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

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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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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 6 ST. LOUIS BLUES 4 (Round-Robin Game 2)

Recap: Vegas trailed early when former Golden Knight David Perron scored on St. Louis’ first shot of the game. Things settled down and Vegas’ offense warmed up outshooting St. Louis 13-4. Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington was outstanding and robbed the Golden Knights multiple times. After 20 minutes St. Louis held a 1-0 edge.

Both offenses got hot in the second period. The Golden Knights stole the lead from the Blues scoring three straight goals. Shea Theodore added the first, and Alex Tuch scored the tying and go-ahead goals. Vegas couldn’t hold the 3-2 lead for long as St. Louis put two pucks passed Marc-Andre Fleury in a span of :21 seconds. After the first two periods, the Golden Knights trailed 4-3.

Zach Whitecloud tied the game 4-4 early, and Mark Stone put Vegas ahead late in final period. It was third lead change of the game giving Vegas the 5-4 advantage. Theodore gave his club a two-goal edge with his second of the game. The Golden Knights would go on to win a wild game 6-4.

Vegas remains undefeated in round-robin games and are tied with Colorado with four points. They’ll have one more game to fight for the #1 seed on Saturday night against the Avalanche. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The game started at a snail’s pace until a turnover in the VGK end led directly to a Perron goal (that Fleury probably should have stopped). Then the Golden Knights got going but couldn’t beat Binnington in the 1st. They did find a way in the 2nd completely owning the game in order to score three straight. But, a few more turnovers and another one Fleury could have stopped and the Golden Knights found themselves behind after two. In the 3rd, the Golden Knights took over and dominated about as much as any team can in a single hockey period. They controlled play from start to finish, scoring seemingly at will and snuffing out all STL offense. An incredibly great period that paved the way to a guaranteed top-two position in the round-robin.  (Analysis by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs St. Louis Blues at Rogers Place in the NHL Bubble.

  • VGK keep getting better

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Reilly Smith
** Shea Theodore
* Alex Tuch

Round Robin Adjustments – vs. St. Louis Blues

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Complete series: Dallas, St. Louis, Colorado

We’ve broken down two out of the three round-robin teams (Colorado and Dallas) the Golden Knights will be facing, so let’s finish it off with the St. Louis Blues.

vs. St. Louis: (2-1) 4-2 L, 5-4 W OT, 6-5 W OT

Let’s start with this, all three games between Vegas and St. Louis were highly entertaining. It’s hard to forget former Golden Knight David Perron hugging current Golden Knight Max Pacioretty’s leg, which then led to seven different roughing penalties. Vegas was fortunate to win the two OT games because of two improbable comebacks. In both victories, the Golden Knights trailed the Blues after two periods of play. They will need some of that never-give-up mentality in the round-robin, especially with Jordan Binnington in net. However, it’s unlikely St. Louis will blow many more three-goal leads.

Areas of Adjustment

  • Keep your heads on straight

The Golden Knights will have to improve their discipline against St. Louis. Not only for the fear of the Blues strong power play, but also because St. Louis can successfully agitate teams. They pestered their way to the Stanley Cup final last season, and they clearly enjoy annoying the Golden Knights.

Against St. Louis, Vegas averaged only six minutes in penalties per game, however in their second matchup the Golden Knights spent 12 minutes in the box. Granted many were matching penalties but when the Blues power play hit the ice they took advantage. St. Louis scored the opening and overtime forcing goals on the power play. Take those away and Vegas probably wins the game in regulation. Vegas turned the tables on St. Louis in their third matchup, scoring four times on man-advantages including on in OT. Their four power-play goals were the most scored in one game for the Golden Knights.

The Golden Knights are the better team at even strength so if they keep from being dragged into the muck, they should be able to handle the Blues.

  • Contain Offensive Defensmen

It’s no secret St. Louis has elite weapons on the blue line. Three of their top five season leaders in shots were defenseman, Alex Pietrangelo led the entire team with 225 shots on net. In the three meetings with the Golden Knights, the Blues got 23 shots and 10 points from defensemen. Vegas will have to get in the way of some of those shots or make it tough altogether for St. Louis’ D-men to get one off.

One way the Golden Knights can frustrate the Blues defensemen is by blocking shots and by creating high-zone pressure. Quite like the strategy Vegas used against Pete DeBoer’s San Jose Sharks in their 2018 postseason series.

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Potential Realignment Shouldn’t Affect Golden Knights

The NHL pause has become the newest, most addicting daily soap opera. Every morning fans wake up to read the latest news on the NHL’s plans to restart the season. Yesterday, Commissioner Gary Bettman shared his optimism with the NHL network.

We have a great deal of flexibility in terms of when we can start. There’s no magic for next season of starting in October as we traditionally do. If we have to start in November or December, that’s something that will be under consideration. We’re going to try and make good, prudent, careful judgments. This isn’t a race to be first back. When we come back, we want it to be at the right time, for the right reasons, under the right circumstances. -Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner

Now that the players and owners are engaging in daily conversations it shows the effort to recover the season from both sides. One scenario NHL officials have mulled over was originally conceived by Major League Baseball.

MLB is considering a three-division, 10-team plan in which teams play only within their division – a concept gaining support among owners and executives. It would abolish the traditional American and National Leagues, and realign the divisions based on geography.

The plan, pending approval of medical experts and providing that COVID-19 testing is available to the public, would eliminate the need for players to be in isolation and allow them to still play at their home ballparks while severely reducing travel. -USA Today

TSN’s Bob McKenzie weighed on the possibility of the NHL taking the realignment approach, specifically reducing travel which allows players to play in locations closer to their homes and families.

If they get four sites, and we kind of assumed it would try to be done divisionally if they try to get the 19-20 season finished up. Four NHL sites, one for each division. There is the possibility that they would just say ‘well the Atlantic division is going to based out of Toronto. We’re not going to do can’t that, Florida and Tampa Bay can’t get from Florida up to Toronto. We’ll put them with some of the Metro teams, and move one of those Metro teams.’ You could do some mixing and matching on geographical lines versus divisions. -Bob McKenzie, TSN Analyst

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Blues vs. Golden Knights Has Been A Wild Ride

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights and Blues have locked up three times this season. All three games have been on the crazy side, with two going to overtime and the team leading at the end of the 1st period losing all three.

In five games at T-Mobile Arena, the Blues and Golden Knights have gone to overtime in four of them, with Vegas winning all four. In fact, Vegas has never defeated the Blues in regulation in nine tries.

Jonathan Marchessault became the first player in Golden Knights franchise history to score a game-winning OT goal twice against the same team.

In the three games this year, there have been six lead changes and eight game-tying goals scored. In the Sharks/Golden Knights playoff series last season, there was a total of one lead change in the entire series. In the Jets/Golden Knights Western Conference Final series in 2018 the lead never changed in five games.

In all three games, St. Louis has scored three straight goals in the game, yet Vegas has been able to overcome it two of the three times. Also, the Blues scored first in all three games. The Golden Knights record when they concede first is 9-16-6, yet they are 2-1-0 vs STL. When Vegas trails after one period, they are 6-14-2, but also 2-1-0 against STL.

There have been 26 goals scored between the two teams in the three games for an average of 8.7 goals per game. The average in all Golden Knights games this season is just barely above six.

Plus, here’s some other crazy stuff about just last night’s game.

  • Highest scoring VGK game of the season (11 goals) (tied franchise record)
  • First game in VGK history with 2 lead changes in 1st period
  • Second-time VGK has scored 4 power play goals in a game (vs TBL on 12/19/17)
  • First time a team has allowed 4 goals to the same player and won since 2016 (Ottawa beat Toronto, Auston Matthews 4 goals)

Plus, the series has had the David Perron vs Ryan Reaves drama, Oscar Dansk’s first career NHL win, William Karlsson’s first goal as a Golden Knight, and both Perron and Stastny have scored for both teams against both teams.

There are two ways in which this could be a potential playoff matchup, either as a 1st round division winner vs wild card or as a Western Conference Final. It’s not quite San Jose/Vegas or Edmonton/Calgary, but from a strictly hockey standpoint, everyone should be rooting to see these teams matchup up come April or May.

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 6 ST LOUIS BLUES 5 (29-22-8 66 PTS) – OT

Recap: It was a wild 1st period for the Golden Knights and Blues. St. Louis scored :25 seconds into the game to take a quick 1-0 lead. Vegas tied it up 1:34 later on a power play goal from Max Pacioretty. He would add another to take five his team the one goal lead, but the Blues tied and eventually took a 3-2 lead into the first intermission.

Zach Sanford scored his third of the game to extend St. Louis’ lead 4-2 five minutes into the 2nd period. Mark Stone got Vegas within one late in the period. After 40 minutes the Golden Knights trailed 4-3.

Nate Schmidt tied the game for Vegas with their third power play goal of the game. However, Sanford scored his 4th of the game giving St. Louis a 5-4 lead. Vegas didn’t go away and Alex Tuch tipped in the tying goal with under five minutes left in the game. After 60 minutes in regulation, the contest needed an overtime period to decide a winner.

Vegas managed to win the game in overtime on a PP goal by Jonathan Marchessault. Vegas’ record improves to 29-22-8 and now stand with 66 points on the season. The Golden Knights get back to work on Saturday night against the NY Islanders. Puck drop is scheduled for 7p. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: A wild game at T-Mobile Arena ended with the Golden Knights getting the much needed two points in the standings despite not playing great. Defensively there were plenty of issues, but they rode a hot power play to get back in the game and eventually win it in overtime. The line of Karlsson, Stone, and Pacioretty were just as good as expected and the newest 3rd line was solid but losing Tuch could prove costly. (Analysis by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs St. Louis Blues at T-Mobile Arena

  • The first 10 games of DeBoer

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Mark Stone
** Max Pacioretty
* Jonathan Marchessault

Ryan Reaves Responds To David Perron’s “Whining”

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Former Golden Knight David Perron didn’t hold back on Saturday after the Blues loss in overtime. Perron made some scathing remarks about Vegas’ physicality, suggesting they stepped over the line.

You don’t like to see some of that extra stuff they do. One to our captain, I thought that was bullshit to be honest with you. That’s how I see it… Now we know what to expect. We’ve played them enough already. I see a lot of games of them. I really appreciate a lot of the stuff they do. I like their coaches, the organization, everything. But I didn’t like that (stuff on Alex Pietrangelo). -David Perron, Blues forward

Perron was clearly upset with some of the after whistle scrums, which in his eyes, were created by Vegas. One in particular involving Ryan Reaves and St. Louis captain Alex Pietrangelo.

Everybody saw what happened. I didn’t even start it. I just stopped in front of the net Petro (Alex Pietrangelo) tried to move me. He’s not going to move me. -Ryan Reaves

By now, most of us understand and appreciate Reaves’ role. If a player wants to get face-to-face, no matter who it is, #75 isn’t backing down. Pietrangelo happens to be an important player for St. Louis which is why Perron took umbrage. To Reaves, an opponent is just another opponent.

Hats off to Petro (Pietrangelo) for standing in there. You look at that situation, Petro stands up and tries to get to get me from out in front of the net.-Reaves

Pietrangelo got nicked up during his scrum with Reaves. On Monday, he sounded off.

I was just trying to take care of business. He was standing in front of our goalie. But I’ll tell you: It’s the first time I’ve ever been scratched in the eye before… I’m OK with getting into a scrum, but I’m not too fond of being scratched. Maybe that’s his new way, I don’t know. -Alex Pietrangelo, Blues defenseman

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5 ST. LOUIS BLUES 4 (24-15-6 54 PTS) – OT

Recap: The Blues did all the scoring in the 1st period. St. Louis had 11 shots on net and three of them got by Marc-Andre Fleury. Old friend David Perron assisted two of the Blues goals. After one period the Golden Knights trailed 3-0.

Vegas would chip away and finally get on the scoreboard late in the 2nd period. Paul Stastny got Vegas within one, scoring against his old team. After 40 minutes played the Golden Knights were down 3-2.

Nicolas Roy would get the all important tying goal 3 minutes into the final period. Reilly Smith gave Vegas their first lead of the game, climbing all the way back from a three goal deficit. Perron would tie the game 4-4 and force an overtime period. Chandler Stephenson would score in OT and clinch the game for Vegas

Vegas’ record to 24-15-6 and remain in first place in the Pacific Division. The Golden Knights will next hit the ice on Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The game will begin at 7P. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: A miserable 1st period put the Golden Knights in a hole they’ve never climbed out of in franchise history. The 2nd period wasn’t going much better but a few key saves from Fleury kept the Golden Knights at least within striking distance. Then, the switch was flipped and every puck battle started going Vegas’ way. They won the ones in front of the crease to create goals, they won the ones in the neutral zone to help entries, and they were much better exiting the zone. They simply turned the game on its head scoring four straight and storming all the way back to take the lead. St. Louis’ power play goal would tie it and Vegas couldn’t get the job done late with a power play, but found a way with a player they’ve never used before in 3-on-3. (Analysis by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs St. Louis Blues at T-Mobile Arena

  • Steve Carp’s Sunday column on a future Golden Knight.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Nic Holden
** William Carrier
* Ryan Reaves

ST. LOUIS BLUES 4 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 (16-13-5 37 PTS)

Recap: The game in St. Louis got off to a fast start for both teams. The Blues opened the scoring five minutes in, but Max Pacioretty would tie the game :25 seconds later. William Carrier buried a puck later in the period to give his team a 2-1 lead. Marc-Andre Fleury made a few outstanding stops holding the one goal edge after the 1st period.

St. Louis would tie the game 2-2 early in the 2nd period. The Blues added two more in a span of :39 seconds giving them a 4-2 lead through two periods.

The Blues made things difficult for the Golden Knights offense in the 3rd period. Vegas would have several quality chances but the Blues defended well enough to shut them out for the second straight period. St. Louis fought off a Golden Knights empty net to secure their win 4-2.

Vegas’ record drops to 16-13-5 with their loss in St. Louis but they’ll have a chance to get back on track tomorrow in Dallas. Game time is scheduled for 5PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights played a terrific 1st period leading by one after 20 minutes, but it all came crumbling down in the 2nd. Just about everything they were good at in the 1st they were terrible at in the 2nd. They created a bunch of scoring chances in the 3rd, but it was too little too late. Overall, the Golden Knights just weren’t good enough on the road to beat the defending champions. (Analysis by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center

  • Back-to-back study (probably)
  • VGK Forbes worth

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Tomas Nosek
** William Carrier
* Shea Theodore

ST. LOUIS BLUES 3 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 (42-28-6 90 PTS)

The game began with physical and aggressive play from both teams. Each club had great chances taken away by the goal posts. The game remained scoreless for most of the 1st period but with 1:19 left in the period goaltender Malcolm Subban made a costly mistake in front of his net. Blues forward Ivan Barbashev jumped on the loose puck and slipped one by Subban. After the opening twenty minutes Vegas trailed 1-0 in St. Louis.

The 2nd period was like the first with both goaltenders making key saves to keep their teams in the game. William Karlsson tied the game on a power play with his 23rd goal of the season. The Golden Knights couldn’t hold on to the tie for long as the Blues scored a second late period goal. Ryan O’Reilly shot one past Subban for the 2-1 St. Louis lead.

Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington continued to make big stops in the third robbing the Golden Knights of a second goal. St. Louis would add another goal 6:27 into the period giving the Blues a 3-1 edge. Late in the period Vegas made a strong push but again they hit another post which would’ve made it a one goal game. Vegas would pull Subban with a little over a minute left in the game but the Golden Knights offense got shut out. St. Louis won 3-1.

The Golden Knights record drops to 42-28-6 and remain in the Pacific Division’s third place position, with six games left to play. The team will get back on the ice Wednesday night as Vegas will finish their brief road trip in Colorado. Opening faceoff is scheduled for 7PM. (Recap by Jason)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center.

  • The perfect 4th line

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** William Carrier
** Deryk Engelland
* William Karlsson

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