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Carp: A Playoff Insurance Policy

**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.**

As the games in the regular season schedule dwindle to a precious few, we need to look ahead to the playoffs and how the Golden Knights stack up.

As of this morning, the Knights are still chasing Colorado for the top spot in the West Division. Can they overtake the Avalanche? There’s two games remaining vs. the Avs, both at the Fortress, so a sweep of the pair would certainly help Vegas’ chances.

But if the Knights finish second, it likely means a date with Minnesota in the first round and we all know the challenges that lie within playing the Wild. And even if the Knights overtake Colorado and win the division, it probably means playing an improved St. Louis team which would not be an easy out.

So, what does a playoff roster look like?

Assuming everyone stays healthy, the lineup is pretty much set:

Pacioretty-Stephenson-Stone
Smith-Karlsson-Marchessault
Nosek-Janmark-Tuch
Carrier-Roy-Reaves

Pietrangelo-McNabb
Theodore-Martinez
Whitecloud-Hague

Lehner/Fleury

You could see Roy move up to the third line and Nosek return to center the fourth line. But otherwise, that’s what we can likely expect Pete DeBoer to do with his lineup. However, there’s a wild card in all of this.

The Knights believe they have some offense stashed away in the event things go cold as they did in the Edmonton bubble last summer, someone who could generate chances and put the puck in the net, or, at the very least, set up his teammates for success.

I’m referring to Peyton Krebs.

A couple of weeks ago in this space, as we were discussing possible trades, I said the team may look from within to bolster their scoring in the playoffs. I referred to Krebs as that someone.

Monday, after the NHL trade deadline passed, Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon talked about how the team was only able to do so much to improve and said he and management had faith in the roster as it was currently constructed.

I asked GMKM specifically about Krebs being part of the equation.

It’s completely a possibility that he could be a factor for our team in the playoffs. -McCrimmon

The 20-year-old Krebs is currently wrapping up his junior season with the Winnipeg Ice of the WHL. He is the league’s leading scorer in the Regina, Saskatchewan bubble with 30 points (9 goals and 21 assists). Prior to going back to juniors, Krebs was performing well with the Silver Knights in the AHL. In five games with HSK, Krebs was a point-a-game producer (1G, 4A).

Before he left to go to Winnipeg, I felt he was a really important player on HSK. We really liked his game and the coaches were extremely happy with his play there. -McCrimmon

Winnipeg’s regular season concludes April 27. It has six games remaining, beginning today. The announcement this week that the Memorial Cup, Canada’s junior championship, would not be contested, helps expedite Krebs’ return to Vegas/Henderson. The plan is for Krebs to go to Henderson, get his pro legs back under him, then in all likelihood be ready to help the Golden Knights when the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin in mid-to-late May. The playoffs may be delayed as the regular season appears to be getting extended a couple of weeks to allow teams such as Vancouver, Dallas and Tampa to catch up and finish their year.

The Silver Knights’ regular season concludes May 16. Krebs will likely play in five or six games of the final portion of the schedule and if all goes well and he’s healthy, he’d likely be called up to Vegas as a Black Ace, practicing with the team every day and being available to be in the lineup if needed. He might even get an earlier call-up and get his NHL baptism in the final game vs. San Jose May 10.

Let’s remember something about Krebs. The Knights took him at No. 17 in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft after his Achilles tendon injury saw him drop from being a Top 10 selection. Under normal circumstances, he would have been long gone by the time the Knights were on the clock.

At the time, the Knights were able to be patient and let Krebs heal up, fill out physically and regain his hockey bearings.

At 20 years old, Krebs is still maturing (he’s 6-feet, 187 pounds) and he would be in a supporting role with the Golden Knights, thus not putting a lot of pressure on him to produce. I would expect we’ll see him in a VGK sweater during the playoffs.

Remember, a lot can happen between now and when the playoffs begin — injuries, suspensions, illnesses (i.e. positive COVID-19 tests). So it’s nice when you have an insurance policy in your back pocket. And that’s what Krebs is — insurance — minus the obnoxious commercials (name your company).

**Steve Carp is the author of “Vegas Born — The remarkable story of the Golden Knights.” Follow him on Twitter @stevecarp56. All of Steve Carp’s work here on SinBin.vegas is presented to you by the Jimmerson Law Firm. For over twenty-five years, the Jimmerson Law Firm has been widely recognized as one of Las Vegas’s preeminent full-service law firms. Specializing in high stakes business, civil and family litigation, the Jimmerson Law Firm has an unparalleled track record of winning when it matters most. To reach the Jimmerson Law Firm, call (702) 388-7171 and tell them SinBin.vegas sent you.**

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24 Comments

  1. Pauly

    Will never get to the finals with PDB and his constant tinkering…we are a good, but not great team under him

  2. Pauly

    Uh, i saw him with SjS and NJ…he is a loser

  3. Pauly

    Wow, doesnt know hockey

    • knights fan in minny

      you dont know anything about me or how much i have played i have posted my resume on hear been quite good in my day let the season play out then complain

  4. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    PDB is a good coach and can take the Knights to the finals!

    If we don’t make it to the cup, it won’t be because of him!

    Anyway, expect a closer game today with Ducks. We’re facing another back to back. All that’s important is getting points, when we play the Avs in the 2 gamer, it will mean something (for trying to get to first).

    Both our goalies are playing well and Flurey needs to keep that going today!

  5. knights fan in minny

    you dont know anything about me or how much i have played i have posted my resume on hear been quite good in my day let the season play out then complain

  6. Howard

    Pete’s a good coach, but until when and if he learns to MAKE ADJUSTMENTS against top teams in a playoff series, I do agree that it’s not likely he can be a cup-winning coach.

    Pete simply never makes adjustments in a playoff series – fine during a regular season, but will normally result in a bounce out of playoffs.

    • Daryl

      PDB is a good coach but not a great coach and not a coach that can win the Cup. He’s had some loaded teams and had good seasons his first year and pretty much goes down hill after that.

      • Pistol Pete

        DeBoer is just 52 and still learning. I think it’s too early to pigeonhole him as a Cup loser.

        • Mike StG

          Pete, yeah all the judgment going around here by apparent experts on coaching. For the record, there are only 6 current coaches who have won the cup. I guess that makes the other 25 non-cup winning coaches a bunch of hopeless losers guaranteed never to win.

          • THE hockey GOD

            yeah Scotty Bowman lost with the BLues before winning with the Habs. You learn to win AFTER going through losing.

          • Daryl

            Difference between PDB and some of these other coaches is PDB has had some stacked teams and couldn’t get it done. His teams have progressively gotten worse. Doesn’t take an expert to see this, you just have to take off your rose colored glasses

          • Daryl

            I don’t think I called him a loser, in fact I thought I said he was a good coach, just not a great coach. And I don’t think he is fired enough to lead VGK to a Cup win

        • Daryl

          The Hockey God….

          So you are saying Bowman won???

          • Mike StG

            Daryl, past performance is no guarantee of future results – positive or negative. To call someone a loser because he wasn’t the 1 winning coach out of 30 or 31 teams is absurd. There are so many factors out of a coach’s control – how well players play, injuries, the bounce of a puck, a bad ref call. To ignore that is putting on dark grey colored glasses. Everything is gloomy and depressing and negative and hopeless. You get the picture, eh?

  7. sb

    Now back to this article, PLEASE! No more Reaves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No more Kolesar. The current roster is comprised of all NHL level players that can skate, check, pass, and SCORE a goal more often than once every 50 games. Reaves’ day passed two years ago. Please! No more slow, deadweight anchors to hold this team back. Don’t think so? Why is it that the Team is playing so much better the last week? No Reaves. No Kolesar. Four lines filled with NHL level players capable of skating fast, puckhandlers who can score. Please. No more one dimensional palookas to hold VGK back.

    • Pistol Pete

      Agree on Reaves, but imo Kolesar has upside as a replacement for Jurco.

      • THE hockey GOD

        i’d take Jurco’s NHL experience over Kolear’s development during the playoffs until Jurco shows he can’t handle the competition.

      • Daryl

        Jury is still out on Kolesar…. Wouldn’t throw him away just yet. Could use his physicality against some of the bigger and stronger teams

  8. Mike StG

    Steve, another excellent read. Hope Krebs ends up a Black Ace. Will hope to see him play at season’s end and maybe in the playoffs. I think he’s definitely top 6 material, maybe at C. Although it seems like they’d prefer to use him at LW. For now looks like they have their 4 lines set. Just let ‘em play and build the chemistry, esp on L3 & L4.

  9. Pistol Pete

    “The plan is for Krebs to go to Henderson, get his pro legs back under him, then in all likelihood be ready to help the Golden Knights when the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin in mid-to-late May.”

    Eight HSK games remain on the calendar when Krebs comes back from Winnipeg. He could play four of those and be available for 4/10 VGK @ SJ (last regular season game) or even sooner vs. Blues at T-Mobile. He could also play all eight HSK games and skate with VGK ahead of the playoffs. Carp sounds pretty bullish Krebs will play for VGK this season. He is for sure more privy to Management than we are. Ken?

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