Vegas tried to get back on track in LA for a Saturday matinee. The Golden Knights would be awarded an early power play but the Kings would steal the puck and the lead. LA took an early 1-0 edge on a short-handed goal, and the Kings would add another taking advantage of their own PP opportunity. Arch nemesis Drew Doughty got credit for sneaking one past Malcolm Subban. The Kings held a 2-0 advantage after one period of play.
Max Pacioretty would get his team on the board in the 2nd period by deflecting a puck past Jonathan Quick. The one goal deficit wouldn’t last long as the Kings scored their third of the game a minute and a half later to take a 3-1 lead. Thankfully, Jonathan Marchessault brought the lumber and slapped a bomb past Quick. Late in the 2nd period William Karlsson would equalize the game on a nice chip pass by Pacioretty. Through 40 minutes the Golden Knights came roaring back with three goals in the 2nd period.
Both teams battled to break the tie for most of the 3rd period. A tip by Jeff Carter found its way through Subban and gave the Kings the eventual game winner.
Vegas’ record continues to drop 9-9-3 and are stuck on 21 points for the third straight game. Luckily, the Golden Knights get a chance to make up those points tomorrow at home against the Calgary Flames. Puck drops at 4PM. (Recap by Jason)
Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Los Angeles Kings at STAPLES Center
Steve Carp’s Sunday column
Ken’s Three VGK Stars *** Shea Theodore ** Max Pacioretty * Jonathan Marchessault
Of all the losses, that one might be the cruelest of them all. Just couldn't muster up the chance that beat Quick in the 3rd, and the one really good chance LA got found a hole. The frustration rolls on.
Must be either under contract or drafted by the Golden Knights
Players are ranked based on value to the organization. The most important factor is the player’s ceiling, or how good they can eventually become, but also taken into consideration is how close they are to playing in the NHL and how likely they are to play in the NHL. This is NOT a ranking of which players are the best if a game were to be held today.
Recently Removed: Cody Glass (NHL), Nic Hague (NHL), Nic Roy (NHL)
Krebs is finally back from the Achilles injury. He skated in one practice with the Golden Knights before heading back to Winnipeg to play in the WHL. He’ll be wearing the “C” for the Ice and is expected to be a dominant force in the league again this year. The big test will come at the World Junior Championships in December. He’ll be one of the best players on the Team Canada roster, and coming off their disappointment last year, the pressure will be on.
More on Krebs
7/5/19 – The Golden Knights first pick in the 2019 NHL Draft is everything and more that you can ask for out of a center prospect. He’s a 200 foot player, skates in all situations, has a high level of skill, drives the offense on his line, and has great hockey sense and compete level. Unfortunately, Krebs came to camp with an injury and wasn’t able to skate. Had he gone out and dominated camp, he would have had a real shot to have been #1 on this list due to his ceiling. Hopefully he makes it took rookie camp in September, if not, World Juniors will be his next real shot to show he’s ready. By then, Glass will probably have played in 10 games, so don’t be surprised if Krebs is atop this list the next time it is updated.
2) Jack Dugan (F) Acquired: 2017 Entry Draft, 5th Round, #142 overall Age: 21 (March 24, 1998) Most Recent Team: Providence College (NCAA) Previous Ranking: #8
Since his terrific 2019 Development Camp, Dugan has taken his game to the next level absolutely dominating the NCAA. His 24 points in 10 games leads college hockey. Dugan recently mentioned on a podcast that he wants to “dominate” at the level he’s at before moves on. He’s doing that, and then some.
More on Dugan
7/5/19 – Maybe the most impressive player at 2019 Development Camp, Dugan appears on the path to being one of the best picks in the Golden Knights 2017 draft class. He’s absolutely everywhere in the offensive zone whether his team has the puck or not. His skating looks excellent for as large as he’s become and his ability and willingness to carry the puck seems to have come a long way. The one thing missing with Dugan is his finishing ability. It just didn’t show up much at all despite having multiple chances in Dev Camp. He’s going back to Providence this year, and it wouldn’t shock me if he’s there for a few more, but when he’s done, he’s going to be in the picture for the Golden Knights, which is awesome for a 5th round pick.
1/8/19 – The fact that Dugan dropped three spots has much more to do with what I think of the system as a whole as to what I think of Dugan. In short, I really like this kid and think he’s going to be a good player someday. The problem is that NCAA kids take forever to get to the NHL and I don’t see any difference with him. As a freshman he’s put up 22 points in 20 games at Providence so he’s continuing to produce despite the rise in competition.
9/12/18 – Did not attend Rookie Camp
7/28/18 – The leap Dugan made from the 2017 Development Camp to 2018 was tremendous. He was a scoring machine in the scrimmages both putting the puck in himself and setting up teammates. Last year he scored 66 points in 54 games with the Chicago Steel. This year he’ll be making the leap to Providence College to play in the strong Hockey East conference. Don’t expect to see Dugan in a Golden Knights uniform anytime soon, it literally might be four years away, but this is a player with a lot of upside and will likely go from relative unknown in the Golden Knights prospect system to an impactful player on NHL ice in a hurry.
3) Lucas Elvenes (F) Acquired: 2017 Entry Draft, 5th Round, #127 overall Age: 20 (August 18, 1999) Most Recent Team: Chicago Wolves (AHL) Previous Ranking: #9
Another fast riser on this list, Elvenes is all the way up to #3 since he’s taken over the AHL by storm as a 20-year-old. He’s leading the Wolves, all AHL rookies, and ranks 2nd in the entire league in points with 21. Also, Elvenes leads the A in assists with 16 in 16 games. He’s a young playmaking forward that seemed to be slow to see his game translate to NHL-sized ice. No longer is that an issue as he’s scoring in every situation in the 2nd best league in the world, the AHL. He’s knocking at the door of getting a chance to show his stuff at the NHL level, but don’t expect his stay to be long if he does get that chance due to injury at some point soon.
More on Elvenes
7/5/19 – Admittedly, I’ve been all over the place on Elvenes, but the more I watch him, the more I like him. Plain and simply, he’s a playmaker and the more comfortable he is with the players he’s playing with, the more plays he makes. In Development Camp he and Dorofeyev were shredding defenses, creating scoring chances left and right. The smaller ice appears to be less and less of an issue for him and I think surrounding his with guys who can score will help him a lot. This season with the Wolves is going to be a big one for Elvenes. If he dominates, he’s going to fly up this list, if he’s just so so, he could be near the bottom soon.
1/8/19 – There is obviously an inherent bias towards guys directly after World Juniors, but I will admit, I went in with a keen eye on Elvenes looking for one thing, playmaking at even-strength. Finally, I saw it and I saw it in bunches while Sweden was still in the tournament. He looked dangerous almost every time he was on the ice and with a maligned Swedish forward group he was probably the second or third best forward on the team. Playing in the SHL appears to have him looking for the puck a bit more and becoming more active in the play. I’m still not 100% sold this is an NHL prospect, but he’s a lot closer now than I thought four months ago.
9/12/18 – Elvenes has been flying up the charts on prospect ranking charts all over the place, but not here. He moves up a bit because he showed out very well on the Golden Knights power play, but at 5-on-5 he continued to be invisible. In practice he looked like he was primed to go out and have a huge impact on the games, then he didn’t. Not even close to time to give up in him, but he’s got to figure out the even strength on the small ice.
7/28/18 – A member of Team Sweden for the second consecutive World Junior Summer Showcase, Elvenes needs to build on his last international appearance. He put up four assists and a goal in two games last year with the Swedish U20 team but his game hasn’t translated on the North American ice at Development Camp. He didn’t flash much at all during the scrimmages either year. Playing on the smaller ice may be a factor.
(Prospect Rankings update following each significant event including prospects such as Development Camp, Rookie Camp, World Juniors, etc. They can always be found on the static page listed in the navigation bar on the site.)
Gerard Gallant doesn’t sugar coat. He hasn’t in the past and he didn’t after the first 20 games of this season. So far, he isn’t impressed with his team’s start.
No not really. I feel we haven’t played as good this year. Last year we were missing some key people and we were treading water a little bit and then we took off at the 20 game mark last year. No, this year I think we haven’t played as well in every game and a little more inconsistent. -Gallant
It’s way, way too early to panic. Vegas’ roster is incredibly talented and the team will have plenty of time to perfect their game before the postseason. However, if we’re calling out poor play, the first quarter of the season left a lot to be desired. Sure, Vegas has four more points through 20 games this season, but there are areas of concern.
↑ Up from last year ↓ Down from last year
VGK 2019-20 First 20 Games: 9-8-3 (21 Points) ↑
55 Goals For ↑/61 Goals Allowed ↓ -5 Goal Differential ↑ 9 Games of 2 or less Goals Scored (2-6-1) ↑ 5-4-2 in games against Playoff teams ↑ 4-4-1 in games against Non Playoff teams ↓ 6 Victories by 2 or more goals ↑ 6 Losses by 2 or more goals ↑ 3-2-3 in one goal games ↓ Longest win streak: 2 ↓ Longest losing steak: 4 ↓
VGK 2018-19 First 20 Games: (8-11-1) 17 Points
50 Goals For/56 Goals Allowed -6 Goal Differential 12 Games of 2 or less Goals Scored (2-9-1) (1-8) in games against Playoff teams (7-3-1) in games against Non Playoff teams 5 Victories by 2 or more goals 9 Losses by 2 or more goals (3-2-1) in one goal games Longest win streak: 3 games Longest losing steak: 3 games
Different players framed it in slightly different ways, but deep down they were all trying to say the same thing. This team is too good to be losing as often as they have been.
The most consistent sound coming out of the mouths of Golden Knights players in the month of November has been a deep breath.
They know they should be better, but no one completely understands why they haven’t been better. The underlying stats show the Golden Knights are deserving of a better fate, but time and time again the scoreboard has not agreed. It’s led to the same feeling up and down the Golden Knights organization, the feeling is frustration.
Frustrated with themselves, but mostly frustrated in the results.
Just about every player and coach had something to be frustrated with. Whether it was Mark Stone’s missed breakaway, the blown penalty shot by Jonathan Marchessault, defensemen finding themselves on the wrong side of the puck, or the decision to try a brand new set of forward lines, everyone had something to think about when heads hit pillows last night.
What does frustration do though?
Speaking for myself, being frustrated doesn’t lead to the best me. When I’m frustrated I usually make poor decisions. They have the best intentions, but choices made out of frustration don’t tend to solve my problems. It’s not until I change my attitude that I see the results turn.
That’s just what the Golden Knights need right now. A change in attitude. Enough looking for the ceiling for answers. Enough wondering when it is going to turn. Enough disappointment. Try something new.
Maybe it’s anger. The “rage room” is all the rage, right?
The game got off to quick with an early penalty shot for Chicago. The Blackhawks couldn’t convert and the Golden Knights took over. William Carrier and William Karlsson have Vegas a 2-0 lead 6:30 minutes into the game. Patrick Kane would get Chicago within one and the 1st period would come to a close 2-1 Vegas.
Chicago scored two 2nd period in a span of :45 seconds. Vegas was awarded a penalty shot of their own but Jonathan Marchessault couldn’t slip it past the Blackhawks goaltender.
The Golden Knights began the 3rd period trailing 3-2 and looked to get back into the game early. However, the Blackhawks had other plans and scored their fourth goal 3:57 into the final frame. Vegas would have a few chances but couldn’t covert until it was too late. Chicago coasted to a 5-3 victory.
Vegas’ record drops to 9-8-3 and remain at 21 points for the season. The Golden Knights will next play on Saturday afternoon at 1PM in Los Angeles. They’ll head right back home for a back-to-back on Sunday against the Calgary Flames. (Recap by Jason)
Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Chicago Blackhawks at T-Mobile Arena
Ken’s Three VGK Stars *** Nic Hague ** William Karlsson * William Carrier
I know the trend (first game after road trip), but no matter how you slice it, this is a miserable home loss for the Golden Knights.
Up 2-0 within the first 6:30 of the game and you lose 5-3 to a below-average NHL team, unacceptable.
The last time the Golden Knights won at home was 17 days ago. The last time they’ve won two in a row at home was 211 days ago when they won Games 3 and 4 of the series against the Sharks.
Over the course of the first season and a half for the Golden Knights, no matter what else was going on, they could always rely on their ability to win at home. They went an unbelievable 29-10-2 at T-Mobile Arena in 2017-18 and backed it up by starting 16-4-3 at home to start 2018-19. But since, it’s been a bit of a struggle.
They finished last year at 10-6-2 before dropping a crucial Game 6 at home leading to a first-round exit. This year they’ve actually lost more games inside of T-Mobile Arena than they’ve won, posting a 4-3-2 record.
If you dig into the stats, you’ll see they’ve been scoring fewer goals, shooting much less, and for the most part not controlling the flow of the game even close to as often as they used to.
I don’t think it’s anything with personal or the style of play or anything like that. I just honestly think it’s a mentality thing. We’ve got to play a little bit harder, little bit chippier. We’ve got to really want to dominate teams. I think we are going out to just try and win, we want to go out and try to dominate. It makes winning that much easier and I think it makes everyone around us better. -Alex Tuch
Tuch has been watching from the sidelines for all but four periods this season, and he’s seeing exactly what most everyone else is seeing. While he was speaking about the team in general, in my opinion, his comments translate to the team’s play at home even more than on the road.
Since the start of the regular season, the Golden Knights have been playing a numbers game with the salary cap. They’ve shuttled players like Nic Roy, Nic Hague, Cody Glass, Jimmy Schuldt, and Jake Bischoff between the NHL and AHL in an attempt to accrue usable cap space come trade deadline day. Thus far, they’ve sent Roy down four times, Hague three, and Glass, Schuldt, and Bischoff each once. In doing so, they’ve lessened the cap hits of all five waiver exempt rookies.
They are doing this for one reason, and one reason only, so they are in a position to make a trade and acquire a player that will help them win the Stanley Cup. Whether that trade happens today, or next week, or seconds before noon on February 24th, that’s why they are playing this game.
Which should obviously spark everyone reading this to ask the exact same question.
“Who are they looking to trade for?”
No one besides a select few inside the walls of City National Arena actually know, but over the course of the next four months there will be context clues along the way.
The first of those comes to us compliments of Sportsnet.ca’s superstar reporter Elliotte Friedman.
Nate Schmidt is back after a 13-game absence, and the Golden Knights badly missed him. Does Vegas feel the need to add mobility on the blue line? Opponents do think it is one of their few weaknesses. –Friedman in 31 thoughts on 11/5/19
He left it there in the written article but went on to elaborate a bit on his weekly podcast with Jeff Marek, also named 31 Thoughts.
The Golden Knights 3rd line this season has been an absolute disaster.
And that’s putting it politely.
Six games with Pirri-Eakin-Glass. Four games with Pirri-Stastny-Zykov. Three games with Zykov-Eakin-Glass. Three games with Nosek-Eakin-Glass. One game with Pirri-Eakin-Stone.
That’s 17 games, and those 3rd lines amassed a total of one goal. A single goal scored by Cody Glass against the Calgary Flames, which if this were soccer, would have been an own goal credited to Mark Giordano.
*Glass played four games on the 2nd line. He scored one goal and had two assists in those games **All three of Nosek’s goals were scored shorthanded or with the 4th line
But they aren’t supposed to be an offensive line. Right? That’s the bill of goods that’s been sold since the Golden Knights installed Eakin as the 3rd line center midway through the 2017-18 season.
Well, they aren’t good defensively either.
Eakin ranks as one of the 15 worst forwards with at least 100 minutes played this season with a 41.3% Corsi. He’s the 21st worst skater in the NHL at shot percentage at 40.8%, and he ranks in at least the 200th worst of 292 NHL forwards in goals against per 60, expected goals against per 60, and scoring chances against per 60. He’s been less than stellar in the faceoff circle winning at just a 46.4% clip, the worst of any Golden Knight with at least 100 draws. He has a -7 +/- rating, the worst of any Golden Knight. He’s one of four VGK skaters with a 0.0 defensive point shares number (the other three are Tuch, Roy and Bischoff who have played a combined 10 games). And, he’s registered just three takeaways, the least of any player with at least eight games played.
Pirri is right there with Eakin in all of the advanced stat numbers with a Corsi of 42.2%, shot percentage of 36.4%, and an expected goals for percentage of 41.8%. He’s been on the ice for just two goals while allowing five, and that’s including his 28:16 of power play time. He’s a -3, and has a -0.2 point share number which means if you simply subtracted Pirri and Eakin from the roster completely stats say they’d be almost half a point better in the standings.
The Golden Knights last stop on their road trip was in Motown for an afternoon faceoff against the Red Wings. Jonathan Marchessault put Vegas ahead 1-0 at the 16:27 mark of the 1st period. With under a minute remaining Detroit was able to tie it up 1-1 on the power play.
In the 2nd period Max Pacioretty continued his hot streak scoring a goal in four out of the last five games. Vegas played strong defensively and kept Detroit off the board in the middle frame. Pacioretty’s goal made it 2-1 Vegas after 40 minutes of action.
The Red Wings tied it up 2-2 midway through the 3rd period. Detroit would keep Vegas’ offense stagnant and would burn the visiting team with :30 seconds remaining in regulation. The Golden Knights lost a 3-2 heartbreaker in Detroit.
Vegas’ record drops to 9-7-3 and went 1-2-1 on their four-game road trip. The Golden Knights will get back on track Tuesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks. Game time is scheduled for 7P at the T-Mobile Arena. (Recap by Jason)
Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena
It’s gone on long enough, changes can’t wait any longer for the 3rd line
Ken’s Three VGK Stars *** Jonathan Marchessault ** Nate Schmidt * Max Pacioretty
I'm not apologizing for the loss. These last two nights have been pathetic and they should be embarrassed. The Golden Knights have a lot to figure out. But, they have plenty of time to do it. The time for changes and experimentation is now. Let's hope this is the catalyst for it.