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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 WINNIPEG JETS 1 (4-1 VGK)

Vegas’ forecheck came out firing to start Game 5 creating all sorts of turnovers in the Jets d-zone. About five minutes in one hopped off Ryan Carpenter, directly to Alex Tuch in front and he spun and got it past Connor Hellebuyck. Vegas stayed in control for a bit of the period but it faded as the Jets 2nd line ramped up the pressure. Winnipeg tied it on a clean draw win and a shot to the top corner by Josh Morrissey. The 2nd period was a high octane one and it ended with Ryan Reaves scoring his first ever Golden Knights goal to give Vegas the lead heading into the final period. The Jets scratched and clawed but could not find a way to get one past Fleury. The Vegas Golden Knights have won the Western Conference and are going to the Stanley Cup Final!!!

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets in Game 5 of Western Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell MTS Place.

  • No clue, but the Golden Knights are going to the Stanley Cup Final!

Three Stars
*** Josh Morrissey
** Ryan Reaves
* Alex Tuch

“Are You Serious? What Do You Mean Luck?”

Connor Hellebuyck used the word “luck.” Adam Lowry chose “bounces.” Blake Wheeler said the Jets would have won Game 4 “nine out of ten times,” and Tyler Myers believes his team has been better of the two “for the last five periods.”

The narrative floating around the series has been that the Jets have had control but through a combination of Marc-Andre Fleury’s domination and a touch of luck the Golden Knights are one win away from punching their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final.

Are you having a lucky series? -SinBin.vegas

Are you serious? What do you mean luck? I think we’re playing pretty well. Winnipeg is playing well too. I wouldn’t say we are lucky. We are playing good hockey, we wouldn’t be here if we weren’t a good hockey team. Maybe we’ve had a couple puck luck goals but there’s some luck that’s gone against us too in this series. No, I think we are playing good hockey. -Gerard Gallant

The Jets have the advantage in shot attempts, shots on goal, scoring chances, high danger scoring chances, and expected goals, yet they find themselves down 12-9 in the only stat that matters and 3-1 on the big scoreboard that determines who wins the Western Conference.

Nothing this man is doing is this series has been lucky either. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Winnipeg can call it whatever they like, but the fact of the matter is they haven’t been the better team in this series to this point. The games have been tied for 25:39 in the series, and the Golden Knights have scored the tiebreaking goal five of the six times.

The Golden Knights are forcing the Jets into mistakes and then capitalizing on them. It’s what they’ve done all year, and for whatever reason, opposing teams, media, and fans can’t seem to wrap their head around it.

Nonetheless, no matter what anyone thinks, if the any of the next three games go like the previous three, the Jets (like the Sharks and Kings) will leave the series like most leave the fine magic shows of Las Vegas wondering, how in the world are they doing this?

And just like the people who pay hundreds of dollars every night to be amazed by con artists who are good at misdirection, they’ve head home none the wiser and the show on the Vegas Strip will go on. Oh, and none of it has to do with luck.

Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets: Game 4 Western Conference Finals – Photo Gallery – May 18th, 2018

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Golden Knights Ability To Force Errors Continues To Leave Opponents Shaking Their Heads

They’ll call the Golden Knights opportunistic. They say Vegas capitalizes on others mistakes, and they’ll throw out quotes like this…

We win that game nine times out of 10. Tonight was the one. -Blake Wheeler, Jets captain

Those terms don’t resonate for the Golden Knights though because they don’t believe dumb luck is what’s making it happen.

Sometimes you create your own bounces. -Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

You go do what you can on your shift, and you rely on the next guy to go do his job on his shift, and hopefully that wear and tear will eventually push them into making a play they don’t want to make. Nate Schmidt

This is a look many goaltenders have had at T-Mobile Arena. It’s a look of confusion, but it shouldn’t be.  (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Vegas is tenacious on the forecheck, they hound teams in the neutral zone, they transition from defense to offense faster than any team in the NHL, they roll four dangerous lines and three solid d-pairings, and they have high-end talent that finish the chances when they come.

This isn’t a mirage, this is a darn good hockey team and it doesn’t take much to end up on the wrong side of the result when teams play against them.

Most people will call the mishaps of the Jets, Sharks, and Kings mistakes, but it’s probably best to call them something else. “Forced errors” is the term that popped into my head, but if you’ve got a better one let me hear it. No matter what we call them though, the Golden Knights are the best in the league at creating them.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 WINNIPEG JETS 2 (3-1 VGK)

For the third time in a row in the series the Golden Knights got on the board first. It came on a power play after a bit of a foolish penalty by Tyler Myers. On the power play the Golden Knights won three consecutive draws and got shots on all of them. The third one was won back to the point, then a pass from Marchessault opened up the net for William Karlsson and like he’s been doing all year Karlsson buried it. Just as Game 3 the Jets tied the game but the Golden Knights took no time to retake the lead, this time on a Tomas Nosek’s first goal of the post season. The Jets came out flying (yep, I did that) to start the 3rd and tied the game. It stayed that way for a bit but Reilly Smith finally got on the board in the series after a bobble at the blue line by the Jets. Winnipeg gave it everything they had but the Golden Knights held on for dear life and won Game 4. They’ll head to Winnipeg for Game 5 with a chance to win their way into the Stanley Cup Finals!

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets in Game 4 of Western Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at T-Mobile Arena.

  • Photo gallery from SinBin.vegas photographer Brandon Andreasen
  • Winnipeg keeps making miserable mistakes and the Golden Knights are taking full advantage.
  • When the games have been tied, Vegas has been the better, and faster, team. (Possible)

Three Stars
*** William Karlsson
** Marc-Andre Fleury
* Reilly Smith


Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets: Game 3 Western Conference Finals – Photo Gallery – May 16th, 2018

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Vegas’ Stars Save Third Period Literally And Figuratively

The aftermath of two of the best saves Marc-Andre Fleury made all season. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Unless you are compiling unbelievable saves by Marc-Andre Fleury, the 3rd period of Game 3 will not make any of the Golden Knights highlight reels. Instead, they’ll probably want to find the film and burn it, or at least the first 14 minutes of it.

:18 in the Jets got on the board cutting the lead from 3-2. Then, they spent the next 13:42 harassing Golden Knights defensemen, dominating the neutral zone, and peppering shot after shot after shot on Fleury’s goal.

There was a lot said… It was 3-2 and they kept on pushing us and pushing us and Fleury had to make some great saves. There was a lot of chatter on the bench saying, ‘Let’s get it going here again boys.’ The first two periods we played really good hockey and then it just seemed like we didn’t have any legs in the third period.  -Gerard Gallant

The Golden Knights looked slow and at times timid. They appeared unsure trying to break out of their own zone and were forced to ice the puck six different times in the 3rd period alone. The final stats in the 3rd were staggering. The Jets led 26-15 in shot attempts, 14-7 in shots on goal, and an insane 8-0 in high danger scoring chances according to NaturalStatTrick.com. The score, however, was 1-1, mostly because of Fleury, but also because of a shift that occurred with six minutes to go.

We were flat all period. Around the six minute mark we got a chance, the crowd started getting into it. We started getting our energy back and our legs back. -Brayden McNabb

That chance, which happened at exactly the six minute mark, was a shot off the post from William Karlsson. From that moment on the Golden Knights seemed to get the game back under control. Of course, trailing by a goal the Jets weren’t going to go away, but unlike the first 14 minutes, the Golden Knights had their skating speed back. They were winning to loose pucks, they were breaking out of the zone by passing rather than chipping the puck out, and most of all, they were creating chances in the Winnipeg zone to relieve the pressure.

We calmed down. There were a couple words said on the bench to just relax and breathe. We had that goal lead and there’s no reason to panic. -Shea Theodore

The Golden Knights have always been dubbed a team without a superstar, yet in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, when everything was going wrong, their superstar goalie made 15 saves in the 3rd period to hold a one goal lead, and their superstar center created a chance that turned the tide of the game.

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 WINNIPEG JETS 2 (2-1 VGK)

The game was just :35 old when a turnover in the neutral zone caused by Brayden McNabb sprung Jonathan Marchessault. As he’s done all postseason long Marchessault put it past the goalie to make it 1-0. The Golden Knights did well to go to the intermission up one. The 2nd started with a lackluster Vegas power play and eventually led to the Jets taking control of the game a bit. They scored on a tip from Scheifele but just 12 seconds later a misplay behind the goal by Connor Hellebuyck set James Neal up to give the Golden Knights their lead right back. Then, another excellent shift by the Vegas 2nd line led to an Alex Tuch goal making it 3-1. The game got a bit chippy as the 2nd period wore on and ended with four players on the box for coincidental roughing minors. The Jets scored immediately to start the 3rd and then dominated play for the next 15 minutes. However, Marc-Andre Fleury made two unbelievable saves to keep the Golden Knights ahead and they eventually closed the game out with a Jonathan Marchessault.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets in Game 3 of Western Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at T-Mobile Arena.

  • The Golden Knights 2nd line continues to be the key in the series.
  • These games have not been tied for long making it challenging to really see the difference in the teams.
  • Vegas was without question the fresh team the final three minutes.
  • Full photo gallery from SinBin.vegas photographer Brandon Andreasen

Three Stars
*** James Neal
** Jonathan Marchessault
* Marc-Andre Fleury

Jets Getting Shots In Close, But Like Sharks, It’s Not Paying Off

Marc-Andre Fleury has had players all over him the last eight games, but he’s done well to keep them out. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

A big story heading from Round 2 to the Western Conference Finals for the Golden Knights was limiting shots in close to the net. San Jose lived in front of Marc-Andre Fleury’s goal, but couldn’t get enough past him to win games. It was assumed if the Jets did the same, the result would be different.

Vegas defensemen made it a point coming into the series with Winnipeg.

Yeah they’re strong and fast, and they can make plays. They’ve got guys that play well in that slot, and play well in tight. That’s going to be our job to make sure that we eliminate those chances. -Shea Theodore on 5/10/18

In Game 1 everything was a mess, especially the first eight minutes (unless you are Ken). Early on in Game 2, it could’ve gone the same direction. In the first period, Vegas allowed multiple scoring chances from the Jets in front of the net. In other words, Winnipeg had a flurry of shots in Fleury’s kitchen.

Well we don’t want to allow chances in front of the net.- Brayden McNabb,

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Golden Knights Took Crowd Out By Taking Away Winnipeg’s Ability To Get To Dangerous Areas

Nate Schmidt played the game of his life and his stick was a big reason this story was able to be written. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Game 2 started out frantic. Back and forth action forced goalies in both nets to be at their best to keep the game tied. The Winnipeg crowd was buzzing and the Golden Knights appeared destined to be headed for the same fate as Game 1 if any puck slipped past Fleury.

Luckily, unlike in Game 1 when the second shot he saw beat him from 40+ feet out, Fleury was able to turn away every early chance, including one that snuck under him and was cleared off the line by Nate Schmidt. The game was playing into the hands of the home team, again. Even though the Golden Knights were getting chances, the building was ready to explode and the game was ready to snowball like it did Saturday night.

We didn’t feel like it started poorly at all. We liked our start. -Paul Maurice, Jets head coach

Then, the tide turned a bit. The Golden Knights spoke about getting through the first 10 minutes. They did, but it wasn’t exactly pretty. However, once it got there, things changed and remained the new way for the next 30 minutes. 30 minutes that not only won Game 2, but got the series under control for the Golden Knights, and now have the Jets on their heels heading to T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday.

The Golden Knights first goal came 13:23 into the 1st. That goal shut the crowd down, but the rest of the 1st and the entire 2nd refused to let them, or the Jets, back in it.

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