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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 6 EDMONTON OILERS 3 (40-27-5 85 PTS)

The color green was on full display at the T-Mobile Arena for a St. Patrick’s Day matchup against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers.

Vegas came out fast, launching the first six shots of the game. The Golden Knights continued pursuit paid off 5:40 into the first period on Mark Stone’s 31st goal, and second as a Golden Knight. Later in the period, Edmonton would tie things up on a PP goal by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Cody Eakin would regain the lead for Vegas back scoring his 18th goal of the season on a beautiful top shelf wrist shot. After twenty minutes of play the Golden Knights led the Oilers 2-1.

Edmonton didn’t take long to even the game 2-2 on Leon Draisatitl’s 43rd of the season. Luckily, the game wouldn’t be tied for long. Jonathan Marchessault tallied his 21st goal giving Vegas the 3-2 lead.

Marchessault would celebrate again :40 seconds into the final frame giving Vegas the two-goal lead. With #81’s second goal, the first line had a total of six points. Edmonton would chip away getting a third goal past Malcolm Subban early in the period. However, Vegas wasn’t done on offense as Brayden McNabb registered his 4th goal of the season. The Golden Knights captured their second two-goal edge of the night leading 5-3. Then Alex Tuch took one away from a defenseman and tallied Vegas’ sixth of the night.

Vegas improves their record to 40-27-5 and remain in the Pacific Division’s third place position, with 10 games left to play. The team gets back on the ice tonight as they’ll play a back-to-back in San Jose. Opening faceoff starts at 730PM. (Recap by Jason)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Edmonton Oilers at T-Mobile Arena.

  • Steve Carp’s “Sunday” column on Alex Tuch’s playoff impact. (Delayed for reasons beyond our control)
  • How Gerard Gallant values his timeout.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** William Karlsson
** Reilly Smith
* Jonathan Marchessault
(Honorable *) Mikko Koskinen

SinBin Radio – CBS Sports Radio 1140 – 03/16/19

The Golden Knights are a well-rounded team that quite frankly is just really good, but what are they best at? Plus, the best trades in franchise history.

You can listen to our show every Saturday from 10-11am on 1140 AM or streaming live on the Radio.com app. All shows will be archived as well.

When Gerard Gallant And The Golden Knights Pull Their Goalie Compared To Rest Of NHL

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Thanks to some awesome data compilation by Meghan Hall (@MeghanMHall) of the Balls and Sticks Podcast we finally have some solid context on goalie pulls and the Golden Knights. (Here’s the website to find all the data, it’s one of the coolest workbooks I’ve seen all year.)

The Golden Knights have pulled the goalie a total of 21 times this season. They’ve been “successful” (at least tying the game) just one time and it happened to be on the first attempt of the season. Since Max Pacioretty’s goal on October 6th, Gerard Gallant has pulled his goalie 20 times and his team has not scored a single goal. In that time they’ve allowed 11 total empty netters, conceding at least one in 10 of the 20 games.

However, this is not horribly uncommon as 10 of the NHL’s 31 teams have just one successful goalie pull this year. Plus, four teams (Arizona, New York Islanders, Dallas, Pittsburgh) have all yet to tie or win a game after pulling their goalie.

That means 45% of the NHL has just one or fewer successful goalie pulls. However, that doesn’t mean the success rate of the goalie pull is poor. Actually, 14.6% of one goal games result in a tie game when the goalie is sent to the bench. Calgary, Minnesota, and New Jersey are the best at it, each successfully tying the game four times.

When down by one goal, the league average of the goalie is pulled is 1:43. Vegas is the fifth most aggressive team when it comes to time, pulling the goalie on average with 1:58 left on the clock. The most aggressive team is Toronto, pulling the goalie on average at around 2:28 left in the game.

The Golden Knights average pulling their goalie with 2:01 left on the clock in all situations. The earliest Gallant has removed the goalie was at the 3:13 mark, in the March 10th game at Calgary (down two), while the latest was with :49 vs. Montreal on November 10th (down one). Just nine of the 21 times has Gallant done it outside of 1:30 to 2:30 left.

Other teams have been far more adventurous. Tampa Bay once pulled the goalie with 9:47 to go, Dallas did it with 7:48, and Nashville recently tried it with 6:09 left. There have been more than 100 instances this season in which a goalie has been pulled earlier than the earliest Gallant has pulled VGK’s goalie.

With the goalie out, Vegas is about average at keeping the puck from going in their own net. They’ve allowed 11 empty net goals in the 21 goalie pulls. That’s good for 14th in the league. Calgary is the best allowing just four, while Dallas is the worst giving up 16.

All in all, pulling the goalie hasn’t been great for the Golden Knights, but you certainly can’t say Gerard Gallant isn’t trying.

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 DALLAS STARS 1 (39-27-5 83 PTS)

The Golden Knights couldn’t have come out any better Friday night after a four day layoff. Vegas forward Max Pacioretty quickly scored 18 seconds into the game for his 22nd goal of the season. Believe or not but Pacioretty’s goal was the second fastest goal in Golden Knights history.

Vegas didn’t hold the 1-0 lead for long as Dallas’ Roope Hintz continued his hot streak and tied the game 1-1. After trading penalties the game tightened up and chances were limited. Vegas defenseman Deryk Engelland almost broke one through but hit the crossbar and out.

The second frame was a defensive battle with each team fighting off crucial penalties. Vegas center William Karlsson created a rare shorthanded penalty shot chance on his strong PK effort. Karlsson wouldn’t convert but helped his team fight off Dallas’ third power play. After forty minutes in the books the game remained a tense 1-1 tie.

Vegas struck first 2:37 into the third when Ryan Reaves buried a rebound for the 2-1 lead. The fourth line gave the Golden Knights a much needed boost offensively as Reaves added his ninth goal of the season, and his first since January 6th.

Up one, the Golden Knights silenced the Stars pressure for most of the period. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made two key stops on a late power play for Dallas, but would be forced to face another power play with 2:30 remaining in the game. Impressively enough, the Stars pulled their goalie and still couldn’t score on Fleury.

The game ended 2-1 Vegas, sweeping the season series of the Stars. It was Fleury’s 35th victory of the season taking the league lead.


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

  • A look at how the Golden Knights pull their goalie compared to other NHL teams.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Ryan Reaves
** Ryan Carpenter
* Marc-Andre Fleury

Expansion Draft 2020: Vegas’ Exemption Creating Anxiety And Drama For Other Clubs

In late June of 2020, Seattle, the 32nd franchise, will have the opportunity to pluck other teams talent at the Expansion Draft like the Golden Knights did on June 21st, 2017. George McPhee and his group masterfully duped 30 other NHL general managers, and whoever is at the helm in Seattle (maybe Kelly McCrimmon) will try to do the same. Okay maybe not all 30, but a good percentage of the league felt slighted, enough that those same general managers may just reach out to McPhee this time so it won’t happen again.

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun was on Montreal radio this week and brought up how teams are very concerned with next year’s expansion draft. Teams aren’t in the business of giving away good players… again.

It’s also created I think a bit of a unique situation… because Vegas doesn’t have to worry about a protection list and all of that jazz. I think they’re going to be a team that some clubs are going to look to as a safety valve in trying to navigate the waters around the Seattle expansion process. -Pierre LeBrun, TSN Radio Montreal

LeBrun explained that the way McPhee and his staff maneuvered the expansion rules has teams running to protect themselves this time around. LeBrun used Nashville as a team that could find themselves in a protection problem and may be forced to expose one really talented defenseman. In the scenario, this is where McPhee gets a call.

It would behoove them to try and send them to Vegas for a first round pick or a top prospect. As opposed to losing them for nothing to Seattle. I don’t know at this juncture how the league feels about that kind of trade. -LeBrun

Another twist to the expansion process is the side drama from other clubs. LeBrun noted several general managers are upset Vegas is protected from the expansion draft and won’t be losing a player.

There are GM’s I think who felt that once Seattle’s start was delayed by a year, that Vegas should be subject to lose a player like everyone else. There are definitely GM’s grumbling behind the scenes. But as Bill Daly said because Vegas is not getting a piece of the pie from Seattle, they’re the only one not getting a check, then they’re not losing a player… so that’s created some tension for obvious reasons. -LeBrun

What makes GM’s mostly worried, with good reason, is that McPhee could take advantage of franchises with protection issues, or get a jump on adding players.

Because Vegas doesn’t have to worry about a protection list they’re more willing too add players during that particular time then any other team. -LeBrun

Bill Daly told league officials not too fret about Vegas abusing their exemption. Other teams want to be reassured that the Golden Knights wont be making unfair trades during that small window before the 2020 Expansion Draft. The league will be keeping an eye on Quick Draw McPhee.

Daly hears that Vegas can’t interfere with the Seattle expansion process. The league will pay close attention to the type of trades the involve Vegas around that… Bill Daly says he’ll know when he sees it as far as something that doesn’t pass the smell test. -LeBrun

One scenario that clearly makes sense for Seattle is hiring Vegas Assistant GM Kelly McCrimmon. Obviously, as McPhee’s right-hand man he’s fully capable of handling the pressure and creativity of an expansion draft. However, if McPhee is whispering to 30 other compadres it’ll make McCrimmon’s job much tougher the second time around. Any other Seattle general manager would be at even more of a disadvantage.

All along we’re always under the assumption that Seattle will have a bit of a tougher time this time around. Teams are more familiar with the rules and the process, saw what happened with a couple of teams overreacting and overpaying on side deals with Vegas. -LeBrun

Teams like Anaheim, Columbus, Dallas, Florida, Minnesota, and Washington gifted Vegas a core to win with immediately. I’m sure most teams would like a redo. Well, they’ll have their chance in the summer of 2020. With McPhee watching on with a bowl full of Crunch ‘n Munch.

SinBin.vegas Podcast #147: The Wagon Has New Colors

Erik Brannstrom makes his debut for the Ottawa Senators and we discuss the emotions that will stick with us for his entire career. Plus a bunch of actual Golden Knights topics. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • We’re cheering for Brannstrom, but are we really?
  • Are the 2019 Golden Knights better than the vision for the 2025 VGK?
  • A great spot for Vegas against the Stars
  • “Winning time”
  • Should Ken have a mustache for his trip to Italy?

And much more…

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

Don’t Expect To See Much More Of Valentin Zykov

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

On December 29th the Golden Knights claimed Valentin Zykov on waivers from the Edmonton Oilers. First Zykov got held up by immigration, then it took four games before he finally got in the lineup. He was scratched the next five games before finding himself back in the lineup.

Zykov eventually found himself on the Golden Knights top line playing with Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson. That lasted three games before he was demoted to the third line for a game and eventually out of the lineup. He’s been a healthy scratch since February 12th, missing 13 straight games.

Today, in his daily press conference, I asked Gerard Gallant about if he has been considering putting Zykov back into the lineup. His answer was telling.

I’m trying to put a team in that’s trying to win. He played fine when he was in there, it’s just he’s a young player. The best way to explain it is, he’ll be ready when we need him and we’ll see where it goes. It’s tough for him, he’s a good kid and he’s worked hard it’s just that he hasn’t had a lot of experience in the NHL and we’re in the winning business right now and it’s getting down to the nitty-gritty. -Gallant

Earlier in the year, Gallant mentioned how he didn’t like how long he kept Oscar Lindberg, Brad Hunt, and Jon Merrill out of the lineup.

However, it doesn’t seem like Zykov will be getting the same treatment. Instead, he may find himself in the roster in the final few games after the playoffs are locked up, but Gallant isn’t ready to start thinking about that.

Every game matters to a point but we’ll see where we go. We’re still in a playoff hunt. We haven’t made the playoffs or clinched any playoff spot yet. So we’ll just play our team and get as many points as we can. If it gets down to the last three or four games and things look real good for us then we’ll see what we can do. -Gallant

The question now becomes did Zykov do enough to find his way into the mix next year. The Golden Knights forward group is going to be a crowded one in 2019-2020, but Zykov makes just $675,000 and Vegas is likely to be pushing the cap. He’ll have a full training camp under his belt, plus half a season practicing with the NHL club, but it wouldn’t be shocking if we’ve already seen the end of Valentin Zykov in meaningful action as a Golden Knight.

Los Knights? Bueno!

**Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Famer, Steve Carp’s twice-weekly column publishes every Wednesday and Sunday during the Golden Knights season.** 

Long before Las Vegas got an NHL team, I suggested that it made sure to reach out to the city’s large Latino community and have a Spanish radio broadcast of the games.

Fortunately, Kerry Bubolz listened. And last year, selected home games were on ESPN Deportes (1460 AM).

This year, all the home games are being broadcast. Hopefully in the future, all games, home and away, will be broadcast, assuming it’s financially feasible.

But the announcement Monday by the team that it was expanding its social media reach to Spanish was an excellent move. Obviously, the hope is to grow the fan base and attract younger followers. Social media has proven to be the right medium to accomplish both.

I admit, my Spanish is extremely limited. I took French in high school and I would need help if I tried to conduct an interview with Marc-Andre Fleury or Pierre-Edouard Bellemare or Jonathan Marchessault in French.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the importance of what the Knights are doing by reaching out to the Latino community of Las Vegas. My question is: “What took them so long?”

Here’s a quick Q&A I conducted via email with Brian Killingsworth, the team’s chief marketing officer:

Q: Why do this now? Why not wait until next year? Better yet, why not have done it before this season?

A: “Our efforts to reach the Hispanic communities are always on-going. This was a concept that we wanted to do right in an authentic and intentional way. In order to do it right, we had to have the resources and strategy in place so we felt that now was the appropriate time.

“We are really pleased to have it launched and we are excited to continue to build on this and other initiatives the rest of this regular season, hopefully into the playoffs should we qualify, offseason and into next year. This is going to be a sustainable outreach.”

Q: How many Twitter followers are there for your English account? What is the projection for Spanish Twitter?

A: “Currently, we have just over 430,000 followers on Twitter. For @LosVGK, to corner ourselves on an actual projection is not prudent. “There is not a lot of baselines to measure this on as we are the first team in the NHL to have active accounts of this nature. We will reevaluate this as the content is produced and as we progress.”

Q: Are there plans to travel the radio guys next year or through this year’s playoffs? Or will the broadcast on ESPN Deportes remain strictly a home-only situation?

A: “This is something we will continue to evaluate. We would like to have as many games broadcast in Spanish on ESPN Deportes as possible. ESPN Deportes is an important part of our broadcasting assets.”

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Golden Knights Were Bargain Hunters At Deadline

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights were in a peculiar spot at the trade deadline this season. They were the reigning Western Conference Champions who believe they upgraded the team in the offseason, they were also firmly entrenched in a playoff position and had as good a shot as anybody in the West to make another run. However, they were mired in the worst slump in franchise history, the magic of the inaugural season appeared to have worn off, they still viewed themselves as a new franchise without a bevy of prospects in the system, and they struck out mightily at the deadline a year ago.

That led to speculation ranging all the way from trying to make the blockbuster, to sitting still and doing nothing, to even selling and focusing on the future like they were supposed to be doing last year. The fact of the matter was, all options were truly on the table for George McPhee, and he had to choose the right one.

In the end, we know how the story goes, they made the biggest splash at the deadline not only acquiring Mark Stone but signing him to a mega-extension keeping him here through 2027.

However, behind the scenes, it looked a bit different.

A lot of people were talking about us ‘big game hunting’ all week and we really weren’t. –George McPhee on Two Man Advantage Podcast

McPhee says he didn’t think the Golden Knights were going to do anything. Then things changed on deadline day, he saw we he thought was a bargain and he went for it.

We had talked to (Ottawa) five days before that and it seemed like it was a lot and we just weren’t going to participate in it, and then a couple of teams dropped out and we got a call and we were back in and we pursued it. -McPhee on Two Man Advantage Podcast

Obviously, McPhee and his staff had ideas of what they would like to do, but as few as 12 hours before the deadline, he wasn’t sure any of it was actually going to come to fruition.

We were trying to find a player that might make sense but when we listed the players Mark Stone was Plan A, if it made sense in terms of price and contract, and we thought if we don’t get Plan A we probably don’t do anything because this is when mistakes are made, at the trade deadline and on July 1st. This was Plan A and it actually worked out. -McPhee on Two Man Advantage Podcast

As the deadline approached though, Plan A ended up not being the only bargain that may have cropped up.

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NCAA Free Agents VGK Might Have Interest In

Schuldt has been to multiple NHL development camps, but he was most recently in Vegas. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

For the past two years (2017, 2018), we’ve taken a stab at possible NCAA free agents that might be on the Golden Knights radar. To pat myself on the back, I predicted last year Vegas would have interest in Zach Whitecloud. Whitecloud signed a contract with Vegas the next day. How’s that for puck luck?

Since some college programs are finishing up their seasons let’s try and predict right again in 2019.

Jimmy Schuldt
Defenseman (6’1″, 205)
St. Cloud State

You’ve probably heard us hyping Jimmy Schuldt for some time. Well, he lived up to his senior season earning a candidacy for the Hobey Baker and is leading the #1 ranked team in the country to the NCAA tournament. The 23-year-old left-handed defenseman was a participant at Golden Knights camp last summer so we already know Vegas is interested. The St. Cloud Huskies are expected to make a deep run, so we’ll have to wait and see if McPhee pursues the highly-scouted free agent again.

Josh Wilkins
Forward (5’11”, 181)
Providence College

The 21-year-old is currently playing his junior season for the #8th ranked team in the country. Some overlooked the 5’11” winger due to injuries after being a highly-touted teenager. Last summer, Wilkins was injured and was forced to turn down multiple NHL camp invites, including one from the Golden Knights. Maybe, Vegas will circle around again after his strong campaign in Providence. Another factor to keep in mind is Wilkin is a teammate with Vegas prospect Jack Dugan. Both are having successful seasons and are the most productive players on the team.

Wilkins: 34 Games, 36 Points (14G, 22A)
Dugan: 34 Games, 32 Points (10G, 22A)

Maybe McPhee will take a look at their strong chemistry and develop both Friars together.

Nico Sturm
Forward (6’3″, 207)
Clarkson University

The 23-year-old German is finishing off a fantastic career at Clarkson. He’s considered the best defensive forwards in the NCAA and has that high hockey IQ all organizations are after. Sturm’s mature enough to fit in on the Chicago Wolves lineup right now. Most important, the center would feel right at home with Vegas’ because Clarkson’s mascot is also the Golden Knights. So, Sturm comes prepared with armor.

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