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Category: Team Ops (Page 2 of 60)

A Different Anaheim Ducks Team On The Schedule Tonight

The Golden Knights are coming out of Christmas break in first place in the Pacific Division and eight points ahead of tonight’s opponent, the Anaheim Ducks. Last time the two teams faced was on December 5th, when Vegas won in a shootout. After the loss, Anaheim players or coaches didn’t seem to be upset. In fact, that’s when Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle joked about the Golden Knights fortunate luck.

At the time, I sensed a satisfied head coach leaving the toughest arena in hockey with one point. Carlyle knew his team wasn’t complete and things could be different the next time they faced the Golden Knights. Since Captain Ryan Getzlaf returned on December 11th, the Ducks have earned nine points in seven games. Also, after trading for Adam Henrique, Anaheim has a point in nine of the twelve games he’s played in. Not to mention, Henrique executed this season’s most amazing goal.

Remember when this guy stoned six shootout attempts against the Ducks. Yeah, that was awesome. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When you add a center like Getzlaf back in the mix, the Ducks immediately become a playoff contender. The prototypical center is big, strong, plays all three zones, and has one of a kind ice vision. In limited action, Getzlaf leads the league with 1.08 assists per game. His career average over 13 seasons is 0.68 assists per game. To compare, David Perron leads Vegas with 0.71 assists per game.

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Erik Brannstrom: “He’s Impossible To Forecheck”

“Anybody that wants to scout with a tape measure is going to make big mistakes.” -Craig Button (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brian Idziak)

The IIHF World Juniors tournament begins today with a pair of Golden Knights draft picks set to suit up for Team Sweden. The 15th overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft defenseman Erik Brannstrom and 5th round pick (#127) forward Lukas Elvenes will play for one of the tournament favorites. (UPDATE: Elvenes was removed from the roster prior to the tournament.)

We’ve fawned over Brannstrom since the moment we first got to watch him take the ice at the Las Vegas Ice Center for the Golden Knights Development Camp. Then he wowed at the Summer Showcase in Detroit about a month later. This season he’s been playing in the Swedish Elite League with HV71.

You thought we were excited about Brannstrom, look at what TSN’s Craig Button had to say on the Golden Knights official podcast “Sherrif, Lawless and Some Guy Named Dave.”

Erik is an unbelievable player. When you watch the game, he’s impossible to forecheck because he’s so quick with his mind and his feet that you can’t get in on him. So what does that do, that backs everybody off. Then you get him in transition, he’s quick, he’s fast, he can make plays on the move. Then you put him in the offensive zone, unbelievable poise, unbelievable vision, the ability to make passes under sticks through skates, create all kinds of scoring chances, and he does everything on the move. Nothing about Erik Brannstrom is pre-ordained, so he sees an opening, bang he takes it. So if he’s going to read off the play, how the heck are you able to defend against him when he’s not sure what he’s going to do because he’s going to take what’s given to him. He’s an elite elite player and this is an elite tournament. So I expect him to be like I always see him, right at the upper level of players in this tournament. You know what else he’s got too, he’s got tremendous confidence. There’s nothing he thinks that he can’t do in the game and that’s significant. -Craig Button, TSN Scout

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Merry Christmas!


#CupIn1

God Jul from the swedes!

A post shared by William Karlsson (@larswilliamkarlsson) on

Las Vegas Shaped The Golden Knights As They Shape Las Vegas

Raphael Rivera named it “Vegas” or meadow. Was everybody pissed at him for dropped the “Las” too? (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Las Vegas translates from Spanish to mean “The Meadows.” The origin of the name comes from a Mexican explorer who was traveling from New Mexico to Los Angeles. As you expect of a man traveling through the desert, Raphael Rivera had grown thirsty. In a valley surrounded by mountains, Rivera found water, he also found vast green patches of land in an otherwise sand and dirt covered desert. Rivera drank and drank and drank and then decided his new favorite place was to be called Vegas, or meadow. 196 years later, the name remains and Rivera’s oasis is now known as Springs Preserve.

Rivera had characterized Las Vegas as simply, a place to get water. He was thirsty, so he stopped. Today, Las Vegas is known as the Entertainment Capital of the World. Characterized quite simply as, a place to go to have fun. But like our parched explorer friend found out, when time is spent actually getting to know Las Vegas, there’s much more than meets the eye.

It’s not just a place to go throw all your money away pulling a lever, tossing some dice, or spinning a wheel. Instead, it’s a real city, a real community, and like most who plant roots in Vegas quickly realize, a great place to live.

In the locker room, after the game, I realized how much we embodied Vegas — how similar our team is to the city. We’re a bunch of people, from all over North America and the world, who were castaways from their teams. And nobody really took us seriously. –David Perron in The Players Tribune

The community of Las Vegas sees itself as a castaway. People from Vegas constantly have to explain details those from other cities don’t. Thus, Las Vegans feel they are put in a box they don’t belong in so they are loud, they are proud, and they will go to great lengths to prove that yes, they do live in Las Vegas, and yes it is a real city.

The Golden Knights have given the city an identity, but equally true is the city has given the team an identity.

And we’re a real hockey team. With some real good players. -Perron

Las Vegas doesn’t actually offer anything different than anywhere else, they just seem to do it better, and the people of Las Vegas believe it. The Golden Knights don’t do anything different than any other team, they just seem to do it better, and they definitely believe it.

Probably about a month ago I was (reflecting on how we were winning) but now I believe in our team every night. I think we’re a good hockey team. We’re working hard and we’re competing hard. Can we maintain this? I think we can and the guys feel confident about that. -Gerard Gallant

Just like this team, you know damn well Perron isn’t going to fall down here. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

People’s opinions change sometimes. Raphael Rivera was looking for water, he found a vast meadow in the middle of the desert. Locals came to get away from wherever they were before, they found a great place to live and an amazing community to be a part of. The NHL came for an expansion team that was supposed to stink, it found a winner, and maybe just a Cup contender.

 

*** Here’s the link to David Perron’s full article in The Player’s Tribune. It’s spectacular.***

40 Points In 30 Games Means Vegas Golden Knights Playoff Hockey

Tonight the Golden Knights play their 30th game of the season. It’s a home against the 11-11-7 Carolina Hurricanes (29 points) who lost last night in Anaheim.

They better get at least 1 point so we don’t need to research 39 points in 30 games. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Vegas enters the game with 39 points and has a chance to join four other teams (TB, STL, NSH, LAK) to reach the 40 point plateau by their 30th game.

You should be asking yourself, why do I care about getting 40 points in the first 30 games of the season? Well here’s why.

Since the 2010-11 season, a total of 35 teams have hit that mark. 33 of them went to the playoffs and 32 of them reached 100 points on the season. (See full breakdown below)

Let’s put that in percentages. Teams that reach 40 points in 30 games have made the playoffs at a 94.3% rate and have finished with at least 100 points 91.4% of the time. Thus, if the Golden Knights earn a single point tonight against the Hurricanes, they have just a 5.7% chance of missing the playoffs… at least that’s what history says, but what does history know?

*** Chart of teams that reached 40 points in 30 games**

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35: The Golden Knights Magic Number

The Golden Knights returned from a perfect two-game road trip, keeping their winning streak alive at four games. Overall, they’re 4-1-0 in December. Although three of the four games were decided in overtime, Vegas has come away with eight points out of a possible 10, including two impressive wins in Nashville and Dallas.

Hockey is so simple sometimes. Just shoot it 35 times. Boom. Winner. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

One reason could be the rising shot totals the Golden Knights are launching. During their four-game win streak, the team has 39 shots on goal or more in every game. To start the stretch, Vegas slapped, snapped and wristed 45 SOG on Arizona. Next game, Anaheim’s John Gibson faced 43 VGK shots in a losing effort. On the road, Vegas tallied 39 SOG per game against both Dallas and Nashville. These four are a part of the just seven times the Golden Knights have 39+ SOG this season. But when they do shoot 39+ times, they win.

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 OT)
Game 28 @ Nashville: 39 SOG (VGK wins 4-3 OT)
Game 29 @ Dallas: 39 SOG (VGK wins 5-3)

To further the point of how important shot totals are for the Golden Knights, check this out. In every single one of Vegas’ ten losses, they’ve recorded less than 35 shots.

Game 4 vs Detroit: 27 SOG (VGK loses 6-3)
Game 10 @ NYI: 34 SOG (VGK loses 6-3)
Game 11 @ NYR: 34 SOG (VGK loses 6-4)
Game 12 @ Boston: 29 SOG (VGK loses 2-1)
Game 14 @ Toronto: 28 SOG (VGK loses 4-3 SO)
Game 15 @ Montreal: 31 SOG (VGK loses 3-2)
Game 17 @ Edmonton: 24 SOG (VGK loses 8-2)
Game 23 vs. Dallas: 34 SOG (VGK loses 3-0)
Game 24 @ Minnesota: 31 SOG (VGK loses 4-2)
Game 25 @ Winnipeg: 31 SOG (VGK loses 7-4)

When breaking down just shots on goal, common sense says the more shots, the better chance of winning. However, statistically, that’s not always the case. For example, Montreal, Florida, and Edmonton are all in the top ten for total team shots (VGK is 13), and none of them sit in a playoff position in their conference. The Florida Panthers are 2-6-2 when getting 39 or more SOG.

Through 29 games, there has been a direct correlation between SOG and W/L for the Golden Knights. In two worst games of the year (by score differential), at Edmonton and home against Detroit, Vegas fired just 24 and 27 shots.

If they want to continue to win consistently, they’ll need to keep the shot numbers consistently above 35. That or just keep bringing the dads along.

MARC-ANDRE FLEURY (G) ACTIVATED FROM IR; MAXIME LAGACE (G) SENT TO AHL

The transaction signals that Fleury is scheduled to start the Golden Knights next game, home against Carolina.

Vegas Paved The Way For Seattle

Well that didn’t take long. Not only is The Creator no longer the newest owner in the NHL, he may not even own the newest team soon enough.

Absent of some really cataclysmic thing that happens with the rink, or the owners, or some extraneous thing we’re not aware of, the 32nd team in the league will be Seattle. -Bob McKenzie, TSN Vancouver

Now that the cat is out of the bag, let’s bring up the obvious. The Golden Knights early success helped speed up the Seattle process for the NHL.

Vegas is a wonderful sales pitch. -Darren Dreger, TSN 1050 Toronto

Of course it is. The Golden Knights have 35 points after 27 games, and they’re 11-2-0 at home. Potential owners in Seattle are salivating with the early return happening in Las Vegas. Future NHL owner Jerry Bruckheimer (who tried multiple times to put a team in Vegas) hasn’t been this excited since he read the script for Con Air.

It feels like (NHL) are almost tripping over themselves to get to the door to make the next move. There’s an excitement to Seattle. They’ve long coveted this market. -Ray Ferraro, TSN Vancouver

The NHL favored Southern Nevada over Quebec City because of its uniqueness and financial security. Las Vegas has its strong tourism industry, and Seattle has its strong tech industry. In the eyes of the league, the demographics of each city make for lucrative NHL markets.

The league forever, even before Vegas was an idea… even if the league will never admit this, I can tell you, the league has always been intrigued with Seattle. -Pierre LeBrun, TSN Ottawa

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‘Tis The Season: Time To Enjoy Family, Friends, And… Playoff Probabilities?

Remember when this sign was kind of a joke? (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights are currently sitting comfortably in second place in a lackluster Pacific Division. Sure, Anaheim Coach Randy Carlyle thinks some of it could be luck, but a 9-1-0 divisional record is more than a few friendly bounces. Outside of the Pacific, Vegas is 8-8-1 which makes the Golden Knights divisional record that more important.

Arizona is the only team out of the race, but the rest of the Pacific considers themselves in contention, which could create a dogfight for 3-4 open postseason spots, San Jose, Anaheim, Calgary, and Edmonton are all unhappy with their records but they’re far from giving up. Especially when they’re looking up at Vancouver and some expansion team.

HockeyReference.com’s group of hockey prophets continue to predict the postseason future of the league. HR’s Playoff Probability Report runs 1,000 simulations and spits out the results.

Playoff Probability %

Los Angeles 93.9%
Vegas 80.9%
San Jose 62.6%
Vancouver 54.1%
Calgary 30.8%
Anaheim 24.1%
Edmonton 9.9%
Arizona 0.2%

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Vegas Golden Knights Rank 14th On Forbes NHL Franchise Valuation List

Every year Forbes releases a list of the most valuable franchises in the NHL. The leader, for the third straight year, is the New York Rangers coming in at $1.5 billion. For this year, the Vegas Golden Knights were simply slotted in at the price The Creator paid for the franchise, $500 million.

FULL LIST

The interesting number is the Golden Knights debt to income ratio, which is listed at 42%. Having no historical data to go off, it’s hard to determine where that number should be less than two years into existence and without a full season under their belt, but it’s certainly a number to keep our eyes on.

Next year’s chart will be much more telling as Forbes will estimate the Golden Knights revenue and operating income which will shift the debt ratio.

The $500 million fee paid by the Golden Knights to become the NHL’s 31st team this season as a base line for the value of hockey teams illustrates the league’s enormous financial success as it has grown from six to 31 franchises. -Mike Ozanian, Forbes

The Maple Leafs, Canadiens, and Blackhawks were the only other teams that checked in at over $1 billion.

Based on the rousing success the Golden Knights have had on the ice, as well as with ticket sales, merchandise, and sponsorship, we can reasonably expect the Golden Knights to move up near the top 10 by next year.

He may still have his mind on “Playoffs by three, Cup by six,” but a spot amongst the NHL’s elite in valuation is something The Creator is also dying to see.

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