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DeBoer Deserves Full Credit For Vegas’ Turnaround

There have been times that coach Pete DeBoer has been outcoached. Without dwelling on bad memories, his last two conference final exits were not his best moments. Last night however, was a great example of how the well-prepared, strategic leader can get the most out of his lineup.

In 14 games this season Vegas’ coach has used 29 separate players due to several devastating injuries. That’s one less than DeBoer needed all of last season. He’s needed the entire roster including a handful of Silver Knights. Not one of them are first round picks and all have incredibly limited experience. Through his leadership the rookies and journeymen have been good enough to help Vegas climb two games above .500. What makes his coaching so impressive is who the Golden Knights are winning with and without.

With

Paul Cotter: 2018 4th Round Pick, 1 Career Goal
Jonas Rondbjerg: 2017 3rd Round Pick, 1 Career Goal
Jake Leschyshyn: 2016 2nd Round Pick, 12 Career NHL Games
Keegan Kolesar: 2015 3rd Round Pick, 3 Career Goals
Michael Amadio: 4th NHL Team, 0.22 Career Points Per Game
Dylan Coghlan: Undrafted, 13:40 Career Average Time On Ice
Daniil Miromanov: Undrafted, 3 Career NHL Games

Early on it looked as if Vegas would severely struggle without their heavyweights Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty and William Karlsson but Vegas’ ragtag bunch have performed well enough to win seven of their last nine games, which is a testament to the coaching staff.

Every skating unit for Vegas is less experienced and less talented but DeBoer has gotten the most of his replacements. Depth scoring put the team in control last night against Minnesota, receiving two of their three goals from players who had never scored before in the NHL. The coaching staff built confidence, taught patience, attention to detail, and hard work as Vegas dug out of their early ditch. Sure it’s cliché, but when the stars are hurt it really comes down their backups  understanding and executing their roles.

Without

Mark Stone: 506 Career NHL Games, 449 Career Points
Max Pacioretty: 2007 1st Round Pick, 306 Career NHL Goals
William Karlsson: 291 VGK Games, 222 VGK Points
Zach Whitecloud: 72 Career Games, 16:52 Career Average Time On Ice

While there’s still plenty of hockey left, DeBoer should be considered up to this point, a coach of the year candidate. What he’s been able to do with less is hard to ignore. His team is stacked defensively and profits from steady goaltending, but the real surprise is Vegas’ offense. A team that once had trouble scoring now boasts 3.3 goals per game.

Once the gang is back, including Jack Eichel, the Golden Knights coach won’t need to rely simply on structure. No matter how many goals they score and games they win this season, unfair or not, DeBoer’s final grade will solely be based on postseason success. For now, let’s give the third year coach major credit for getting most of his players and finding ways to win. And I don’t know, maybe it’s worth sprinkling a few bucks on DeBoer to win the Jack Adam’s award.

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53 Comments

  1. Tim

    Ken hard to argue with your post. I just wanted to throw this out there. We have The Misfit Line and now I’m going to name the four line whether it catches on or not is up to the posters. I hear bye declare the fourth line The Babyface Line. I think it’s appropriate when you see there faces on the bench their just kids. The philosophy should be win the ones you should like Vancouver our next game and sneak a win on a team we shouldn’t like Carolina or Columbus in this home stand. Whatever happens happens but it’s been fun watching the kids.

    • Coyote

      What about “The Brat Pack”? Has a Vegas vibe to it.

    • THE hockey GOD

      it’s Jason’s article not Ken, and if I were a kid I wouldn’t want to be called a baby face. I would pick something more this century like the Z line, or the Kid line- for a more tradition feel. (Z for generation Z).

      • Tim

        THG, I read the article who writes it is of no concern to me. I really don’t pay attention.

  2. Daryl

    So let me get this straight… A player gets called up and plays really well and it’s all because of PDB? The fact that this player has practiced or really even been coached by PDB doesn’t really matter. I wonder what you will say, if/when VGK starts losing games against good teams?

    VGK is beating teams they should win against… They win a few and lose a few they shouldn’t (ie COL and DET). But let’s see what happens when good teams start coming around.

    From the headline, you knew Jason wrote this

    • Tim

      Daryl we all know your dislike for DeBoer, your negative remarks on picking up Petro. Your never ending love affair with D.E. but he’s gone and if your still bitter that he wasn’t given another contract I don’t know what to tell you. Your a Penquins fan I get it they’ve had a nice history but this is our team and we haven’t done to bad with Gallant or DeBoer and management have put us in a good place. If that doesn’t work for you it’s time to move on.

      • Daryl

        Really, my love affair with DE? You sound as fucking stupid as the other dumbass on here!!! PLEASE show me where I have brought up Engo anywhere on here. It’s dumbasses like you who continue to bring him up. As for Petra, don’t have an issue with him and he is a top defenseman. I have an issue with bringing in a high priced player that was needed. He has played well this year, but it’s funny how people who don’t understand hockey, like yourself, who see a player score and say great things but forget the error that led to a score as well.

        I praise the FO when they deserve it, like Stephenson and Stone. And I admit when I am wrong like I was, partially, with Martinez.

        I’m sorry I don’t blindly follow and accept what people tell you. Jason is trying to praise PDB for what he’s done with Cotter and others who were just brought up. Tell me all knowing, what exactly has PDB done with Cotter???? I’ll wait

        • Daryl

          ***High price player that WASN’T needed***

        • Pistol Pete

          As head coach DeBoer must be responsible who gets called up, however I would expect his decisions to be informed by staff who job it is to evaluate HSK skill and talent levels. Where the coaching come in is in the locker and video rooms. He gets a lot of credit there.

          • Daryl

            Locker room should be controlled by your Captains and leaders of the team. As for videos, when a player gets called up the day of or even the day before, how much video are they actually watching? I give 99% of the credit to the players… Which includes the leaders of the team like RL and Petra among others

        • SMH

          Ooooh – Daryl Baby gets soooo mad when you call out his obvious and repeated biases. If you call out Daryl Baby, then he just cries that “you obviously know nothing about hockey”. And Daryl Baby will call you a naughty name too for disagreeing with him! Go, Daryl Baby, go!!

          • Daryl

            Hey Doc…. Your new site not working out like you thought it would??? You can always come back under your old name, we won’t make too much fun of you. NOT!!!!

            As for me getting upset, only when people post really stupid things, like you used to do. Basically the only thing I said to Tim was the BS about bringing up Engo when I haven’t for over a season. I called him out on his stupidity, similar to how you get called out on almost all of your posts.

            Talk to you soon Doc, or maybe not. You probably won’t be around too much longer

        • Tim

          Daryl I don’t like getting in pissing contests but your telling me forever that you haven’t mentioned D.E. over and over how they need him should have resigned him. I’ve been on this site since the start and you’ve had many good posts but please don’t tell me you didn’t beat the D.E. drum over and over because that’s would be bullshit.

          • Daryl

            So, you want to go back over a year ago when I said they should sign Engo for 1 more year instead of giving Holden a raise and new contract? Yeah I did and what happened. They resigned Holden, put him on the “practice squad” and wasted about $1.5m. And since that time I have not been the first one to bring up his name. So try again!!!!

    • Coyote

      Daryl, PDB is not my favorite, either, but I have to give him credit, as well as give credit to the team leaders, for how well the VGK are playing lately. Cheers.

      • Daryl

        VGK is winning and I give the coach credit for that. They are winning the games they should and that is needed if they are going to make the playoffs. And yes, they have beaten a team they shouldn’t have but they have also lost to a team they shouldn’t have. As for PDB I have always claimed he is a good coach. I just don’t think he is a great coach and his past record reinforces that claim

      • Daryl

        Our PP is absolutely horrendous and has been for awhile. You can say that isn’t PDB fault since he isn’t the PP coach, but he is HC and it all comes back to him. Uts also his system that is having Dmen run all over the ice and pinch which is leading to many odd man rushes and leaving them out of position for all the high danger chances. Both goalies have saved this team and PDB. RL has let him some very weak goals but luckily so for they haven’t cost VGK too much

        • Richie-Rich

          Wow, the VGK crazies on this list are already celebrating a Stanley Cup just because we beat a team that we shouldn’t have. I am a fan, but I’m not drunk or high enough to blindly run around thinking that a win over the Wild is a “complete turnaround”.

          Because it’s not…

          VGK played one great game and won a game that they shouldn’t have. The power play remains broken and it is my belief that our goalie issues are going to begin to show up in the W-L column over the next 2 months.

          • SMH

            Dear VGK Team – please stop winning games. It completely destroys Richie Rich’s ongoing narrative that the front office and coaching staff are complete crap. It also makes players like Lehner and Pietrangelo start to look good, in which case Richie Rich looks like a moron. Worst of all, winning these games (especially with a squad of nearly 50% AHL-level players) is making some fans happy and bringing them joy. How is Richie Rich supposed to continue to be a troll on this board in this type of environment? Again, stop the Winning so that Richie-Rich can stop the Whining!

  3. LVsc

    Just imagine how much better the Vgk could do if the coaching staff (Spott) was even moderately competent in regards to the PP.

    Or, just imagine how many fewer goals the Vgk could allow if the Dmen weren’t gambling and pinching haphazardly, giving up 2-on-1 breaks, with no regard for whether it was appropriate according to the game situation (time and score), or lack of recognition that there was no forward backing them up, thus making a pinch the wrong play to attempt at the time.

    PDB gets partial credit for improved record (getting team to play hard under next man up circumstances), and partial blame for an undisciplined system of dmen rovers who try to do too much and too often make goals against mental mistakes (i.e. bad pinches) because of it

    • Daryl

      Be careful the blind followers will attack you

    • Mike StG

      LVsc, your assessment is a little too broad. Dmen aren’t pinching haphazardly and undisciplined. It’s borne of necessity given the forward group is decimated with injuries and you have disjointed lines and rookies unable to score at the needed pace. Things have improved as the “brats” seem to be getting more comfortable adjusting to NHL game speed and play.

      On Lehner, all the “eye tests” of posters claiming how inferior he is are ignoring facts such as his save %, GAA, and particularly his GSAx (which he’s averaged through most of the season between 4th – 6th best in the league and is currently 6th). McKenna on Wed said AGAIN that Lehner has been excellent this season and I think his perspective as a former goalie and current goalie coach are way more reliable than the eye test of fan “experts”.

      I also agree with Filipowitz and Granger on the recent PDO pc, where Dmitri said that Roy needs to be at center, not wing. He’s been excellent and getting better every game on L2. His puck protection is outstanding and reminiscent of Perron in Season 1.

      Gotta say that after a terrible 1-4 start it’s pretty amazing that they’re 8-6 now. The talk here of playing weak teams doesn’t pass the smell test. Of the 14 games Vegas has played, 7 of those games were against teams that in the current standings are “in the playoffs”. And the other 6 teams who aren’t include COL and NYI, who both are definite cup contenders. So, in 14 games they’ve played 9 teams that are playoff caliber or at least playing at that level. And almost all of that same period Vegas has been playing without their best offensive weapons. A lot of the credit goes to the coaching staff, but it’s the players who play the game – so high five to them. Keep it up boys!

  4. THE hockey GOD

    whoa Jason stepped into that one, now all the FO and PDB haters’ heads will start exploding.

    I think it is a bit early talking about coach of the year at this point in time. But he is doing a good job of setting his line, getting chemistry between players, getting buy in, having new players step up (even though some may not realize that they played on same team in AHL, so they have some familiarity with each other). The good play of the goalie tandem though is foundation that it holding this together too.

    • Richie-Rich

      Wow, and there it is.

      THE “hockey” GOD has posted it……

      PDB – Coach of the Year

      I am going to puke.

      • My husband hates PDB he has never won the big game. Why do you think he is so great he got rid of Fleury the guy that got us to the play offs and been here from day one. You bring in Lerner and bench Fleury what’s wrong with that picture.

      • THE hockey GOD

        RR learn to read, try again . “I think it is a bit early talking about coach of the year at this point in time”

        epic fail on your part.

  5. I like the Pass Line, because playing these young guys so far is like hitting a 7 on the come out roll. Their winners !

    • THE hockey GOD

      @mark better than the craps line, or hard six line or hard ways line or Yo. Still like the kid line.

  6. Richie-Rich

    Jason, Jason, Jason —-

    Come on man. Turnaround? They’ve won a game they weren’t supposed to. One game. Edmonton has two games in hand and they are up 4 points on us right now. We are in 5th place.

    I think the phrase “complete turnaround” is a complete stretch of the imagination. Once we are within 2 points of first with consistent solid offensive play then we can begin to really rain praise down on the coaching staff. It is way too early to start being so positive.

    Fix the power play and get more consistency on offense and defense over a longer stretch of periods. Then come back and start slapping the coaches on the back.

    I am not quite ready for that, even though we are all feeling good about the team’s performance last night.

    CONSISTENCY…..
    THAT IS WHAT WE NEED TO SEE…..

  7. Blitz

    I guess I’ll come on here and join the PDB haters. Fucking labelers…christ people. You guys missing doc or what? Maybe time for you guys to go to his rainbow, candy, and unicorns VGK group.

    When PDB doesn’t get totally out coached against inferior teams in the playoffs i’ll start cupping his sack. This year I watched a team that went to the semi’s last year, but came back thru camp and preseason looking like they have never played hockey together, ever. This team shit the bed for the whole start of season. Yes injuries were to blame for some of it, but they looked like shit leading up to the injuries and PDB DID NOT adjust after the injuries, for how many games? Some new magical offense generator thru the neutral zone, how’d that work out? Answer: it didn’t. Yes after losing a bunch he figured out how to simplify his scheme and they started gelling. Wow, praise be, he is the savior. 1 win against a legit playoff team so far this season. The PP is 3 for infinity. Tell me Mr. Owl, how many offseasons does it take to correct a terrible power play?

    PDB is a decent coach with a complex system and clearly has been in the NHL a while. He has had a pretty good regular season career record. When his system is on it is on. I fully expect him to have this team back in good shape by the playoff, if we can out win enough bad teams to get us there. BUT…I am not going to crown him the messiah until he can not get embarrassed out of the playoffs and his power play becomes somewhere near average.

    • THE hockey GOD

      who do you like better , that is available now ?

      • Blitz

        I think your question is valid and my answer is, I have no clue. VGK managed to find him when they didn’t need to. To be clear I am not calling for a PETER firing. I mean christ, who would fire a coach mid season when the team was a little down but still had good potential? I don’t think he will get us to the promise land. There are giant flaws in his system and his ability to alter his system, in game or off season etc doesn’t look to exists.

        Certainly not Melrose. He didn’t look all that hot the other night on TV. He almost looks like he is sick or something. Perhaps he is just sick of the stupid shit that others around him have to say.

  8. knights fan in minny

    enjoy the season

    • Expected to spend three weeks recovering in Colorado before returning to Las Vegas.

      • I would expect to see him skating around New Year’s. Roughly six weeks after surgery he can begin training and working out. If all goes well he could be playing by the second week of February ie. in time for the league’s return from the Olympics break.

        • Richie-Rich

          Well, getting through the surgery successfully is clearly good. Now, it’s all about the follow up, the healing, and the physical therapy. The next big step will be Eichel being able to skate.

          I was not in favor of this trade, but now that it is done I am hoping Eichel can return to the ice by February and contribute.

          • Pistol Pete

            I am not expecting complications from the surgery. I don’t think there is any rigorous rehab or therapy. Basically the bone has fo grow into the disc, that is about all there is to it.

            Eichel researched this extensively. Basically, with a fusion procedure the bad joint is bridged with metal fasteners attached to the adjacent vertebrae. Over time this stresses the neighboring joints leading to more disc problems. It’s just way better to replace the disc and have a normal joint.

        • Daryl

          I think it would be smart to not even suit him up after that break

        • Mike StG

          Pete,

          Critical aspect of his return to play is the growth of the bone around the artificial disc. That’s an important aspect due to its effect on the disc’s ability to withstand physical forces of sport.

          • Richie-Rich

            I had a knee joint replacement in the summer of 2020. That’s probably a much easier surgery. Additionally, playing pickleball and tennis doesn’t include contact but there is quite a bit of pounding on the joint.

            I was able to return to play in 3 months, but only 1 game per week until around month 5. In the 5th month I was able to increase play to 2 times per week. By the 9th month I was back to 3 to 5 days per week.

            I think this disk replacement surgery is going to be similar in the timeline to returning to a full schedule of play.

          • Pistol Pete

            Stem cells, amnion and other sources of growth factors might have a role in speeding up bone growth. Regenerative medicine is making big strides and is probably used extensively in sports medicine. Not sure if it can be used to enhance the bone healing process in disc replacement procedures.

            I do think it was smart of Eichel to go the route he has.

    • Daryl

      Having the successful surgery is great on a personal and private matter, and it’s the most important thing, but he still has a long way to go before we know anything about hockey. Even if he can’t return or return ay full strength, congrats to him for getting the surgery he wanted and hopefully it does its job outside of hockey

  9. Ok. Call me a bitchy woman, but I am reading a LOT of posts that only SNIPE insults at one another!#! The chirping is for the PLAYERS, guys!! I dunno, I could be mistaken, but some of you guys seem to want to pick on each other!! I AM STUNNED!! I have an idea: why not try to keep the comments HOCKEY- RELATED, n-o-t PERSONAL DIFFERENCES!#! JUST SAYIN…..

    • Richie-Rich

      Thank you Ts! Regardless of whether or not you are pro-this-or-that or critical-of-this-or-that there is no reason for personal insults and there certainly should be no politic points of view on any of these SinBin threads.

      If you want to get your kicks in that way then take it on over to Twitter where you can have a field day with it. Agree to disagree or not, but let’s remember that we are all fans of the same team.

      It’s too bad these threads can’t be moderated because the following would be instantly deleted or never be allowed to be posted in the first place:

      – politics
      – insults
      – any post about Marc Andre Fleury (he’s gone stop pounding that drum)

  10. Henderson One

    Getting the Old Gang back. With the salary cap how is that going to happen?

  11. Tim

    To be successful in any sport you need to beat the teams you should and half the teams you shouldn’t. It will be a good test the next 8 games in November. Vancouver, Detroit, Anaheim, Arizona, we should beat. Carolina, Columbus, St. Louis, Edmonton we shouldn’t beat. Nashville is a maybe. That’s 9 games will we be 4-4–1 or better or worse should be interesting. Playing with as many AHL players as we are it will be a testament to Pete DeBoer’s coaching ability.

    • Richie-Rich

      I am anti-PDB, but would agree that if they can win 4 or 5 of these games that would bring me around a bit. Lehner as well if he performs. We shall see.

  12. Tim

    When and if everyone comes back and the cap has to be shaved the most likely and easiest way would be Reilly Smith, and Brandon McNabb. Both will be free agents at the end of the year and Roy is capable of taking Reilly Smiths spot on the Misfit line and we have an excess of D-Men where McNabb although an intimidator can be replaced.

    • Mike StG

      Tim, the easiest way is to trade a pick for an aged out player (who won’t likely play ever again) on LTIR with a big contract, like Tampa did with Brent Seabrook (6.9M cap relief).

      There are a few ways they could work it so they could keep Reilly Smith and McNabb. May have to let Dadonov go, but if it allows Jack to play it’s way worth it.

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