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“The Best Team” Resides In Vegas

(Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke,

The Vegas Golden Knights are now just two wins away from scaling the mountain and claiming the Stanley Cup. After throttling the Florida Panthers in Game 2 of the Final, the complete picture of this version of this team is coming into clear view to the entire hockey world.

That picture is of a team without weakness.

For every obstacle in their way, they have a method to clear it, and for every question asked, they have an answer.

I just feel that we have the best team, from player 1 through 20. Our depth has been a strength all year. I think it is the biggest reason why we are still here and why we beat Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Dallas and we’re ahead against Florida. -Bruce Cassidy

The depth of the Golden Knights begins at the top.

Vegas is a city filled with superstars and the Golden Knights are no different. Jack Eichel, Mark Stone, Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Theodore, Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson, and the list goes on. Like the amazing array of performers on the Strip, it’s the collection of all of them that makes it special. If one takes a night off, there are plenty of others to pick up the slack.

Eichel hasn’t scored a goal in the last nine playoff games. Marchessault didn’t tally one until midway through the Edmonton series. Pietrangelo was suspended for a game. Stone took a while to get back up to speed after returning from the injury.

None of it has mattered.

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Recap: The Golden Knights were looking to take a two-game series lead with a victory in Game 2.  Early in the period both goaltenders made several key saves keeping it tight. Vegas drew a penalty at the seven minute mark and Jonathan Marchessault took advantage on the power play. Ten minutes later Alec Martinez flipped a puck into the net to give Vegas a 2-0 lead. 

A few shifts into the second frame, Vegas took a 3-0 lead. Nic Roy shot through scored his second goal of the postseason giving the Golden Knights a commanding three score advantage. Brett Howden joined the offensive party minutes later with a weaving highlight reel goal. 

A weird hop found its way into the Vegas net quickly to start the 3rd period. It didn’t take long for the Golden Knights to make up for it though as Marchessault tallied his second of the night. William Karlsson set up Michael Amadio for a tap-in to give the Golden Knights a 6-1 lead that would eventally be extended to 7-2 with Howden’s second of the night.

The Golden Knights win both Games 1 and 2 at are two wins away from winning the Stanley Cup. Vegas will take their 2-0 series advantage to South Florida for two contests. Game 3 is scheduled for 5 PM on Thursday. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: A lot like Game 1, the Golden Knights were the more effective team on the forecheck. The difference in Game 2 was that the effectiveness was taken up even another notch by Vegas. They were all over the Panthers in the offensive zone and consistently forced turnovers and uncontrolled exits. From there, the Golden Knights’ skill took over as they created chance after chance that no goalie could stop. It was an absolute clinic in a game in the Stanley Cup Final. Incredible. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Florida Panthers Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena.

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League’s Best Defense Won Game 1 For The Golden Knights

(Photo Credit: @GoldenKnights on Twitter)

They always say defense wins championships. And while the Golden Knights won nothing more than Game 1 last night, defense was the main reason they were able to take the 13th step toward ultimate glory.

There were three areas in particular where Vegas’ back end rose to the occasion in the opening game of the Stanley Cup Final.

Driving offense

To reach this point the Golden Knights had played 17 games against three very different opponents. VGK D-men had scored just three goals in those games. In Game 1, both go-ahead goals came from a similar spot on the ice by Golden Knights’ defensemen.

First, Shea Theodore masterfully walked the blue line leaving Anthony Duclair in his wake before firing a perfect wrist shot through traffic to the top right corner. Theodore first received the puck near the wall in front of Vegas’ bench. He skated it to the center looking for a shooting lane but was blanketed by Duclair. So, he kept carrying it all the way across the rink to the opposite set of boards. That’s where he did a pirouette before a double inside-out dangle to lose his marker. The rest was history.

Against a Florida defense that likes to take away the front of the goal, the high slot is an area that is expected to be open at times for the Golden Knights. In previous years a lot of Vegas’ in-zone offense operated by seeking out this exact look, but this season, and especially this postseason, it’s been rare. On the Theodore play, you can tell the emphasis that has been placed on getting to the high slot. The play started with a shot from Theodore in that space, then as the puck was worked back up to him he instantly brought it there again, and finally when it was taken away, he used his skating and skill to work it there a third time inside of 10 seconds.

That exact area of the ice would manifest itself in another goal from a Vegas blueliner later, which eventually stood as the game-winner. Following a rush chance by Jack Eichel and Ivan Barbashev that was stopped, under pressure by multiple backcheckers, Barbashev sent a pass to Zach Whitecloud who was just entering the zone. Typically, Whitecloud favors a play where he activates down the dot-line on his forehand, but this time he held onto the puck and brought it directly into the high slot. With a Panther providing a screen on his own goalie, Whitecloud sent one back across his body where he beat Sergei Bobrovsky clean.

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Recap: The Golden Knights and Florida Panthers met up for the Stanley Cup Finals from T-Mobile Arena. Vegas was awarded two first period power plays which resulted in a goal by each team. Florida opened the scoring with a shorthanded wrap-around goal, but Jonathan Marchessault evened the score on the man-advantage. The game was locked in a 1-1 tie going into the first intermission.

Florida pushed the pace to start the middle frame, but Vegas’ Adin Hill made a sprawling paddle save to hold the game 1-1. Midway through the game, Shea Theodore danced the blueline and wristed in the go-ahead goal. After several close chances the Panthers scored the equalizer with :10 left in the second period.

The game tightened up early in the final frame with each team limiting the other’s offensive chances. Seven minutes into the period Vegas defenseman Zach Whitecloud jumped on a loose puck and gave the home team a 3-2 advantage. Late in the period Mark Stone knocked down an errant puck flip and ripped the puck into Florida’s net to make a two-goal game. Vegas took advantage of a double-minor power play to eat the remaining time and added an empty net goal.

The Golden Knights take a 1-0 series lead with their 5-2 victory over the Panthers. Both teams will return to the ice on Monday night for Game 2. Puck drop for Game 2 is scheduled for 5 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: It was a back-and-forth affair for a good portion of the night, but the Golden Knights got the better of the style of play for the better portion of the night. Sure, a few posts helped VGK along the way, but they stuck to the main game plan and made forechecking difficult on the Panthers while going in hard on the forecheck themselves. The 3rd period could have gone either way and it ended up going Vegas’ way with a great shot from Whitecloud and then an unbelievable goal by Mark Stone. The Golden Knights lead the Stanley Cup Final 1-0. Next up, improve on the last time around.  (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Florida Panthers Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena.

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Golden Knights Player Quotes From Stanley Cup Final Media Day

(Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke,

Jonathan Marchessault on this time vs. last time in Cup Final

“It’s not as overwhelming as it was the first year. I think we know what we are coming into this time and it feels good to be because. But, this means nothing if we don’t win it and that’s the mentality I have this year.”

Mark Stone on original members of the Golden Knights “finishing what they started”

“I’m not so sure they are here to finish what they started as much as it’s just they want to win. These guys really want to win, man. Everybody in this organization wants to win. The owner stated he wants to win badly and you’ve seen that we’ve spended to the salary cap and we’ve added top-end players and key pieces throughout the time we’ve been here. These guys will do anything it takes.”

Alex Pietrangelo on players asking him about Stanley Cup experiences

“Guys ask the questions and I’ll give them an honest answer and I hope that helps because that feeling of having that opportunity is something we all want to have at least once… if not more.”

Brayden McNabb on playing against physical forecheck

“It’s going to be a physical series. They come hard and they finish their checks and we’re aware of that. It’s going to be about having good first touches, getting to the puck first, and making good reads. There won’t be a single play we can rely on every time either, we’re going to have to moce our feet and make reads and be smart with where we go on the first touch.”

“Dallas is a great forecheck team and we got better and better dealing with it as the series went on.”

Shea Theodore on long layoff before Stanley Cup Final

“We just felt like it was such a long time. When you’re waiting for that first game sometimes it can benefit the guys who are nursing some injuries but I remember us really wanting to get after it. It kind of got us out of a little bit of a rhythm.” 

“When we had the layoff we kind of were flashing back to the whole year. It was a magical run and we had a lot of key bounces and we were always scoring timely goals. And then our luck kind of ran out.”

Nic Roy on 4th line being challenged after Game 5

“We felt that challenge and he talked to us a little bit before the game. We know what (Cassidy) expects from us. He wants us to be physical, be hard on the forecheck, and set the tone at the start of the game. That was the message and I thought from the get go we did a really good job of that.”

Jonathan Marchessault on the possibility of the next word engraved on the Cup being Vegas

“It’s a lifetime achievement. You can ask anyone here, what’s your dream if you can have anything you want and winning the Stanley Cup is the answer. It’s what I’ve been working on my entire life.”

Get To Know Every Florida Panther Expected To Play In The Stanley Cup Final

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Florida Panthers struggled out of the gates this postseason falling into a 3-1 hole to the Boston Bruins. Since then, they’ve gone on to win 11 of their last 12 games including six in overtime. The Panthers are headlined by Matthew Tkachuk, Aleksander Barkov, and Sergei Bobrovsky, but they boast a deep roster that will be a handful for the Golden Knights. To get a rundown of every player we turned to Kirby Lupul, co-host of the FLA Cats Podcast.


Aleksander Barkov

Mr. Everything for the Florida Panthers. A Selke-level defensive center who makes loads of plays that go unnoticed over the course of a game. Incredibly intelligent player who plays in every situation. Had a bit of a down regular season and started the playoffs slowly but has really turned it on since the middle of the Boston series and has risen back to the level of being either the best or one of the best Panthers every night.

Carter Verhaeghe

Posted his first 40-goal season in the NHL this year and has been a clutch scorer in the postseason. A dynamic offensive player that generates a majority of his offense at even strength.

Anthony Duclair

A speedy winger with an excellent shot who is at his most dangerous when he’s able to carry the puck into the offensive zone. Battled through an Achilles injury that kept him out of the lineup until February. Took some time to fit into the new forecheck-heavy style system the Panthers are running, but has really begun to gel with Barkov and Verhaeghe in the playoffs.

Matthew Tkachuk

The heart of the Florida Panthers, a tenacious and skilled forward that is dangerous in just about every way a player can be on a hockey rink. One of the best in the NHL at tipping pucks and causing chaos around the front of the goal. Dominant at both 5-on-5 and on the power play.

Sam Bennett

One of the toughest players not only on the Panthers but in the league. An excellent backchecker that allows his wingers freedom to aggressively forecheck. Does most of his damage at 5-on-5 and really helps balance Florida’s lineup as the 2nd line center.

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Stanley Cup Final Q&A w/ David Dwork on Florida Panthers

As we do every series we welcome a guest to preview the series from the other side. In this Q&A we have David Dwork of TheHockeyNews and Channel 10 in South Florida. David has covered the Panthers for over a decade and grew up a fan of the team so there are not many that know them better than him.

Follow David on Twitter and read his work at

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

Goalie Interference – Season 2 Episode 35 – May 31st, 2023

The Golden Knights are champions of the West and ready to take on the Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup Final. We’ll preview the series from many different angles and make predictions about how we see it going. Plus, we’ll go back over the Western Conference Final to take a look at how Vegas got here.

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 Have Stymied Top Players Deep Into Each Series

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights have faced their fair share of offensive superstars this postseason and they’re about to see a few more.

Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Roope Hintz, Jason Robertson, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and now Matthew Tkachuk and Aleksander Barkov.

As with any playoff series, the biggest names dominate the conversation before it begins. Then, as it wears on, the winning team usually finds a way to slow them down.

As a staff and as a team we’ve done a good job of taking certain players away from what they want to do as that series has gone on and that’s why we’re still playing. -Cassidy

Vegas has struggled against opposing stars early in series. In Game 1 against Winnipeg, Dubois and Connor each scored to give the Jets a 2-0 lead. Draisaitl scored four in the opening game of the second round and then added another pair in Game 2. And Game 1 of the series against Dallas saw both Hintz and Robertson hit the back of the net.

However, the impact of the best players for the other team dwindled as the series got deeper and deeper.

Points Per Game (Game 1 & 2)Points Per Game (Game 3 & Beyond)Goals Per Game (Game 1 & 2)Goals Per Game (Game 3 & Beyond)

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Five Years Later, The Same Place With A Much Different Feel

(Photo Credit: @NHL on Twitter)

The Golden Knights are back. Back to the Stanley Cup Final.

Back to the place they saw their storybook inaugural season come to an end, just short of ultimate glory.

For the six players who were there then, the memories of that final series are all returning to the front of their minds, but instead of trying to run from them, they’re taking a different approach.

That first year was just kind of a whirlwind. We’d never been there before and everything was kind of flowing and I don’t know maybe we took it for granted a little bit back then. Five years later there’s been ups and downs and this opportunity doesn’t come around too often. -Karlsson

That group’s feelings have permeated through the entire Vegas roster. It was on full display as they skated as a team towards the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl to be officially crowned Western Conference Champions.

Last time they won, five years ago, de facto captain Deryk Engelland snatched the trophy and began passing it around. They took pictures with it, they brought it back to the locker room, and they clearly cherished it as an accomplishment no one ever expected them to achieve.

And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. They climbed a mountain most believed was unscalable for an expansion team, and they deserved the honor and the glory that’s represented by the trophy presented to the best team in the West.

This time though, not a single player laid a finger on it.

Just talked with the guys (about not touching the trophy). The ultimate goal is to win the Stanley Cup. So we took a picture with it and we’re moving on to the next one. Whether it’s a curse or not, I don’t know. We just want to win the Stanley Cup, that’s really all it is. -Mark Stone

Jonathan Marchessault admitted he was vocal about the decision, still clearly bothered by the fact that the last trip to the Final did not end how they wished.

This time they feel more prepared.

Our team is more mature than we were in that first year. No one was expecting us and we kind of just showed up there and looked at the opportunity. This team wants to win and we will never be finished until we raise that Cup. I’ve kind of got that feeling where the boys feel like tonight is just another series and it’s not the end of the road, we really want more. -Carrier

The feeling in the room about the history of that fateful team was palpable. It doesn’t feel debilitating though. Instead, it’s serving as a reminder and a motivator.

It’s fun to be back with (the guys from the first season) and along the years you go through ups and down and to be back here with them is an opportunity of a lifetime. We know we’ve been here and we lost it. It was disappointing and we learned from it and now we’re back so we have to take advantage of it. -Marchessault

This team is ready.

Ready for tonight’s moment.

Ready to make amends for what went wrong the last time.

Ready to finish the job.

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