This is the raw audio from every end of season interview we were a part of in the Golden Knights locker room. The voices heard in order are, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, David Perron, Reilly Smith, William Carrier, Jonathan Marchessault, Alex Tuch, Deryk Engelland, Shea Theodore, Cody Eakin, Erik Haula, Nate Schmidt, William Karlsson, Nate Schmidt (again), Brayden McNabb, and Luca Sbisa.
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Coming into this season, David Perron and Jonathan Marchessault were both unaware of their futures. The two friends, both with expiring contracts had been sick of the NHL nomad life. While both were hoping to sign extensions with Vegas, only one was able to agree to terms.
It’s nothing you really think of. In the season you’re just trying to think about hockey. When you start talking that doesn’t mean it necessarily will happen. I was happy to get it over with this season. -Jonathan Marchessault
As the new year approached, many wondered if the Golden Knights would trade Marchessault if they couldn’t sign him to a contract in season. The 27-year-old admitted that he was a little concerned as well.
Yeah it’s always on your head a little bit. I told my agent at some point, if there’s nothing we should think of then I don’t necessarily want to talk about it. I just wanted to focus on my game and see what that brings us. -Marchessault
On January 3rd, the Golden Knights announced they had extended #81 on a six-year, $30M contract. The midseason agreement boosted Marchessault’s confidence.
I think so. You never know what happens, injuries, slumps. I think it definitely helped me. -Marchessault
On the flip side, Perron’s agent and the Vegas brass couldn’t come to an agreement during the regular season. If that remains the case on July 1st, Perron will be free to sign with any team.
There was so much to take away from the end of year media availability with the players, Gallant, and McPhee, that we figured we’d chuck it all into one post and then break out stories from it over the next couple weeks. So, here are all of our takeaways from the final day of the 2017-18 Vegas Golden Knights.
- Las Vegas has become home for a lot of players on the Golden Knights, but no one has adopted Vegas quite like Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.
- “It’s home. It’s easy to judge other places and I’ve always told myself, I’ll go back to France because I love France. Then I came to Vegas and for the first time in my life my wife and I were like why not in the States then, we don’t mind Vegas whatsoever, we like it. Vegas has been a place you came to think you are going to play hockey and suddenly you find a home.”
- This team realized they were going to be good a lot earlier than they led on. Many different players were asked and the answers varied from the second day of training camp to Christmas.
- David Perron and the Golden Knights had some contract negotiations during the season but they never came to an agreement
- He absolutely wants to stay.
- He believes there’s room to work on both sides. “I’ll deserve what I’ll deserve, but I’m willing to work with them to stay here.”
- He has always found stability important because he’s bounced around teams a lot in his career. Term length seems fairly important to him.
- Mentioned “his buddy” Marchessault specifically a few times as a reason he wants to stay.
- Perron’s illness which kept him out of multiple games against Winnipeg was a 103-degree fever. He told the doctors he wanted to play but their fear was that he could possibly spread it around the room. He was sent back to Vegas before Game 2 of the series and felt better when he came back.
- The reason Perron was kept out of a portion of the Kings series was due to an injury to his neck. He sustained it earlier in the year and said he and the doctors didn’t think early in that series was the right time to come back.
- One of my favorites moments was when William Carrier said he will never change the way he plays. I chimed in by saying “even when you completely whiff on the guy and check yourself super hard into the boards in that last game?” He responded “which time?”
In the middle of a random night 34 months ago I woke up with a realization. For whatever reason, that night it hit me that the NHL was probably coming to Las Vegas. At that time, I was a frustrated radio producer trying to find my way into sports media, the career I’ve wanted to pursue since I was 10 years old after coming to the conclusion I’d never be a professional athlete.
I sat up in my bed and thought, what will my role be in the first major sports franchise coming to the only city I’ve ever proudly called my home? The short answer was nothing, and that wasn’t okay with me. At that moment, the idea for SinBin.vegas was born.
The next morning I brought the idea to Jason, the closest friend I had in town, my radio co-host, and the biggest hockey fan I’ve ever known. I don’t remember his exact words, but the response to the idea was luke-warm at best. I tried to explain the master plan of how we could get press passes and cover the team without the boundaries of traditional media holding us back. We could do it our way I told him. This is where I do remember his exact words, he said, “but who the heck is going to read it?”
He had a point (which is rare), I’ll never forget it, and it’s why on the night that concludes the first chapter of the Vegas Golden Knights story, I want to say thank you.
Thank you to each and every person who has ever visited this site, listened to our podcasts, or interacted with us virtually or in real life. Without all of you, we would not have been able to have had the countless unbelievable experiences we’ve had over the past three years.
We are allowed into the games because of you.
We talk to the players, coaches, management, and the owner because of you.
We’ve been there every step of the way, from before the awarding of the franchise to the Stanley Cup Final, because of you.
We do not have the backing of a newspaper, TV station, or an established media website like most covering this team. We have the backing of you and we are taken seriously, because of you.
Thank you for talking to us. Thank you for listening to us. Thank you for being there for us.
Thank you for making SinBin.vegas legitimate and thank you for allowing us to do what we love.
The game got off to a horribly slow start with neither team creating much of anything. Then a penalty by Colin Miller gave the Capitals their first real opportunity of the game. Alex Ovechkin banged one off the bar and Vegas escaped unscathed. The period ended scoreless, not the Golden Knights best though.
The 2nd was the complete opposite. Five total goals were scored in a span of 14 minutes in the period. Washington scored first and third, the Golden Knights came back to tie the game twice with goals from Nate Schmidt and David Perron. Then, a late power play goal from Reilly Smith put Vegas ahead for the first time since the 1st period of Game 2. Following the goal, a massive scrum ensued which resulted in four roughing penalties.
Vegas had a couple good chances to open the period, specifically from the second line. Tomas Tatar then took a hooking penalty which opened the door again for the Capital power play. They were unable to convert, but that didn’t stop them from pouring on the pressure and ending the Golden Knights dreams of winning the Stanley Cup in their expansion season. A pair of 3rd period goals gave the Capitals the lead, one they would hold to the finish to win the Stanley Cup.
Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Washington Capitals in Game 5 of Stanley Cup Final of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at T-Mobile Arena.
- Three wins short.
- The first of many posts looking towards next year and how the Golden Knights can complete the final hurdle.
*** David Perron
** Devante Smith-Pelly
* Lars Eller
The clock has stuck midnight. Three wins too soon.
— SinBin.vegas (@SinBinVegas) June 8, 2018
Sbisa with ANOTHER turnover and the Cup may be on the ice in 7:37.
— SinBin.vegas (@SinBinVegas) June 8, 2018
When the Golden Knights score first they’ve been almost impossible to beat in the postseason. Their record is an astounding 11-2 when netting the game’s first goal. In the Stanley Cup Final, they’ve scored the opening goal just twice, which is one of the reasons why Vegas is facing elimination tonight.
It’s very important. I feel like we’ve been trailing this entire series. We had a lot of chances last game to be able to get that goal ahead and I think we just have to bear down and get that first goal. That means a lot to our structure of play. -Reilly Smith
Smith’s linemate laid it out even simpler.
I think we need to play with a lead. We’re a good team when we play in the lead. -Jonathan Marchessault
The Golden Knights were 34-5-2 in the regular season when they took the games first lead.
Yeah it’s been important all postseason, for all teams. It’s going to be a fight to get that lead. We’re a really good, dangerous team when we get the first goal. Get the crowd into it and go from there. -Erik Haula
Taking a lead, protecting it, and winning playoff games was a winning formula for the Golden Knights, until this series. Leading up to Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, in 16 postseason games the Golden Knights lead for 162:43. Since then, they’ve lead for just 9:29 minutes, and have trailed for 123:18 minutes.
They’re doing a good job. They’re scoring at opportune times as well. Their power play’s sparks the team. It’s important for us to score that first goal and play with that lead. That’s what our mindset is for the next game. -Smith
Having a good first ten minutes is really important. Washington is a team that when they have a lead, they play to shut down and play really good defense. We’ll try and get the lead early on. -Alex Tuch
The Golden Knights seemed confident Game 5 will be a different outcome than the last three games. It begins with the Vegas top line and top players.
They’re a tough team to play against. They wait in the middle and let you make mistakes. We have to put pucks behind them, and let them make the mistakes. -Marchessault
Going by the numbers, scoring first will greatly help the Golden Knights chances to extend the Cup Final. The series isn’t over if Washington jumps on the scoreboard first, but it puts immediate pressure on Vegas to answer. It doesn’t matter which Golden Knight scores, just as long as it’s the opening goal.
Here’s the bad news, it hasn’t happened in 76 years. Here’s the good news, it has been done. In 1942, the Toronto Maple Leafs were trailing the Detroit Red Wings 3-0 in the Stanley Cup Finals. Toronto went to win four straight games to hoist the Cup.
The silver lining, the Golden Knights will only have to win three straight.
I think at home’s our best games for sure throughout the playoffs that crowd will be getting us going for sure and we’ll be ready. -Alex Tuch
The Golden Knights have played with confidence all season, and now it’s time to dive deep down and find that assurance. It’s been a successful “one game at a time” mentality for Vegas. It’s really one game at a time right now, and there’s no room for error.
To win three games in a row is tough in this league, but at the start of the season, if you told anyone in this locker room, ‘If you win three games in a row, you win the Stanley Cup,’ I think everyone would be excited about that opportunity. -Reilly Smith
Since 1942, only that one Maple Leafs team has won the Stanley Cup series trailing 3-1. Only the 2006 Philadelphia Flyers and the 1987 Oilers pushed the series to a seventh game. So it’s possible to force a Game 7, but the odds are stacked against Vegas.
That being said, as rare as it is in the Final, teams coming back from 3-1 in the playoffs is not horribly uncommon.
The word of the day in the Golden Knights locker room was “doubt.” It’s a word that’s all too familiar to expansion team who now finds itself in a 3-1 hole in the Stanley Cup Finals. They’ve been doubted every step of the way, and now they hear the doubt from the outside creeping back up, maybe as strong as it ever has, and they are ready to relish the opportunity like they have before.
I asked Nate Schmidt if there was more doubt now or before the opening game of the season. He gave the classic puzzled Schmidt look, thought about it for about 10 seconds, and said “equal.”
They’ve never been down 3-1 in a series. They’ve tied their longest losing streak of the year. They are facing a climb no team has successfully made since the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs. Quite simply, they’ve never been here before, but in a way, it kind of feels like they have.
I don’t think anyone thought we could make it to this point now, and I know a lot of people that are already giving it to Washington and saying the Cinderella story is over but we’ve been resilient all year and we’ll be ready for tomorrow. We are not looking past tomorrow. -Alex Tuch
We’re going to do what we’ve done all year. We’re just going to focus on the next game and see where it takes us. Stuff that we’ve done this year has never been done. -Jonathan Marchessault
What they’ve done all year is win. At every pass, they’ve proven the doubters wrong and found a way. Now, down 3-1, they’ll look to do it again; all the while trying to do the only thing they really set out to do in the first place.
Just over a minute into Game 4 a puck caromed off Erik Haula’s skate and hit the post. Two minutes later Reilly Smith had a wide-open look at an empty net and put it wide. Then, on a power play, James Neal was fed a pass which found him staring at a net even more open than the Smith shot, and Brayden Holtby made another unbelievable save. Finally, 20 seconds later Neal hit another post.
Four chances, less than five minutes into Game 4, and the Golden Knights had absolutely nothing to show for it.
Obviously it’s frustrating but even if the pucks didn’t go in we were creating a lot of chances after. Next thing you know it’s 3-0 and we were still pushing but they were scoring goals tonight and we were not. Sometimes it’s just the way it is. -Tomas Tatar
The “way it is” is cruel, it stinks, it’s frustrating, but there is a positive. The Golden Knights did get back to what they’ve done well all season in this game. They created chance after chance after chance but they just didn’t go in the net. If one does, the game might be different, but more importantly, maybe the next one will too.
It would have given us momentum, but we can’t worry about that. We’ve just got to move on, take what we did well in this game, forget about the bad, and worry about Game 5. -Alex Tuch
Game 4 wasn’t like Games 2 or 3. The Golden Knights did not fall into the same traps. In fact, tonight’s a game they feel like they have a good shot to win more often than not.
The Golden Knights came out looking like the best team in hockey for the first 10 minutes of the game. All four lines were buzzing, they created three or four Grade A chances, but Brayden Holtby and his post kept all of them out. Then, a tripping penalty in the center of the ice on Colin Miller led to a power play goal and the ceiling caved in from there. Two more 1st period goals sent the game to intermission at 3-0 and the Golden Knights into a hole in the series they will have a very tough time climbing out of.
Another barrage of VGK chances opened the 2nd, and once again, the posts and Holtby kept them all from getting to the net. A power play the other way and the Caps take advantage again.
The Golden Knights cut it to 4-2 with a couple goals in the 3rd, but couldn’t keep the Capitals off the board. Just not Vegas’ night and not a good trip to Washington.
Now, it’s a 3-1 deficit in the series and the Golden Knights will look to become the first team since 1942 to win three straight when down 3-1 and win a series.
Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Washington Capitals in Game 4 of Stanley Cup Final of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at Capital One Arena.
- The must-win Golden Knights arrived on time, created chances, but couldn’t get one to go. Then, they disappeared. Their chances in the series likely went with them.
- The ugly numbers behind 3-1.
*** Brayden Holtby
** Evgeny Kuznetsov
* T.J. Oshie
Golden Knights have 20 scoring chances, 9 high danger.
Capitals have 9 scoring chances, 3 high danger.
It's 3-0… the wrong way.
— SinBin.vegas (@SinBinVegas) June 5, 2018
VGK in huge trouble now.
— SinBin.vegas (@SinBinVegas) June 5, 2018
Yikes. An absolutely dominant first 10 minutes results in no goals, an empty power play, and now they've got to kill a penalty.
— SinBin.vegas (@SinBinVegas) June 5, 2018