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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 ARIZONA COYOTES 0 (27-11-2 55 PTS)

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Recap: The Arizona Coyotes gave Vegas all they could handle in the 1st period but couldn’t get one past goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. The Golden Knights had multiple quality chances but were a bit unlucky hitting the post and crossbar several times. The game was locked in a scoreless tie after the opening 20 minutes.

Both teams struggled to generate offense in a tight 2nd period. The Golden Knights widely outshot the Coyotes 16-4 in the middle frame but came up short. The game was locked 0-0 after 40 minutes played.

Tomas Nosek continued his hot streak giving the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead ten minutes into the 3rd period. Vegas fought off a late attack from Arizona and held on to win 1-0.

Vegas’ record improves to 27-11-2 after defeating Arizona in consecutive games. The Golden Knights hop on a plane for a quick trip to LA to take on the Kings. Tomorrow night’s game is scheduled for 7 PM PT. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: We expected the Coyotes to come out with a lot more fire than they showed on Friday, and they did, but the Golden Knights at full strength on defense for the first time in a long time held them up. Vegas kept the Coyotes out of the dangerous areas the entire night and Arizona was never willing to throw shots on goal from long distance. Fleury stopped all of the ones that made it through but the defense deserves the majority of the credit. Scoring droughts aren’t nearly as concerning when you can play that well defensively. (Analysis by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Arizona Coyotes at T-Mobile Arena

  • VGK Trade Deadline Tracker

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Carp: Fools Gold? Or Have The Top Six Woken Up In Time?

**Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Famer, Steve Carp’s returns to SinBin.vegas for the 2021 season. His weekly column publishes every Sunday during the Golden Knights season and is brought to you by the Jimmerson Law Firm.**

When the week began, my original inclination was to draw a conclusion that the Golden Knights problem with their offense isn’t with their bottom six, but rather their top six.

Actually, make that top seven as I’ll include Alex Tuch in the conversation.

Then the Knights scored six goals Monday against St. Louis. Problem solved, right?

Not exactly.

The top guns went back into cold storage Wednesday in the 3-1 loss to the Blues. So the angle was back in play.

Or was it?

Friday, the Knights scored a season-high seven goals in defeating Arizona, 7-4. Reilly Smith got two of them. Jonathan Marchessault, Chandler Stephenson, and Max Pacioretty also scored. The line of Smith, Marchessault, and William Karlsson combined for six points.

I left The Fortress a bit confused. Was what I had witnessed an actual wake-up by Smith and the guys? Or was it a tease and we’ll see them go back into hibernation?

I’m still not sure what to believe. Smith has always been a streaky scorer. He’ll be in deep freeze for weeks. Suddenly, he’ll be wielding a hot stick and he’ll be scoring with regularity. However, I’ve learned to never give up on him. He’s too good a competitor to stay off the scoresheet forever. And when Marchessault, that little ball of hate, gets his juices flowing, that line becomes dangerous once again.

That brings us to today’s rematch with the Coyotes and what may be the most important 24 hours of the season so far. If you read ‘Yotes coach Rick Tocchet’s postgame comments Friday, you know he was a very unhappy boss. He basically called his team out for allowing the Knights to jump them and build a 5-0 lead. Yes, his team sort of responded with a bit of push in the third period, but it wasn’t close to being enough to overcome the hole they had dug for themselves.

I will be absolutely shocked if the ‘Yotes don’t come out angry and flying this afternoon, looking to make a statement. They are fighting for their playoff lives as they are currently one point behind the Blues for the fourth and final West Division playoff berth and they figure to play with a great amount of desperation.

My concern is will the Knights match that desperation? Will they play with jump, with purpose, and with intensity? Will they not hang Marc-Andre Fleury out to dry against Phil Kessel, Nick Schmaltz, Clayton Keller, and Connor Garland, Arizona’s primary weapons?

Most important, will the top six build off Friday’s performance and will Tuch, who last scored a goal March 13 and has one tally in his last 17 contests, find the back of the net?

There’s another facet to today’s game. The NHL trade deadline is 24 hours away. Kelly McCrimmon has publicly stated he doesn’t expect the team to make a big splash by noon Monday. But Colorado got better Saturday in upgrading its goaltending with the acquisition of Devan Dubnyk from San Jose and Joe Sakic may not be done dealing. The Avalanche currently reside atop the West Division with a four-point lead on the Knights, who have a game in hand on Colorado. The two teams have two more meetings remaining later this month — both in Las Vegas.

The Knights had organizational meetings in town earlier this week to explore all their options. Remember, they’re up against the salary cap so they’re going to have to get real creative if they want to swing a major deal. Even a secondary trade may require some heavy lifting, depending on who is involved.

If I’m GMKM, I’m watching today’s match with more than the usual interest. It’s up to him, and Prez George, to determine if there’s enough offense to beat Colorado and/or Minnesota, then be able to score often enough to win the Stanley Cup.

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Tocchet’s Honesty Says It All About Matchups With Golden Knights

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights had one of their best periods of the season last night and it wasn’t shocking that it came against the Arizona Coyotes. Vegas outworked, outshot and bullied Arizona up and down the ice in the opening twenty minutes. Being down four goals early wasn’t a surprise to Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet.

They have more talent than us, we get it. I just didn’t like some of our guys push early on. It looked like they were just deer in the headlights.-Rick Tocchet, ARI coach

Occasionally, Arizona has competed with the Golden Knights and did for half of a period last night. For the most part it’s been a one-sided contest with Vegas walking away with the majority of points.

Certain elements that the Golden Knights possess, the Coyotes simply don’t have an answer for. Arizona is much smaller and younger team. Vegas scares them and their coach echoed that. The advantage of size, skill and veteran IQ are the reasons why it’s mostly been a lopsided affair.

You know you’re playing against the big boys and I’m disappointed some guys couldn’t match. Couldn’t get in the forecheck, couldn’t hold on to a puck. When you’re playing the big guys you got to make sure you know what you’re doing.-Rick Tocchet, ARI coach

At times last night it almost looked like a scrimmage between the JV and Varsity teams. In the first period the Golden Knights bullied their way to four goals in nine minutes. The game was essentially over at that point. Sure, Arizona made a late push but that will happen when one team is trying to kill the clock with 51 minutes remaining in the game.

There’s a chance Vegas and Arizona will face eachother in the first round of the playoffs so it’ll be interesting if the Coyotes will play a different style or attack the Golden Knights with their speed an offensive weapons they have.

Vegas when they smell blood they’re going to give it to you.-Rick Tocchet, ARI coach

Before I declare a matchup with Arizona another easy path it’s hard not to think about last year’s postseason. Vancouver admitted to be intimidated by Vegas but learned how to absorb hits, adjust and force a deciding game seven. Could the Coyotes do the same?

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 7 ARIZONA COYOTES 4 (26-11-2 53 PTS)

Game recaps and Periscopes are brought to you by Kondler and Associates CPAs. Free tax consultation for SinBin fans!

Recap: The Golden Knights before the game emphasized having a strong start against the Coyotes and they did just that. Vegas scored four straight goals, including one on the power play and on a penalty kill. The Golden Knights dominated the opening 20 minutes outshooting the Coyotes 22-8.

Chandler Stephenson extended the scoring spree with his 8th of the season. In the first 25 minute the Golden Knights scored five unanswered goals. Arizona scored a late period goal but trailed 5-1 heading into the second intermission.

Arizona made a late push in the final frame. The Coyotes outscored the Golden Knights in the 3rd period but Max Pacioretty’s iced the game with a final-minute empty-net goal.

Vegas’ record improves to 26-11-2 after defeating Arizona 7-4. The two teams will square off again on Sunday afternoon. The game is scheduled for 1 PM PT. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: It may have been the best 10 minute stretch in Golden Knights history to open the game. They completely manhandled the Coyotes in every facet of the game of hockey and jumped out to a four-goal lead. From there, they certainly coasted it but, which made the game a little more interesting than it should have, but in the end Vegas was never in any real danger. Those first 10 minutes were Cup-winning hockey. (Analysis by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Arizona Coyotes at T-Mobile Arena

  • Steve Carp’s Sunday column

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Peyton Krebs… The Defenseman

When the Golden Knights selected Peyton Krebs with their first pick in the 2019 NHL Draft they knew they got something special. The very first time we saw Krebs after becoming a Golden Knight, he showed it.

Just a few days after having his Achilles tendon slit with a hockey skate, Krebs heard his name, stood up, hugged his family, and then walked down the steps of Rogers Arena, onto the stage, and slipped on his Golden Knights sweater as the Golden Knights 1st Round pick.

He’s done nothing but impress ever since.

Krebs managed to recover from that gruesome injury in less than six months, returned to play in the WHL, and as an underaged player nearly cracked the Canadian World Juniors team that went on to win the Gold medal.

He then put up 60 points in 38 games with the Winnipeg Ice before the season was canceled due to COVID. That didn’t stop Krebs though. He joined the Golden Knights for Training Camp ahead of the 2020 Playoffs and was selected to join the team in the bubble.

Next he won a silver medal at World Juniors, which he parlayed into a spot in VGK Training Camp ahead of this season, then a place on the Silver Knights where he tallied five points in five games. Finally, due to a goofy rule, the 20-year-old Krebs was forced to return to the WHL to finish out this season, which is where he recently pulled off what might be his most impressive feat yet.

The captain of the Winnipeg Ice, Krebs is one of two players on the team who was selected in the NHL Draft and he’s the only one to go in the 1st round (the other is a Flyers 6th rounder). It’s no secret he’s the best player on the team, so when the Ice had an emergency situation, they called on Krebs.

Tuesday night the Ice were without four defensemen from their normal lineup. So, they turned to Krebs, the 17th overall selection in the 2019 NHL Draft, a forward, who leads the entire WHL in points, to fill in on the blue line.

That was a little bit different. First time playing D since Atom (under 11 year-olds). It was fun though, I had a good time. I think that was the most nervous I’ve been before a game, I didn’t want to get dipsy-ed between the legs. –Krebs on IceTV Postgame

Krebs may have been nervous internally, but externally, he didn’t show it.

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Will Defensive Scoring Continue Into The Postseason

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

If I told you before the season the Golden Knights defensemen would score a total of 29 goals in 38 games you’d be pleasantly surprised. If I then told you they were scoring 0.68 goals per game and only two from Alex Pietrangelo you’d call me a loony.

Since this season is 26 games shorter, offensive numbers from defensemen stand out a little more. Not only are goals from defensemen necessary, but assisting and generating them as well. This season the Golden Knights are getting it all from their blueline.

2021 VGK Defensive Scoring

Theodore: 29 Points (6 Goals, 23 Assists)
Martinez: 22 Points (7 Goals, 15 Assists)
Hague: 14 Points (5 Goals, 9 Assists)
Pietrangelo: 11 Points (2 Goals, 9 Assists)
Whitecloud: 8 Points (2 Goals, 6 Assists)
Coghlan: 5 Points (3 Goals, 2 Assists)
McNabb: 3 Points (1 Goal, 2 Assists)
Holden: 2 Points (2 Assists)
Total Defensive Points: 94 Points (26 G, 68 A)

Most of the eight defensemen to suit up this season are far beyond their pace for career years. All but two have eclipsed their points per game average. If this were a normal 82-game season it’s plausible the majority of the Golden Knights defense would cruise past their previous high campaigns.

When you add the total goals from each defensemen’s best offensive season the number is just 20 goals short of what they’ve amassed in only 38 games played this year. Lately, Vegas D-men have been so effective it’s made up for the slump Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone are currently in. Which is good sign for postseason droughts. Especially, when youngsters Zach Whitecloud, Nic Hague, and Dylan Coghlan are getting involved offensively.

VGK Defensemen Previous Career Highs

Pietrangelo: 16 Goals (54 Points)
Theodore: 13 Goals (46 Points)
Martinez: 11 Goals (39 Points)
McNabb: 5 Goals (24 Points)
Hague: 1 Goal (11 Points)
Whitecloud: 0 Points
Coghlan: 0 Points
VGK Defensemen in 2021: 26 Goals (0.68 PPG)
Combined Career Highs: 46 Goals (0.56 PPG)

Currently, the Golden Knights defensive unit is the highest-scoring in the NHL. When the Golden Knights get contributions from the blue line or bottom-six it softens the pressure around the stars. Which allows them to get to work and do their jobs. Also, it makes Vegas a much more potent club in the postseason.

Scoring 0.68 goals per game from the blue line will help win many regular season games, but that additional offense is even more vital in the playoffs when games tend to tighten up. It’s unrealistic to rely on Vegas defensemen to score at their regular season pace. They might bail out the top six on certain nights but Vegas can’t survive if the defense is relied upon for three or four postseason games.

VGK Defensemen Postseason Points Per Game

Theodore: 0.67 PPG (67 Games)
Pietrangelo: 0.55 PPG (92 Games)
Martinez: 0.28 PPG (84 Games)
Holden: 0.25 PPG (40 Games)
McNabb: 0.17 PPG (52 Games)
Whitecloud: 0.15 PPG (20 Games)
Combined Postseason Average: 0.345 PPG

Only Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore average more than 0.30 points per playoff game. Sure, Alec Martinez has one of the most memorable Cup-clinching shots of all time but he’s never been relied on to produce offensively. That’s not his role.

The best-case scenario would be Pacioretty, Stone, and other top-six forwards consistently driving offense in the postseason. In that situation, any point from the blue line would be an added bonus. Momentum changing, insurance type goals or series clinchers.

Ask Alec, that’s how the Stanley Cup is won.

ST. LOUIS BLUES 3 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 (25-11-2 51 PTS)

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Recap: The Golden Knights got off to a rocky start in St. Louis. The Blues scored :48 seconds into the game and added another seven minutes later. Marc-Andre Fleury settled in and held the two-goal deficit into the 1st intermission.

Neither team could generate offense in the middle period. Vegas outshot St. Louis 19-4 but couldn’t breakthrough and the score stood 2-0 after 40 minutes played.

The Blues and Golden Knights traded goals in the final 20 minutes. Vegas earned a late power play and pulled Fleury but couldn’t get any closer.

Vegas’ record drops to 25-11-2 with their 3-1 defeat in St. Louis. The Golden Knights travel back home to face the Arizona Coyotes for two games. Friday nights game against the Coyotes is scheduled for 7 PM PT.(Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Turnovers and lost coverages in the defense zone plagued the shorthanded Golden Knights all night. Playing a D-man short (again) due to the cap they were unable to consistently take care of the puck which led to a glut of dangerous chances for the Blues. Vegas did claw back a bit in regards to possession but didn’t solve Binnington until it was far too late. (Analysis by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center

  • Peyton Krebs’ wild week in the WHL

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SinBin.vegas Podcast #229: VGK’s Deadline Approach

Today’s focus is solely on the trade deadline and what the Golden Knights should be looking to do and how fans should react when they do or don’t make a move. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • How should the front office view VGK ahead of the deadline?
  • Is there a real argument to hold instead of buy?
  • Pietrangelo improvement reliance
  • The Shining Beacon of Hope
  • Deadline predictions

And much more…

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

Cody Glass Opens Up About His Brief Return To The AHL

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

At different points this season the Golden Knights have had to make difficult decisions due to the salary cap. When fully healthy, Vegas is within a couple hundred thousand dollars of the $81.5 million limit with just 19 players on the active roster.

Early in the year, they experimented with a lineup of 13 forwards and five defensemen. At other times they’ve taken advantage of the emergency exception rules in the CBA that allow a team to exceed the cap. But when every avenue has been exhaust and Vegas wants to ice a standard 12/6/2 lineup, it’s typically been Cody Glass as the odd-man-out.

There are multiple reasons for this, a big one not related to his play on the ice. Due to his age and contract status, Glass is the only forward on the Golden Knights’ normal roster that is waiver exempt. Thus, he can freely travel between the NHL, the taxi squad, and the AHL without ever being at risk of being claimed by another team. The same cannot be said for players like Keegan Kolesar, Nic Roy, William Carrier, Ryan Reaves, or Tomas Nosek.

However, performance on the ice has played a factor in some of the decisions surrounding Glass. To put it bluntly, Glass simply hasn’t been good enough to force himself onto the roster at all times. That’s definitely not to say he’s been bad, or is even among the poorest performing players on the team (he’s definitely not), but when a decision has to be made, he hasn’t made enough of an impact to compel the front office to make a different choice.

This most recent instance was unlike any prior one though. When Alex Pietrangelo returned from LTIR, Vegas once again needed to clear space. Like before, Glass found himself on the outside looking in, however this time, instead of assigning him to the taxi squad, he was sent to the AHL… to actually play.

I just wanted to see him get a little more confidence 5-on-5. So we’d like him to go down there and play games, contribute and be an offensive player, come back and give us some juice when he returns. –Kelly McCrimmon to Las Vegas Sun

Unlike previous situations where he was assigned to the taxi squad and remained with the NHL team, this time they were looking for improvement. This time, they were sending a message about his play at the NHL level.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 6 ST. LOUIS BLUES 0 (25-10-2 51 PTS)

Game recaps and Periscopes are brought to you by Kondler and Associates CPAs. Free tax consultation for SinBin fans!

Recap: The Golden Knights got off to a fast start in St. Louis. Tomas Nosek continued his hot streak scoring the first goal of the game. Defenseman Alec Martinez gave Vegas a two goal lead later in the period with his 6th goal of the season. The Blues would get one back and the score stood 2-1 after the opening period. 

Vegas’ offense exploded in the 2nd period. Martinez tallied his second of the game regaining the two goal lead for the Golden Knights. William Carrier, Jonathan Marchessault and Nic Hague followed with goals of their own to give Vegas a commanding 6-1 lead after 40 minutes played. 

The game expectedly took on a slower pace in the 3rd period. The Golden Knights protected their five goal lead by possessing the puck and letting the clock run. Starting goaltender Robin Lehner was strong in net stopping 31 of 32 shots. 

Vegas’ record improves to 25-10- 2 with their 6-1 blowout win in St. Louis. The Golden Knights and Blues face off again on Wednesday night. The game in St. Louis is scheduled for 6 PM PT. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights came into the game in a bit of a scoring funk. By the 2nd period, that was over. The 1st period was fairly competitive, in the 2nd Vegas whipped the Blues all over the ice. St. Louis’s slide continues, Vegas’ is over. (Analysis by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center

  • Cody Glass chats on the VGK radio pregame about his trip to the AHL

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