We’ve all heard the phrase ‘playing with house money’ before.
Playing with house money refers to money that was given to you, easily obtained, or stumbled upon. In other words risking it as in a bet means you would have nothing to lose. -Urban Dictionary
At a surprising (6-1) record, and (3-0) in overtime, that’s exactly what the Golden Knights feel they are doing early in the season. The stress-free work environment of an expansion team with no expectations has players loose and taking risks to keep racking up W’s.
Yeah, obviously it’s a pressure thing. If you’re down one, you tend to pinch down more and go for those fifty-fifty pucks. You got to play smart but at the same time you can’t just back off. –Luca Sbisa
Sbisa’s role with the Golden Knights has grown into a top-line defenseman, on 5-on-5, 4-on-5 and 3-on-3. Gerard Gallant has deployed the Neal-Perron-Sbisa line to start each of the last two overtime periods, and Sbisa was on the ice for the OT goal against Buffalo. Is there a reason why the team is having early success in overtime?
We’re not afraid to lose in OT, but we are afraid to lose in the third period. In OT we just know that you have to take some risks to win the game, and that’s what we do. We kind of have to take a few things out of OT into the third period. We just have to want to win the game, we’re just kind of scared to win the game. -Sbisa
The Golden Knights are the wild-card of the NHL right now. After seven games, the new franchise is unpredictable. The overall balance of the team is surprising opponents and media dopes like us here at SinBin.vegas (we were convinced they were going 2-10 to start the year). The offense is scoring 3.2 goals a game, and getting production from all four lines. Sbisa and the defense handle high shot totals, 2-man advantages, goaltending injuries, and still find time to pitch in offensively. Heck, I’ll even throw in Gallant’s coaching as another element of team balance.
On 3-on-3, I don’t know what to say. Just try and go out there and try and contribute. It’s hard to explain the success. –William Karlsson
Will the loose, carefree style of play continue? Possibly. The results won’t be positive every night, but it’s believable this Vegas roster could have that ‘not afraid of losing’ attitude all season. The pressure of winning won’t come from The Creator, the GM, or the fans in 2018. Internally, the players and coaching staff know it’s okay to lose, which makes the risk that much easier to take. Not being afraid to lose is the definition of playing with house money.
Although I could have it wrong. Maybe, the Golden Knights are the house. Doesn’t the house always win? So many bad gambling puns, so little time.