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Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Author: Ken Boehlke (Page 1 of 127)

SinBin.vegas Podcast #123: Hop Aboard The Brannwagon

Following the first three preseason games, we jump back in the studio to talk about what we learned and we’re expecting to see in the next few. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • Do preseason games even matter?
  • Golden Knights top line remains dominant
  • Erik Brannstrom after three games
  • Golden Knights goalie depth
  • William Hill odds for the Golden Knights have jumped
  • Mark Stone rumors

And much more…

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Why Do Fans Hate Nick Holden?

Poor guy. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

One of the Golden Knights’ major additions this offseason was bringing in defenseman Nick Holden as a free agent. The 6’4″ versatile defenseman has scored 10 goals twice and has tallied 20 or more points three times in his career. He’s responsible defensively and is consistently deployed to start shifts in his own zone (56% career D-Zone Starts).

However, the moment Holden’s signing to Vegas was announced, a barrage of hate was thrown towards the Golden Knights by fans of Holden’s previous teams, the Avalanche, Rangers, and Bruins. Look…

But why? Why is it pretty much universal when you ask fans what they think of Holden they react negatively? To find the answer, we went straight to the source and asked the man himself, why does everyone hate you?

I think cause I’m not a real flashy guy. I try to do the little things right all the time. I won’t make any real big plays where fans will notice me. They’ll notice when I get scored on and they won’t notice anything else. They won’t notice if I block a shot. Most fans like the offensive guys and the tough guys and I’m neither. -Nick Holden

What Holden does is play good defense. Holden has posted four consecutive seasons with a defensive point share of over 2.5 and registered a 3.9 in each of the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. For reference, only Brayden McNabb (5.0) and Nate Schmidt (4.8) scored over 3.9 for Vegas last year.

I learned a few years ago to not really watch that stuff, it just matters what happens in here (the locker room). -Holden

We’ll see what Vegas fans eventually think of Holden when he hits the ice for the Golden Knights for real. Odds are they’ll hate him too, even though he’s a really good player, just not the right kind of really good player.

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 7 LOS ANGELES KINGS 2 (3-0-0 Preseason)

For the third consecutive preseason game it didn’t take long for the Golden Knights to get going. They scored three times in the 1st period including one from Daniel Carr, who we featured earlier today on the site. Vegas’ top line of William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault, and Reilly Smith were absolutely dominant the entire night accounting for four goals between them.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Los Angeles Kings preseason game at STAPLES Center.

  • Why do fans hate Nick Holden? We asked Nick Holden.

Three Stars
*** Reilly Smith
** William Karlsson
* Jonathan Marchessault

Golden Knights Defensemen Power Rankings

Brannstrom is on his way to forcing McPhee and Gallant into keeping him around. (Photo by Brandon Andreasen)

We are now over a week into training camp and have seen a pair of preseason games in which 32 different skaters have taken the ice for the Golden Knights. The impending suspension of Nate Schmidt and the possibility of Shea Theodore missing games with the contract negotiations has the blue line wide open heading into October 4th.

I like carrying eight defensemen and we’ve done it because some of the young guys weren’t really ready to be called up, so we wanted to carry eight. We’re carrying eight again next year. The good news is, we’ve got guys that can be called up this year. -George McPhee

Of course, there are still nearly three weeks of practice and six preseason games to sort it all out, but let’s take a look at how we think it shakes out as we speak.

This is a ranking of each defenseman in the Golden Knights system by the current level of play. This does not take into account things like suspension, holdout, waiver exempt status, contract, or likelihood to make the roster. These are my rankings, not necessarily how I believe the team would rank the players. (Nonetheless, admittedly, a lot of my beliefs come from decisions made by the front office and coaching staff on players.)

1) Nate Schmidt

Nate is in a class of his own on the Golden Knights blue line. He’s the only player currently even close to being considered a 1A defenseman, and even that can be debated either way. However, with the suspension, he’s unavailable for 20 games, so he won’t be an option for the Golden Knights come October 4th.

2) Brayden McNabb

Looking back on the contract, McNabb was an absolute steal for George McPhee. With Schmidt’s absence, McNabb will step into the role as the Golden Knights top defenseman. He’ll be relied upon to stop the opposing teams’ best players night in and night out for the first month and a half and will be the key penalty-killing defenseman as well. McNabb is much maligned at times, but the guy is a legit high-end shutdown defenseman and when paired with the right player, he and his partner can shine.

3) Colin Miller

Yes, Miller is rated above Theodore, and not because Theodore is not in camp, but because Miller is the more complete player at this moment. Give it a few years and Theodore will probably soar past him, but right now Miller has become acceptable (and probably even more than that) in his own end and he’s an absolute weapon in the offensive zone. He boasts the hardest shot on the team and he’s bound to have a mega offensive season playing a much more prominent role than a year ago.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5 COLORADO AVALANCHE 1 (2-0-0 Preseason)

As it often is when he’s on the ice, it was the Erik Brannstrom show in Denver. Brannstrom helped start the scoring with a nice pass along the wall on the power play to set up a Brandon Pirri goal. Then, after skating the puck out of trouble from below his own net, Brannstrom flew down the center of the ice, got a pass from Tomas Hyka, and buried the puck past Semyon Varlamov. Alex Tuch scored the Golden Knights third goal on a sweet set of passes by Paul Stastny and Oscar Lindberg. Reid Duke and Erik Haula added goals late.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Colorado Avalanche preseason game at Pepsi Center.

  • Defensemen Power Rankings

Three Stars (Were not awarded by Pepsi Center)
***
**
*

William Hill Becomes First Sports Book To Partner With NHL Team

The world is changing all around us, especially professional sports. William Hill Sportsbook and the Vegas Golden Knights today made a joint announcement that both have reached a partnership. Thus, opening up possibly the biggest can of worms in pro sports in modern day history. The Golden Knights become the first professional sports franchise to join forces with a legal sports betting outlet.

We could not be more excited to partner with the Golden Knights.  We are headquartered in Las Vegas and have seen first-hand what this team has done for our community. William Hill is the leader in the U.S sports betting market and we are proud of the fact that this is the first sponsorship agreement between a sports book and an NHL team in the country.  We appreciate the leadership of Bill Foley and his Golden Knights management team in bringing a winning franchise to Las Vegas and always working to make the in-game experience the best anywhere. -Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US

The William Hill and Golden Knights partnership will feature a dasherboard ad, in-arena signage, updated league-wide odds displayed on the Knight Tron during intermission, an away game watch party, and recognition on the LED ribbon board of the “William Hill Line Change” when the Golden Knights make a line change during the game.

We are always looking for innovative ways to engage different segments our fan base and provide a unique fan experience. Like the Vegas Golden Knights, William Hill US is a proud ‘Vegas Born’ organization. This partnership between a major professional team and a sports book operator is a historic, landmark agreement and we are delighted to be leading the way with William Hill in this space. -Kerry Bubolz, Vegas Golden Knights President

William Hill is the premier sportsbook in Nevada and boasts the best, and easiest to use, mobile sports betting app on the market.

This is a proud moment for us here at SinBin.vegas because William Hill has been a sponsor with us nearly from the site’s inception. Now, they’ve made history breaking through the glass ceiling of partnerships with sports gambling companies and NHL teams.

Despite Tough Conditions, T-Mobile Arena’s Ice Is Always Top Notch

Hot outside? Boxing match 20 hours ago? No problem. (Photo by Brandon Andreasen)

Saturday night, T-Mobile Arena hosted 22,000 boxing fans for one of the biggest events of the year, GGG vs. Canelo. The fight got underway at around 8:30 PM Vegas time and the arena wasn’t cleared out until nearly midnight. 17 hours later, the arena was needed for an NHL preseason game. Oh, and all the while, the temperature outside was nearly 100 degrees the entire weekend.

ref=”http://sinbin.vegas/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/PS-ARZvVGK0180.jpg”> Salami is one of a kind. (Photo by Brandon Andreasen)[/ca

As impressive as the Golden Knights were in their inaugural season, the ice crew at T-Mobile Arena gave them a run for their money at defying the odds. Last year George Salami, T-Mobile Arena’s Ice Ops Manager, also known as “The Ice Man” and his crew dealt with basketball, MMA, boxing, bull riding, WWE, concerts, and scorching heat, and not one time all year was there a legitimate issue with the ice.

It’s amazing how they keep the ice. Our ice has been good all year and there’s never been an issue with our ice. -Gerard Gallant

Ice condition concerns can be added to the long list of invalidated claims outsiders made before the NHL came to Vegas. The crew at T-Mobile Arena dealt with some of the toughest conditions in the league and consistently overcome them to put out not only an acceptable playing surface, but a first-class one.

I’ve definitely been in much worse places. The ice is always in good condition and I think they keep it tight to be nice every time. -Jonathan Marchessault

Nic Hague got a chance to skate at T-Mobile Arena for the first time on Sunday, and he was blown away.

In Mississauga, we shared the building with the basketball team. They would play Saturday nights and we would play Sunday afternoons and they would put the court right on the ice, and the ice would be a little rough after that. The fact there was a boxing match here last night… I was saying to Bischoff after warmup, the ice is feeling good out there. That’s the difference between Juniors and the NHL. -Nic Hague

p://sinbin.vegas/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/PS-ARZvVGK0143.jpg”> (Photo by Brandon Andreasen)

[/caption]It’s a little thing that most people don’t think about, but poor ice conditions can become a major black eye on an arena, a franchise, and even the city. Luckily, Salami and Co. are as good as it gets, no matter what the desert (or MGM/AEG) throw at them.

Golden Knights vs. Arizona Coyotes (Preseason) Photo Gallery – September 16, 2018

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 7 ARIZONA COYOTES 2 (1-0-0 Preseason)

The Golden Knights picked up right where they left off scoring just :14 seconds into the game. Vegas continued to dominate the game pretty much the entire way through. Highlights were Max Pacioretty’s first goal, a Dylan Ferguson penalty shot save (after stopping the breakaway too), and Brannstrom singlehandedly drawing a 5-on-3 and then scoring on it.

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

  • A look into one of the craziest feats of the inaugural season, how great the ice was all year.
  • Photo Gallery from SinBin.vegas photographer Brandon Andreasen

Three Stars
*** Tomas Nosek
** Max Pacioretty
* Jonathan Marchessault

 

Erik Brannstrom’s Time To Really Shine

The road to winning a roster spot really starts tonight. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Top billing for the Golden Knights first preseason game of 2018 will likely go to Max Pacioretty. The newest Golden Knight will be making his T-Mobile debut wearing “the shield” as he put it. Many other eyes will be focused on William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault returning to the ice together for the first time since June. But the real headliner for this preseason game isn’t any of those three, we know where they’ll all end up. No, the real headliner is Erik Brannstrom who will be stepping onto the T-Mobile ice for his first officially sanctioned NHL game.

Brannstrom was the third of the Golden Knights three first round picks in 2017, but he’s risen, at least in my eyes, to become the clear favorite as the top prospect in Vegas’ somewhat stacked system. With the suspension of Nate Schmidt and Shea Theodore still not in camp due to contract negotiations, the Golden Knights blueline is wide open with roster spots. Brannstrom, who just turned 19, dominated in the rookie games and he’s looked very good in the couple of scrimmages he’s played with the veterans.

He’s learning every day, I think he’s learning and play without the puck I’ve noticed a difference from our first game to tonight’s game. Not giving up as many opportunities without the puck, having better reads and this is only in a short period of time. This is a 72-hour period I’ve noticed a change. -Rocky Thompson, Chicago Wolves coach, following rookie game #3

However, doing it at City National Arena and doing it in T-Mobile Arena are different animals sometimes. Brannstrom is part of a defense group of Nic Hague, Nick Holden, Brad Hunt, Colin Miller, and Jake Bischoff. Brannstrom needs to stand out, every single game he’s on the ice if he wants to make the roster. Impressing GM of the Year George McPhee and Jack Adams winner Gerard Gallant enough for them to forego a young player’s waiver exempt status is a tall task. We’ll see if Brannstrom can get it done, but one thing we do know is he’s already impressed his teammates.

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