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Slowing Down McDavid And Draisaitl Is The Only Way

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights’ next two games are a home and home with the Oilers. Edmonton is an important team on the schedule not just for where Vegas finishes in the standings, but also for establishing some dominance over a potential playoff opponent.

Like any team, the first focus on Vegas’ mind this weekend will be stopping, or at least slowing down, the league’s two leading scorers, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

In 17 games played against the Oilers, the pair had been responsible for 16 goals and 24 assists against the Golden Knights. That’s 2.35 points per game and it’s a big reason why VGK have a franchise tally of 7-8-2 against Edmonton, their worst record against any Pacific Division team.

Amazingly, the Golden Knights have held both McDavid and Draisaitl pointless in four of the last seven meetings between the two teams. Connor missed one of those games, but for three straight both guys played and came up blank on the scoresheet.  Oddly, the Golden Knights went just 2-2-0 in those four games, needing overtime to win the one McDavid was out.

Overall though, holding down the Big Two has been crucial in VGK’s success. In the seven wins, the Golden Knights have allowed McDavid and Draisaitl five goals and four assists. In the ten losses, those numbers balloon to 11 goals and 21 assists. Thus, in Golden Knights wins, 97 and 29 average .71 goals per game and 1.3 points per game, while the losses see those numbers at 1.1 goals per game and a whopping 3.2 points per game.

One part of the game where Vegas has had above average success against the Oilers is on the penalty kill. Edmonton has just scored seven power play goals in 17 games with McDavid and Draisaitl on the ice together, but they’ve also allowed VGK to score twice shorthanded. Vegas won both games in which they tallied a shorty.

Finally, outscoring the Oilers at even strength with these two on the ice is critical for the Golden Knights to come out on top. When they do, the Golden Knights are 4-0-0. When they are outscored in the time when McDavid and Draisaitl are on the ice, Vegas is 0-5-2.

It’s not surprising, but it absolutely is true, if the Golden Knights want to beat the Oilers, it starts and ends with limiting the damage done by their two superstars.


Recap: The Golden Knights traveled to Calgary to face off against the Flames for a late season divisional battle. The game took some time to settle in, but the Golden Knights took advantage of some loose defense by the Flames later in the period. Jonathan Marchessault did what he does best and gave Vegas the first lead of the game with his 23rd goal of the season. Michael Amadio took advantage of a rush and a rebound to double VGK’s lead to 2-0. After an official review, the Flames had their first goal taken back but they were able to get it back in the final minute of the period. The Golden Knights carried a 2-1 advantage into the first intermission.

The game tightened up in the second period as both teams had limited opportunities. Vegas was outshot 12-8 in the period but were able to stave off the Flames offense. After 40 minutes the Golden Knights held a 2-1 edge.

In his first game back since February 21st, Nic Roy scored to give the Golden Knights some extra padding in the final frame. Roy’s goal gave Vegas a 3-1 third period advantage. The Flames had another goal called back but minutes later they scored to get within one. The Golden Knights killed off a lengthy 6-on-5 to secure a one goal victory.

The Golden Knights’ record improves to 44-21-7 defeating the Flames 3-2 in Calgary. Vegas will take a short trip to Edmonton for a matchup with the Oilers on Saturday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: This is one of the better complete games the Golden Knights have played. They exposed the Flames defense with stretch passes and it fed VGK’s dangerous transition. Then, when they got ahead, they had great defensive gaps and made life very difficult on Calgary. The only real issue with the game is the two injuries to Thompson and Smith. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome.

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Goalie Interference – Season 2 Episode 25 – March 22nd, 2023

As goalies return to the lineup the Golden Knights are going to start having some decisions to make in net. We’ll go over that as well as look at what’s gone right since the All Star break that has Vegas on track to clinch a playoff berth next week.

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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Kessel, Vegas, T-Mobile Arena Ice Mentioned In 2023 NHLPA Players Poll

Every year the NHLPA releases the results of an anonymous poll given to players on a wide variety of topics. This year, 626 players participated in the 14-question survey.

As usual, Vegas and Golden Knights players are commonly found among the results. The strongest year in VGK history in regards to mentions in the poll was 2019-20 when there were seven mentions. This year there are just three, but they are a powerful trio.

This is the second consecutive year the question has been on the poll, and unsurprisingly Las Vegas has dominated both years. Vegas actually took a larger share of the vote this year getting 31.7% while it came in just over 30% last season. 193 players out of the 609 who answered the question selected Vegas.

A pair of familiar names make the cut on this one. Kessel was selected by 12 of the 448 players polled. He’s not the only Kessel on the list either. Phil’s sister Amanda was named among the female players NHLers would most like to play with.

Finally, the ice. T-Mobile Arena has always had a stellar reputation in this category. The question has been asked four out of the last six years and T-Mobile has been in the Top 5 each and every time. This year’s 6% is the second largest share Vegas has ever received, only behind a 4th place 8.7% finish in 2019-20.

Here are all of the resuts including Vegas over the six years the Golden Knights have been in the league. You can see the full poll here.


Best Ice: T-Mobile Arena (5th place, 6%)
Best Road City: Las Vegas (1st Place, 31.7%)
Best Locker Room Guy: Phil Kessel (T-2nd Place, 2.7%)


Best Ice: T-Mobile Arena (T-4th Place, 5.9%)
Best Road City: Las Vegas (1st Place, 30.6%)
Best Hair: William Karlsson (2nd Place, 7.9%)


Best Goalie: Marc-Andre Fleury (2nd Place, 8.9%)


Best Goalie: Marc-Andre Fleury (3rd Place, 8.9%)
Best Trash Talker: Ryan Reaves (3rd Place, 11.1%)
Worst Trash Talker: Nick Cousins (4th Place, 5.6%)
Best Golfer: Mark Stone (5th Place, 3.8%)
Best Visitors Dressing Room: T-Mobile Arena (2nd Place, 26.4%)
Best Jersey: Vegas Golden Knights (T-2nd Place, 6.8%)
Best Ice: T-Mobile Arena (4th Place, 8.7%)


Best Goalie: Marc-Andre Fleury (4th Place, 6.5%)
Best TV Analyst When Retired: Ryan Reaves (3rd Place, 2.4%)
Best Trash Talker: Ryan Reaves (3rd Place, 5.5%)
Best Arena Atmosphere: T-Mobile Arena (1st Place, 42.5%)
Best Ice: T-Mobile Arena (5th Place, 4.7%)
Best Hair: William Karlsson (3rd Place, 5.7%)


Toughest Player: Ryan Reaves (1st Place, 44.7%)
Best Coach To Play For: Gerard Gallant (3rd Place, 11.6%)


Recap:  The Golden Knights began their three-game Western Canadian road trip with a matchup in Vancouver. The Canucks were careless with the puck several times in the opening period. Phil Kessel intercepted a pass in the offensive zone to score his 13th goal of the season. Later in the frame, Reilly Smith took advantage of a loose puck and doubled the Golden Knights’ lead.

The Canucks were awarded a penalty shot after the Golden Knights committed a penalty on a breakaway. JT Miller converted on the free chance and got his team within one. Teddy Blueger flipped a puck into the net on his backhand to give Vegas a 3-1 advantage but Miller and the Canucks came right back. Late in the period, Pavel Dorofeyev deflected on the Golden Knights’ fourth goal of the contest.

Midway through the final frame the Canucks scored making it a 4-3 game. Vegas fought off several Vancouver chances, including a 6-on-5 late in the game.

The Golden Knights’ record improves to 44-21-6 defeating the Canucks 4-3. Vegas will next play the Flames on Thursday night in Calgary. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights scored early on the road once again and as they have all season long, they were able to parlay that into another win. The 1st period was absolutely brilliant on both ends, especially defensively, but things did not go as smoothly defensively as the game went on. It’s another one where VGK defy the advance stats. At some point, if it keeps happening, it’ll stop becoming an outlier. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena.

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VGK May Break Season Scoring Record, But Scoring In The Playoffs Remains A Major Concern

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Yesterday I published a piece looking at all of the records the Golden Knights could potentially break this season. From blocks to faceoffs to road points percentage, it wasn’t terribly surprising to see how many records may fall this year.

However, there was one that did catch me a bit off guard and it made me question one of the strongest beliefs I’ve had about this team for the past few seasons.

The 2022-23 Golden Knights are 41 goals from breaking the franchise record for most goals scored in a season. With 12 games to go, they’ll need to score 3.4 per game to set the new high water mark. Considering this year’s team is averaging 3.24 per game this year, it absolutely could happen, or at the very least could come down to a goal or two difference.

Yet here I sit here with the core belief that the Golden Knights are lacking the proper level of offense necessary to win the Stanley Cup. And after doing some digging into the numbers, I still believe it.

So how can a team on pace to score well over three goals per game and possibly break the scoring record set by the legendary team that won 13 playoff games still be short offensively?

The first reason is that this year’s team is more boom or bust than the 2017-18 team.

In 82 games, the 17-18 Golden Knights failed to score three goals 26 times, or 32%. This year’s team has done it 28 times in 70 games, for 40% of the schedule. Meanwhile, this year’s team has posted at least five goals 19 times, or 27%, while the first year team also did it 19 times, but in all 82, or 23%.

That means this year’s team scores less than two or more than four in 67%, two-thirds, of games while the 17-18 team had a boom-or-bust rate a little over half of the games at 55%.

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Chasing Franchise Records Down The Stretch

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights have 12 games left in the regular season, one that could go down in history as their winningest ever. Currently sitting at 92 points, VGK need to collect 17 more points to tie the 2017-18 team that finished with 109. That’s just one of many potential franchise highs the team and individuals on it can set.

Team Records

Record – 109 (17-18)
Current – 92

Need: 9 wins would clinch the most points in team history. They could also go 8-3-1, 7-2-3, or 6-1-5 to tie.

Record – 51 (17-18)
Current – 43

Need: 8 to tie, 9 to break the record.

Record – 268 (17-18)
Current – 227

Need: 41 goals requires the Golden Knights to average 3.41 per game. This season, VGK are currently averaging 3.24. The goals per game record is 3.39, which was set in 2020-21 (the 56-game season).

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Recap: The Golden Knights hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets for a Sunday afternoon matchup. Vegas opened the scoring 5:15 in the first frame. Phil Kessel scored his 12th goal on the season on VGK’s first power play. 

Columbus tied the game 0:37 into the 2nd period but Vegas’ offense exploded ten minutes later. Jack Eichel broke the tie, Pavel Dorofeyev, Zach Whitecloud and Eichel again stretched the Golden Knights lead to 5-1.

The Golden Knights continued to attack in the final frame. Paul Cotter scored his 13th goal off a direct feed from Chandler Stephenson and midway through the period Eichel completed his hat trick.

The Golden Knights’ record improves to 43-21-6 defeating the Blue Jackets 7-2. Vegas will hit the road a for a three game set in Western Canada. First stop will be in Vancouver on Tuesday night. Puck drop against the Canucks is scheduled for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Some time in the middle of the 2nd period the Golden Knights realized they were playing the Blue Jackets. At that moment, they just started whipping shots on net from any and all angles. Naturally, as they’ve been doing all season, the Blue Jackets goalies did not stop most of them. Thus, VGK won… easily. Patera was pretty good too. And Eichel had a hat trick. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Columbus Blue Jackets at T-Mobile Arena.

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Golden Knights Struggles Against The Pacific Continue

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

This season Bruce Cassidy has had the answers.

He’s helped a team that missed the playoffs a year ago storm back to the front of the  Western Conference and he’s done it amidst another rash of injuries including three to goaltenders inside of a month.

When the team has had issues, he’s had answers on how to fix them. From the penalty kill to 6-on-5 situations to breaking up the Misfit line to winning at home, even the power play, Cassidy has equipped his team with a plan and when they’ve followed it they’ve had success.

There is one problem he has yet to solve though, and it’s a big one.

I have to do a deeper dive as to why we are struggling in our own division. I haven’t put my finger on it yet as I’m still new to this division in terms of seeing them as much. I don’t have a good answer for that right now. -Cassidy

After last night’s loss, the Golden Knights are now 8-8-2 against the Pacific Division.

Anaheim: 2-0-1
Calgary: 1-2-0
Edmonton: 0-1-1
Los Angeles: 1-2-0
Seattle: 1-1-0
San Jose: 2-1-0
Vancouver: 1-1-0

Against the four teams still fighting for playoff position, Vegas is a paltry 3-6-1.

We’ve got to get out of our division if we expect to go where we want to go so we’ve got to correct that, I know what much. How we’re going to correct it? That’s still a work in progress. -Cassidy

Eight of the 12 games remaining on the schedule are against the Pacific with six of them against Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, and Seattle.

These games will not only go a long way in determining who the Golden Knights will play in the playoffs, but will also foreshadow how they may do once they are.

Cassidy was stumped last night. He can’t be moving forward.


Recap: The Golden Knights returned home for their first home game since March 5th. The opening 20 got off to a slow pace but warmed up towards the end of the period. The Flames got on the scoreboard first and held a 1-0 advantage going into the 1st intermission.

Calgary doubled their lead 3:39 into the middle frame. Nine minutes later Zach Whitecloud cut the Flames lead in half to 2-1. Moments later Reilly Smith evened the score with his 23rd goal of the season. Later in the period Calgary regained their lead to 3-2.

Vegas forward Brett Howden committed a costly penalty 7:33 into the final period and the Flames capitalized on the opportunity. Calgary went on to record three more in the final frame to finish off Vegas 7-2.

The Golden Knights’ record drops to 42-21-6 losing to the Flames 7-2. Vegas will have an extra day off and will next face the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday afternoon. Puck drop against the Blue Jackets is set for 1 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: It took VGK quite a while to get the offense going in this game. They were doing well enough defensively for the first portion of the game but they just didn’t generate much. They did well to use a quick flurry to storm back in, but like many games on the road trip they weren’t the better team for most of the night. Without the early lead, they couldn’t manage to find a way to make it work in this one. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Calgary Flames at T-Mobile Arena.

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