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Tag: Playoffs

Relax… We’re Golden… Enjoy It

There is nothing we here at want to see more than the Golden Knights lifting the Stanley Cup and the ensuing parade down Las Vegas Boulevard. It’s literally been on the top of the mind every single day since June 22nd, 2016. However, a recent quote from Nate Schmidt to has my mind in a pickle, and I’m writing this because I feel like many reading it will be in the same spot. First, here’s the quote, then let’s lie down on our imaginary psycho couch and talk this out.

I don’t really want to talk about (the playoffs) for the sole fact that we’re having so much fun in this room with our guys every day. If you start talking about it, you’re hitting the fast-forward button on the year, and I don’t really want to do that because of how cool our room has been. You don’t get these times back. It goes too fast. -Nate Schmidt

Literally the only goal of all NHL players (and fans) is to win the Stanley Cup, yet here we are, a player on the team with arguably the best chance to do it this season, and he wants to stay in the moment because he’s “having so much fun” right now.

It’s kind of profound in a way, mainly because he’s completely correct. If we start looking forward to what T-Mobile Arena is going to look like in April, May, or even June, if we start talking about the parade, if we even consider thinking about any games beyond the one tonight in Florida, are we doing a disservice to ourselves?

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Playoffs On The Mind

Let’s face it, the Golden Knights are going to the playoffs. You know it, I know it, every player in the locker room knows it, and despite his best efforts, Gerard Gallant knows it.

You two, Turk would like to see you in his office. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen) 

They lead the Western Conference on New Year’s Eve, have won seven straight games, are on a 12 game point streak, and just completed the month of December at 11-1-1 with wins over Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Washington, Anaheim, and Toronto.

Multiple players mentioned how the team is improving every day, especially when looking back on where they were a few months ago when they lost in Toronto. Then, one Golden Knight, who shall remain nameless for reasons you will soon find out, said this.

We cannot stop. How can you get satisfied with just playing the regular season and winning, that’s nothing. Look at plenty of teams that just make the playoffs every year and they can’t pass the first or second round. It’s awesome obviously, but the real teams show up in the playoffs. For us I think it’s time to start thinking about it and being ready for that for sure. -Anonymous Golden Knight

Then this happened in Gallant’s post-game press conference.

Today is the first time I heard the word “playoffs” mentioned by any player in the locker room. At what point do you start looking towards that and shaping the team towards that.

Who said that? -Gallant

I’m not going to tell you.

You said it? -Gallant

No… I’m not telling you.

Honestly, we aren’t worried about the playoffs. Playoffs will worry about themselves in April. When I find out who that guy is I’m going to fine him. -Gallant

I’ll never tell him who it was.

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More Than A Chance

There’s always been this saying in professional sports, and especially in hockey, that on any given day any team can beat anyone.  There’s no question it’s true, but it’s the sports equivalent to your buddy begging you to drive to Primm to buy a lottery ticket under the premise that, you can’t win if you don’t buy a ticket. Or Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber screaming “so you’re telling me there’s a chance.

Can you win the lottery? Yeah. Could Lloyd Christmas ever end up with Mary Swanson? Technically, yes. Can any team win on any night? Of course.

But there’s a reason that move is called Dumb and Dumber. Because we wouldn’t even have to say this stuff if there actually was a reasonable chance.

There’s a much higher chance of this team going all the way than anyone getting me to go to Primm. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

That saying was thrown around so often before the season started that people ended up starting to honestly believe it. “The Golden Knights can absolutely beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, this is the NHL” they would say. Anything’s possible in sports right?

But now, that saying couldn’t be further from the truth. The Golden Knights not only can beat any team in the NHL, there’s now a belief that they should, because well, they have.

The Golden Knights are now 5-0 against the NHL’s conference semi-finalists from a year ago. They also have wins over every team that’s won the Cup since 2008, they’ve beaten every team in the Western Conference playoff positions, and they are a remarkable 9-1-0 against the Pacific Division.

After knocking off the Pittsburgh Penguins, no one is saying the Golden Knights “can” beat any team in the league, it’s now, the Golden Knights “have.”

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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: 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.’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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The Golden Knights Are In First Place, Perfect

Somebody said we’re in first place, is that official? Perfect. -Gerrard Gallant

May have taken 20 games to get there, but these guys have been a first place team all year. (Photo Credit: Shawn Hickey, @VGK_UltimateFan)

The Vegas Golden Knights are in first place in the Pacific Division. Coach knows it, players know it, everyone knows it.

It’s great. I definitely know there were a lot of people who doubted us coming into this year, but we’re sticking to the game plan, we know we’ve got a great team and we are just going to keep going. -Shea Theodore

The word “surprise” is consistently going to be attached to this team. To the Golden Knights and anyone who’s been paying attention, they are no surprise.

Before the season if you told me we would be in first place before at this time of the year I may have said that’s a bit of a stretch, but the way our team plays and competes every night I don’t think it’s a surprise. -Gallant

I’m not surprised. Every practice we practice hard. You can see this group to win so bad and it translates to every game we’ve played. It’s not a big surprise to me but I see how it can be to people outside this room. -Maxime Lagace

Not only are the Golden Knights in first place, they have a game in hand on all but one team in the division. They have two more non-shootout wins (the first tiebreaker) than everyone else. They are playing at a 1.35 points per game pace (111 point projection), the next closest in the Pacific is 1.19 (98 point projection). And finally, they have an astounding 10-1-0 record against the Western Conference including 5-1-0 against the Pacific Division.

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Playoffs By Thanksgiving; Does It Really Mean The Golden Knights Are Going To The Playoffs?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Playoffs in one used to be a joke. It’s not anymore. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

You’ve probably heard it before, and you’ll likely hear it again, “teams that are in the playoffs on American Thanksgiving usually stay in the playoffs when the season is over.”

Give it a try for yourself. Do a Google search for the terms “NHL,” “Thanksgiving,” and “Playoffs.” You’ll inevitably find article after article describing this phenomenon, just 20 or so games into the season.

In reality, the numbers say of the 16 teams that make the playoffs, 12 or 13 of them are in playoff position on Thanksgiving, three or four are not.

from The Athletic

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