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Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

“Feels Like We’ve Been Down 2-0 For A Month”

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights are no stranger to the playoffs. They’ve been there every year in the history of the franchise. But they’ve never been in a true playoff chase before and have really never been in a position in which there’s a true chance they don’t qualify.

While the cliche states “the playoffs have already started for us” the fact is it’s not quite the same. Due to the nature of the schedule and compounded by the mathematic oddity that comes with the loser point, simply winning games isn’t always enough when you are hunting down a playoff spot.

Vegas has found themselves in the win column in eight of the past 12 games and have picked up a total of 17 points since March 24th. The previous 21 games they picked up the same total of 17 points. The climb from these 17 has not matched the fall from the previous 17 though.

On February 8th, the Golden Knights led the Pacific Division in points and points percentage. 34 days and 17 points won later, they had fallen to 4th in the Pacific, 12 points out of 1st, and on the wrong side of the playoff cut line. It was a drastic fall and it happened in the matter of just over a month.

On March 24th, the Golden Knights were still a point out of a playoff spot and beginning a stretch of the schedule that looked very winnable. They did just that and have continued by beating playoff caliber teams like Calgary, Nashville, and Washington. Last night’s OT victory pushed them to 8-3-1 yet they haven’t moved an inch in the playoff standings. 28 days later, Vegas still sits on the outside looking in, now two points behind Dallas who has a game in hand.

Simply put, winning alone isn’t good enough, and it’s an unfamiliar feeling for the Golden Knights.

It feels like we’ve been down 2-0 in a playoff series for about a month here. We’ve been doing a good job and winning games but you don’t get that much closer, you don’t get to 2-2 if you win two in a row. -Mattias Janmark

It’s the perfect analogy and you can tell it’s wearing on the Golden Knights players. They’re doing their part, but it still hasn’t been good enough.

Yet.

Like the feeling when you are down 2-0 in a playoff series, the climb seems nearly impossible. You have to win four times in five games against a team that just beat you twice in a row. But, one game can change everything, and that’s exactly where the Golden Knights are right now.

Tonight in Calgary, the Flames host the Dallas Stars. If Calgary wins in regulation, the Golden Knights are right back in control of their own destiny. Assuming Vegas takes care of business on Sunday, Tuesday’s game in Dallas between the two teams becomes a true playoff type game where winning not only helps yourself, but damages the direct opponent as well.

Vegas’ climb still looks like it hasn’t gotten them anywhere, but one game tonight could change that in a hurry.

In many ways though, it’s really like the Golden Knights are down 3-0 in the series now. Dallas could help them out by dropping their 3rd in a row, but the fact remains, if the Golden Knights don’t win them all, nothing else will matter.

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47 Comments

  1. We will either be in a position to continue to challenge for a playoff spot or not by Sunday. If Dallas wins tonight then the hill remains as high as it was with fewer games left until we run out of games.

  2. Henderson One

    Ken, again you are counting your chickens before they are hatched. You did it for the N.J. Devils game and you just did it again for the upcoming San Jose game. This team can take no game for granted. You can not assume a win against San Jose even though it is probable. This team has shown again and again how inconsistent it is especially against those bottom dwelling teams.

    • Tim

      Henderson One, So true this Knights team is a hit or miss team. You never know which team will show up. We’ve lost to so many bottom feeders this year that I have zero confidence in any game we play. I don’t want to bust your bubble but this team has proven over and over again a decent goalie and we have no chance. I have no confidence that we can beat San Jose or Chicago let alone Dallas or St. Louis. I’m looking forward to this summer and what changes will come.

  3. Henderson One

    If Foley is the businessman that he is portrayed then there should be a complete change in the front office and the coaching staff beginning with PDB. His system destroys teams and the front office has built a team composed of highly paid, under achieving members many of whom are on the downside of their career. Part of the culture change in this organization can be attributed to the promise that Foley himself broke to MAF. Yes, it is a business but an entertainment business that not only depends on winning but also on the connectivity with the players.

    • the hockey God

      another bull shit post in long line of bull shit

    • Pistol Pete

      With all due respect we can’t say DeBoer destroys teams. When things don’t go all that well fans look for scapegoats and the coach heads the list. Specifically I did a little DD a couple days ago and learned that NJ began a rebuild the year after DeBoer made the finals and that contributed to his demise. Honestly I’m not sure why DeBoer was fired at SJ. Tough start to the season and the GM made a change.

      As for the notion the DeBoer system does not work because it overemphasizes defending over offense, burns players out, causes injury none if this has been documented. It may eventually prove out but for now it remains just a theory. It has to be backed up with data to go with an accurate description of how the formations of the DeBoer system differ from conventions or systems deployed by other coaches. All of the criticism I’ve seen of the system when go over the points they are too vague or generalized to be definitive. I’m open to a debate. Lay out the points (again) and I’ll examine them. I have thought about going on Goalie Interference and ask Ken, Mike and Jason to see if they can accurately describe every formation in the system. DeBoer is our coach so it would be important to really understand his system vs. guessing and scapegoating it.

      • Pistol Pete

        DeBoer’s VGK record (with 4 games remaining 2021-22):

        Regular season: 97-50-9
        Postseason: 22-17

        I don’t see a lot to complain about when it comes to these results. His coaching and whatever impact his system may have, he’s been successful here. More successful than Gallant.

        As for the DeBoer system, it’s not as though a coach’s system impacts every minute of every game. Certain functions are intrinsic to the game irrespective of the coach’s system. What does every NHL forward do?—they break out from the D-zone, move through the N-zone into the O-zone and head straight for the net. If the advance is more to a side it’s because defenders are pushing it away. Formations vary per the coaches system but these objectives are universal.

        The impact DeBoer’s system had on his Cup Finals and VGK Conference Finals losses is not as straight forward as assuming it directly caused them. While there is likely some influence it has to be quantified with data and by video. It is logical to assume his teams simply did not play well enough or that he was unable to make adjustments, not necessarily being confined by the limits of his system, to make them independent of it.

        In the DAL series, there were many high danger chances, rushes to the net players parked out front. Inability to finish in front of the net lost the series. Was this a failure of the DeBoer system per se? No.

        In the MTL series the 0-15 PP may have lost the series. Fleury’s late game 3 gaffe may have lost the series. Were these a failure of the DeBoer system per se? No.

        • Pistol Pete, you are not going to find whatever it is that you are looking for to support your defense of Pete DeBoer . I believe that you and the detractors are at a stalemate because both sides can not provide clear cut evidence. When one side provides statistics the other side will disregard them for their own reasons. For example DeBoer supporters will point to his extraordinary 97-50-9 VGK regular season record like you did and the detractors will say it doesn’t matter because Vegas plays in a weak division. I don’t get that personally because you play who ever is thrown at you. What was a successful record supposed to be? 117-30-9? Do we disregard Marc Andre Fluery’s Vezina trophy because of the easy schedule he had? I don’t think so. Has any detractor explained DeBoer’s successful power play in San Jose?

          Then there is the “DeBoer makes teams worse” myth. Complete crap. The New Jersey Devils team that made the Stanley Cup Finals had no business being there. Look at the roster. This isn’t the Scott Niedermeyer / Scott Stevens led defense, they were long gone. They didn’t have vintage Martin Brodeur, he was outplayed by his backup Johan Hedberg. The Devils severely overachieved that year. The next two years after that Broduer was 40 and 41 years old and began transitioning to Cory Schneider’s back up. DeBoer took a shitty team and brought them to a Stanley Cup Finals. That is the truth. The detractors will say he made them worse because they missed the playoffs the next year. However, PP as you correctly pointed out they began to rebuild after that.

          Continuing on with the he makes teams worse myth. In his first year in San Jose they made the finals and the very next year they lost in the first round. Sound familiar, it should because Gallant’s first year in Vegas they made the finals and lost in the first round the very next year. However after that DeBoer’s teams advanced one round further in the next two years after that, lost in the second round in 2017-18 and then lost in the third round in 2018-19. I don’t see the evidence of his teams getting worse under his coaching. What has San Jose done since DeBoer left? Not a sniff of the playoffs. The detractors will say it’s because San Jose is rebuilding, well so was New Jersey.

          I’m not even going to talk about the most ridiculous myth being “the DeBoer system causes injuries.” That’s ridiculous and impossible to improve. The DeBoer system does not make Alec Martinez take a skate to the face. Reilly Smith is not hurt because he was over worked in a DeBoer system. Same with Brett Howden and Nic Hague. No need to go further here.

          Pete DeBoer, like virtually every other coach in the NHL has a limited shelf life with his teams. They are all hired to be fired. It’s usually four year runs and then you are replaced. I guess that can be tied into the “DeBoer gets fired alot myth’, also not true. People, out of the 32 NHL head coaches how many of them have been with there teams for more then 4 years?

          The answer is five. And virtually one year was wiped out by Covid.

          Jon Cooper is the longest tenured coach starting with Tampa in March 2013.

          Jeff Blashill has been coaching Detroit since June 2015. Nothing expected of him there, just a place holder for when they get good again.

          Jared Bednar has been coaching Colorado since August 2016. I personally think he is awful and was outcoached by DeBoer in the playoffs.

          Mike Sullivan has been coaching the Pens since 2015 and Bruce Cassidy the Bruins since 2017.

          This is a results oriented business and for that reason DeBoer will probably be fired after this season. I can’t argue or defend that. For the power play to be anemic for so long to me certainly points to the coach but I also think it points to the players because again San Jose power plays were always good. They are not getting the job done. I get the love affair (sort of) with the misfits and the disdain for DeBoer because he is not an original but there have been some inexcusable efforts by the players this year and I can’t put that all on the coach. These guys are professionals and should be able to motivate themselves.

          I didn’t write this as a Pete DeBoer defense column, just a it’s not all his fault column. If I am management I fire him immediately after the season on April 30th. (NOT MAKING THE PLAYOFFS) You can’t fire the entire team. Starting Robin Lehner against Washington may have have been one of the most surprising and ridiculously bad decisions I have ever seen, so bad that some of us can’t fathom it and figure he was forced to do it. I’m so angry about it that I almost want DeBoer fired for that very reason. I don’t want to see his face anymore, it literally invokes anger in me.

          • THE hockey GOD

            damn galdom, common sense prevails in your posts 110% of the time !

  4. It definitely was surprising the situation with Foley and MAF given Foley’s military background. When your word no longer means anything it causes all sorts of problems which appear to be coming home to roost. It’s time to right the ship, you can’t fire all the players despite their being some that deserve it

  5. Cletus

    Heard all this fuss about Golden Knights fans getting excited over a win so I had to check the box score and realized that not much has changed. Zero contributions from Mark Stone who has zero points in five games since returning. Pacioretty not doing much. Why isn’t Eichel a point a game player??

  6. Pistol Pete

    A game at a time, I put 3-0 above 50% just to be bullish but that STL they are stacked. Don’t know how many scorers in the top 100 but it’s up there and Husso he’s the backup? better than Binnington. Blues are going to be around a few years.

  7. Galdom

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LEhdr6jMrVI

    Hockey World says goodbye to two legends Mike Bossy and Guy Lafleur

    • Galdom – much different time then when these two greats played. It was more about the love of the game than anything else. I have a picture of myself and Guy presenting him an award. A humble a great individual

  8. Camille

    Only one thing to say, Gallant and Fluery
    each have clinched play off berths with their respective teams.

  9. Pistol Pete

    Galdom thanks for posting, that was great read. You added a lot of detail to what I was trying to say. Essentially I am 100% agreement on all you wrote except I remain up in the air as far as firing DeBoer. I’ve mentioned before he has to answer to the PP. I also agree starting Lehner was a bad decision not just last game but vs. NJ where one could argue it may have cost the postseason if they don’t make it in. Only thing I could see is if there is if someone over his head that dictated it which case he’s already been forgiven the outcomes. Good thing he stepped in and benched Lehner in the Caps game. That may been been orchestrated by a higher up with some purpose we can only guess on. Was Lehner being set up for a fall these last two games. That would be pretty devious! If Thompson becomes a legitimate starter and they are able to miraculously move Lehner it will help make up for the mistake of signing him in the first place. Easy to say in hindsight that signing him to move Fleury out was a blunder or best a risk not worth taking.

    I have defended DeBoer up to this point based on his excellent record. He also did an excellent job keeping the ship afloat this season with the injuries. I stay open to criticism of his “system”, however as you know having an intelligent debate on the subject requires providing details on the formations in question. I’ve attended many practices and nothing I’ve noticed seems very complicated.

    • Pistol Pete

      What the f…k? That changes the Lehner discussion. Hard to imagine FO/DeBoer did not know about the injury!

  10. knights fan in minny

    lehner out knee surgery stand tall logan

    • Galdom

      What the fuck is going on with this organization? Wasn’t he declared fully healthy a couple of days ago?

      Does anybody that works for the team tell the truth about anything?

    • THE hockey GOD

      so much for the idiot who posted that he gave up !

      bunch of morons posting here recently.

  11. Richie-Rich

    Either DeBoer goes or Lehner. That’s how Ken and Mike see it playing out in the off-season.

    • knights fan in minny

      how about both flower comes back on a friendly contract one more year logan and fluery tandem a vegas story

      • Foley would have to make that happen, and if that is the case it will be the end of McPhee, McCrimmon, DeBoer and Lehner.

      • Minny

        I’m all in on that! As a season ticket holder I can tell you the place would go nuts if he ever came back.

    • Galdom

      I’ll tell you the answer to that. Bye bye DeBoer!! Much easier to get rid of the coach and you don’t have to trade a second round draft pick to do it. If Lehner is out for the year with knee surgery then he wasn’t 100% healthy As DeBoer stated a couple of days ago. Organization starting to become embarrassing. Who in the hell is going to want to come here when management is throwing people under the bus?

      Pistol Pete, you’re an awesome dude but try to defend that? I’m starting to get the feeling I can’t even look at DeBoer’s face when I watch on TV.

      Imagine jack Eichel thinking that he left an organization that treats injured players badly to come to one that does it right. At least he thought so.

      Again, what the fuck is going on here? The fan base deserves answers. I’m 2200 miles away but their season ticket holders that spend their hard-earned money on this deserve answers.

  12. THE hockey GOD

    Guy LeFluer one of the greatest hABs , RIP, a 100000000x better than the other fluer.

  13. Arnold Rothstein

    Obamas kicked off Spotify.
    CNN+ canceled.
    Disney’s special status removed.
    I call this a good start to building back better (Biden announced
    there will be food shortages, way to go; failed agenda all around)

  14. Galdom

    What the fuck is going on with this organization? Wasn’t he declared fully healthy a couple of days ago?

    Does anybody that works for the team tell the truth about anything?

  15. knights fan in minny

    and dazed and confused joe blunder is still a failure

  16. Pistol Pete

    Hold on. Isn’t Lehner expected to tell his coach if he’s injured? If so he’s culpable. Is it possible he was injured for the Devils game did not let on to it and continued the charade into the start of the Caps game? This could be the demise of Robin Lehner. Crazy.

    • Pistol Pete

      Imagine the VGK not making the postseason and the finger pointing at Lehner for allowing the coach to start him injured when he told them he was healthy. Hard to believe it could happen.

      • Pistol Pete

        Maybe he got injured first period vs. Caps or so it will be said.

        • Pistol Pete

          So it’s reported he suffered the injury 3/8 vs. PHI. Could be have been untruthful about the extent to which is was affecting him? Would that make him culpable for the loss vs. the Devils? His performance that game could be construed as related to the injury and he was not forthcoming about it.

          • Galdom

            Anything is possible and you could never know for sure because you’re not in the inside so one can only guess. I think the fact that Lehner has a guaranteed contract it would be pointless and not in his best interest to hide an injury. DeBoer and the management have more to lose, the wrath of all the fans and laughter of all the haters. I don’t trust them. That’s my opinion. Lehner is basically the pioneer of The fight against teams pressuring injured hockey players to play. So why would he do a complete 360 on that viewpoint.

            This team is shit anyways. It’ll all be over on April 30th. It would be nice to get some answers but they’re not gonna give any.

            Fans spend their time and money following the team and they are the furthest thing from transparent. They give their fans absolutely no information. Player can break his freaking back or could have a flu and they will probably put out the same information. ”Player not yet close to returning”. No one had a clue if Alec Martinez was going to be out for a couple of games or for 60 games. I literally believe absolutely nothing that comes out of their mouths anymore. (management). It makes me rethink everything in regards to MAF as well. Here I was siding with management and thinking flower was being a suck when they traded him but it seems obvious now that they didn’t inform him of the trade.

  17. It’s obvious management know about the injury and the extent of it from the testing. Lehner must have been saying he felt well enough to play so it’s not clear the extent of his culpability if any. As for management if they were pressuring him to play they could be culpable. If Lehner was game to play though that should be the bottom line. Management would not be culpable and Lehner could claim he misevaluated his ability to play releasing him from culpability for the fiasco (possibly losing the Devils game and maybe the whole season). Time for me to stop speculating until the facts become known!

  18. PP – a MD, an expert on all and now a lawyer – you must have more initials behind your name – culpability etc about this and that – who cares this management group has no integrity period. It is interesting that many now are beginning to see the light about these bunch – perhaps even becoming realists as well as loyal fans. Anyone who has been following this team since day one knows their actions speak louder than words – if their lips are moving their lying – not unlike politicians in general. I guess we now know who is starting Sunday.

    • Ha ha ha.

      I don’t disagree with everything you said. Let’s see how this plays out. Perhaps Lehner will end up with egg on his face to his detriment. At this point they need to get rid of him.

      So would you say back in the day NHL teams were less “business is business”? Fleury was the one who negotiated his $7m/yr. a pretty hefty deal. Along with hefty deals for the player comes the risk management could look for a way out down the road. Agree?

      • Henderson One

        It is a business but an entertainment business. Everyone wants to win but there is only one cup and not everyone can get it so the fans identify with the players. That is why Fleury was so important to the franchise. Fans identified with him in a very favorable way. Based on Foley’s promise I think MAF wanted to retire here. I don’t know how it works in the NHL but perhaps the contract could have been renegotiated. When Foley broke his promise it said a lot about him and the franchise. From a business point of view it was a mistake especially in the way he was treated. I think a front office sweep is required to put in place a new culture and path to success.

  19. Lehner 2019-20 as a rental:

    Regular season (3-0)—GAA 1.67—SV% .940

    Postseason (started 16 of 19 games): (9-7)— GAA 1.99—SV% .917

    With those numbers he was signed to 5 yr. @ $5m.

    They took the risk he could replace Fleury for $2m less.

    It has not worked out. Their biggest mistake to date imo.

    • PP – while the info you posted was interesting it doesn’t address the fact that this “elite” goalie as management peddled to Vegas fans and beyond was not that great apparently as all prior teams, he was associated didn’t keep him. They didn’t save $2m they wasted $5m or $25m depending how you look at it.

    • Foley and the FO has lost all credibility with not only the team but the fans with the Fleury debacle. Most of us who bought season tickets were not NHL fans, We became fans of the game but more importantly we identified with the players. We were all sports fans before hockey came to town and understood sports, professional and college, is a business, but like a commenter said, it is an entertainment business and VGK games stop being fun(Entertaining) when they broke up the band.

  20. Galdom

    hdbiker7851, I am now awake and seeing the light.

    Everything is a lie with these guys. At least they consistently lie so it’s easier for me to decipher now. Like you said anytime their lips are moving they’re lying.

    Now there is another report that DeBoer is saying that Lehner is fine and will be in uniform on Sunday.

    How is it that this drama only exists with this team? Lies and media leaks. It’s a circus.

    See link……

    https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/article/golden-knights-coach-deboer-denies-report-lehner-is-facing-season-ending-surgery/

    • Galdom we should wait for Ken to get to the bottom of this. Who knows maybe the first report WAS inaccurate. I thought there was a general perception Lehner was still not 100% when he first returned from the injury and it seemed consistent with how he was playing. It could be although Thompson was performing well management thought it was too early, that he was not ready to be the starter so Lehner was encouraged to play with the injury. If so, that sure backfired vs. the Devils.

  21. Galdom

    I BELIEVE NOTHING!!! I think they knew about Dadonov’s no trade list as well.

    Fire the entire management team. There’s no way any other teams in the league respect them so how in the hell are you going to make trades or transactions in the future.

    We have a serious reputation problem here and it needs to be repaired with a brand new management team.

    We don’t need a complete rebuild. Better health and a new approach could probably have this team still slide in a playoff spot next year. We need a retool.

    I enjoy being a fan of a hated team, I like being the villains but for respected reasons like success not for being scumbags.

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