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NEW YORK ISLANDERS 2 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 (29-18-4, 62 PTS) – OT

Recap: The Golden Knights were hoping to get back on track before the bye week with a visit to Long Island, NY. Logan Thompson was strong in net holding the Islanders scoreless in the 1st period. After the opening 20 minutes the game was locked in a 0-0 tie.

The scoring picked up in the middle frame with both teams matching goals. Early on in the period the Islanders took the first lead of the game, but William Carrier evened the score for Vegas with 3:52 remaining in the second period. After 40 minutes, the game was locked 1-1.

Both goaltenders were excellent in the final period, keeping the game tied for the entire period to force overtime. Late in OT, New York ripped one by Thompson to win 2-1 on home ice.

The Golden Knights’ record drops to 29-18-4 losing 2-1 to the Islanders. Vegas will have nine days off to rest and prepare for the remainder of the regular season. Their next game will be on February 7th against the Predators in Nashville.(Recap by Jason)

Analysis: It was very much what you’d expect between two teams who cannot buy a goal right now. The chances were there all night from both teams and VGK worked through a typically tight Isles neutral zone most of the game but either couldn’t hit the net or beat Varlamov. Logan Thompson was good again, but couldn’t make the one final save in OT to keep the hope alive for that coveted second point. Now a while off, but then two more tough road games on the way out. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. New York Islanders at UBS Arena.

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Scoring Droughts Reaching Troublesome Heights

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights haven’t been scoring much recently. They’re 1-5-1 in the last seven games and have scored just 15 times in those games. Six of those 15 came in the lone win which means in the previous six losses the Golden Knights have scored a total of nine goals.

The main reason for this is that the most important players on the team are not putting the puck in the net. Look at the last time each player in the top six scored a goal.

Reilly Smith – 12/31/22 – 11 games without a goal
Chandler Stephenson – 1/5/23 – 9 games without a goal
Mark Stone – 1/5/23 – 2 games without a goal (+7 games injured)
Jonathan Marchessault – 1/7/23 – 8 games without a goal
Jack Eichel – 1/12/23 – 7 games without a goal
William Karlsson – 1/24/23 – 1 game without a goal

It starts with us. There’s no secret that to win hockey games you need your best players to be your best players. We’ve got to show up and we have to find a way to produce. -Marchessault

It starts with the simple fact that these guys are shooting less. Over the past seven games, each of Eichel, Stephenson, Smith, and Marchessault have all seen their shots per game dip.

Eichel’s is the most drastic going from 3.48 on average over the course of the season to just 1.86 in the past seven games. He has just three games all season in which he’s been held shotless, two of them since Stone went out.

Stephenson’s shot totals have dipped by nearly a third too. He’s averaging 1.42 shots per game on the season and has seen just four reach the goalie in the last seven games. He does not have a single game with more than one shot on goal since January 2nd, 10 games ago.

William Karlsson, who is the only top-six player to have scored since Mark Stone’s injury is also the only one to see his shot totals increase in the captain’s absence. But, it’s up just 0.24, or about one shot on goal every four games.

Unsurprisingly, all five players mentioned above have a negative +/- over the last seven games as well. Eichel leads the charge sitting at a -8 and he’s been at least -2 in four of the last seven games.

Simply put, if the Golden Knights want to turn around their scoring, they need it to start at the top of the lineup. These five forwards are the primary players on the power play, they receive the most minutes at even strength, and many even kill penalties. If they don’t produce, the team won’t win, and that’s exactly what’s been happening lately.

NEW YORK RANGERS 4 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 (29-18-3, 61 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights were looking for their first win of the road trip with a stop in New York City to face the Rangers. Vegas came out strong in the first period, driving to the net and outshooting New York. The Rangers heated up in the backend of the period and took a two-goal lead before breaking for the first intermission.

Phil Kessel cut the Rangers’ lead in half early in the middle frame. Vegas was awarded two power plays in the period but couldn’t take advantage of their four minutes of a man advantage. After 40 minutes New York held a 2-1 edge.

Vegas kept pushing in the final period, but New York scored the backbreaker with five minutes remaining. The Rangers also added an empty net goal that the Golden Knights were unable to recover from.

The Golden Knight’s record drops to 29-18-3 losing to the Rangers 4-1 in New York. Vegas will jump right back on the ice tomorrow against the New York Islanders. Puck drop is scheduled for 4:30 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The age-old hockey story of opportunistic vs inopportunistic. The Golden Knights played well in the 1st period but they found themsevles down two because they couldn’t bury a chance. As the game continued, VGK’s offense slowed down and the chances came fewer and further between. They couldn’t muster up more than one and that means a three game losing streak, a drop to 3rd place in the division, and a 1-5-1 record since losing Mark Stone. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

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New Look 3rd Line Balances Lineup But Comes With Usage Challenges

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

William Carrier is expected to make his return to the lineup tonight after missing the previous five games. He will not, however, find his way back onto his usual line with Nic Roy and Keegan Kolesar. That spot is being filled by another recent returnee, Brett Howden.

Carrier is instead set to play on a line with Chandler Stephenson and Phil Kessel. Not only is this a new line for all three, but no pair of players on the line has played more than one game with each other this season. Stephenson and Kessel played with Michael Amadio a few games ago against the Dallas Stars, aside from that Carrier and Kessel have never been matched, nor have Carrier and Stephenson.

What makes this line interesting is the vastly different usage rates we’ve seen from each player on it. Carrier is tied with Kolesar in taking 29% of their faceoffs in the offensive zone, the fewest of any Golden Knights. Kessel on the other hand leads all forwards in offensive zone draws, seeing 60% of his dead-puck shifts beginning in the O-Zone. Stephenson lands closer to Kessel at 55%, but he has had plenty of games where the majority of his shifts start closer to his own goal, something that cannot be said for Kessel.

Based on previous usage it’s expected that Cassidy deploys the 4th line (Howden-Roy-Kolesar) in the defensive zone quite a bit tonight, it’s also probable he’ll use Eichel, Cotter, and Amadio heavily offensively. The Misfits can do either, but Cassidy has always preferred to try and pull offense out of them when together. So, where does that leave the newly formed 3rd line?

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Goalie Interference – Season 2 Episode 17 – January 26th, 2023

The Golden Knights are getting healthier but the wins have yet to come with it. We talk about Theodore and Carrier’s impact upon return, the struggling power play, Cassidy’s typical midseason lulls, GM visits to the locker room, and more.

Goalie Interference is brought to you weekly by the Jimmerson Law Firm. The Jimmerson Law Firm is one of Las Vegas’s preeminent law firms, specializing in high-stakes business, civil and family litigation.  When winning matters, seek out The Jimmerson Law Firm.

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Golden Knights Betting Trends So Far This Season

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

If you bet on every Golden Knights game this season, 29 times out of the 49 games you would have cashed in as a winner. Unfortunately, the 20 losses have actually outweighed the 29 wins.

In the 29 wins the Golden Knights have been favored in 23. They were -110, or a pick ’em, in three, and were underdogs in three others. Betting on just those wins would have netted you $1,954.53, or an average win of $67.40 per game.

In the 20 losses, Vegas were favored in 14 while being underdogs in five and -110 in the opener against the Kings. Losing all 20 would mean losing exactly $100 each game, or $2,000 total. That means, after 49 games, betting $100 on every game would have you down $45.47.

However, there have been plenty of situations that have been profitable for the Golden Knights this season.

The first is road games, and more specifically, road games in which they are favored. VGK have boasted a strong 15-7 betting record on the road which would have netted an average of $22.15 profit per game on $100 bets. When favored, the Golden Knights have won 11 of the 14 for a profit of $376.35.

The next is against Eastern Conference teams. VGK are 14-7 against the East including a road record of 8-2. That’d be a $316.12 profit on all 21 and $386.70 on the road games.

High-scoring games have also suited the Golden Knights well. They are 15-5 in games with at least seven goals. $100 per game would have netted $653.81 in those 20 games.

Pick ’em games have been great too. The Golden Knights have played in three toss-up games with both sides at -110. They’ve won all three against the Penguins, Kings, and Maple Leafs.

The final scenario is the weakest, but a definite positive in how the team bounces back from setbacks. The Golden Knights are 12-7 following a loss as they will be tomorrow night in New York. That number has come down recently though as VGK started the season 8-2 following a loss and had not lost three straight until this last homestand. They gained $292.91 in those first 10, but have lost $238.05 in the final nine.

The toughest spot this season has been games against the Pacific Division. They have an overall record of 5-10 against the division including a miserable 1-5 at home. They’ve dropped $466.67 in the six home games while losing $571.56 overall.

Unsurprising to season ticket holders, the Golden Knights have struggled at home this year. They are 14-12 and have lost $532.73 in those 26 games.

Another oddity is games that finish exactly 3-2. Vegas have competed in 10 games with that final score, they’ve lost seven of the 10 and have hemorrhaged $46.60 per night in those games.

All in all, the Golden Knights still win more than they lose, so there are ways to make money betting on them. Aim for road games in which they are favored, -110’s, and games against the East, and definitely avoid Pacific Division home games.

**All odds are from William Hill Sportsbook, official partner of SinBin.vegas.**

Special Teams Cost Vegas In New Jersey

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Last night the Golden Knights lost a gut-wrenching 3-2 overtime final to the New Jersey Devils. However, there’s an argument to be made that the game was lost with 10:26 in the 3rd period. Up to that point, the Golden Knights were leading 2-1 and controlled the game with strong 5-on-5 play. With ten minutes to go, New Jersey’s Brendan Smith spoiled the flow by hooking Jack Eichel and sending Vegas to the power play.

Five-on-five we did a lot of what we asked. What let us down today was probably our power play. We didn’t generate nearly enough in terms of extending the lead. We have to find a way to generate more. That’s where I thought we could have grabbed another goal for comfort. -Bruce Cassidy

Had the Golden Knights scored on their lone 3rd period power play the outcome likely would’ve changed. Cassidy’s team failed to extend their lead and barely challenged goaltender Vitek Vanecek. Instead of closing the door on New Jersey, Vegas mustered two low-percentage shots during a crucial 3rd period power play. Not only did the score remain the same but VGK’s listless PP gave life back to a dangerous Devils offense.

New Jersey coach Lindy Ruff had a sense his team would get another chance after Vegas’ ill-fated man advantage.

You have to stay around in games. You look for that opportunity. You know you are going to get two or three opportunities. If you stay with the program, you’re looking for the opportunities. In a 2-1 game we got rewarded by a 6-on-5 goal and then we finally got our power play opportunity in overtime. -Lindy Ruff, NJD coach

All combined, Vegas recorded three shots on net in four power play minutes. To make it worse, none of those attempts came from power play specialists Jack Eichel, Phil Kessel, Alex Pietrangelo, or Chandler Stephenson. Vegas generated just six total shot attempts in their six minutes of power play time and mustered up just 0.63 expected goals.

We gave up some big chances on some careless puck play. We could’ve developed more speed. We weren’t crisp with some of our passing and some of our rush execution. We turned some pucks over in our zone that we’ve been good with. Those were plays were Vitek had to make some huge saves for us. -Ruff, NJD coach

An additional moment Cassidy left out was the poorly timed tripping penalty committed by Ben Hutton in the overtime. Unfortunately, those are the risks a team faces when forced to shift a depth defenseman in a 3-on-3 situation. Don’t get me wrong, Hutton’s 2nd period dart earned him more ice time. However, he was overmatched in overtime.

Last shot was PK coverage. We thought we had a loose puck situation so we left the good ice and it squirts out. -Cassidy

Overall, the Golden Knights missed out on a golden opportunity but the team can take some positives away from their OT loss. Vegas overcame a 2nd period deficit, earned a point against a quality opponent, and thankfully gifted a point to an out-of-conference team. At this stage in the season every point exchange matters.

NEW JERSEY DEVILS 3 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 (29-17-3, 61 PTS) – OT

Recap: The Golden Knights continued their six-game road trip with a matchup against the New Jersey Devils. New Jersey jumped ahead 3:58 into the game but Vegas was able to weather the storm and hold it to a 1-0 Devils lead after 20 minutes of action.

Vegas’ offense warmed up in the middle frame, tallying two goals in a three-minute span. The Golden Knights turned the table and carried a 2-1 advantage into the second intermission.

The game tightened up in the final period making it difficult for New Jersey to generate many chances. However, late in the game the Devils tied the game on a 6-on-5 forcing an overtime period. Ben Hutton committed a tripping penalty in sudden death to give New Jersey a power play. The Devils completed the comeback and won 3-2 in OT. 

The Golden Knights record drops 29-17-3 losing to the Devils 3-2 in OT. Next, Vegas will take on the New York Rangers on Friday evening. Puck drop is scheduled for 4 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights played the style of road game you set out to play, especially when you are struggling. They were hard on their sticks, good along the wall, had strong puck support, and got great goaltending. They just wound up letting in two fluky goals and then got beat by a superhero play from Jack Hughes. Such a rough loss for a team that needed a win, but a point is so much better than coming out empty-handed. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

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SinBin.vegas Podcast #287: It’s Foley’s Turn To Decide

Without Mark Stone, the Golden Knights look miles away from contending for a Cup. So, what does the future hold? Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • If Stone’s healthy: Buy
  • 3 Coaches, similar issues
  • What’s going on with Eichel?
  • Strength of schedule increasing
  • Marchessault’s team meeting
  • More on the Lehner bankruptcy and what it means for VGK

And much more…

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

Season Arc Following Familiar Pattern For Bruce Cassidy Teams

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

15 games into the season the Golden Knights were rolling. They’d won 13 of their first 15 games, became the first team in the Western Conference to 10 wins, and were as healthy as any team in the league. It was the perfect start to Bruce Cassidy’s reign in Vegas.

Then, the injuries started to pile up, the performances started to dip, and suddenly the coach has begun to come under some scrutiny for his brash honesty following games.

There’s a concern that after five years of almost no outright accountability in the media by the Golden Knights’ head coach, Cassidy’s style could have more of a negative effect on the players than the desired positive one.

However, the season has actually gone fairly similarly to many Cassidy has coached before. Before the year we pointed out how often Cassidy-led teams get out to hot starts. What we didn’t highlight was what tends to happen next to those teams.

Bear in mind, I’m doing a lot of cherry-picking to find the best and worst stretches in from the beginning, middle, and end of each season, but there’s no question Boston teams started well, faded, and then finished strong.

Here are the starts for each of the last four Bruins’ seasons.

21-22: 22-11-2 (.657)
20-21: 10-1-2 (.846)
19-20: 11-1-2 (.857)
18-19: 10-5-2 (.647)

Then, look at what happened through the middle of the year.

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