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ST. LOUIS BLUES 4 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 (8-11-1 17 PTS)

The Golden Knights used a breakaway from William Carrier to take the lead early in the 1st. But, they turned around and gave it right back within a minute and then completely fell apart. Four straight St. Louis goals sunk the Golden Knights in an all too familiar fashion.

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

  • Possible: What should the D-pairings look like with Nate Schmidt back in the lineup.
  • Sunday: Carp’s column regard the impact Schmidt’s return will have on Colin Miller

Three Stars
*** William Carrier
** Jake Allen
* Ryan O’Reilly

The Play That Beat The Ducks

The play of the game. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Unlike baseball where there’s one pitch or football where there’s one play, hockey is not a game that is often decided, or even swung, by an individual moment in a game. However, during the game against Anaheim, Tomas Nosek and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare combined to make a play that flipped the course of that game and if all goes well, could end up changing the course of the season.

It came late in a somewhat sloppily played first period. The Golden Knights had taken a penalty and appeared like they could be headed for the all too familiar fate of falling behind early. The penalty kill begins with Bellemare winning the draw,  Brayden McNabb clears the puck, and the Golden Knights stop the first entry. But then, the Ducks maintain possession for 20 more seconds before setting up a shot from the high slot. It’s wired, Bellemare courageously blocks it, he then finds it first and springs Nosek into open ice. Here, give it a watch.

 

Nosek picks up the puck and drives directly toward the goal drawing a penalty, thus killing off the current penalty and earning Vegas a power play. But it’s not just the block and the breakaway, it’s when it happened in the shift. Penalty kill shifts are meant to be as short as possible, :20-:30 is great for forwards. Once you can safely change, you are supposed to do it. The normal play there would have been to send the puck down and get off the ice, but Nosek dug deep into his gas tank, already :50 seconds into the shift, and went straight to the net. 

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SinBin.vegas Podcast #131: Work Hard

Following a win over the Ducks, we get back into the studio to try and figure out what work ethic means and to argue over Nate Schmidt’s believability. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

DISCLAIMER: The Nate Schmidt argument just kept going and going and going and a vote on Twitter told us to leave it all in. So, once you hear the Nate argument, there’s nothing else after it, it’s all that same argument. It doesn’t really go anywhere, so feel free to give up at some point and know, you didn’t miss anything.

  • What does it mean that the Golden Knights are working hard?
  • Are we as the media too soft to force better responses after losses?
  • Jason hates Toy Story
  • Ken learns what condiments are
  • Do you believe Nate Schmidt is being honest?
  • Buy tickets to the next Monday’s Dark!

And much more…

We are on iTunesStitcher, and Google Play. Subscribe now!

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Golden Knights vs. Anaheim Ducks Photo Gallery – November 15, 2018

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5 ANAHEIM DUCKS 0 (8-10-1 17 PTS)

The Golden Knights and Ducks skated to a sloppy start, but a big penalty kill play by Tomas Nosek completely unlocked the game for Vegas. It led to a Ducks penalty which Alex Tuch scored on. Then, in the 2nd, the Golden Knights tacked on three more. Vegas took advantage of every opportunity that was given to them and dominated another home game. Fleury held the Ducks out recording his second consecutive shutout at T-Mobile Arena.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Anaheim Ducks at T-Mobile Arena.

  • VGK now 2-0-1 vs. Pacific Division. With the stretch of division games coming up, the poor start could become a thing of the past quickly.
  • Photo gallery from Brandon Andreasen

Three Stars
*** Alex Tuch
** Marc-Andre Fleury
* Cody Eakin

McPhee On Injuries: “We Aren’t Deep Enough Yet To Not Have Everybody In”

Gerard Gallant confirmed this morning Haula is considered “month-to-month.” (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Injuries are a major part of hockey. Every team goes through them at various times and for various stretches of the season. For the Golden Knights, it’s come early and it’s come in the form of high-end forwards.

Alex Tuch missed the first eight games of the year and Max Pacioretty missed four games at the end of October. Both Pacioretty and Tuch have returned to the lineup, but the two guys they’ve played with on the Vegas second line haven’t been as fortunate. Paul Stastny went out in Game 3 and isn’t expected to return until late December at the earliest, and Erik Haula appears to be out for at least the balance of the calendar year.

Then there’s the suspension which has kept Nate Schmidt out for the first 20 games of the season. All in all, the Golden Knights have yet to play a game with anything resembling a full lineup, and the GM is frustrated.

I’d like to get healthy, for one game. just to see what we are. We just haven’t been. You know we rebuilt our second line and I think they’ve played two and half games together. Stastny’s been out most of the year, Pacioretty was out, Haula’s out, Tuch’s been out. We aren’t deep enough yet to not have everybody in. -George McPhee on Sportsnet 590 in Toronto

All in all, they’ve missed 39 games due to injury and 18 going on 20 due to suspension.

Nate Schmidt – 18 missed (100%)
Paul Stastny – 15 missed (83%)
Alex Tuch – 8 missed (44.%)
Deryk Engelland – 5 missed (28%)
Max Pacioretty – 4 missed (22%)
Erik Haula – 3 missed (17%)
Cody Eakin – 4 missed (22%)
Ryan Carpenter – 1 missed (6%)

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With Haula Out, Eakin Gets Bigger Role

**Steve Carp’s twice-weekly column publishes every Wednesday and Sunday during the Golden Knights season.**

Everyone was hoping the news on Erik Haula’s injury suffered last week in Toronto would be good. Or, at the least, optimistic.

But it appears the Golden Knights are going to be without their second-line center for the foreseeable future. We may hear something prior to tonight’s game with Anaheim as to exactly what the prognosis is going forward.

Whether the Knights call up someone from the AHL’s Chicago Wolves, make a trade or stand pat, it doesn’t impact Cody Eakin. He has been moved up from the third line to Haula’s spot and he even found himself on the first line Sunday in Boston, skating with Jonathan Marchessault and Alex Tuch.

Gerard Gallant said afterward it was basically a one-off, that he was trying to get his team going. So expect to see Eakin centering for Tuch and Max Pacioretty against the Ducks as the Knights look to turn things around on this short two-game homestand at T-Mobile Arena.

There haven’t been many bright spots through the first 18 games for Vegas. Tuch and Marchessault have been the team’s top two players. But after that, you can make a case for Eakin as the next best performer.

In 15 games, he’s fourth on the team in scoring with five goals and three assists. He’s been an important part of the team’s penalty killing unit. He’s winning 48 percent of his face-offs and he’s averaging 14:21 in time on ice. His shooting percentage is 29.4 percent though he has only taken 17 shots.

He has also been doing this while playing with numerous linemates. With injuries and slumps, Gallant has had to move things around. But Eakin has performed with whoever Gallant has flanked him with.

He appears to be stronger on his skates. His forechecking has been more effective. He’s not turning the puck over as much. And playing with Tuch seems to have helped perk up his offensive stats.

I always found Eakin to be somewhat underappreciated. He’s a quiet guy who doesn’t draw a lot of attention to himself. He works hard, tries to make every shift a good one and seems to be a good teammate.

Yet, I remember reading and hearing talk during training camp that Eakin was expendable, that maybe he doesn’t make the opening night roster, that he’s not that good a player.

I’m not hearing that now.

Look, I’m not nominating Eakin for the Hockey Hall of Fame. What I’m saying is you should appreciate his contributions, especially during a trying time for the franchise, one that remains fraught with uncertainty as Haula joins Paul Stastny on injured reserve.

**Steve Carp is the author of “Vegas Born — The remarkable story of the Golden Knights.” Follow him on Twitter @stevecarp56. All of Steve Carp’s work here on SinBin.vegas is presented to you by the Jimmerson Law Firm. For over twenty-five years, the Jimmerson Law Firm has been widely recognized as one of Las Vegas’s preeminent full-service law firms. Specializing in high stakes business, civil and family litigation, the Jimmerson Law Firm has an unparalleled track record of winning when it matters most. To reach the Jimmerson Law Firm, call (702) 388-7171 and tell them SinBin.vegas sent you.**

Golden Kights Prospect Paul Cotter Leaves Western Michigan For OHL’s London Knights

Paul Cotter showed he can score during his short time in Vegas for Development Camp. Now he’ll have a chance to show it in the OHL. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Paul Cotter was selected in the 4th round by the Golden Knights and within days became one of the most promising prospects in the Vegas system. At Development Camp, Cotter flashed in drills as well as scrimmage before heading off to Western Michigan University to play his freshman year in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

Cotter did not score a goal and registered just one assist over his eight games at Western Michigan. His roles on the roster ranged from healthy scratch to top line center for the Broncos. Then, Cotter decided to leave.

Cotter will now join the London Knights of the OHL and likely instantly step into their everyday lineup.

He’s really grown as a player and he’s a mature young man. We believe he’s going to bring leadership and character to our dressing room. I think he can score at this level. He’s a good two-way hockey player. –Mark Hunter, London Knights GM to London Free Press

So what does this mean for the Golden Knights?

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Results Aren’t Changing, So Something Else Must

Let’s try changes before it’s 3-0. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Following their latest nightmare of a road trip, all three trips have been now, the Golden Knights now sit at 3-8-0 on the road, 7-10-1 overall, and with a measly 15 points in the first 18 games. If you extrapolate those numbers over a full 82 game season, that’s 11-31-0 on the road, 32-46-4 overall, and 68 points. That is a disaster.

That is also why something has to change. Of course, the easiest change will be made available to the Golden Knights in two games, when Nate Schmidt is eligible to return from his suspension. It will almost certainly help, but relying on one player to completely turn the fortunes of a team around is like walking up to the craps table thinking you’re going to win rent for the month. It might happen, but realistically, it’s probably not.

Following the loss in Boston, reigning Jack Adams winner Gerard Gallant responded to a question about swapping Max Pacioretty and Jonathan Marchessault mid-game with this answer.

If you are not winning you are going to try things. That’s what a coach’s job is supposed to be. So you try and get a little spark. -Gallant

However, the team has barely tried anything nearly a fourth of the way through the season. They’ve made one call-up from the AHL, they’ve made voluntary changes on just one line, and they’ve never swapped more than one defenseman if not dealing with an injury.

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BOSTON BRUINS 4 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 (7-10-1 15 PTS)

Boston jumped out to an early lead and then did everything they could to help the Golden Knights back in it. Not one, not two, but three power play chances and Vegas was not able to cash in on any of them. Matters got worse as the Bruins opened the lead to 3-0 before Gerard Gallant shuffled his top two lines and sparked a goal by Cody Eakin from Alex Tuch. A late 5-on-3, Boston’s third of the game, provided the dagger and Vegas heads home from yet another disastrous road trip. Just two points and push their road record to 3-8-0.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Boston Bruins at TD Garden.

  • Change has worked, so keep changing. Static isn’t working.

Three Stars
*** Anders Bjork
** Brad Marchand
* Jaroslav Halak

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