Sine 2017, the NHL Players’ Association releases a poll of hockey and non-hockey related questions answered by around 500 players. Vegas players have been mentioned in categories such as “best goalie,” “best trash talker,” “best golfer,” and “toughest player.” The team has also garnered attention for “best jersey,” “best ice,” and “best arena” in the past.
In 2020, Golden Knights players or the team were mentioned in the poll seven times. Last year they hit the board just once with Marc-Andre Fleury.
This year, there are three mentions of the Golden Knights and/or the city of Las Vegas.
Maybe the Vegas Flu still does exist as 158 different players voted for Las Vegas as the best city to spend an off day. (The other 358 are wrong.)
T-Mobile continues to impress with ice conditions being listed each time the question has been offered to the players. Back in 2019, however, T-Mobile received the most votes getting 42.5%, this year it dipped to just 5.8%.
And then there’s the lettuce. Karlsson in 2nd, two former Golden Knights also on the board. Gotta love it.
Look, I even used the same picture from that article! (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)
A little more than two years ago the Golden Knights were in a similar position to where they are right now in the standings. 52 games into the schedule that year we published a story with the same title as this one.
We included polls from social media, gambling odds, computer projections, and statistical probabilities to paint a picture of how much brighter the outlook of the season actually was than how it felt at that moment.
This year, we’re going back to the exact same sources, but this time, the picture it paints is actually pretty grim.
We’ll start with the fans.
Currently on a four-game slide and riding a 4-9-1 record since February 9th, Golden Knights fans are unsurprisingly a bit down on their team. We asked the simplest of questions, and more than half of the fan base took the pessimistic option.
Do you believe the Golden Knights will make the playoffs?
Yes, I think they will. I expect them to go down the Nick Cousin-esque route again. (Someone who would be in the lineup, but not a huge name.) Chris Tierney is a name that keeps sticking out in my mind when I go through the trade bait lists. https://t.co/IvbisqIQkH
For me it's always going to be the production he gives in the postseason this year. I don't care if you score against the Sharks or Coyotes, I care what happens when the games truly matter and this team needs a goal. Also, will he hold up defensively in this system? https://t.co/KEeynsLc4u
So far, it hasn't been great (I'm not even enthralled with how it's gone in the first two rounds either). They've possibly been able to find a few NHL-level players, but there doesn't seem to be a truly impactful guy in the bunch. It's concerning considering the age of the roster https://t.co/n5PIC1BlOT
Though he’s no longer with the Golden Knights, Marc-Andre Fleury will forever be a massive part of Vegas hockey. Last night he won his 500th game in the NHL, a feat just two other goalies in NHL history have ever achieved.
117 of those wins came wearing a Golden Knights jersey and there’s no better day than today to relive the best of them. Here are my five favorites of the 500 wins in Marc-Andre’s illustrious career.
**Remember, playoff wins do not count in the 500, so we are sticking to just the regular season.**
February 22nd, 2021 – at Colorado
The Golden Knights were coming off an embarrassing loss at Lake Tahoe and were in danger of dropping their third game out of four to the Avs. But Fleury would have none of that. The Avalanche peppered the VGK goal early and often and Fleury kept them out time and time again. He ended up with a 34 save shutout and it was the moment he truly began his campaign for Vezina.
November 19th, 2019 – vs Toronto
This game is really all about one single moment. The diving save. Of course, Fleury was tremendous in the game as a whole, stopping 31 of 33 shots and leading the Golden Knights to a 4-2 victory, but his save on Nic Petan will forever live in VGK lore. Of all the iconic moments Fleury had while in Vegas, this is the one that will always be atop the list. Heck, they made statues of it and gave them away to fans.
Tonight, we have a rare occurance at T-Mobile Arena. It’s just the 9th time it will have ever happened, the first time since May 10th, and just the third time since the inaugural season.
The Golden Knights are underdogs at home at the William Hill Sports Book. Taking on the NHL leader in points percentage, the Carolina Hurricanes, the Golden Knights will be without Jack Eichel, Max Pacioretty, Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson, William Carrier, Nolan Patrick, Alec Martinez, and Zach Whitecloud (and maybe Mattias Janmark).
The last time Vegas were a home dog was the infamous 15 skater game which decided the 2020-21 Presidents’ Trophy. On that night, the Golden Knights were without five staters, but due to the salary cap were unable to replace players. This time around, VGK have replacements, but they are names like Jonas Rondbjerg, Paul Cotter, Michael Amadio, and Jake Leschyshyn.
Vegas played Colorado tough on May 10th, 2021, but eventually conceded late to take their very first loss in franchise history as a home underdog.
Prior to that game, the Golden Knights had been home underdogs eight times and were undefeated in them.
The most recent win as a home dog was on February 20th, 2020 when the Golden Knights were +100 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Vegas won that one 5-3 in a thriller. Alec Martinez scored a goal and added an assist in his VGK debut, Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty both scored, and the Golden Knights put a halt to Tampa Bay’s 11-game win streak.
Before that one, the Golden Knights had gone 793 days between games as home underdogs. They were favored in 109 consecutive home games.
However, both the Tampa Bay game and the Colorado game, Vegas came in as the slightest of favorites, just +100. Tonight, they are +130 against Carolina.
This is the first time since October 24th, 2017 that the Golden Knights have been greater than +120 underdogs at T-Mobile Arena. That is 1,488 days ago and 149 games ago!
VGK were installed as underdogs in five of their first seven home games and then added a two more as the season progressed.
If you’ve have bet $100 on the Golden Knights every time they were underdogs, you’d be up a solid $865. But, had you rolled the bets over, going all in every time, you’d have made $27,117. If you then bet that the next time they were underdogs (against TBL on 2/20/20), you’d be up to $54,434.
Then, of course, you’d have lost it all when they lost to Colorado.
Nonetheless, tonight is quite the rarity with the Golden Knights not just underdogs, but fairly significant underdogs, the third largest they’ve ever been at T-Mobile Arena.
**William Hill is the official betting sponsor of SinBin.vegas.**
There’s nothing more exciting than Opening Night. It’s a new season with new players, new rivals, and new objectives. As we prepare for tonight’s matchup against the 32nd franchise let’s have a little fun.
2021-22 Golden Knights Opening Night Trivia: Who Am I?
Surprise, I have the most opening night points in franchise history with 4 (2 Goals, 2 Assists). Who am I?
Click for answer
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to suit up and join the boys tonight but I’ll be cheering loudly. Not sure if you remember, but last season I scored the franchise’s only opening night empty net goal. Who am I?
Thursday’s preseason game was so miserable to watch a fellow writer and I started trying to come up with all of the players that have given the Golden Knights fits over the first four seasons. This idea was born out of the fact that VGK were making Nick Schmaltz look like an offense driving machine for a few shifts in a row and we thought, he’d fit right in with some of the names that kill the Golden Knights.
Of course, Schmaltz’s run of dominance didn’t last long (if it even lasted at all, he just popped for a shift or two and that was enough to catch my attention during that dreadful game), but players just like him have had success against the Golden Knights in meaningful games.
This team is built of players that have actually had an impact on helping their team beat the Golden Knights. Unlike players like Evander Kane, Tom Wilson, and Antoine Roussel who are just annoying and usually hurt their team.
Without further ado, here’s the All VGK Killer Team from the first four years of the Golden Knights’ existence.
1st Line Kyle Connor-Anze Kopitar-David Perron
This is a legit 1st line, centered by the man who has more points against the Golden Knights than anyone else, Anze Kopitar. His 21 points in 21 games are five better than any other player in the league and he’s added a couple more in the playoffs. Connor has also thrashed the Golden Knights on the scoresheet, posting eight goals and five assists for 13 points in just eight games. Like Kopitar, he’s also scored a goal and an assist on VGK in the playoffs. Then, there’s the one and only David Perron. It seems like it’s a life goal to ruin the night of every Vegas fan every time he’s at T-Mobile Arena. The Golden Knights have shut him down from time to time, but this list wouldn’t be complete without him.
Since coming to Las Vegas, Robin Lehner has pretty much been an open book. From his crusade against the stigmas of mental health to his thoughts on NHL protocols surrounding vaccination to his relationship with Marc-Andre Fleury, there’s no one in the NHL that can be described as more honest than Lehner.
But there’s always been one subject he hasn’t wanted to broach, and that’s his nickname.
For years now Lehner has been dubbed “The Panda” by fans, teammates, coaches, and even himself. He plays into the name constantly, wearing it on his goalie mask and often tweeting gifs of pandas to show what is on his mind.
It’s not as mysterious as it’s been, it’s just the only thing I didn’t answer, but it’s pretty simple. I watch King Fu Panda with my son a lot in Chicago and it’s actually a pretty good movie, I like it. Just the whole thing about it, this fat bear that learns to move around and I just saw myself in him. He learned how to play kung fu and I’m a big fat goalie that plays in the NHL. It just felt fitting. -Robin Lehner on Spittin Chiclets
So there you have it.
**You can hear the whole interview here. Like all Robin Lehner interviews, and all Spittin Chiclets episodes, it’s enlightening while also hilarious.**
News broke yesterday that the Golden Knights will be featured a dozen times on ESPN and Turner Sports this upcoming season. With the new television partnership in place, the two networks are leaning heavily on Vegas to help kick off their first season broadcasting the NHL.
VGK on ESPN/TNT/HULU
Tue. Oct. 12 vs. Seattle 7:00 p.m. (ESPN) Wed. Oct. 20 vs. St. Louis 7:00 p.m. (TNT) Tue. Oct. 26 at Colorado 5:00 p.m. (ESPN) Tue. Nov. 9 vs. Seattle 7:00 p.m. (ESPN+/Hulu) Fri. Dec. 3 at Arizona 6:30 p.m. (ESPN+/Hulu) Wed. Dec. 8 vs. Dallas 7:00 p.m. (TNT) Tue. Feb. 1 vs. Buffalo 7:00 p.m. (ESPN+/Hulu) Thu. March 3 vs. Boston 6:00 p.m. (ESPN) Thu. March 17 vs. Florida 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+/Hulu) Sat. March 26 vs. Chicago 12:00 p.m. (ABC) Wed. March 30 at Seattle 7:00 p.m. (TNT) Wed. April 6 vs. Vancouver 7:00 p.m. (TNT)
One major complaint about NBC’s hockey coverage was their lack of diversity. The network tended to schedule more games with the league’s more established franchises and most likely from the eastern time zone, with the exception of the Chicago Blackhawks. However, as new media outlets take over, Vegas was identified as a perfect team to present to a potentially new audience. The Golden Knights are a Stanley Cup contender with a loaded roster, and they so happen to play in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. That’s enough intrigue for sports fans unfamiliar with the NHL.
Turner Sports have become the standard in NBA broadcasting having been able to successfully keep an audience for an entire double-header. It’ll be tough to mimic the chemistry and content TNT developed around basketball but they’ll try with familiar faces that are well aware of the Golden Knights roster. Also, Turner split their games up evenly across the league. Vegas will appear four times on TNT in 2021-22, facing off against St. Louis, Dallas, Seattle, and Vancouver. Add in the other eight games on ESPN and the 31st franchise will be given plenty of exposure to the rest of the hockey landscape.
As for the eight contests on ESPN, the Golden Knights will greatly benefit from Worldwide Leader’s global audience. Vegas brings its own unique elements that may even help break in the network known more for dumping hockey rather than covering hockey. Although, ESPN will bring some Vegas flair with their infamously elegant hockey analyst Barry Melrose. The partnership between the entertainment network and a highly competitive team like Vegas should be more than enough for viewers.
Vegas has quickly become a premier NHL team in terms of demand and success, enough to feature 12 times nationally. Of course, fans will get their fill of eastern located games but clearly, the new television partners want to present fresher and more successful teams than the standards of the past decade. As the Golden Knights continue to pile up wins and postseason appearances expect their national television schedule to grow. Hopefully, the networks won’t fall back to the old habits and broadcast the big named organization. It should be reserved for teams like Vegas that will put on a winning show.
I think he's basically waiting for an injury at this point.
The question becomes what happens beyond this year when he becomes a Group 6 free agent. Does he want to stick around? Depending on his AHL season this year, I could see someone giving him a shot elsewhere.
Right now they are about $37k over. They still have to sign Patrick and Coghlan. So, in theory if everyone is healthy they'll have to make a few moves (sending guys through waivers) to get there. But, everyone isn't healthy, Tuch is out.
I really only see through their Instagrams. Been a lot of weddings (McNabb and Stone recently), and a ton of awesome vacations (Theodore was in Hawaii). I think it's a healthy mix of guys staying and guys going elsewhere, but many more stay than they did 3 offseasons ago.