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Engelland: Stanley Cup Finals Or Bust In VGK’s Minds

Earlier this month Sportsnet flooded Las Vegas for NHL All-Star weekend. While the network’s insiders and reporters partied away, their production crew documented some of the stops along the Strip. Over their 72 Hours in Las Vegas, Sportsnet wanted an insider’s tour of the city so they broke bread with one of the original Golden Knights.

You have the Strip, you have the best food in the world all wrapped up into one. You have the entertainment. The atmosphere in the rink is a show inside of a hockey game. –Deryk Engelland to Sportsnet

Sportsnet personality Cabbie Richards and former NHL’er Colby Armstrong sat down with retired Golden Knight Deryk Engelland for some fine dining at Carbone.

While their table-side Caesar was being prepared the trio reminisced about the unexpected 2017-18 Golden Knights run to the Stanley Cup finals. The original team’s early success caught everyone by surprise including the players. Engelland told Cabbie and Colby that by late December, his teammates were desperate to keep pacing for the playoffs because they didn’t want to get traded out of Las Vegas.

I don’t think anyone saw that coming. By Christmastime everyone kept saying ‘we gotta keep on winning’ because no one wanted to leave. The city is amazing. –Engelland to Sportsnet

Right about when the slow-cooked Spanish octopus was served the conversation shifted to the current Golden Knights roster. The Sportsnet crew asked about managing expectations in which Engelland stated past results swiftly changed the process. The time is now for this organization.

You go to the Finals and Bill’s five-year plan goes to a two-year plan. With the moves they’ve made this year and the guys they’ve signed, I think if they come up short of the Stanley Cup or the Finals it’s going to be a bust in their minds. –Engelland to Sportsnet

In between courses, Armstrong asked his former Penguins teammate about the truth behind the Vegas flu. Engelland compared it to “playing guilty” in the AHL.

You’ve played guilty. It means you go out the night before and have a few too many cocktails. It doesn’t mean you have to be out late but you have a few too many and the next morning you’re feeling it. –Engelland to Sportsnet

For timing sake, this interview was released this week but recorded before Mark Stone was placed on LTIR and Jack Eichel made his debut. It’s possible expectations have slightly dropped for some in the organization. However, it continues to show that this isn’t a ‘we’ll get them next year’, throw-away type season. Between injuries, lack of chemistry, defense, and goaltending issues this organization still believes they are a champion. Fans should as well.

They do have high expectations right now. –Engelland to Sportsnet

For those curious, Carbone served the three an array of timeless Italian dishes that included tuna calabrese, lobster ravioli, signature meatballs, their famous macaroni and veal parmigiana. After seeing the veal it might be time to hit up the SinBin expense account.

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18 Comments

  1. Daryl

    I said this on another thread, VGK needs to win sooner than later. Thanks to some of the high end deals to veteran players, VGK will be in Cap hell for some time which means moves to key players will need to be made. And with the current FO thinking, they will continue to spend money that will only hurt this team for years to come. You can have 4 lines of great players but if they can’t gel and play as a team they will fail.

    • Daryl

      Curious, what are gas prices in VGK? Gas here in NC just rose to $3.80. I’d like to personally thank the person responsible for that

  2. I would have the Veal Parmigiana!

    Very good article and puts the current edition of the Golden Knights into perspective. It is a very good accurate depiction.

    Are VGK fans like myself spoiled? That’s probably true given the success of year 1. The big question is what are our expectations for this year? There’s no doubt that most fans considered our team to be a top 3 or even 5 contender to win the Stanley Cup. The fact that we are sitting around 13th place in the league standings is sobering to say the least. Some fans, like myself, predicted that the team wouldn’t be as good as last year. I am not surprised at all, but still have hope.

    I’ve already started making my payments for the 2022-2023 season. I love hockey, and you can tell that the VGK FO isn’t shy about spending money to bring a Stanley Cup Championship to the Strip. The money isn’t the problem, it’s how it is being spent that is of the greatest concern, the roster move decisions, and what appears an attitude of ignoring the obvious flaws in performance and coaching , most especially the fact that the special teams coach is still employed.

    All of this negativity evaporates into the air when (if) Mark Stone raises the Stanley Cup this season in victory. If we get to the Finals and lose the questions will still remain but at least the fans won’t abandon hope. If this version falls flat on its face and is eliminated in round 1 – or worse? That’s going to be a watershed moment between the fans and VGK management. It will also be likely a watershed moment between Bill Foley and his management team and Coach.

    • THE hockey GOD

      you are ignoring the reality of the situation , pointing fingers in wrong direction. You forgot to mentioning goal tending.

      What happened ??

  3. THE hockey GOD

    I expect nothing this year, and I will like it.

    The year has been a bust with covid and all the injuries. Fans should not get their expectations too high because the team is going through a lull and likely will continue into the playoffs. The injury trend has not been broken. It’s one thing after another. Now the flu bug hit three players. Not good in building a uniform team structure.

    On the other hand we are exiting the “dog days’ in the schedule. In March things should pick up.

    Then on other other hand, the irony in this organization abounds. Perron with a so called neck injury , they let go. And Eichel with neck injury they sign. What changed ?

  4. Mike StG

    I’m just glad we aren’t going to Kraken games in Seattle. Third worst win % in NHL at a smokin’ .343, just ahead of Yotes and Habs who are vying for all time historical worst in the Shane Wright derby.

    I would say that’s the ‘glass half full’ view of the situation. Lol.

    • Daryl

      Same Yotes that just won?

      I only got to watch the 1st period so I have no idea what just happened

      • Mike StG

        I was comparing the Kraken to Vegas in their expansion year. The mention of Habs and Yotes was only to point out Seattle’s position in the standings in the entire league – 3rd worst in the NHL.

        And the Yotes FO is clear that they’re in a full rebuild and would like to get Wright in 2022 entry draft and Bedard in 2023. Talk about missing the point…

        • Daryl

          I was just messing… Couldn’t help myself. I saw this post just after VGK lost. But UT doesn’t change the fact that VGK looked horrible against this team. I’m not worried about a w/l but how the team played and it was embarrassing

          • Daryl

            And again, you can’t compare Seattle to VGK… While on the surface the drafts themselves looked similar, they weren’t even close

          • Mike StG

            The point of my comment was in response to all the complaining about Vegas in the posts. I said in effect, just be glad you didn’t get the Kraken to cheer for in our Year 1. We got the greatest season of a true expansion team in the history of US professional sports. And that has been followed by 3 years of playoffs and 2 trips to the conference finals. The Leafs haven’t even won a playoff round in 30 years.

            We honestly don’t have anything to be grumbling about. Winning the cup would be great, but it’s more of a bonus than an entitlement. Ask Winnipeg, or Vancouver or Florida or Arizona or Nashville…
            🙂

  5. That’s it Mike StG…..

    I will just be glad about year 1, nothing after that matters.

    Okay.

    • Mike StG

      Talk about twisting my words…

      They’ve made the playoffs the next 3 years and conference final 2 of those years. So, that is crap? They obviously went into the toilet after that 1st year. Right!

      Habs went to the cup final last year and this year they’re one of the worst teams in the league. Now THAT’S sucking big time.

      I’m just saying we should appreciate what we have. If you make the playoffs you have a chance. As they say, “It’s not the best team that wins, it’s the team that plays best.” Any team can go on a run in the postseason.

      • So, what lit a fire under VGK tonight for the first 40 minutes? Then in period 3 they fall back into their own zone giving away space to Colorado on the rush and now they are down by a goal with about 10 minutes to go.

        Maybe DeBoer playing not to lose! That’s what I think happened.

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