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VGK Fans Stepping In To Continue Golden Knights’ Charitable Deed In Edmonton

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights spent 52 days in the NHL Bubble in Edmonton. Whether it was for a game, a morning skate, practice, or for any other reason, players, coaches, management, and staff made the walk from the J.W. Marriott where they were staying to the connected Rogers Place arena and practice rink next door pretty much every single day. Back and forth over 52 days, sometimes multiple times a day, means that walk became a huge part of the lives of every single person making it.

The entire walk is indoors, sheltered from the outside world, allowing the players to stay inside of the bubble to keep them safe and allow the NHL Playoffs to go off without a hitch despite the global pandemic. A part of that walk includes an indoor bridge running alongside 102nd Street and 105th Avenue in Downtown Edmonton.

When you went from the practice rink to the main rink there was a food shelter there and you saw a lot of people were always in line, especially when the weather was nicer. -Paul Stastny

That food shelter is the Boyle Street Community Center. It’s the local soup kitchen where they’ve worked to feed the homeless and fight poverty in Edmonton since 1971.

The Golden Knights, spearheaded by an unnamed player and trainer, wanted to help.

When you are in a bubble and when you can’t get out of there you have to find different ways to give back. -Stastny

So, the Golden Knights phoned a local pizza joint and asked them to deliver pizzas to the people standing in line waiting for a meal.

Sometimes it’s nice to switch it up so you don’t have to eat the same soups or the same simple foods all the time. -Stastny

Then, they did it again, and again, and again. Every Monday for the entirety of the Golden Knights stay they sent pizzas.

You just realize how lucky you are and sometimes it feels like the littlest thing but for that person for that one day a week I think it just changes mentalities of people there that are struggling. When you around good people you see stuff like that you see people giving back.  It just shows the quality of guys on this team that have been around for a while and realize how much the game has given us. -Stastny

But now, the Golden Knights have gone home and the pizza delivery service to those in need has dried up. Or has it?

Golden Knights fan on Reddit has launched a campaign to continue the delivery and to this point, they’ve already raised enough money to keep donating pizzas for the next six weeks!

Overwhelmed with gratitude for what has happened here. For someone from outside our city, our province, our country to want to help our community and support the people that we serve, people who are experiencing homelessness is just such a profound gesture -Elliot Tanti of Boyle Street Community Services to CTVNews in Edmonton

The donation link remains open until Sunday at 6:00 PM and can be found here.

The Golden Knights did not leave Edmonton with what they went there for, but they did leave something behind, a legacy of kindness and giving, and a delicious one at that. Podcast #207: Heartless

The Golden Knights season ended without a bang and now it’s time to examine what must change. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • Is the scoring drought here to stay without a change in personnel?
  • Under utilizing players’ skillsets
  • Which style should they be playing?
  • How could they be so heartless?
  • Will the treatment of people change?

And much more…


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Offseason’s “First Order Of Business” Is Between The Pipes

The weirdest season ever is over which means the weirdest offseason ever has now begun. According to the Golden Knights’ GM, the issue on the top of mind for every fan is the same as the front office.

We don’t have those answers for you right now but the first order of business in many respects is to sort (the goalie position) out. -Kelly McCrimmon

The future appears to be heading in the direction of Robin Lehner. From being handed the starting role to the Allan Walsh tweet to the reported long-term contract negotiations with Lehner, all signs point to a parting of ways with Fleury.

No one has more respect for Flower as a person or a teammate or his resume and what he’s done for this franchise and through his career but we made the decisions that gave us the best opportunity to win and we’re going to do that again going forward. -Pete DeBoer

Both Lehner and McCrimmon have denied the rumors of a handshake agreement on a 5-year $25 million ($5M AAV) contract.

It’s not true. Nothing is finalized. It’s kind of annoying that we are here in the conference final and people are saying things they don’t know. If it would have been finalized it would have been finalized. -Lehner on 9/11/20

The goalie situation will be the driving force behind all of what the Golden Knights do this offseason.

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

If they decide to go with Lehner only, where does Fleury end up and what are the cap ramifications that go with it?

If they decide to keep both, where will they trim to make it work?

Can they go back to Fleury after all that’s happened? Does Fleury even want that?

They are all questions that will be answered quickly as the offseason truly ramps up in just a few weeks. The Draft is scheduled for October 6th and 7th and unrestricted free agency opens up two days later on the 9th. The Golden Knights will likely reveal their answers before the latter.

The NHL’s salary cap is set to remain at $81.5 million heading into next season and is likely to stay there for at least one more year after that. That makes life a little more difficult on the Golden Knights as they were pushing (actually went over) the Cap in 2019-20.

There are decisions to be made on plenty of free agents, both restricted and unrestricted, but the offseason starts and ends with what shakes out in goal. It will shape the present and future of the organization and until it’s figured out, not much else really matters.

2019-20 Season “Locker Room Cleanout Day” Quotes

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights held their final media availability of the season today, a day commonly known as locker room cleanout day. Today’s was a bit different than the norm though due to the ongoing pandemic as all interviews were conducted on Zoom. That left us without many of the incredibly truthful comments we are used to on locker cleanout day, but there was plenty to chew on nonetheless.

Kelly McCrimmon on Goalie deployment in playoffs

Good question and an obvious one I expected would come up today. Marc-Andre Fleury has been the face of the franchise and is a tremendous goalie and an even better person. He’s led our team from its inception. I was very transparent at the Trade Deadline why we added Robin Lehner. I think I was real clear about that without going through it again. Interestingly at that time, it was management and the pro staff that felt the strongest about improving our goaltending. If anything happened with Marc-Andre, we felt we had done a really good of building our team we liked a lot of things about our team but we felt we were at risk. Which we were of course trying to minimize.

The first seven games, the only seven games after the trade deadline, Peter rotated the goalies, and who’s to say if we had finished the regular season and the playoffs began in April like they ordinarily would, I don’t know what would have happened. But as a manager your last chance to improve your team is at the trade deadline. When you look at the 10 days leading up to the Deadline it was a trade for Alec Martinez who was a great contributor to our team. We added Nick Cousins right at the deadline to give us more depth at forward and the morning of the deadline we of course added Robin. From there, you hand the team to the coaches and they coach the team. I don’t think it’s wise or healthy to have management making lineup decisions, I don’t think that’s how it works in the NHL. I don’t think it’s how it should work.

Peter felt really confident after we went through Phase 2 and Phase 3 that Robin was the guy that was going to give us the best chance to win. That’s his job. That’s his job. Was it unfortunate for Marc-Andre Fleury and his situation, it really was. To have empathy for him and how that played out I really do.

But it was not, as some are suggesting, it was not the master plan, in fact Pete was not even that interested in us acquiring a goalie at the deadline. It was more management and our pro scouting staff that felt real strongly about it. That’s how it played out and I support Peter fully. He’s our head coach and he makes those decisions. I know exactly what his reasons are for picking his lineup any night that we play. It’s about winning and icing the lineup that you feel gives you the best chance to win. I respect those decisions and that’s the history of the motivation behind the deal and what happened along the way. -Kelly McCrimmon

More will be added to this page as the interviews continue.




2020 Golden Knights Playoffs “Photo” Gallery

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Recap: For the first time in seven games the Golden Knights scored a 1st period goal. Chandler Stephenson gave his team the lead with a nifty move to the net. Robin Lehner stood strong stopping all nine of Dallas’ shots on net.

The middle frame was flooded with penalties. Altogether there were four power play opportunities for both teams and neither could produce a goal. Vegas was 0/3 on their chances taking four shots on Stars goalie Anton Khudobin. On the other side of the ice, Lehner was flawless through 40 minutes preserving a 1-0 Vegas lead.

Fifteen seconds into the final period Reilly Smith shot a wicked wrister passed Khudobin to extend Vegas’ lead 2-0. It was Smith’s first goal since August 23rd, breaking his ten-game scoring drought. Dallas would get on the board midway through the period making it a tight 2-1 game. The Stars forced overtime tying the game 2-2 on a later power play goal.

Unfortunately, Vegas took an early delay of game penalty and Dallas took advantage ending the series in overtime.

With their 3-2 OT loss, the Golden Knights were eliminated 4-1 in their best-of-seven series with the Stars. Vegas will pack up and head back home from the Edmonton bubble. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights relied on the same style of possession offense and once again it produced absolutely nothing for the eighth consecutive game. They scored twice on transition chances and that was all they had to show for the game. Then, when they got the lead, they collapsed in their own end throwing the style of game that kept Dallas’s offense at bay out the window. In OT, a tough penalty cost them the game and the series. Not a good look at all and now things have to change moving forward. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from Game 5 of the Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Final at Rogers Place in the NHL Bubble.

  • Hopefully the delusion ends and they learn from the shortcoming

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Reilly Smith
** Chandler Stephenson
* Alex Tuch

Interview: Jack From JFresh Hockey On Shea Theodore’s Puzzling Impact On The Golden Knights (In)Ability To Score

(Photo Credit: Playoff “Photographer” @BadSportsArt)

Before you go any further, read this article on Shea Theodore’s offensive impact on the Golden Knights. Once you are done with that, come back and listen to this interview.

The author of the article, Jack, and I dig into the stats, the systems, the theories, and the realities behind the Golden Knights struggles to score and how Theodore’s play effects it. We talk about sheltered minutes, DeBoer’s system, the VGK forward group, rebound chances, transition play, stick blade curvature and so much more.

All of this is in the hopes of answering Vegas’ million-dollar question, why aren’t expected goals turning into real goals?

**Be sure to check out Jack’s site, JFresh Hockey, subscribe to his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter.**


Recap: The 1st period of Game 4 was a mirror image of the entire series. For the third straight game neither team could come up with a goal in the opening 20 minutes.

The game began to heat up in the 2nd period. Vegas took the first lead on a power play goal from Alec Martinez. Dallas tied the game and eventually took the lead 2-1 with a power play goal of their own with under a minute to go in the middle period.

Dallas suffocated the Vegas in the final period. The Golden Knights drew multiple penalties earning a 5-on-3 power play. They had several chances but couldn’t convert and tie the game.

With their 2–1 loss, the Golden Knights trail the Stars 3-1 in their best-of-seven series. Game 5 of the Western Conference finals is set for Monday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 5:00 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights refused to change the way they played and the Stars once again capitalized on the style. Vegas controlled a good portion of the game in the offensive zone but yet again couldn’t must up enough truly dangerous scoring chances at even-strength. The one goal they scored was on the power play and when they needed the PP to bail them out again with a 70 second 5-on-3, they couldn’t. Something must change in the style of play or there is no way the Golden Knights will defeat the Stars three times in a row and make the Stanley Cup Final. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from Game 4 of the Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Final at Rogers Place in the NHL Bubble.

  • We might be as lost as the Golden Knights. But we’ll figure out something.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Shea Theodore
** Alec Martinez
* Alex Tuch

Vegas Faces Tough But Attainable Challenge After Losing Game’s 1 & 3

(Photo Credit: Playoff “Photographer” @BadSportsArt)

If you’ve heard it once you’ve probably heard it a thousand times on the SinBin podcast. Teams need to win odd-numbered games to clinch a series. So far, the Golden Knights haven’t done that in the Western Conference Final. While losing the first and third contests of a seven-game series isn’t ideal, plenty of teams have actually advanced in that position.

Since the 1999-2000 season, eight teams have gone on to win a conference final or Stanley Cup final after losing Games 1 and 3 of the series. Over the past 20 years it’s been accomplished four times in the Western Conference finals, three in the Eastern Conference finals, and twice in the Stanley Cup finals. Including last season’s Cup winner the St. Louis Blues, who did it twice in their championship run. Vegas is hoping to be the ninth team, starting by winning Game 4 (something all nine teams did).

Teams That Won WCF Losing Game 1 & 3
2000: Dallas Stars- won in seven (won 4, 5, 7)
2007: Anaheim Ducks- won in six (won 4, 5, 6)
2015: Chicago Blackhawks- won in seven (won 4, 6, 7)
2019: St. Louis Blues- won in seven (won 4, 5, 6)

Pete DeBoer is no stranger to the situation his current team is in. In 2012, DeBoer’s New Jersey Devils lost the first and third games of the Eastern Conference finals and stormed back to win the series in six. Seven years later he was on the other end as the coach of the San Jose Sharks. In last year’s Western Conference final, the Blues overcame defeats in game one and three to outlast the Sharks in seven.

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Golden Knights OK With “Low-Event Hockey”; Should They Be?

Through the first three games of the series, the Golden Knights have tallied five goals total with just three coming at even-strength. While Vegas leads on the even-strength shot tally in the series 71-62, the scoring chance numbers per actually show Dallas ahead 60-48.

Following Game 1, a game in which Vegas was bullied a bit early, Pete DeBoer used a phrase he had previously been known for in his time in New Jersey to describe the series-opening loss.

I don’t know what the chances were but it was a low-event game both ways. I didn’t think their offense gave us a lot of difficulty. -DeBoer

When DeBoer was behind the Devils bench from 2011-2015 the brand of hockey his teams were known for was often described as “low-event.” That means the shot numbers, chance numbers, and hopefully, the goal numbers are down. It’s a brand of hockey that has worked for many teams over the course of the past decade but one the Golden Knights have always viewed as the nemesis.

When the Golden Knights are at their best, they are creating chances in bunches. They tilt the ice in their favor and they impose their will on the other team. That’s how they overwhelmed Chicago, how they eventually cracked Thatcher Demko and the Canucks, and how they made their way out of the round-robin as the #1 seed. Going back further, that was the brand they played when DeBoer first arrived and it’s how they played for the entire Gallant era as well.

In Game 1, Vegas created just 14 scoring chances in the game at even-strength and only racked up seven through the first 2 periods. In Game 2, they tallied nine in the 1st period alone and finished the game off with 19 despite playing six fewer minutes of even-strength time. Then, in Game 3, they were back to struggling to create chances, totalling 17 but just 10 through two periods.

 Even-Strength TOIScoring ChancesChances/Min
VGK Game 154:52140.25
VGK Game 246:45190.41
VGK Game 352:15170.32
DAL Game 154:52270.51
DAL Game 246:45170.37
DAL Game 352:15200.38

Meanwhile, Dallas has stayed fairly consistent. They had a breakout period in the 2nd of Game 1, but aside from that, they’ve created about the same number of chances per minute in every other period of the series.

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