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Golden Knights Understandably Losing Composure After Latest Setback

(Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke, SinBin.vegas)

It’s becoming easier and easier to hear and see the frustration coming from the Golden Knights during their current five-game road trip. As the losses pile up some of the players are acting a bit out of character. Honestly, after the last few weeks who can blame them. In early January, Vegas was sitting comfortably in a playoff spot leading the Western Conference by three points. Now they stand 21 points behind the conference-leading Colorado Avalanche and hanging on to a playoff spot by a thread.

The rapid descent in the standings is taking a toll on Vegas’ players and coaches. After yesterday’s 6-4 loss in Columbus, a normally mild-mannered Chandler Stephenson was unfiltered about his club’s inability to win.

Everybody has to dig deeper, grab their nuts and just work. That’s the bottom line. -Chandler Stephenson

Stephenson seemed tired of making excuses and answering questions about how and when will the team turn things around. Like other teammates, they don’t have the answers, so they vent. Including coach Pete DeBoer.

We’re four games into this trip and I could argue we could have won every one of the games, but we found ways to lose. And that’s troubling. We’ve got to stop the bleeding. -Pete DeBoer

Four days ago newcomer Jack Eichel gave his now infamous postgame riff after Vegas’ 3-1 loss in Buffalo. Eichel’s disparaging remarks about his former supporters are still trending in trash talk history. Many in Vegas have already forgotten and really don’t care what Eichel’s feelings about Buffalo are. That’s fair, frankly, I don’t care much either. However, it was an opportunity for the 25-year-old to come out on top, but he chose the heel route, and that’s resonating around the league, especially in Buffalo.

Let’s chalk it up to emotions, and give Eichel a pass for being out of character. After all, it was his first toe stub since becoming a Vegas Golden Knight.

I think he’s pissed off. I hope that he reflects on it and recognizes he could have handled the situation better and differently. He’s rattled right now. -Brian Gionta on After The Whistle Podcast

In the 2015-16 season, Brian Gionta wore the ‘C’ for the Buffalo Sabres. A young, 19-year-old Eichel flourished under his captain’s leadership. The 2015 second overall pick registered 56 points (24 Goals, 32 Assists) in 81 games and finished fourth in Calder award voting. In Eichel’s own words, Gionta was a big influence on him early in his career.

He’s been a great pro and it was great for me to learn from him my first few years. I’ve never heard anybody say anything bad about him. It speaks to his character as a player, a person, a husband, a father. His work ethic and ability to overcome the challenges in his career… He’s somebody l grew up watching and all of a sudden I’m sitting a few stalls away from him my first years in the NHL. It’s an unbelievable career and I’m just happy I was able to be a part of it.-Jack Eichel, August 2018

Chirping at opposing fans doesn’t seem like something Gionta would’ve taught impactful rookies.

It was at the fanbase, it was at the organization. It meant more to Buffalo; the city, the fans, the players than it did Vegas. He was pissed off about it. -Gionta on After The Whistle Podcast

Back in 2019, a few weeks after Mark Stone had been traded to Vegas he made some light comments about his new location that didn’t sit well in Ottawa.

These are the type of games you want to be playing in as a hockey player. If I wasn’t having fun, I’d probably still be in Ottawa. -Mark Stone, April 2019

The next day the newly acquired Stone asked the media if he could clarify his comment. He expressed his full love and respect for Ottawa, the Senators, and their fans. Once the message was revealed to fans in Ottawa things were smoothed over. It’s possible Eichel will eventually have his own retraction. In defense of the VGK’s top center, Stone wasn’t battling through a torrid stretch of poor play.

That’s the real reason Eichel was understandably pissed off. His current team is sinking while he was getting booed off the ice by the fanbase he played in front of for seven seasons. How can you blame him? The loss stung either way it’s sliced.

The true Jack Eichel came out. That’s Jack Eichel. That’s edgy, that’s forceful. Like a lot of great players he can be a sore loser. I think that one really hurt him. -Elliotte Friedman on 32 Thoughts Podcast

There’s a lot of pressure on Eichel, Stephenson, DeBoer, and the rest of the team. Pure and simple, the Golden Knights need to save their season immediately. And while it may come off as crass, immature, or even delusional the boys deserve some leniency.

After all, it’s not like Eichel was badmouthing Calgary, Colorado, or Tampa.

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81 Comments

  1. THE hockey GOD

    i respect Eichel for telling the truth, he didn’t say anything over the top in my opinion. I thought it was funny in fact.

    Screw the Buffalo fans, they didn’t even have a full rink ! Typical loser whiner fans, some of which resemble those we have here.

    • Skip

      You don’t attack fans who bought your jersey, rooted for you to succeed, and only booed because you quit on them . Yes, he asked for a trade 2 years into an 80M contract (before his injury) and they were filling the arena and cheering him on.

      never. attack.the.fans.

      BTW – Vegas traded the wrong goalie ! You kept Lehner and sent Flower packing. WTF!
      keep making the mistakes VGK

    • danny

      i dont respect people who trashed behind a computer . typical from a low life dude with no love in his life . throll all day dont get laid

  2. THE hockey GOD

    franks servailli says

    Which players on the Trade Targets board can generate first-round picks in return this year?

    C/W Claude Giroux, Philadelphia
    C Tomas Hertl, San Jose
    LW Brandon Hagel, Chicago
    RW Brock Boeser, Vancouver
    LD Jakob Chychrun, Arizona
    LD Hampus Lindholm, Anaheim
    LD Ben Chiarot, Montreal
    G Marc-Andre Fleury, Chicago<ROLFMAO

    Borderline: LD Mark Giordano, Seattle

    Which buyers could move first-round picks?

    Los Angeles Kings
    Minnesota Wild
    New York Rangers
    St. Louis Blues
    Toronto Maple Leafs
    Carolina Hurricanes [2023]
    Colorado Avalanche [2023]
    Florida Panthers [2023]
    Vegas Golden Knights [2023]

    • When (what year) will we have another first round pick? Didn’t we give away all of our 1st and 2nd rounders for the next several years already? ROFLMAO! Trading up for anything right now is going to take quality pieces and prospects.

    • THG thanks for the info!

      I don’t feel we should be buying. This team has way to many injuries, one player is not going to help this team. Trading a future 1st would be different if we were a healthy team and had cap space. Only the management team knows who will be available at playoff time and I’m sure they are thinking win at all cost to keep their jobs.

      As a season ticket holder with 2 more years left after this year on my contract I think its important to think about the present and the future. Next season we only have 16 players signed and are over the cap by 1.5 Million.

    • Daryl

      Your laughter after the MAF name says all we need to know and just how upset you are over him. Just about every outlet, including your lovers in Canada, list MAF in the same fashion and yet here you are scoffing at it…. Tell me again how much better VGK is with RL over MAF????

      • Galdom

        Well since you asked I would have to say it’s a saw off. Marc-André Fleury is not doing anything special this season. Basically replacement level goaltending. Fluery has not played any better than Lehner this year. The only thing he has provided is better health. The VGK is going through their worst stretch of the season and is completely falling apart at the same time that Lehner has been hurt so obviously they miss him. Brossoit and Thompson are horseshit.

        • Daryl

          Just being healthy is more Tha RL is doing… But the funny thing is, certain posters on this site blame RL poor play on the defense then try to say MAF numbers aren’t any better but don’t take into consideration how poor the Hawks defense is. I guess it’s an excuse for one but not the other???

          RL has 5 games of allowing just 1 goal and just 1 SO. MAF has 10 games of allowing just 1 goal of which 4 are shutouts.

        • You are completely missing the point. You cannot compare MAF on CHI to RL on VGK. This is why MAF is a huge trade deadline commodity. You can throw stats on the wall all day long, they simply do not hold up in terms of longevity, health and the many reasons why RL has bounced from team to team to team never finding a home.

      • Daryl. There can now be no doubt in anyone’s mind that VGK was better off with Fleury tending the net.

  3. Carl

    At some point the VGK are going to have to win the old-fashioned way – by drafting and developing young talent. Buying every new, shiny 9 or 10 million dollar toy won’t get a Cup. Look at Tampa – Stamkos, Hedman, Khucherov, Point, Cirelli. All drafted. All of Bill’s old guys are hurt and cost valuable treasure (#1 and 2 picks, Krebs, Tuch, Suzuki, Brannstrom). And the cap hell won’t go away for years. Bill may never get his Cup with the current roster, let’s hope the front office changes strategies – or just goes away.

    • THE hockey GOD

      all drafted by Stevie Y, let’s not forget that

      • Carl

        Great hockey player and mind.

      • ulf

        You know, once again with a self-given name like “the hockey GOD” you’ve unfortunately put a target on your back.

        Yzerman didn’t start working for the Lightning until the 2010 Draft.

        Stamkos and Hedman were drafted by Brian Lawton’s regime.

        And while there have been some great picks by the Yzerman regime, they also picked guys like Brett Howden and Slater Koekkoek in the first round (although Slater has one of the best names in sports)

        • the hockey God

          @ulf at least Stevie Y didn’t ‘shuffle them off to Buffalo” ROFLMAO. He earned their respect , kept them and developed them That was my point.

          • ulf

            well, there’s a difference between saying that and what you actually said, which was simply
            “all drafted by Stevie Y, let’s not forget that”.
            Not that I care much but revisionist history is not actual history – good advice for any attempt to add disinformation to the history books!
            cheers

    • have another donut

      and they never won squat UNTIL Tampa traded 2 #1 picks for 3rd line grinders Coleman and Goodrow, and then had to let them go for cap reasons. so, Vgk similarity.

      and the fact is that those drafted players you named took years to develop into champs, and Foley is not gonna wait that long.

      • Carl

        The point being that the core of the team was drafted.

      • ulf

        Every now and then I’m reminded there are new hockey fans on this site.

        The Bolts won their Division in 2002-03 and 03-04, and won the Stanley Cup in 2004 (which is before Yzerman took over 6 years later, to mention another poster).

        There is over 100 years of history in the NHL. The Knights are going through a rough patch and I fear it’s because after the first year’s unexpected success, the braintrust soon decided to fire the coach that brought them that success and rush to sign a bunch of high-priced older stars that they have mostly overrated, and will make it difficult to build a draft-and-develop team that would serve it better in the long term.
        Hope that saner heads will prevail in the front office when the next star is looking for a big salary in VGK land!

        • Carl

          Ulf thanks for making my point for me. Or rather for repeating what I already said about building winners through the draft. Like Tampa did. Oh, and for underscoring the can’t buy Cups through buying high-priced toys. You’re making me look good.

        • the hockey God

          @ulf, foley is the “braintrust”, it’s his money; options are put before him and his business partners. He makes the final decision. The buck clearly stops with him. He decided the fate of MAF, he decided to give contracts to Stone, Patches, Eichel. The FO give him the options, he makes the final decisions.

          • ulf

            Ok, well if Foley is the one making every decision we’re in a meddling owner situation – the best owners hire the best management they can and simply let them do their job (or at least are available for consulting on matters, but leave the decisions to the hockey experts).

            We’ve seen bad results from “handsy” owners over decades of NHL history in Vancouver, Philadelphia, Long Island, the list goes on. Not a great look.

          • Owner meddling sure has been great for the Dallas Cowboys!

  4. have another donut

    eff Buffalo, and the horse they rode in on

    and instead of focusing on the shitty coaching and GM, no, the writer focuses on how the poor widdle Buffalo chips feel……..awwwwww

  5. have another donut

    Chandler Stephenson is the only Vgk player who I think has earned his money this year….and maybe add Carrier to that. and good for Stephenson for calling out his team.

    the rest should be refunding to fans.

    • Top performers this year are Marchy & Carrier. That’s it. The rest are pretty much expendable IMO. Eichel’s new so I am not including him in this.

      • Love Marchys game but his lack of discipline has cost the Knights numerous games in his time here…including playoff games…I think Chandler may be the most underrated player in the league

  6. THE hockey GOD

    the only think sucking worse than VGK right now is SloJoe in the White House due to his failed foreign and domestic “leadership” epic failures. He and his ilk own the war, high gasoline prices, high inflation and every thing else going on. This is what happens when someone steals an election.

    He is bought and paid for by China (remember 10% to the big guy); he will fart and yell incomprehensibly when they go for Taiwan.

    Everyone with a brain knows that.

    • THE hockey GOD

      *thing that is

    • THE hockey GOD

      well maybe the loser leaf fans, they are almost as bad right now

    • Kelly

      This is not an appropriate place for a political statement.

      • the hockey God

        first amendment says otherwise, everyone knows how much you libtardturds hate the constitution and right to speech speech, and don’t give me this cra p that this is a “private site”. It’s public forum, for both paying and non paying citizens.

        BTW i did use VGK in my post. .

        If I substituted Trump for slo joe, you’d all be dancing in street full of TDS.

        • Thg: do you YET understand what your hostile political posts cause? They cause HOSTILITY!! There are at least 50% of us who disagree with your opinions, but NONE of us are posting hostile political comments to PISS Y-O-U OFF! ( and trust me, people could respond to you in similar hostile fashion, but THEY ARE SMARTER THAN THAT. ) this is a HOCKEY site. NOT A POLITICAL ONE. For a ” smart guy”, you aren’t so much– unless, of course, you WANT to PISS PEOPLE OFF. PLEASE JUST STOP, ALREADY!!!

          • THE hockey GODv

            only people that get “pissed off” about FACTS POSTED are people that can not handle the truth.
            Stop whining and deal with it.

            Stolen election, inept, incompetent leadership, high inflation, world war three breaking out. Dementia slo joe. High prices at gas pump. Russian pipeline approved , USA pipeline shuttered, then Russian pipeline on hold. 14 billion to arms, southern border out of control, no funds for our border, crime out of control. Food prices skyrocketing, no affordable homes, illegal aliens running amuck. This is recipe for disaster.

            What’s to be pissed off about ?? Everyday patriotic middle class AMERICANS are pissed off. And they have every right to be !

            VGK Russian prospects impacted. The mid terms can’t come closer.

        • Amazing how when you talk hockey you sound intelligent

          • Daryl

            That’s funny… I was thinking the exact opposite lol

        • Come on now, you know that it’s all Bush’s and Trump’s fault, don’t ya know? I don’t mind having an intelligent debate on the politics of the day, but when it gets to mudslinging it becomes non-productive. No one is listening, and worse – no one wants it here in this hockey forum.

          Not everyone is on the communist site Facebook. I am, but mostly just to stay in touch with family & friends.

          If you want to talk politics go to FACEBOOK and find “Sin Bin Politics” as a group. Take it there…….and keep it off of this hockey forum!

    • Oh boy….there you go again…..REALLY??

  7. THE hockey GOD

    we’ll find out in a few short days whether the injured players are coming back to play this year, or not.

    • Tiki Owl

      Take your political crap elsewhere. And your supposed hockey knowledge too.

      • ulf

        agreed – I’d add ‘take your disinformation elsewhere’. Fine to disagree, but this attempt to rewrite facts should be on its own little page somewhere off in the darkness.

        • Carl

          Hey ulf THG is right about the 10% big guy! Try turning off cnn and their fake news “facts.” They make you sound as goofy as SloJoe.

  8. THE hockey GOD

    Gary Lawless ” no one likes the Golden Knights any more” because Foley is taking all the good players that are available ?!?!

  9. Tim

    I’m still sticking with my prediction Colorado one seat Knights eighth seat is going to absolutely drive the Avalanche management, coaches, players, and fans bonkers. We get healthy and put them out of the tournament would make my day as Clint would say.

  10. Barney

    Looking back it’s amazing how quickly McCriminal took a contending team and reduced it to mediocre. Impatience

    Thank god he shipped fleury out cuz that’s workin out so well now. Sigh…

    Good thing they got rid of that Suzuki kid without giving him the time of day DESPITE the fact Ryan McGill was his coach in Owen sound and knew the kid. Sigh…

    • THE hockey GOD

      @barney, you mean Foley, he’s the one giving the orders. coGMGM is only following orders.

      get it yet ?

      • Barney

        Maybe his blessing but not the orders

        • the hockey God

          @barney, the big guy runs the outfit, his five year plan , and he makes the final decisions. It is Foley/company money, not the fans.

  11. THE hockey GOD

    so Lawless says VGK needs to get to 96 points to win a playoff a spot.

    Today

    (he also stated every player was playing above their “station” except no. 7 and no. 9 in their line up position)

    He also states everyone hates VGK and they want to kick them good when they are down.

    Ok back to 90 points. They have 68 points, 96 minus 68 = 28 points. 19 games , 38 points left. So they have to win So they have to win 11 to 14 of remaining games to make the playoffs. All games are to be like playoff games !!

    can someone say
    CRUNCH TIME.

    • Duckboy

      “What’s that? Playoffs? Don’t talk about playoffs. Playoffs? You kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game!….another game.” – Jim mora

      • THE hockey GOD

        @duckboy, CRUNCH TIME BABY !! Will they crunch or will they be eaten for lunch ?????
        that is question.

  12. LVsc

    there are 21 games left. they have to win at least 14 of them.

    a 14-7 record from here on out.

  13. LVsc

    Paul Cotter and Brayden Pachal have been recalled from the @HSKnights

  14. LVsc

    Reilly Smith and Robin Lehner have been placed on IR

  15. LMAO – Pachal is good but green. We need McNabb and Martinez back and a quality goaltender by the trade deadline. I have always liked Cotter, he played great hockey during his time up earlier this season.

    • THE hockey GOD

      yes I agree, welcome back Cotter. I wouldn’t be surprised if they send Cotter to Detroit (his home town) as part of some sort of deal with Red Wings (just like they sent Tuch back to Buffalo). Wait for it.

  16. Barney

    VGK …DOA

  17. Vic

    Lawson Crouse from the Yotes would be nice. His contract is up, but the Yotes are thinking twice based on his hatty tonight. The kid is 24, big, tough, and scoring more. It will take a lot to get him, but this is the type of player needed. He’s ascending not descending, adds grit, desire, and can help protect some of the declining VGK high-priced assets.

    • the hockey God

      @Vic, the Yotes are more stingy than a Glasgow father giving away his five daughters on their wedding night. If you get my drift.

  18. Mike StG

    If, and a big IF, Vegas decides to add at TD they should go for a veteran D. That assumes they’re fairly certain Stone & Patch will be back in the lineup by playoffs.

    VGK’s blue line just has too many young and marginal players to make any kind of cup run. Coghlan shouldn’t even be playing, Hague should be 3rd pairing, no higher. Hutton has been serviceable, but if McNabb and Marty both get healthy I’d make Hague the 7th D and play Hutton on 3rd pair.

    Marty has been out so long it seems like whatever nerve damage the skate blade cut did to his face may end his season or even career. I’d trade for Yandle, who is excellent on the PP and has a good shot. His maturity and experience is probably about the best you’ll get to replace Martinez.

    Other than that, if Lehner looks to be questionable or out for the rest of the year then a starting goalie replacement would also be a priority. LT is obviously not NHL ready despite all the claims otherwise by posters here. McKenna has been saying that all year.

    • THE hockey GOD

      I agree VIC, I would add a mucker forward.

      And they need to get some bald guys. They have too many long haired “pretty” boys on their team. Need a few hard nosed bald guys.

      • Daryl

        I’d take someone like Scott Hartnell… He had long hair, wasn’t a pretty boy, or a good boy

  19. Barney

    Stone and Pac were invisible in play offs last year. Montreal bitch slapped them silly. Why would anyone think they won’t be shut down again?

    Can always go to the old fall back and blame everything on the goalie

    • Galdom

      Well Barney, they suck right now and their playoff runs are always halted because they can’t score and they are useless on the power play. I guess since Robin Lehner can’t score and can’t provide anything on the power play I guess we can blame him as well.

      Lehner and Fleury both provided the exact same playoff numbers in their playoff friends for this team. Except Fleury smiled while he did it and he is so adorable. but they both couldn’t score goals.

      • Galdom

        *pkayoff runs

        • THE hockey GOD

          @ galdom, thanks for the word. I will add it to the owners symptoms after

          () stools (there I fixed it), hives, dry heaving, retching, ajida (the agina ), now the runs.

    • Rob

      Here’s where you blew it:

      “After all, it’s not like Eichel was badmouthing Calgary, Colorado, or Tampa.“

      You’re saying that some franchises are inherently superior because… why exactly? As if fans in every city aren’t entitled to expect their highly paid stars to wear the crest with pride and play with heart for the loyal fan base who help pay their enormous salaries and buy their jerseys and other merch?

      Buffalo fans expected Eichel to be a true leader the way Josh Allen is for the Bills. Eichel is inherently not up for it and was also injured for long stretches in three of his seasons, killing any momentum the team had each time. He got injured at practice on the day before one of the season’s opened?? What the hell is that?

      Vegas can have him. We’ll take another rebuild with players who will play with pride for Buffalo. Every city should expect the same.

      • Rob speaks the truth. Team chemistry is important. McCrimmon apparently doesn’t think it is.

        He’s wrong and the end of his era is coming sooner rather than later, along with PDB.

        Foley, are you listening? Are you watching the great organization you founded implode? I sure hope so.

  20. About the post-game antics, Jack was just getting back at the fans that booed him everytime he touched the puck. He wears his heart on his sleeve and he was very hurt by this reception. So he threw shade at the fans.

    Problem is, as a player, you can’t do that.

    Eichel’s case kind of reminds me of PK Subban. Subban gave $10 million to a Montreal hospital while he was playing there, and they created a whole wing
    named after him.

    It wasn’t enough because shortly after giving the $10 million away, the Canadiens traded him. Being a good guy to the hospitals is one thing, but you have to be a good guy to your teammates and employees of the organization too.

    Apparently Subban was tough to deal with in the locker room, and possibly so is Eichel.

  21. Jdogg

    You’ll see soon enough what you have in eichel. He is a amazing player he just really needs to realize that there are way better ways to be a pro hockey player. That little childish stuff should be gone by now. The same thing that is happening with vegas happened with buffalo after the all star break. Dude is bad luck!!! But a amazing player…

    • JKB

      John Eichel is a self centered Boston brat. He’s been that way since his time at the National Program. An absolute cancer on and off the ice! Pay close attention to his body language on the ice when things don’t go his way. Look at the play against the Sabres when Tuch robbed the puck from him. It was a lack luster head dragging crawl of a chase. That’s your boy! He’s all yours have fun. Hockey is a team sport last I recall. Eichel should have played tennis.

  22. PREDICTION
    WPG 6, VGK 3

    STASNY GETS A GOAL
    SCHMIDT GETS AN ASSIST

    DEFENSE SWISS CHEESE , BACK UP GOALTENDER

    NOT A RECIPE FOR WINNING Hague (D1), Theodore (D2), Pachal/Coghlan (D3).

    The only question is whether Pachal and Coghlan get 12 minutes TOI tonight or not.

  23. Short Dogg

    Love to see all the salty Vegas fans on here bashing Sabres fans. Eichel is a whiner and we’re glad he’s gone. He’s not a leader and you all will get your taste of him soon enough. Look at your record since he arrived on your team. You guys are just mad that you came all the way up here to get smacked in the mouth lol!

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