to that next level here. -Charlie Coyle, Wild forward

Is it possible that the nightly postseason atmosphere can have a reverse effect?

After their win against the Golden Knights, Wild players admitted they got a boost of energy playing in the T-Mobile Arena’s atmosphere. In fact, it may have helped them get back in the game and eventually win it. Nashville said the same.

It was a good win. Being here in Vegas it added a little extra. I mean it was still cool… You know the first one was a lot of fun but it’s always nice to have some family and friends in town. -Jason Zucker, MIN Forward

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Las Vegas Is An NHL Town; Can It Be A College Hockey Town?

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

Late in my chat with Bill Foley a couple of weeks ago, we got around to briefly talking about high school hockey in Las Vegas and how it was important to launch the sport in town to help grow the game.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get the opportunity to talk college hockey.

This weekend, four NCAA Division I teams — Western Michigan, Connecticut, Air Force and St. Lawrence played at T-Mobile Arena in the 2nd annual Ice Vegas Invitational which was won by WMU, 4-1 over Air Force (Uconn beat St. Lawrence 6-3 in the third place game). It was a nice event and even though it was sparsely attended (Just 1,800 on Saturday), it will hopefully be a forbearer for the future.

My hope is we’ll have the NCAA Frozen Four championship here and perhaps UNLV will one day be a participant once it goes Division I.

Pipe dream you say? A realistic possibility, says me.

Let’s start with bringing the Frozen Four to Vegas. With the NCAA willing to host championship events in cities that have legalized sports betting — Yeah, Vegas qualifies! (LOL) — the possibility exists that a Frozen Four could land here.

With the hotels, casinos, restaurants, clubs, shopping and temperate weather, Las Vegas would be a great host city. Fans would love to come here for the weekend and root their teams to the title. The locals, at least the smart ones, would be part of a likely sellout crowd. The Golden Knights would obviously be on the road for what would correspond to the final week of the NHL regular season. But that’s easily done.

Who doesn’t love a major sporting event in Vegas? (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Unfortunately, they would also be out of town the second week of March as the Pac-12 basketball tournament takes over the T. So two of the final four weeks would see the Knights on the road, and if they are in a battle for a playoff spot or division title, being away from home could potentially prove problematic.

But the overall good of the game would trump any inconveniences. College hockey has been a proven breeding ground for future NHL players. Just look at the Golden Knights’ current roster — Nate Schmidt and Erik Haula (Minnesota), Alex Tuch (Boston College), Max Pacioretty and Jon Merrill (Michigan), Brad Hunt (Bemidji State) and Paul Stastny (Denver) all played collegiately. Having the Frozen Four would no doubt motivate local kids to pursue the game at a higher level and try to get to the NHL through the college route.

Which brings me to UNLV.

As most of you know, the Rebels have been skating as a club program for over 15 years. They currently play at the Division I level of the American Collegiate Hockey Association. They sell out City National Arena and they have a strong following, both on campus and in the community.

You may also know the program is aspiring to go varsity, and do it soon. They were making some headway with then-president Len Jessup and then-athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy. They had secured some of the $15 million the team thought it would take to go varsity, including providing funding for a women’s sport, most likely lacrosse, though hockey wasn’t completely out of the question.

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Partnered Post: Secondary Market Prices For 2018-19 Vegas Golden Knights Tickets Are Second Highest In NHL

The Golden Knights remain red hot in the ticket market. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The story of the Vegas Golden Knights has been well told. First professional team in Las Vegas makes good by winning the NHL’s Pacific Division and reaching the Stanley Cup. The season was the best in the history of expansion teams in North America. And Vegas’ fans are saying thank you in the most tangible way – by pushing up demand for tickets.

The most remarkable story in recent sports history just keeps getting better and better. The average asking price for a 2018-19 Vegas Golden Knights ticket is $271, making it the second most expensive behind Toronto’s $332 average in the NHL. Ticket prices are up more than 38% over last season’s average price of $196, one of the biggest jumps in the league, according to secondary ticket marketplace

Vegas had a stunning run through the post season, sweeping the L.A. Kings in the opening round, beating San Jose in six games in the second round and knocking off Winnipeg in five games in the Western Conference Final. The biggest change in the offseason was losing winger James Neal to Calgary. Other than that, Vegas’ biggest challenge will be living up to expectations.

Given the Golden Knights’ success, it’s no surprise that season tickets are sold out and while single-game tickets are available through primary market vendor AXS, many games at T-Mobile Arena are close sold out, including the October 4 home opener against the Philadelphia Flyers. For that game, AXS has primary market seats available in Section 223, Row L for $275. Seats in the same section are available on the resale market in Row H for $300.

The season opener at T-Mobile doesn’t crack the Top 5 priciest games on the secondary market this season. The single most expensive game is the January 19 Pittsburgh Penguins matchup, for which the average asking price is $327 on the secondary market, with a get-in price of $208. The Golden Knights and Pens played only twice last season, with each team winning at home.

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Despite Tough Conditions, T-Mobile Arena’s Ice Is Always Top Notch

Hot outside? Boxing match 20 hours ago? No problem. (Photo by Brandon Andreasen)

Saturday night, T-Mobile Arena hosted 22,000 boxing fans for one of the biggest events of the year, GGG vs. Canelo. The fight got underway at around 8:30 PM Vegas time and the arena wasn’t cleared out until nearly midnight. 17 hours later, the arena was needed for an NHL preseason game. Oh, and all the while, the temperature outside was nearly 100 degrees the entire weekend.

(Photo by Brandon Andreasen)

As impressive as the Golden Knights were in their inaugural season, the ice crew at T-Mobile Arena gave them a run for their money at defying the odds. Last year George Salami, T-Mobile Arena’s Ice Ops Manager, also known as “The Ice Man” and his crew dealt with basketball, MMA, boxing, bull riding, WWE, concerts, and scorching heat, and not one time all year was there a legitimate issue with the ice.

It’s amazing how they keep the ice. Our ice has been good all year and there’s never been an issue with our ice. -Gerard Gallant

Ice condition concerns can be added to the long list of invalidated claims outsiders made before the NHL came to Vegas. The crew at T-Mobile Arena dealt with some of the toughest conditions in the league and consistently overcome them to put out not only an acceptable playing surface, but a first-class one.

I’ve definitely been in much worse places. The ice is always in good condition and I think they keep it tight to be nice every time. -Jonathan Marchessault

Nic Hague got a chance to skate at T-Mobile Arena for the first time on Sunday, and he was blown away.

In Mississauga, we shared the building with the basketball team. They would play Saturday nights and we would play Sunday afternoons and they would put the court right on the ice, and the ice would be a little rough after that. The fact there was a boxing match here last night… I was saying to Bischoff after warmup, the ice is feeling good out there. That’s the difference between Juniors and the NHL. -Nic Hague

(Photo by Brandon Andreasen)

It’s a little thing that most people don’t think about, but poor ice conditions can become a major black eye on an arena, a franchise, and even the city. Luckily, Salami and Co. are as good as it gets, no matter what the desert (or MGM/AEG) throw at them.

Most Intriguing Matchups On The Golden Knights 2018-19 Schedule

This was the last moment the Kings stepped foot in T-Mobile Arena. We’re looking forward to much more of this. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It seems like it’s been forever since Vegas ended their season, and that was after a run to the Cup Final. Imagine what it must feel like for those teams who were eliminated in April. Luckily, we’re only 77 days away from the Golden Knights first game against the Flyers on October 4th. So, while we continue to wait, and wait, and wait, let’s look ahead to a few key matchups.

10/20/18: Ducks at Golden Knights

This is the Golden Knights first Pacific opponent, and it’s the second game of a five-game homestand. Last season by mid-October, Vegas was 6-1-0 and sitting on top of the Pacific standings. Can they get off to another good start? Playing Anaheim will be a good early season measurement for Vegas.

10/30/18: Golden Knight at Nashville

Nashville is expected to be a top Stanley Cup contender again this upcoming season. It’s a great test for the 2018-19 Golden Knights on the road, in a loud environment. Both teams have high expectations, so a late October tilt will be fun for fans to watch. Vegas fans will get to watch the talented Predators at the T-Mobile arena on January 23rd.

11/8/18: Golden Knights at Ottawa

This could be the Erik Karlsson preview game. General Manager George McPhee is known for making early season trades. Possibly, the Ottawa staff will like what they see in person, and accept a swap for E. Karlsson. On his last season before free agency, the Swede will be playing in superstar mode all season. Playing well against Vegas could help get the trade moving. Or, maybe Karlsson will be making his return to Ottawa in a Golden Knights jersey. Or, he’ll be on another team by then and this game will be useless.

11/23/18: Calgary at Golden Knights

It’s the return of the “Real Deal” James Neal. Expect the game to run behind schedule, as Vegas fans will be giving the former Knight multiple ovations before puck drop. Another angle in this game is the new look Flames. Calgary is expected to compete in the Pacific despite all of their new changes. The Flames are trying to compete now, which is why Neal was attractive to Calgary.

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