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Despite Empty Season End Feeling, These Golden Knights Are Climbing

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When history looks back on the 2021 Golden Knights, it will show that they came up short. Again.

Technically, you can split hairs and say they were one win closer this season than last, but in the end, the round was the same, and the way they went out was almost identical to the year prior.

For four years running the most successful expansion franchise in North American history has been able to call itself a contender. Since the world realized how good this team can be sometime in December of 2017, it’s been fair and accurate to consider them among the most likely options to win the Stanley Cup each and every year.

But each year, it hasn’t happened and every time we’re left with the same feeling of emptiness. A feeling of “what could have been.”

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past four postseason failures though, is that while the bleak feeling will always exist, it feels different each time.

This one doesn’t feel like the first season. It certainly doesn’t feel like the second year that ended with an apology from the NHL. And while it should feel a lot like the third one, it doesn’t.

It’s because this team showed improvement from the last.

I thought we took a step from a year ago when we got to this point. I thought we were better during the regular season, better the playoffs against two really tough teams in Minnesota and Colorado. But we still fell off at the wrong time. There’s another door we’ve got to find a way to barge through at this time of year. -Pete DeBoer

Of course, the regular season wasn’t what it usually is, and the West Division was even more of a joke than the Pacific has been since the Golden Knights arrived, but there’s always something to take away from 56 games. What Vegas took from them was consistency. Any lapses in the Golden Knights’ play rarely lasted longer than a period, let alone a game, or a week.

Then, when the playoffs came around, they were faced with a similar obstacle to the one that tripped them up in the bubble. Dallas and Minnesota play a similar brand of defense and for a portion of the beginning of that series, it was working against the Golden Knights.

That was the first step.

The goals they needed came.

Jonathan Marchessault’s game-tier in Game 2. Mark Stone and Patrick Brown in Game 3 to rescue them after a terrible 1st period. Mattias Janmark’s hat trick in Game 7. Plus, goals from Nic Hague, Zach Whitecloud, Nic Roy, and a bunch from Alex Tuch proved this team could break through that wall created by the Wild.

Then, there was the next step, the big one. Colorado.

The Avalanche were the best team the Golden Knights had faced in the playoffs since the Washington Capitals. That Avs team was complete. They had plenty of high-end talent, a deep forward group, a mobile defense, and a Vezina finalist goalie.

Beating them matters. But even beyond that, beating them the way the Golden Knights did matters. They snuffed out a superstar, they made a great defensive corps look lost trying to exit their own zone, and they made a goalie who was having the year of his life look average.

The Golden Knights imposed their will on one of the league’s best teams and it’s something they’ll always have in their back pocket as a memory when the next postseason run comes.

Finally, there was even a step inside of the series that ended the season. Yes, it was similar to the way they went out against Dallas and of course, there are parallels that should and will be drawn about how the opposition was able to cause the VGK rush-reliant offense to dry up.

But the Golden Knights had true life in this one, something they really didn’t against Dallas.

Game 1 was a truly dominant win. Game 4 was a rescue effort that came in the form of two unlikely heroes (McNabb and Roy). And then there was the gift the Golden Knights handed Montreal in Game 3. Unlike Dallas a year ago, this was a truly close series.

I’m excited to learn from mistakes and try and build this team to a Stanley Cup winner and not just a contender. -Mark Stone

2021 is over. The roster will change between now and puck drop on year number five. But a lot of the same pieces will be there when the Golden Knights take the ice again, and whatever moves are made will inject even more vigor into a team that knows how close they really are.

Last year was a bit of a mirage, this one wasn’t. The proof was on the ice, even as difficult as it was to watch as it ended last night.

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102 Comments

  1. Richard Santomauro

    How about this for a shock?

    MANNY VIVEIROS, Head Coach Vegas Golden Knights! Along with the Assistants as well. I’ve seen enough of the Vegas Sharks style already.

    Here’s my team for Season 5 under Manny.

    1-Stone, Stephenson, Pacioretty
    2-Smith, Karlsson, Marchy
    3-Tuch,Roy,Janmark
    4-Kolesar, Glass/Krebs, Nosek

    Defense
    1-Petro, Martinez
    2-Theodore, Schuldt
    3-Hague, Whitecloud

    On the Bubble Tryout. These young guys should be developed and may even crack the lineup in Season 5:

    F – Jack Dugan
    F – Dylan Sikura
    C- Jake Leschyshyn
    F- Marcus Kallionkieli
    RW-Jermaine Loewen (possible Reaves replacement)
    D-Daniil Miramanov (6-4, 221)
    D-Zack Hayes (6-4, 222)

    Trade List FOR PICKS: Holden, McNabb, Reaves

    • Ben

      So which goalie are you keeping because they don’t have the cap room to keep all the guys you have listed

    • Jeff

      How about the goalies?

    • Yahn

      The coach cannot score goals., Pete is a fantastic coach. Some of the fans need to get that through their thick skulls.

      • Daryl

        What makes him a fantastic coach? I do think he is a good coach but that’s it. He continued to do the same thing over and over again even though it wasn’t working… last year and this year. IMO he switched out goalies at the wrong times. He has done nothing anywhere he’s been to say he is a fantastic coach

        • the hockey God

          no he didn’t do the same thing over and over, the players failed to execute. The players were hesitant and players weren’t getting to where they were supposed to go. Pretty obvious it was players’ fault, not coaches’ fault. Coach didn’t flub game two in nets.

          furthermore, the only think I would have done differently is give his key players a day off. This team was out of gas due to playing too many games in short amount of time and playing on bad ice. The last three out of four games on home ice (which the VGK LOST) was on BAD ICE. VERY BAD ICE.

          • Daryl

            That’s your opinion…

            Maybe they didn’t execute b/c the system wasn’t set up for thesr types of skaters? As the coach, if things aren’t working you try to make adjustments. I didn’t see those adjustments

            I didn’t see PDB change things up. I watched him with the NJD and he didn’t change things there. I watched him with SJS and he didn’t change there. He didn’t change last year and even said he wasn’t going to. And I didn’t see a change this year.

            As for the ice, it was bad for both teams so you can’t use that as an excuse.

          • Fergie

            I’m a new hockey fan, but I thought both teams played on the same ice at the same time. I get so tired of fans complaining about things that affect both teams. Poor Vegas and their bad ice. Montreal brought their own ice and it was better

        • Sam Cook

          We laid an egg in games 2 and 5. Game 5 was on of the worst games in Vgk history. We were just outsmarted. We have the talent but this coaching staff didn’t adjust to this opponent

      • Richard Santomauro

        Thick skulls? What a jerk.

        In any case, to reply to your nasty comment. Gerard Gallant took a bunch of 3rd liners and molded them into a Stanley Cup Finalist. Pete DeBoer has done nothing even close to that. In fact, I am a bit tired of seeing the Vegas Sharks out there.

        Time to move on from the PDB and Lehner mistakes.

      • Sam Cook

        DeBoer did not make any adjustments. He should have had our defense stay back deeper. I wanted to scream because we got beat on stretch pass after stretch pass. Montreal was quicker than we were and no adjustments were made.

      • Al Bundy of Hockey

        I’d disagree that he is a fantastic coach. He does some things well, for example, have the D activate more. Aside from criticisms about adjustments (nothing effective to beat the trap / simplify the PP), line-up decisions (Glass, Reaves as examples), line combo’s (Kolesar and Tuch as 1st line centers – lmfao), goalies decisions. and ice disbursement (makes me scratch my head) which all can be debated, where Deboers falls incredibly short is his commitment to TEAM DEFENSE) and it ripples thru to the ice (team defense includes neutral zone turnovers in my mind – just FYI). A more noticeable “measurement” are odd man rushes. As a coach in San Jose (and we watched it) the number of breakaways and odd man rushes were ridiculous. Same can be said of the Knights. I know they had a low GAA during the regular season but you can throw that out the window – playoffs are a different game. It is not normal to give up 1 to 2 breakaways and 3 to 5 odd man rushes per game and we see it over and over. At least it’s not normal for Stanley Cup champions.

        Unfortunately, he was the wrong pick. He was given all the horses this year, at least that’s what everyone thought until Montreal

    • John Sweeney

      Sorry; until Vega’s gets a legitimate first line Centre, that line up doesn’t scare me.

      Need to shed salary and make some sort of pitch to try and pry Jack Either away from Buffalo.

    • Tim

      Richard I don’t see where this lineup solves our PP problem. First I think our third line needs to be Tuch, Krebs, and Janmark. Our fourth line assuming Glass is history should be Dugan, Roy, and Kolesar line would have a little more scoring punch. Nosek as a utility player. Guys I’d trade are Smith, Theadore, Fleury, Carrier, Holden, McNabb, and Reeves. With our first and the Devils second pick we have two picks in the top 36. with trades and draft picks we can get out of cap hell and improve the tea. No Jack Eichel I never like damaged goods. The other forwards teams are willing to dump there’s a reason don’t make a stupid move. I like your other moves but time will tell.

      • Richard Santomauro

        Well, Tim – we agree on Eichel.

        I think the problem with the PP is with the strategy. It lacks movement, aggressiveness and rotation. I put the blame for the PP failures on the shoulders of coaching, especially when it is 0 and 15.

        I said, okay, let’s see what Pete DeBoer can do with this team. Well, he took over from Gallant in year 3 and now at the end of year 4 I remain unimpressed. Experiment failed and failed miserably. The lack of any offensive strategy was clearly evident last year and even more so this year as the team struggled with it.

        Time to move on from PDB.

    • the hockey God

      MV is a terrible coach, pass.

      he’s right up there with last one, Rocky and bullwinkle.

  2. Carl

    Dear God,

    Please make 23 re-sign with us!

    Carl

    • the hockey God

      @Carl, thanks for call out.
      Seek and yee shall find.
      The Truth shall set you free !

      I agree. But I am afraid the team will need to re work salary cap. I expect Reeves, Fleury, Theodore, no. 81 Marchesault (the guy can not hold onto the puck in Ozone, and misses the net more than hitting it), Holden, and Janzen to go. Maybe even Tuch. Too many players falling flat on their faces when needed.

    • Sheli

      Yes, PLEASE!

  3. Richard Santomauro

    If they have to dump a goalie, then they do. My preference is to keep MAF as I believe he would be a better mentor for Logan Thompson.

    • Blitz

      Richard, they *have to* dump a goalie, no *if,* and I agree 100% with you. MAF to mentor Logan Thompson is the ticket. Thompson played awesome this year and has earned the backup role. MAF is a legend and a fan favorite that had a fantastic year.

      Lehner, stats aside and constant blah blah MAF vs Lehner goalie talk, can’t get out of his own way outside of hockey and seems to do that on the ice at times as well. Lehner is not the better choice to mentor your future starting goalie. Plus MAF has carried this franchise 3 of the 4 years. To me it is a no brainer, but it is a team that had a year to figure out a major issue and didn’t do shit.

      On the bright side, I think Lehner saved some face with his last two games and hopefully another team is winning to take a shot on him this off season.

      • knights fan in minny

        good point about mentoring a young goalie but he needs to play you dont have to be first in the division just get in the playoffs

    • the hockey God

      not after than game three flub, don’t need to be teaching youngster how to flub games, get rid of dead wood and chokers. Fleury , like aiken who blew the shark series needs to go

      • Richard Santomauro

        Come on MAN! Cody Eakin was not guilty of a major penalty and the NHL all but apologized for it. MAF flub games? Have you looked at his Hall of Fame record? Sometimes I have no words when I see posts like this one. Sure, you’re pissed because we didn’t advance. But let’s not blame Eakin for year 2 or Fleury for year 4.

        The only point I am trying to make is that MAF is much better suited as a mentor to Logan Thompson. If you want to be upset about the year 2 major or Fleury’s mistake go ahead, but don’t mix those with the fact that MAF is a better mentor than the Panda.

        • the hockey God

          teams historically always get rid of players that flub in semi or finals

          that is fact , deal with it

          • Daryl

            So in other words VGK will have 6 new forwards and 4 new Dmen starting next season?

        • sb

          It’s not Fleury’s job to mentor anyone. He is being paid $7 million per season to stop the pucks coming at him. It’s certainly not Lehner’s job to mentor Thompson. Lehner is 29 years old and signed for four more seasons. Mentor a replacement?????? He’s the goalie, still a young goalie. His job is not to groom his replacement. He could be in Vegas for 8 more years. Groom his replacement? It’s not like this guy is 38 years old. Mentor? Not his job. Wrong profession.

          • Daryl

            It’s funny you say that…. Coaches the past couple years have talked about players mentoring younger players. That was one of the main things the coaches talked about with Engo and the younger guys like Theo and Hague. They talked about that with Engo specifically but also from some of the more senior players like Holden

      • Daryl

        You act like he’s the only goalie to make a mistake like that in the playoffs… Uts happened multiple times. He also made spectacular saves in that same game giving VGK a chance to even keep it close. That one play will not define him, at least not to real hockey fans

        • the hockey God

          “As for the ice, it was bad for both teams so you can’t use that as an excuse”

          bull shit,
          I knew someone who doesn’t understand how to build hockey teams would make such a non factual comment. That is not even close to realty.

          Analogous to HORSE RACING. Owners and trainers put a STABLE together of HORSES., IF all their horse are FAST on dirt you can’t expect them to compete on TURF or SLOP., Same for hockey players, you put a team together like VGK that can play on fast slick cold ice, ithen switch it up to SLOP ICE in middle of JUNE. Just like horses you can’t expect them to play the same way.

          Did you see how many times vegas players fell down, did you SEE NO 2 fall down multiple times ? Did you see how they couldn’t skate or make stick to stick passes like they could on fast ice? That was ice , and players like horses can not “flip a switch” and learn how to play on slop ice just like horses can’t learn to run on sloppy tracks when they like fast dirt tracks.

          The players in post game interviews said multiple time that the ice was bad. Vegas can not play on bad ice. PLAIN AND SIMPLE, and PROVEN.

          His fadda was a mudda, “his fadda was a mudda? his mudda was a mudda !
          his mudda was a mother ! I tell you Jerry it’s a lock ! A LOCK
          Clueless. hockey an d horse racing are very similar.

          • Daryl

            My bad little g…. what was I thinking. Who would have thought that passing, shooting, skating and puck handling was affected by the ice for only one team!!! What an idea. So in other words, we don’t need to blame the coaches OR the players for the loss…. VGK lost simply because of the ice! Good to know.

            What’s BS is your analogy!!!

  4. Mikegron32

    Ken,
    This was really well written and I completely agree with it. This has been an amazing ride these last (4) yrs. Although it’s perfectly normal to feel anger, frustration, disappointment after coming short, it cannot be forgotten that there will never be a more successful expansion team in sports history. Their success is the reason Vegas is now considered a professional sports town. It played a huge part in getting the Raiders and that big shiny Rumba across the highway. It’s the reason we will have baseball and NBA before long. It’s the reason Las Vegas, a place that gets hotter than the face of the sun, is a hockey town!
    Thanks for the amazing job you do. We moved to Tampa a couple months ago and I still follow Sinbin religiously for everything VGK!!

    • Daryl

      Please, no MLB and definitely no NBA

      • Al Bundy of Hockey

        Ken, you’re an excellent writer. Appreciate it. Your analysis falls a little short though. Neutral zone turnovers vs the trap are the whole point of the trap. Minnesota, Dallas, Habs. Simple adjustments can be made to beat the trap…kind of the reason it’s not used by everybody. Our coaching fell significantly short with this being the primary reason. We defined insanity in that series. Combine that with the lack of commitment to team defense (count odd man rushes in the playoffs before any one responds – don’t care about regular season at all), the team is decent but not Cup worthy. It’s a shame because we have the horses.

        • Richard Santomauro

          As a season ticket holder I am completely done with the PDB failed experiment. Wasn’t a fan when he was with the NJD, wasn’t a fan when he was with SJS, and bringing him to Vegas was, in my unqualified opinion, a major mistake.

          He had Season 3 and 4 to change my mind. So, now I am done. I am hoping that he will be fired, but I realize that isn’t going to happen. So yeah, I don’t see much hope for this team given the Head Coach doesn’t inspire and worse cannot adapt any sort of successful strategy to fix the worst power play I have ever seen.

    • Brian

      Agree with those sentiments Mike. I’m a longtime DC-area resident, but have been going to Vegas on vacation every year for the past 30, so I adopted VGK when they entered the league, and following Ken has made me more of a fan, probably to the point where I’m more of a VGK fan than my beloved Redskins….err, WFT. Listening to the Periscope and Twitter Space replays have occupied a fair number of commutes during this playoff run, so I don’t know what I’m going to do for the next three months!

      Next season will probably be a decent indicator of how good the team really is, as we’ll be back to playing a wider variety of the teams in the league and just not Western Division bum-slaying. Hockey is a tough sport to get used to following because stellar regular season records just don’t seem to matter. Coaches who don’t produce in the playoffs tend to get fired fairly rapidly. But of course Cooper in Tampa took a while before he got over the hump, including getting swept as a Presidents Trophy winner before winning it all the next year.

      • Thanks for the kind words Brian. You didn’t think we are gonna stop did you? We may not have games to talk about for a little while but there’s PLENTY we can still talk about.

        (sorry my Bucs dispatched your WFT.)

  5. Ice Ice Baby

    Bold prediction here. Fleury will retire this summer, paving the way for Lehner/Thompson in goal. You heard it here first!

    • Duckboy

      This will NOT happen.

      Played so well he got nominated for the vezna.
      Played awesome in the playoffs till the last series.
      You think a super competitive person is going out on that mistake and a great season like that?

      This is wishful thinking.

      Unless u have a source

    • sb

      Fleury retire? And walk away from $7 million and finishing Number 2 in stats before walking into the Hall of Fame. Fleury will be in the nets – somewhere – until he’s 40. You heard it here first!

      • Daryl

        I wouldn’t say first, but you are correct. I think he is like 60 wins away from moving up the ranks. he won’t retire until that happens which shouldn’t be too long. If VGK can’t/won’t move him after this season, he will play elsewhere the following. It’s not like he is washed up

  6. goalie trade

    next season lines=

    67 Eichel 61
    81 71 19
    Krebs 20 89
    28 10 92

    23-7
    27-Korczak
    14-2

    90
    Thompson

    • Pete DeBoer

      You won’t have some of those players if you get Eichel

      • the hockey God

        hi PDB welcome to the jungle !!

        too bad the team didn’t show up for half of the games in the last series

      • sb

        Maybe. Trade Fleury, Holden, Reaves nets $10 million. More likely though, buyouts that net $6 million. Don’t resign Janmark and Nosek nets another $2 million. Trade McNabb for a draft choice another $3 million plus. Eichel is within reach, and if healthy, he will bring more production.

  7. Blitz

    Talk in this article about the last 4 years has made me think about many conversations I have had this season (mostly with sharks fans) about VGK and how they came about. It always pisses me off when people try to discredit how they were built. Sure Smith and March in the same deal is ridiculous or getting handed guys like Tuch and Wild Bill so we wouldn’t pick from the uncovered list, but the team didn’t have any super stars. We were handed or picked or traded medium level players that teams either gave away or didn’t consider “must keeps”. Anyway, what I am driving at here, is that I am sure most of you have heard that same kind of talk. Now the talk is how Seattle is going to dominate cause they get to do what we did. So what I am really interested in seeing is how Seattle fares. Do they play down to expansion club expectations or do they build a playoff contender? Hopefully it gives more legitimacy to the expansion process and what VGK went thru year 1.

    • LVsc

      there is so much false bs about that draft. Nate Schmidt was the 7th dman for Wash, William Karlson was the 4th line center for Columbus, he scored 6 goals for them that season. Theodore was slow developing with Ana, and Fleury was sitting on the bench, watching Matt Murray win stanley cups in 2016 and 2017.

      • Daryl

        Exactly… People see how great these guys are playing but forget all these players were basically 3rd liners or 3rd pairing Dmen

        • Richard Santomauro

          Credit that first year roster and Gerard Gallant, who I now believe should never have been fired.

          • the hockey God

            anyone who thinks GG is a better coach than PDB has marbles for brains.

            It took GG a long time to get a new job in NHL. He was off for nearly a year, he was lucky to get that gig with international team. He is known for being inflexible and rigid. PDB is not. Anyone who says otherwise pretty much ignores facts and is blinded.

          • Daryl

            thg…. That’s pretty funny saying PDB is not rigid. I wonder why fans from FLA, NJD, and SJS have all said the complete opposite??? I guess he changed when he came to VGK. Hell, he said so himself last year during the playoffs

        • the hockey God

          schmidt had one good year, got face planted in both of his last two playoff appearances (something that did not happen to no.7) , and was nearly run out of Vancouver this year. His play has deteriorated and is far far far from “great”

          if the team kept Perron and big Neal the real deal they would have probably gone farther in playoffs. That is on FO not on PDB.

          • Daryl

            Not sure if this reply was to me but I didn’t say anything about any of those players

          • You have no clue as to how many teams reached out to GG. Knowing he had more than one option waited for the right opportunity for a team closer to home.

        • sb

          Ignoring proven veteran producers Perron and James Neal. Back four years ago, they would account for 55 to 60 goals not matter what team they play on. They ened up in Vegas not because they weren’t Top 6. Those were salary dumps of productive veteran players. And Haula was a legit centerman. Four years ago, that was a very good second line on any team.

          • Daryl

            Combined, I would agree with you. But them individually wouldn’t make up part of a solid 2nd line. Neal averaged less than 50pts a season. Since 2014, Perron couldn’t stay healthy and was averaging less than 25 pts/season. Agreed they were salary dumps for aging players. Haula is a good 2nd line Center but he also averages about 20 pts/season. I see a solid 2nd line but none of them would be on a solid 1st line… maybe Perron if he was fully healthy. Point is, this team wasn’t stacked from the start like some try to make it seem

    • the hockey God

      @Blitz
      The team is short on MUCKERS that are needed to win in the finals and semi finals. The ice is chippy and bad, the forwards we have are weak and slow on puck under these conditions. Need more Perry, Staal, like players on team in the semis’ and finals. They don’t have these type of players. Not close. Mostly cast offs.

      I don’t think Seattle will do as well. GMs learned from the VEGAS draft. I think a better question is how can VEGAS take advantage of that situation. Too bad they didn’t have some CAP space to work with.

  8. knights fan in minny

    good point about mentoring a young goalie but he needs to play you dont have to be first in the division just get in the playoffs

  9. Bill Martin

    As always you do what you do best…give the facts mixed with your perspective whether or not everyone agrees with you.

    Ken I’ve learned a lot from your articles and Periscopes over these last four years. Truly appreciate all your hard work and helping to educate a four year hockey noob!

    I honestly cannot understand how so many people think the answer is to rip everything up and push reset (it seems like that is the overwhelming opinion all over Twitter).

    Four years and four playoff appearances and one trip to the finals….

    Man I have been a Browns fan for almost forty years, the success the VGK franchise has had is remarkable. So to listen to so much whiny is pathetic.

    Hopefully my Brownies can make it to the Super Bowl before I die…

    • sb

      You don’t need to tear things up. Vegas needs one hi-end playmaking center for Stone/Pac. Then move Stephenson to Tuch/Roy line. Now you have three producing lines seldom seen in the NHL and the PP improves. Only one top notch center way.

  10. Pete DeBoer

    You won’t have some of those players if you get Eichel.

  11. Vic

    Thank you Ken for this avenue for people to speak freely (with rare exception) about hockey and other things (sometimes). I’ve been enjoying the site since you opened it up a few years before the draft, and I used your info to secure my first year season tickets. The ride has been exciting with agony and ecstasy, just like the real world. We have been blessed to have a team in the hunt every year as many of us older fans had years of garbage time following our previous teams. Keep the fire burning so we can look forward to training camp. Now let’s be good sports and enjoy game seven tonight, and then the finals next week.

    • Thanks Vic!

      We have no plans of slowing down.

      • Thanks from a new fan of your site! After following some others, I think this site has some real insight into hockey, and not just opinion and bull. I am a new hockey fan since the VGK arrived in Vegas, and Iam still learning the game– I appreciate not being ” corrected” or mocked for my posts!! I will stay tuned!!

  12. the hockey God

    the article fails to mention that during a normal season it is highly unlikely that the HABS with their RECORD even gets into playoffs in first place. And VGK to lose to such a team is a devastating FaiLURE.

    Fans are circulating wagons to have fleury’s head on a pike and hide of the coach ! Others want to change the name of team to the VEGAS CHICKEN CHOKERS. And fans in section 215 are practicing a new chant that goes BAWK BAWK BAWK along with a dance with people folding their arms under their arm pits, lifting one arm , and then the other, at same time lifting one leg and other leg. They are calling it the chicken dance !! Yet another group wants to move the team to san diego where the San Diego Chicken is their best known sports mascot.

    Can anyone say Viking / bills of NHL ???

  13. Tim

    Ken I have to disagree there’s an old saying ( Strike When The Irons Hot ) it’s never going to be hotter then it was this year. This you’ve got to crawl before you walk is BS as we know from our first year. Do you really think Colorado is going to sit pat plus they have far better young talent then we do.

    • the hockey God

      spot on Tim, Vegas players are yet another year older and yet another step slower, to win the CUP they need players that can play hockey on bad ice in JUNE and JULY.

    • sb

      Colorado has BIG, BIG problems this upcoming season with resigning RFA and UFA and the salary cap. So does Minn. Both are at the cap now. They cannot resign all their players. Colo and Minn will not come back with the same rosters next season. Like Vegas three years running and Tampa and Washington and Chicago the past couple seasons, the cap is going hit Colo and Minn really, really hard. They’re gonna take a step back next season thanks to the cap.

  14. Pistol Pete

    Another thanks from me Ken. Keep up the good work and I agree with your positive outlook! GKG!!!

    Best Regards,

    Peter

  15. Richard Santomauro

    Ken,

    Also, long time listener. I no longer have a Twitter account so I appreciate the effort.

    Rich

  16. The Noodle King

    Great job this season to both Ken and Jason. You guys do amazing work and it’s sincerely appreciated. Jumbo letdown last night and can’t wait for next season to start. Keep the info coming—-you guys do fantastic work. Thank you both.

  17. Good luck coach! We miss you! ❤

  18. Honestly gotta love Flower but Vegas never seemed to recover from “The Gaffe”.
    I’m a Pens fan and Fluery did stupid sh@@ like that one to many times to us also. I no he’s a likeable guy but he really took all the air out of your team and pumped it right in to Montreal.

    • Daryl

      I completely disagree… If VGK lost that game then lost the next and then got eliminated I might agree, but VGK came back and win the next game. MAF also made a couple spectacular saves which kept VGK in several other games

  19. Tom

    Perhaps next season will give us a better idea as to how good this team really is. This past season we were in probably the worst division in the NHL. Kings, Ducks, Sharks, and Coyotes were all really bad teams and the Knights fed themselves on them.

  20. Jonathan

    Too much pain. Can’t find any optimism. Beating a team as great as Colorado is so hard to do, there’s no guarantee you do it next time. And to fall flat against such a mediocre-at-best opponent is devastating. As a sports fan I know if you don’t take advantage of your chances, before long they’re just over. I thought the 49ers were on the way up when they went to the Super Bowl with Kap, then pretty soon we sucked for a long time. We made it back, lost again, and sucked again right after. My Yankees seemed to be ahead of schedule with the Baby Bombers and had a 3-2 lead with two chances to punch their ticket to the WS. They lost them both and have really only looked worse since. When you blow Golden opportunities like this one, it’s just a big disappointment. I have the feeling following this team is going to look similar for a long time. I think it might take another cycle, many years from now (10-12), of fresh young talent and winners who come in and make something happen. A captain who has zero points in a series should be shipped off to a non-playoff team where he can dazzle in the regular season like the head case that he is.

    • Matthew GOURLIE

      Got news for you Lehner won that game you are referring too…

    • sb

      The salary cap is gonna bite Colo and Minn really, really hard next season. Neither team can come close to fielding the same teams. Both gonna take a step back next season.

  21. the hockey God

    “My bad little g…. what was I thinking. Who would have thought that passing, shooting, skating and puck handling was affected by the ice for only one team!!! What an idea. So in other words, we don’t need to blame the coaches OR the players for the loss…. VGK lost simply because of the ice! Good to know.

    What’s BS is your analogy!!!”

    Don’t put words in my post that aren’t there. The bad ice was one of the factors. And it’s a trend in the past few years with their losses against “mudder’ teams like sharks, dalllas, and Montreal. See the pattern here ?

    VGK have proven in last few season that they are a fast ice team, they are not “mudders” they can’t play on bad ice. You failed to address all the times the VGK fell down on the ice, couldn’t make tape to tape passes, and all the other FACTS I No speed to lose pucks, no winning puck battles, and all the other facts pointed out. Also, VGK ice was bad on last three games on their home ice, they lost two of three. The only one they won was first one with Montreal getting their legs back.

    MTL is a bad ice team, they are mudders. See that goal by CC, that was not a tape to tape pass, it was flip pass that caught the VGK d man off, and he went right around him.

    ICE MATTERS, and that was only one issue. They were also a tired team. And bad ice does not help when you are tired. It costs more energy to skate on bad ice. Also, Fred Shiro mucked up his home ice when his team played the fast and skilled Russian Red Army back in the 70s. It is a known fact. .

    FAST ICE MATTERS !! deal with it

    • Daryl

      Great excuse…. You got any more

      And that is all that is. If you want a comparison use football where one team plays on turf and one plays on grass.

      • the hockey God

        Facts not excuses, the facts are in plain site. Facts present during the CAPS in the finals, Facts present during the SHARKS game (funny how PDB haters don’t mention that series), facts during the DALLAS series, and FACTS during the HABS series. All won by team which had better muckers.

        I am not a football fan. But I asked my close relative who bets the living daylights on NFL GAMES. This relative says some teams play better on certain surfaces over other surfaces.

        The same applies to horse racing, You have a horse race, all the horses are running on sloppy track. You have turf horses entered (wait a minute TRAINERS Scratch their turf horse, why is that ? )The horses all “play on the same surface” . Then you have horses ENTERED FOR MAIN TRACK ONLY, and they scratch their horse. Why is that? Because despite the FAcT that all horses RUN on the same surface, some run BETTER on that surface than others in race. At least trainers can scratch, PBD does not have that option, and he can’t flip a switch and say ok ICE be fast.

        The VGK need more MUCKERS on their team. The HABS had more and won. They also were the more better rested team. They didn’t play in bubble. And the ice was bad both in VEGAS and in Montreal.

        • Daryl

          I get it now…. because YOU said it, it now becomes a fact! Got it. Tha nksfor the clarification. Here’s a fact, your beloved coach has done worse each year he has taken over a club. VGK has several players who are not speed guys, like Stone and Martinez. L

          Keep the excuses coming

          • Al Bundy of Hockey

            Your dead on Daryl…VGK was outcoached. Team had the horses – everyone thought so until Montreal knocked them out. I played / played against / coached college using the trap. I watched the games saying, “seriously, the game plan hasn’t changed, coach?” lol

        • Al Bundy of Hockey

          I actually laughed reading this and you actually typed that much about it the ice!!! OMG, still laughing. Deboers is lost, absolutely lost. All of his teams give up 1 to 2 breakaways and 3 to 5 odd man rushes per game – zero commitment to team defense, they did it all season! Never mind the fact that he went 6 games without adjusting for the “trap” which Montreal played successfully for the 7 PREVIOUS games (which I’m assuming were recorded and could be used for scouting, lol) and the lame powerplay. I re-watched game 5 and counted 35 times that VGK could have chipped the puck in deep in the neutral zone and failed to do so resulting in no forecheck and transition against them. You can have all the muckers you want but if you don’t get it in deep there will be no mucking.

  22. The team is solid. They have the best defense in the league. Why mess with it ? They are way to predictable when trying to clear the zone. They always shoot the puck off the sideboards to get it out. Makes it very easy for the other team to pinch and keep the puck in the Vegas D zone. They also need to practice at length on their aiming with their shots. They shoot right into the chest of the goalie so much and miss the cage so much it’s no wonder they can’t score in a lot of key games. Make the other goalie make saves. Montreal doesn’t have a great offense but when they get a chance they have good shots. Vegas doesn’t have good shots. They say Price made super saves. Maybe a few but most shots were easy saves. The Montreal shots were not easy saves. Montreal wins. The better team goes home again just like last year with Dallas. The need to fix their problems which should be easy to do and then they’ll do much better scoring and clearing the D zone.

    • sb

      Vegas most often clears the D Zone by flipping the puck out more so than up the boards. Watch some reruns.

  23. Tim

    In fairness we almost always draft close to the end of the first round and this year is no different. Unless you get lucky were getting OK players but not difference makers so our pipe line is filled with fourth line players. Kolesar can’t score a fourth line player at best. Hague and Coghlan are suppose to have these big shots I haven’t seen it yet another group of fourth line players. Glass our crown jewel working his way out of hockey. I watched a lot of our Silver Knights games and no one stood out as a future star. You look at our top two lines everyone is 30 plus except for Stephenson so all will be a step slower so if we couldn’t score the last two years against Dallas and Montreal what makes you think we’ll do it next year? It was nice to see Petro come around and I think Martinez is a player I also think Theadore is a pretender all show and no go. I think most others couldn’t score if there life depended on it. In a nutshell we lack fire power and in my mind it will take more then one center to solve our scoring drought. On the flip side our division is completely rebuilding and we should win the Pacific and the first two round and when we play the central winner we’ll be right back where we are wondering how Colorado beat us and we couldn’t score.

    • Richard Santomauro

      A thought provoking post Tim.

      Barring some jinx we will definitely make the playoffs next year. I am concerned about the age direction (up), especially on that 1st line. You leave line 2 intact. It’s been together now for 4 years, and it has plenty of life (years) in it. Let that line grow and get better. Unfortunately, it isn’t likely to happen under Pete DeBoer.

      I am pretty sure VGK was the top defensive team in the NHL this year, or in the top 3. Defense isn’t the problem at all. The problem is on offense. The D men are having to pinch up and help the forwards create scoring chances. That leaves the team open to counter attack breakaways and odd man rushes. Some following SinBin believe the answer lies out there in the free agent market. We need just 1 more big name, big salaried expensive player and that will make the difference. Right? NO! The problem on offense isn’t the skill level, it’s the strategy and the practice. You practice like you play and if your not practicing under playoff-like pressure then what you are going to get is beat. Conditioning is also very important. This season, unlike season 1 and 2 under Gallant we have seen PDB coached teams play intense high energy hockey for on average a period or a period and a half. This year we’ve seen VGK have to come from behind to win 1 goal games way way too often. Very often it wasn’t until the 3rd period when desperation time triggered a more passionate high energy game. That’s when you’d see VGK shift into that high gear and the passing game was unbelievable. You didn’t have to wait to see that high energy passion under GG. You normally saw 60 minutes of it.

      I think Season 5 is going to be fun and interesting, especially evaluating the off season strategy.

      • Daryl

        At some point very soon we will have a rebuilding year. At you both have mentioned, the players are getting old. Unless things change our division is so weak even during the rebuilding years we will prob will make the playoffs which will prob hurt our draft status. I disagree you can’t get a great player in the latter part of round 1 though. You won’t find a Crosby but you can still find a stud. The problem facing VGK and this FO is so that go for the best avail or do they go after the best needed player? If your look at recent history they go for best player and not necessarily what is best for the team

      • Agree Richard. VGKs need to sign a stud forward who can generate more scoring opportunities and excitement. For a D-man, Petra has to generate way too much offensive energy for Vegas.

    • sb

      Tuch and Roy are old guys?

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