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A wide open first period had scoring chances aplenty both ways. Columbus struck first with a deflection goal that just slid past the line, but moments later the Golden Knights answered with a wacky hop bounce goal of their own from Nate Schmidt. Then, on a Blue Jacket power play, Reilly Smith and William Karlsson led the charge down the ice and Jon Merrill put home the loose change. A strong 2nd by Columbus put Vegas on their heels defending for a majority of the frame. Marc-Andre Fleury’s misplay off the boards helped Artemi Panarin tie the game at two. A Cody Eakin tally put Vegas back in front, but another spill by Fleury helped Cam Atkinson tie it. On the power play, Atkinson scored another one. The Golden Knights couldn’t get anything on net with the empty net and dropped a heartbreaking one.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Columbus Blue Jackets at T-Mobile Arena.

  • Carp on Gallant’s decision to play only 10 forwards in the 3rd
  • An off day that may have changed the complexion of the season.
  • A deeper dive into the difference between when VGK gets through the neutral zone clean and when they don’t. (Assuming my eyes didn’t deceive me when I watch this game again)

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Jon Merrill
** Reilly Smith
* Cody Eakin


A very tight checking game in the 1st period led to a scoreless first two periods. The pace picked up a bit with Columbus pouring on some pressure in the 2nd, but couldn’t get one past Subban. The Blue Jackets came flying out of the break and scored just 40 seconds into the 3rd. Vegas started creating more offense but never could find the equalizer.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

  • Why not pull the goalie earlier?
  • The calmness that Stastny brings to the Golden Knights lineup.

Three Stars
*** Malcolm Subban
** Sergei Bobrovsky
* Nick Foligno


This game did not start out well at all of the Golden Knights. Just 16 seconds in Artemi Panarin got the Blue Jackets on the board. Columbus scored again a few minutes later, but another offside challenge by the Golden Knights brought it back. Erik Haula tied it early in the 2nd, but things spiraled quickly after that. A messy 3rd period led to nothing and the Golden Knights dropped their fourth in five games.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

  • James Neal to the 3rd line? It may just make sense.

Three Stars
*** Pierre-Luc Dubois
** Artemi Panarin
* Joonas Korpisalo

Certainly not Reaves’ fault tonight, but this is kind of the story of the game.

News And Notes From VGK vs CBJ

These two weren’t playing together, but they both played well. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Bounce Back for D

  • Brayden McNabb and Deryk Engelland played a big role shutting down the Devils young, quick forwards.
    • McNabb TOI – 24:55, 11 Hits, 11 Defensive Zone Starts, -1 Rating
    • Engelland TOI – 24:27, 3 Hits, 10 Defensive Zone Starts, +1 Rating, 1 Goal
  • Golden Knights allowed less than 10 “High Danger” scoring chances for the first time in their last six games.

Ending the Losing Streak

The victory ended the Golden Knights three-game skid. Along with eight other teams, Vegas hasn’t dropped four straight games this season. All eight teams are playoff contenders.

Minnesota: (1) 3 game losing streak
Nashville: (1) 3 game losing streak
Tampa: (1) 3 game losing streak
Winnipeg: (1) 3 game losing streak
Washington: (2) 3 game losing streaks
Dallas: (3) 3 game losing streaks
Pittsburgh: (3) 3 game losing streaks
Vegas: (3) 3 game losing streaks

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Golden Knights vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Photo Gallery – January 23rd, 2018

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Who else but William Karlsson scores the game’s opening goal against his old team, hos 26th of the season. Columbus tied it and took a 2-1 but then the Golden Knights poured it on, and in a hurry. Three goals in just over five minutes gave the Golden Knights a two goal lead. An insane lead lob pass by Shea Theodore to Karlsson gave the Golden Knights their fifth of the night. Vegas hangs on with a late empty netter from Erik Haula.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Columbus Blue Jackets at T-Mobile Arena.

  • Photo gallery from’ superstar photographer Brandon Andreasen.
  • The Hunt/Miller pairing took a bit to get back in sync, but now they are and they are putting up offense and a bunch of it.

Three Stars
*** Shea Theodore
** James Neal
* William Karlsson

Injured Player Salary Dumps Turn Out Very Valuable To Vegas

Being the first expansion team in the history of the salary cap era paid off big time for George McPhee and the Vegas Golden Knights, and we haven’t even seen the second wave of transactions yet.

David Clarkson and Mikhail Grabovski are both injured and will likely not play a single game in 2017-18. Yet the Golden Knights acquired both and got a king’s ransom to do it.

Vegas gets:
Mikhail Grabovski
Jake Bischoff
2017 1st RD pick  (#15)
2019 2nd RD pick
New York Islanders:
Expansion Draft Consideration (VGK picked J.F. Berube)

Vegas gets:
F David Clarkson
2017 1st RD pick  (#24)
2019 2nd RD pick
Columbus get:
Expansion Draft Considerations (VGK picked William Karlsson)

Two 2017 first round picks and two 2019 second round picks, to take some salary cap off the hands of the Isles and BJs (yeah, we’re going to keep doing that).

So what does it mean for Vegas? 

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Deal With Blue Jackets Likely; VGK Would Get CBJ’s 1st Round Pick

NHL rosters freeze at noon today, and all of the Original 30 must submit their protection lists to the league by 2 PM. But before all that, there’s been a quick rush of rumors, including one, in particular, that could be very lucrative for the Golden Knights.

The Jackets are believed to be trading this year’s first-round draft pick (No. 24 overall) and a prospect (not Pierre-Luc Dubois or Sonny Milano) to Vegas for assurances that the Golden Knights will select either left wing Matt Calvert, center William Karlsson or defenseman Ryan Murray. –Aaron Portzline, Columbus Dispatch

That means, don’t touch young guys like Joonas KorpisaloAlexander Wennberg, and Josh Anderson, and also stay away from Jack Johnson and David Savard. In return, George McPhee gets a golden ticket, another first round pick.

It’s unclear if this deal includes the Golden Knights taking David Clarkson‘s contract off Columbus’ hands. (He’s on long-term IR, but is still owed $5.25M per year until 2020).

That’s not it for the first round picks either…

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Golden Knights Expansion Trade Rumor Roundup

In less than a week George McPhee will finally have the protection lists in his hands and the Golden Knights will be on the 72 hour Expansion Draft clock. Until then, the hockey world will be buzzing about all the trades that are being discussed in the lead up. It’s time we take a moment to round em all up into one post, and try to make sense of what’s set to go down on June 21st.

Before we start though, we need to clarify something. While McPhee is making calls and probably coming to agreements, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman confirmed no deals will be made official, or even be announced, prior to June 21st. So, tread carefully out there, everyone’s trying to make a name for themselves.

Chicago Blackhawks – The chatter with Chicago started in late May from a pair of tweets from TSN’s Frank Seravalli.

The main question is which way the picks would be going, if any are involved. Chicago has three defensemen with NMCs, so van Riemsdyk would have to be exposed unless one of Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, or Niklas Hjalmarsson waives their NMC, and/or is traded. So, in theory, Vegas would be getting picks in exchange for taking on Marcus Kruger‘s salary, and simply select van Riemsdyk in the Expansion Draft.

Many news outlets, including most notably a news anchor from Kansas City (why?), have reported that Kruger to Vegas is done. The most common return is a 3rd round pick from Chicago. But there’s likely another piece to the puzzle here that’s missing. Whether that’s Chicago “moving a core player” as reported by WSCR’s Jay Zawaski, or Kruger being flipped through Vegas is yet to be seen. Either way, it’s highly probable McPhee makes a deal (or two) with Chicago, but the details out there currently, are likely not telling the whole story.

Columbus Blue Jackets – In Elliotte Friedman’s “30 thoughts” column he mentions murmurs of trade discussions here. The name mentioned is David Clarkson, who is Expansion Draft exempt due to a long term injury. Clarkson’s back will likely keep him off the ice in 2017-18 and could be career ending, however, his cap hit remains at $5.25 million through 2020 (three more seasons). Freidman mentions the 24th overall pick as well as “some young forwards at the AHL level” as possible compensation for Clarkson’s contract. Once again, the details are fuzzy because this would occur outside the parameters of the Expansion Draft. Vegas would still have to select a player from Columbus, so there’s another piece in the mix. Joonas Korpisalo just signed a team-friendly deal, is he involved? Vegas would get rewarded handsomely for taking Clarkson off Columbus’ hands, but there still has to be an Expansion pick, so more is certainly to come on this one.

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Blue Jackets Sign Backup Goalie To Expansion Friendly Contract

The Columbus Blue Jackets recently announced they signed backup goaltender Joonas Korpisalo to a one-way, two-year contract, and you, Vegas fans, should be rejoicing. Why? Cause starting goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has a NMC and isn’t going anywhere, which mean the 23-year-old Korpisalo may have just signed the perfect deal for Vegas.

Guaranteed to be a exposed, Korpisalo is really the ideal expansion selection. At 23-years-old (we are going to keep reminding you of this) and with only 45 NHL starts the future is wide-open for the Finnish goalie. Assuming the Golden Knights believe in Korpisalo, he would have two-years to win the starting goaltending job.

Korpisalo, 23, is expected to be a full-time Blue Jacket now – the one-way deal guarantees his salary, no matter if he plays in the NHL or AHL. Also, he would now have to clear waivers to be sent to the minors. The Blue Jackets will have to expose him in the NHL expansion draft later this season, so there’s a chance they could lose him to the new franchise in Las Vegas. – Adam Cairns, Columbus Dispatch

Korpisalo’s backup stats and starts took a dip this season. In 2015-2016, his record was 16-11-4 with a 2.60 GAA. This season he appeared in 17 fewer games and allowed more goals averaging 2.88 goals per game. His AHL stats declined as well. So again, Korpisalo could be considered a gamble, but… he’s also just 23-years-old.

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