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VGK Crumbled Under Nashville’s Physical Brand Of Hockey

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When the Predators visited T-Mobile Arena back in January they laid 48 hits on the Golden Knights, the most any team has delivered Vegas this season. Despite not getting the outcome they preferred in that game, Nashville came back with the same game plan last night and this time it worked.

The 40 hits absorbed by the Golden Knights are the third most of the season and it really impacted Vegas in all three zones.

That’s their game. If you’re not on your toes moving the puck and supporting it well then you are going to take some hits and they’re going to recover some pucks. That’s what happened early on. It took us a while to get going against it. Credit to them, they stuck with it, that’s how they play. -Bruce Cassidy

Vegas struggled in two areas against the heavy Nashville game. First, the Golden Knights turned the puck over along the walls on numerous occasions. The Predators’ active defensemen took away VGK’s preferred exit route and it led to extended time in the defensive zone. Second, Nashville players were camped out in front of Adin Hill’s net most of the night.

They took advantage of our slow start and I think it had a lot to do with them gaining momentum throughout the game. -Cassidy

High hit totals against have been troublesome at times for VGK this year. Of the 13 times a team has delivered at least 30 hits to Vegas, the Golden Knights are 6-5-2 including multi-goal losses to Nashville, Seattle, Buffalo, and Florida twice. Even if the Golden Knights know it’s coming, sometimes it has caught them off guard.

This time of the year every game is going to be physical. That’s a team that lost big last week so you knew they were going to come out. They’re fighting for a playoff spot, and so are we, so we needed a little bit more. I know it’s a back-to-back but we needed more. -Alex Pietrangelo

Four of the next seven games are against teams in the Top 10 in hits this season. The Golden Knights are capable of running teams that play a physical brand of hockey out of the building, they just have to be playing at the top of their game to do so. Right now, they aren’t, but there’s no better time than now to pick it back up.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS 5 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 (32-18-6, 70 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights were looking to sweep their back-to-back situation with a victory over the visiting Nashville Predators. The Predators got on the scoreboard first 5:35 into the opening period. Minutes later the Golden Knights drew a hooking penalty and had several chances on the early power play. Vegas wouldn’t score but later set up veteran defenseman Alex Pietrangelo’s third goal of the season. With under a minute left in the opening 20 minutes Nashville jumped ahead 2-1. 

Nashville took a two-goal edge deep into the middle frame and later added to their lead. After 40 minutes of action visitors held a 4-1 advantage. 

After missing some time in the 2nd period William Karlsson came back to score his 18th goal on the power play. With under three minutes remaining Michael Amadio got Vegas within one. Moments later Nashville scored an empty net to spoil the home team’s night. 

The Golden Knights record drops to 32-18-6 losing to the Predators 5-3. Vegas will next face the Toronto Maple Leads on Thursday night. Puck drop against the Leafs is scheduled for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Was not Adin Hill’s night which put the Golden Knights in a pretty deep hole. Nashville came in with a plan on playing a physical brand of hockey and Vegas did not respond very well. It was a valiant effort trying to get back into it in the 3rd but they came up short. Plus, Mark Stone leaving in the 2nd period leaves plenty of room for concern. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Nashville Predators at T-Mobile Arena.

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A Look Back At The 11 Players To Score In Their First VGK Game

When Mason Morelli stepped on the ice last night he became the 81st skater to don a Golden Knights jersey in a regular season game. He was the 23rd to do so while making his NHL debut. When he scored a goal in the 1st period, he became the 11th player to do so in their first VGK game and the 3rd in their NHL debut as a Golden Knight.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to remember each of the 11 players to score a goal in their first VGK game. We’ll start with the three in their NHL debuts as well.

Mason Morelli – February 19th, 2024 at San Jose

Cody Glass – October 2nd, 2019 vs San Jose

Vadim Shipachyov – October 16th, 2017 vs Boston

Next the other eight who did it in the first game with the Golden Knights.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 SAN JOSE SHARKS 0 (32-17-6, 70 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights began to attack the Sharks right from the opening faceoff. Michael Amadio opened the scoring for Vegas two minutes into the contest. Moments later William Karlsson recorded his 17th goal of the season. The Golden Knights took a 3-0 lead into the first intermission after Mason Morelli scored his first NHL goal before the break.

Late in the middle frame Keegan Kolesar extended Vegas’ lead to 4-0 on the road.

Vegas continued to dominate San Jose in the final period. The Sharks struggled to generate any offense and Logan Thompson earned his first shutout of the season.

The Golden Knights record improves to 32-17-6 defeating the Sharks 4-0 in San Jose. The reigning champions will travel back home for a two-game homestand beginning on Tuesday night. Puck drop against the Nashville Predators is scheduled for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights are miles better than San Jose. Really all that needs to be said about this game, or any of the last about 20 between these two teams. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks at SAP Center.

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VGK Not Matching Historic Day Game Success This Season

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights are back in action with an early game in San Jose this Presidents Day. It will be Vegas’ 6th game this season with a puck drop prior to 5pm local time. The first five haven’t been kind to the Golden Knights as they enter with a record of 1-2-2.

In the first two, the Golden Knights used late 3rd period goals to push the games to overtime but couldn’t beat Chicago at home or Philadelphia on the road. The two regulation losses came in December at Florida and the Winter Classic in Seattle. VGK’s lone win was a 6-1 drubbing of the Stars in Dallas.

Historically, the Golden Knights have been good in day games posting a record of 20-13-5 in franchise history.

2023-24: 1-2-2
2022-23: 5-1-0
2021-22: 4-0-1
2020-21: 3-2-0
2019-20: 0-2-0
2018-19: 3-6-1
2017-18: 4-0-1

Coming into this season VGK had won nine of their last 11 day games but the results have not continued this year. With the Kings and Oilers charging behind the Golden Knights, an easy win in San Jose this afternoon would be nice.

CAROLINA HURRICANES 3 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 (31-17-6, 68 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights hit the ice for the first time in five days to take on the Carolina Hurricanes at T-Mobile Arena. Midway through the opening period Jonathan Marchessault added to his team-leading goal total. Marchessault gave Vegas a 1-0 lead with his 28th tally of the season.

Carolina quickly evened the score at 1-1 in the middle frame. Carolina scored the period’s lone goal 1:21 into the period.

Again, the visiting team wasted no time to score to start the 3rd period. Vegas failed to recover defensively and the Hurricanes took advantage of a quick break into the Golden Knights zone 0:19 into the frame. Carolina took a 3-1 advantage five minutes later, batting a puck down behind Adin Hill and into the net.

The Golden Knights record drops to 31-17-6 losing to the Hurricanes 3-1. Vegas will travel up to San Jose on Monday for a one-game road trip against the Sharks. Puck drop in San Jose is scheduled for 1 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: It was a great start for the Golden Knights as they were generating dangerous chances at a great rate in the 1st. They could only sneak one through and ultimately that became a problem as the chances slowed down. Carolina’s depth started to wear on VGK’s and a shorthanded goal to start the 3rd was a killer. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Carolina Hurricanes at T-Mobile Arena.

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One Potential VGK Trade Target From Each Of The NHL’s Worst 12 Teams (Part 2)

With every team still with 8-12 games on their schedule before March 8th, I thought it would be easier to go through every bad team to cover every potential seller.

Here’s one player from each of the worst 12 teams in the league that could make sense for the Golden Knights. (Today is teams 26-21, yesterday was 32-27.)

Arizona Coyotes
Alexander Kerfoot

$3.5 million – Through next season
2023-24: 53gp, 8g, 30p, 2.0 point shares

Kerfoot is about as perfect a fit as possible for the Golden Knights at this deadline. He’s having a good season offensively, on pace for 46 points, can play center or wing, and is usable on both special teams. Kerfoot has also done all of this starting nearly 60% of his shifts in the defensive zone. He’s just an all-around good player who will offer tons of flexibility to a VGK forward group that may need it down the stretch.

Montreal Canadiens
Joel Armia

$3.4 million – Through next season
2023-24: 38gp, 9g, 10a, 0.9 point shares

There’s not a great fit from the Habs for what the Golden Knights are looking for. Armia is the best option because he can be used as a defensive specialist on the wing. He’s a good penalty killer and if Bruce Cassidy decides he wants to load up a shutdown line, Armia would be a nice addition to the wing of William Karlsson. The Golden Knights have a history of going out and grabbing players that have given them troubles in playoff series too, and Armia did just that as part of the Canadiens team that beat VGK in 2021.

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