Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

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Guest Post: Keep Calm And Carry On

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

There are Golden Knights fans everywhere, and we love every single one of them. So, today we present you with a Guest Post from across the pond, in the United Kingdom, where Scott Mackay urges his fellow VGK fans not to go crazy over just three games.

Welcome to the NHL, quite possibly the hardest league to win in world sports.

You have to put your body through 82 regular season games to have a chance to see the playoffs and even then you have potentially another 28 games to go. It’s a rollercoaster with ups, downs, sideways and loop the loops. The Golden Knights enjoyed a fairy-tale season and the fairy-tale was rode all the way until the final hurdle. That one just wasn’t our series, it didn’t go our way.

Us Knights fans have been treated to tremendous hockey under the worst circumstances of a year ago and this team became more than a hockey team, smashing records and proving to other fan bases that we are here to stay and more importantly bringing together a community.

At the time of writing, we are 1-2-0. Believe it or not, we have 79 games to go and to see people losing it on Twitter about how much this team ‘sucks’ is really quite worrying. C’mon guys get a grip, I understand that we should have won those games but that’s professional sports, you will win some AND lose some, it’s all part of the rollercoaster. We will be absolutely awful one game and win, we will be amazing another game and lose.

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VGK University Returns; Here’s Why You Need To Sign Up

Last year the Golden Knights offered a program called VGK University in which fans were able to skate at T-Mobile Arena, get tickets to games, and attend classroom sessions taught by Senior Vice President Murray Craven and Director of Hockey Operations Misha Donskov. The program sold out quickly and the response from those who attended was tremendous, which is why VGKU is back this year.

VGK University presented by City National Bank will take place on Vegas Golden Knights game days, and feature Hockey 101 lessons including hockey basics, offensive and defensive strategies, special teams and coaching preparation. In addition, VGK University will have optional skates at T-Mobile Arena before the Hockey 101 sessions, including introductory hockey skill instruction from Craven & Donskov. Skate rentals will be provided. Participants also receive a ticket to the respective Golden Knights game with their VGK University package. -Golden Knights Press Release

Obviously, the highlights are skating on the ice at T-Mobile and attending games, but take it from me, the part that will stick with you more than anything else from VGK University will be the Hockey 101 sessions.

Last year I was given the opportunity to sit in on a session of VGK University, and to say the least, I was blown away with how great it was. Misha and Murray go incredibly in-depth teaching the game mainly through video. They illustrate principals of the game, then show video clips to bring them to life.

You can’t see the screen, but in this picture, Donskov is explaining exactly where each player is supposed to be when the opposing team dumps the puck into the zone describing the players as F1, F2, D1, etc. And not a single person in the room was confused. That’s what you get from VGKU.

The classes begin fairly basic but progress into much deeper concepts including things like forechecking strategies, defense to offense transition, and penalty kill structure. No matter who you are or how long you’ve been watching (or even playing) hockey, you’ll learn something in these classroom sessions.

Dosnkov is a former video coordinator/hockey analytics coordinator for Team Canada. He’s also been an assistant coach for three Canada gold medals (2016 IIHF, 2015 IIHF, 2015 World Juniors). Craven played in the NHL for 18 seasons scoring 266 goals and tallying 759 points in just over 1,000 games. In other words, when combined these guys have forgotten more hockey than most current NHL players know and they are sharing that knowledge with you at VGK University.

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@SinBinVegas Twitter Q&A

What are the chances someone in this picture asked a question? (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

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Golden Knights Lacking Offense; But Why?

No stats account for missing wide open nets though, and the Golden Knights have had their fair share of those through three games. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In their first three games, the Golden Knights are outshooting opponents 104 to 72 in shots on goal. The numbers are even more staggering when you include all shots, 197-125. That’s a Corsi For Percentage of 61.2%!  Yet Vegas is 1-2-0 and have been outscored in the only category that matters, goals, 10 to 5.

So the stats seem suggest Vegas had plenty of scoring chances in Buffalo but Jack Adams winner Gerard Gallant didn’t agree following the game.

Well there were a lot of shots but I didn’t see many scoring chances to be honest with you. We had a few chances in the second half of the game but the first half I thought we were sound alseep. -Gallant

Sometimes Gallant can be a little emotional, irrational even, in the pressers after losses, so we decided to take a little deeper dive to see if the Golden Knights are indeed taking harmless shots, if it’s just been a case of tough luck early, or if it’s some combination of both.

According to, the Golden Knights had 22 scoring chances on 37 shots. That’s down significantly from the first two games in which Vegas had 33 (PHI) and 31 (@MIN) scoring chances. 22 is very low for the Golden Knights when compared to last year. Just 13 times did they have fewer than 22, including the other time they visited Buffalo. However, the Golden Knights went 8-3-2 in the games in which they had fewer than 22 scoring chances. So, that’s not a great indicator of success.

The next stat, and this is an odd one, is Corsi or Shot Attempts. Vegas outshot the Sabres 67-35 for a Corsi For Percentage of 65.7%. Only one time all year, including the playoffs, did the Golden Knights create a higher discrepancy in shots. That was the famous night before Thanksgiving game in Anaheim where they overcame a 2-0 lead to win 4-2. Vegas hit 64% or more five other times last season and they went a winless 0-3-2 in those games. In other words, massive Corsi differences does not equal success for the Golden Knights. Instead, it likely indicates they are forcing bad shots and inflating the numbers rather than working for good ones.

That brings us to the heat charts. Where are the shots coming from?

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A very messy first period with little zone time for either team was decided by a terrible slash call on Paul Stastny. That led to a power-play goal by Jack Eichel and had the Golden Knights leaving the ice down a goal for the third straight game. A couple of miserable defensive breakdowns allowed the Sabres to open up a big lead of 4-1 after two. Jonathan Marchessault got on the board in the 3rd, but the Golden Knights could not claw back into it.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center.

  • A look at how players are being used after three games compared to the averages last year.

Three Stars
*** Jonathan Marchessault
** Carter Hutton
* Jack Eichel

Points To Elimination: Golden Knights Path To Playoffs

When they all reach 0, we pop the champagne. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Last year we popularized the term “Points To Elimination” to show how close the Golden Knights were to clinching their division as the season wrapped up.

This year, we decided, why wait until February to start counting towards a playoff berth, let’s just do it now… after a win.

So, Points To Elimination is back. It’s on the sidebar of the site at all times on desktop and it’s all the way at the bottom of every page on on mobile.

Remember, here’s what it takes for the Golden Knights…

  • To clinch the playoffs
    • Vegas must have eliminated either five teams in the Pacific Division OR seven teams in the Western Conference.
  • To clinch the Pacific Division
    • Vegas must have eliminated all seven Pacific Division teams.
  • To clinch the Western Conference
    • Vegas must have eliminated all 14 Western Conference teams.

Here are the updated numbers as of right now, this page will not be updated daily, but the sidebar and bottom banner will be.

Points to Elimination

Arizona Coyotes – 159
Calgary Flames – 161
San Jose Sharks – 161
Edmonton Oilers – 161
Los Angeles Kings – 162
Vancouver Canucks – 163
Anaheim Ducks – 163

St. Louis Blues – 160
Minnesota Wild – 161
Winnipeg Jets – 161
Colorado Avalanche – 163
Dallas Stars – 163
Chicago Blackhawks – 163
Nashville Predators – 163

What does the “points to elimination” number mean?

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For the second game in a row, the Golden Knights looked like the better team in the first period but didn’t head to the locker room with the lead. Vegas dominated the play in the 2nd, but neither team scored. The Golden Knights had plenty of chances in the 3rd but just could not get one past Devan Dubnyk until the very last moment. Max Pacioretty fired one home to tie the game with about a minute to go. The Golden Knights had to kill a penalty in OT, which they did and the game went to a shootout. Former Wild Erik Haula scores the game-winner in SO!

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

  • Sunday’s are off for, so we’ll see ya for the early game on Monday.

Three Stars
*** Matt Dumba
** Marc-Andre Fleury
* Devan Dubnyk

Quite A Bit Of Pressure On Golden Knights To Gather Points On Road Trip

This guy is going to have to be much better if the Golden Knights are going to beat the Wild for the first time ever. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When the schedule was first released it didn’t take most long to realize the quirk in the Golden Knights first 11 games of play. One at home, then five away, then five at home. Both the longest road trip and longest homestand, back-to-back to start out the season.

This odd schedule arrangement put the Golden Knights in a bit of a weird spot with seemingly more importance on the first game than normal. With a win, Vegas would head on the road already with two points in hand and really would only need a few points to stay afloat through the rigorous start to the year. However, they dropped Thursday night’s game and now stare at a five-game trip in which they really need to return with at least five points.

We knew we were a good team (last year), we know we’re a pretty good team again this year, but you got to get back to work. We have to work hard and play the game that we played last year. Tonight wasn’t a good start. -Gerard Gallant

Just look at the numbers. If the Golden Knights get anything less than five points, they’ll return home with just four or fewer in their first six games. Then, even if they sweep the five-game homestand, that’s still only 14 in 11, and that’s unlikely. It’s more likely they drop at least one of the five at home which would mean at best barely a point per game through an eighth of the season. Not a single time last season did the Golden Knights fail to put up at least 10 points in any 11 game stretch. A less than five point road trip would almost assure that to be the case in the first 11 this year.

I’m aware, I’m jumping ahead drastically after one game, but in the NHL, the standings are fickle. If you fall in a hole early, it’s incredibly tough to get out of it. It takes months to make up lost points, especially lost home points.

Road trips are always important to bring home as many points as you can, but we really can’t focus on anything but the next one. -Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

A win tonight in Minnesota basically erases the loss to Philly, but a loss, even in OT, would instantly put the Golden Knights behind the 8-ball staring at four more consecutive road games including a back-to-back in Washington and Pittsburgh.

Last year, when this team was faced with important games, they always found a way to get them (until the last four, but we’ll skip that for now). This isn’t exactly that scenario, but it’s surprisingly close due to the weird schedule. It’ll be interesting to see if the Must-Win-Golden-Knights still exist or if they were left behind in Year One.

Play The Adam Kutner Power Play Give Away; Win VGK Tickets

Not only does the valley’s best personal injury attorney, give away tickets to every game on Facebook, but now Adam Kutner is giving away a pair of tickets to one fan on Twitter every time the Golden Knights score on a power play.

All you have to do to play is tweet @AdamSKutner and use the #AdamKutnerPowerPlay right when the Golden Knights get the man advantage. One random tweeter will be picked for every power play, and if the Golden Knights score, that person wins a pair of tickets to an upcoming home game.

Last year the Golden Knights had 248 power play opportunities and scored on a whopping 53 of them. If the Adam Kutner Power Play Give Away existed last year, that would mean 106 tickets given away to VGK fans on Twitter!

Oh, and if you ask me, the power play is better this year than it was last year.

So, get ready to tweet when you are watching the game because the contest will come quick. Right when you see the ref’s arm go up, send a tweet to @AdamSKutner and use #AdamKutnerPowerPlay.

For full official rules, click here.

**Adam Kutner is an official partner of and the Vegas Golden Knights.** Podcast #125: Oh And One

Following the disaster of a home opener, we head back into the studio to chat about what went wrong, the importance of the road trip, and what needs to happen with the defense. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • Slight recap of the first game.
  • Adam Kutner Power Play Contest rundown
  • What happens if they don’t play well on this road trip?
  • Should the Brannwagon already be back on its way to Vegas?
  • Jason’s new found hatred for Albertson’s.

And much more…

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