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Iole: VGK Still A Cup Contender, But Problems Abound On the Ice And In The Stands

Sundays have always been a down day here at SinBin.vegas, but the last few years we’ve had regular Sunday columns during the regular season. We lost our regular columnist, but we never stop trying to deliver you content. This season, diehard VGK fan and legendary combat sports columnist Kevin Iole will be delivering columns a few times a month on Sundays. Today, we get his first, preaching patience.

(Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke, SinBin.vegas)

Four games into an 82-game season, even with a third of the top nine forwards and two of the team’s better defensemen out, is not the time to panic. The Golden Knights have been awful the last nine periods, against the Kings, the Blues, and the Oilers, and they weren’t all that great against the Kraken in the season-opener in their only win.

This is a team, though, that is built for the long haul, and a strong run in April and May will make these frustrating early days of the 2021-22 season quickly forgotten.

The most worrisome thing about the early struggles is the fans’ reaction to it. Neither Wednesday’s game against the Blues nor the Friday game against the Oilers, was truly sold out. Both games were close late in the 3rd period, and hordes of people were leaving while the outcome hung in the balance. For all the talk about having the greatest fans in hockey, that’s concerning.

A six-game winning streak will bring them back and have them singing along with ‘Viva Las Vegas,’ and throwing flamingos onto the ice, but sustained mediocre play will guarantee plenty of empty seats.

The marketing department needs to address that, but the product on the ice isn’t doing its part to keep them until the end of the games. The scary part is, it’s unlikely the VGK will have its full team together until around the Olympics in February, when Alex Tuch is slated to return from offseason shoulder surgery.

Going into tonight’s game against the Islanders at The Fortress, Tuch will be joined in the press box by Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Alec Martinez and, Zach Whitecloud.

If you’d have predicted the day before Tuch’s surgery became known that those five would represent the Golden Knights in the NHL All-Star Game at T-Mobile, it wouldn’t have been that outlandish of a prediction. No team can withstand having that kind of talent on the sidelines for any lengthy period and not have it make a negative impact.

More concerning than the lengthy injury list, though, is the impotent power play and the mind-boggling defensive lapses. During a 5-on-3 power play on Friday against the Oilers, the Golden Knights were repeatedly missing the net, making it far easier on the defense and a big part of the reason they’re now 0-for-27 with the man advantage dating back to the playoffs last year.

The defensive lapses were most glaring against the Kings, when Stone, Pacioretty, Martinez, and Whitecloud were in the lineup. They continued against the Blues and were still damaging against Edmonton. The tying goal Friday came as a direct result of a turnover by William Karlsson and the wining goal was the result of an ill-advised pass by Nic Hague that Duncan Keith intercepted that led to a Zach Kassian breakaway.

Pete DeBoer is a great tactical coach and his history shows that his teams improve as the season goes on. This is the team that won the Jennings Trophy last season for the fewest goals allowed, and it should still be one of the stingiest teams in the league, even with The Flower now being bombarded behind an awful team in Chicago.

The power play, though, has long been a problem for this franchise, and its lack of success was a major factor in the VGK not defeating the Canadiens in the semifinals last year.

On Friday against the Oilers, the Knights had zone pressure, but didn’t move the puck well enough to get the kind of Grade A chances it takes to score. And when they shot from the outside, they repeatedly missed the net and there were thus no opportunities to get a goal off a scramble in front.

The Golden Knights connected only 17.8 percent of the time last season, which was a full three percent worse than the talent-bereft Arizona Coyotes. The Golden Knights don’t have a power play talent like a Connor McDavid, a Leon Draisatl, a Nathan McKinnon, or an Alex Ovechkin, but it’s outrageous that Stone, the VGK’s leading points producer with the man advantage, finished 37th in the league in that category last year.

With elite defensemen like Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore and forwards like Stone, Pacioretty, Jonathan Marchessault, and Reilly Smith, the VGK should at the minimum have a player in the Top 20 in power play points, if not Top 15 or Top 10.

Is that the result of the coaching strategy? Perhaps. It’s been a persistent problem and if it’s not fixed, the VGK isn’t going to win the Stanley Cup this year, no matter what else happens.

When — if — everyone is healthy, this is a deep team capable of another run to at least the semifinals. At that point, it’s like players on the PGA Tour say about getting into contention: If you give yourself enough chances to win, eventually it’s going to happen.

With all healthy and lines of Pacioretty-Chandler Stephenson-Stone, Marchessault-Karlsson-Smith, Evgeni Dadonov/Peyton Krebs-Nolan Patrick-Tuch, and Mattias Janmark-Nic Roy-Keegan Kolesar, this is a deep and experienced team. Is it good enough to win the Cup as constituted? Well, the No. 1 center position is a glaring hole, and goalie Robin Lehner needs to get hot at the right time, but yeah, it’s one of a handful of teams that have to be considered Cup threats.

Is it better than, say, Tampa? Not by a longshot. As good as the VGK’s top five players are — Let’s say Stone, Pietrangelo, Theodore, Pacioretty and Karlsson — they don’t compare to Tampa’s Big Five of Victor Hedman, Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Andrei Vasilevskiy.

The Knights don’t have a lot of trade capital, so most of the improvement will have to come from within. They’re right up against the cap, and they don’t have much in the way of prospects that other teams would want to fetch a Martinez-like contributor at the deadline.

They’ll need Krebs, who played incredibly well against Edmonton Friday, to continue to develop and force himself into a key role. They’ll need to fix the crazy defensive lapses, which I suspect DeBoer will do, and they’ll have to figure out how to score on the power play. That, I’m not so certain will occur.

If everything goes right in the spring, this is a team that can hoist the Cup. But it’s going to be the challenge of DeBoer’s coaching career to make the changes needed to get this team over the hump.

If it doesn’t, one must wonder how long owner Bill Foley’s patience will last.

**You can find all of Kevin’s tremendous boxing and MMA work at Yahoo Sports here.**

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62 Comments

  1. Daryl

    I guess you are trying to make a positive piece but I see a lot of rambling. PDB has a history of improving as the season goes along? I’d say he has a history of going backwards as his career moves along. And let’s be honest, this team didn’t improve from last year so realistically, anyone with common sense didn’t really think VGK was a Cup contender this season. That isn’t being negative, it’s being a realists and I’m not trash talking the coach or FO for anything. Before all the injuries, this was a playoff team and nothing more.

    • Richard Santomauro

      If you want to see trash talking the FO and the Coaching staff – just read my piece below. It’s all there and raw.

  2. THE hockey GOD

    who in their right mind would go to an event with high expectation of being contaminated with a deadly virus ??? HAve to be brain dead to do that, or maybe a loser living in Vegas ?? Or visitor from LA.

    Everyone knows the arm jab is about 50/50 effective at best. Dozens of Congressional members have gotten it. 9 of 25 NY yankees have gotten it.

    It’s not hard to explain the defensive lapse at beginning of Blues game, the team had been off what, six , or was it five days ?? The Blues were fired up and had just played two days before. Like in baseball it takes a while for timing to get back. AS the game went on they started playing better.

    It’s not the coaches fault that all these players are hurt, anyone with a brain knows that. Anyone who says this team , when healthy, can’t make it the SC Finals is full of it. They are in a weaker conference and have only one team really to beat to get in, if they stay healthy. Colorado. The rest of the competition is nothing. With a healthy team they easily beat the oilers and blues. Also, last year was a fluke with the Canadians, if not for the COVID screwing up the conference there was a 95% chance that Vegas would have been in finals again. Too bad no one can see the forest because the whiners, I mean, trees get in the way.

    I don’t expect any FO or coaching changes, in the near term future. There isn’t anyone else out there worthwhile to replace current coaches. And if they do get replaced it will be from something on the coaches end (maybe the woke idiots will dig up some e mails from ten years ago) and then the Canadian’s womens hockey coach can replace the current set of coaches in the name of climate change, diversity, BLM, police de funding, and whatever else the crazies want to lump on top of the pile.

    Anyone catch the ESPN game the other night, oh man, what have we fallen too ?

    • Richard Santomauro

      Please stop with the virus drama. A virus that 99.9% of the population will recover from. This so-called pandemic has nothing to do with empty seats.

      • Coyote

        You’re wrong. It’s much higher than .1% deadly. And it’s killed 700k Americans. More than the Spanish Flu.

        • Richard Santomauro

          Please stop already. You’re embarrassing yourself by comparing COVID to the Spanish flu. This is the last COVID related post I will respond to…..

          Spanish flu, also known as the Great Influenza epidemic or the 1918 influenza pandemic, was an exceptionally deadly global influenza pandemic caused by the H1N1 influenza A virus. The earliest documented case was March 1918 in Kansas, United States, with further cases recorded in France, Germany and the United Kingdom in April. Two years later, nearly a third of the global population, or an estimated 500 million people, had been infected in four successive waves. Estimates of deaths range from 17 million to 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in human history.

      • TheBigToilet

        Thank you! Anyone who’s freaking out about CoVid is a brainwashed sheeeeeep!!! Onto more important topics, this injury plagued start to the season will serve us well. Is anyone really concerned about San Jose, or anyone else in our division? By mid February we will pull away from the pack and be primed for a deep Cup run. Relax and enjoy the show I say…

    • Richard Santomauro

      By the way, the jab has been found to be 37% effective. That’s it. Additionally, there have been more bad side effects and deaths from the jab than all of the vaccines given the past twenty years.

      I am sick of hearing about COVID. All of a sudden we’ve stopped talking about obesity, cancer, and drug overdoses. I have a better chance of being killed by a meteor or lightning bolt than I do from COVID.

      • Neal

        You should really back up your false numbers and misinformation with hard facts or your post should be taken down. Another social media scientist spreading fear and misinformation.

        • Daryl

          Where are your hard facts to dispute his numbers. If the vaccine is doing such a great job why are we wearing masks?

          • Coyote

            Daryl – I understand your question. But as you well know, not everyone is vaxxed and masks help spread this. Why do people wear seat belts if the cars have beaks and airbags? Because it’s the smart thing to do. Richard is pulling numbers out of his ass. And it should be obvious.

          • Daryl

            @Coyote,
            Airbags not only saves the lives d the person wagering then but they keep you in your seat so you can control your vehicle and maybe not hit someone else.

            Initially they thought wearing a mask would prevent transition but now they realize it doesn’t. Look at airlines, they won’t let you wear cloth coverings anymore b/c they found out they are useless. I have no problem with wearing masks but how much good does it really do when we take them off in group settings to eat, like restaurants? They are also supposed to be single uses but how many ppl do you know weae them once and throw away?

        • Frank

          Just leaving this here from the lancet…. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)02183-8/fulltext. Effectiveness of Pfizer wanes to 47% after six months. Although really no need to worry about COVID if you’re in good health under 65….. Lots of things out there that aren’t publicized…… So bottom line, don’t be afraid to attend a game. Obviously the players aren’t

      • Coyote

        Quit with the bullshit fake news crap. Everything you just spewed forth is Facebook horsecrap. Be better.

        • Daryl

          Based on what??? You have something insightful to add or you just like every other liberal who simply says someone is an idiot with no factual basis to back it up??? The “jab” has done nothing to prevent the spread of covid. Sorry, but that is a fact

    • Neal

      “who in their right mind would go to an event with high expectation of being contaminated with a deadly virus ??? HAve to be brain dead to do that, or maybe a loser living in Vegas ??”

      The hockey GOD speaks and sounds like idiot as he calls Vegas fans attending sold out games losers and calls them brain dead as buildings all across the country and in Canada are sold out and full. Keep hiding in your house, should be a fun life for you waiting for COVID to magically disappear.

      It’s too bad you had to cover your generally decent hockey takes with that shit filled glaze.

      • THE hockey GOD

        @Neal my response was to fact that the games are not being ATTENDED, they may have tickets sold but the stands are not being filled. So your statement that the rink is sold out is spin.

        Also, if arm jab is so effective why are players still getting it ? And being held out The Mariners for example had a tough spat with it at beginning of season.

        So it is there for the taking. , and not everyone is in there 20s, and not everyone can afford to take a chance when masks and arm jab are barely 50% effective. Especially with dumbchit vegas people who are told to wear masks at game, and they obviously do not do it. Anyone with a brain can see that it is not safe to attend these games.

        I know so many people who got sick from the arm jab that is not worth gamble either. A close friend immediately got liver issues, a relative is having”viral” adverse impacts, another was in hospital with heart conditions which now appear will be with her the rest of her life. A 70 year old marathon runner in the neighborhood in perfect health dropped dead two days after getting the arm jab. In January the CDC adverse impact site jumped up to 200,000 reports of adverse impacts one month after the VAX came out, with 5000 deaths. AFter that jump the CDC adverse impact site refused to report honest results and when they did once in May it was immediately scrubbed by the gov propaganda machine. The deaths due to arm jab were over 40,000 and adverse impact over 1 million.

        With over 700,00 deaths, and more now with the vaccine out, then before; this is not something to take lightly. And attendance is waning not only in Vegas but in many other rinks across the league.

  3. JW Jacobs

    Time to let the current power play lines “ride the pine”. Doesn’t matter the system, the same old cast of characters is not getting it done. Put the young guns and new guys out & tell them to have fun. Couldn’t be any worse. Might even be effective or entertaining.

  4. THE hockey GOD

    “For all the talk about having the greatest fans in hockey, that’s concerning.” i HAVE TO LAUGH, when I see this. I would say stop building up this falsehood. Having been to nearly every rink west, south west, north, and north east. I would say the NY/ NJ fans are near the top of the list, followed by the Montreal / Toronto fans, then Detroit / Chicago fans. Pittsburgh fans are right up there too. West Florida fans are getting there. And no one, I mean NO ONE can beat the ISLANDER FANS. No one. I would be hard pressed to put the transient, wagon jumping, gambling degenerate, “come on everybody clap your hands” loser fans in Vegas even in top ten. Maybe ten if hard presses. The LA and Ducks fans would give them a run for their money, and everyone knows LA fans are very docile. And I have no idea why everyone is always chanting “Beat LA”; LA has some of the nicest folks on the planet. Vegas has nice people too, nicer than LA, which makes them about the same on fan scale. Furthermore, most vegas hockey fans are really not vegas fans, as soon as their home team comes in, you see the home team jersey come out. They are sitting with their home team fans, yelling and jumping for their real home team.

    you all know it, say it now (where are all those PEN posters, you said it)

    • Richard Santomauro

      Every city has the “greatest fans”. It’s truly a stupid thing.

      What we do have here in Vegas is the best pregame show in the league. Period. No other team even comes close to the show. But, that said, I believe that many of the other NHL teams have creative fans – like the white out in Winnepeg. We’ve got some unique Vegas chants like SHAME, which is cool. Love the Belles and the Drum Line too.

      I think we need to be around the league a bit longer before we start saying we have the greatest fans in the league. The original 6 teams likely can lay claim to that.

      • THE hockey GOD

        yes pre game show, RS, doesn’t translate to “great hockey fans”. When my friends from back east come out, they call it “fake hockey experience”. By looking at all the fans in the rink and listening to the music most think they are attending a soccer game in Tijuana.

  5. THE hockey GOD

    i am a legend in my own mind

    i would be happy to
    author a sunday article, probably have the PC police idiots on your back in a new york minute though

  6. Richard Santomauro

    Wow, Holy $h*t doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about this piece that seemingly just lays 100% of the blame for this poor start and the awful PP production on the players.

    Not a single mention of McCrimmon that I can see, and the heaping praise of Pete Deboering and the coaching staff is simply beyond belief.

    And Krebs? Really? Who actually authored this piece? McCrimmon and DeBoer? Krebs has upside but he just isn’t ready yet.

    Let’s talk about the fan base. This team had it all for a couple of years…..

    -an outstanding, unified and motivated locker room that cared more about winning than their contracts
    -an owner who brought a great product to Las Vegas

    The fans aren’t the problem, the roster isn’t the problem.

    The problem is McCrimmon. Time will prove this to be true.

    DeBoer is lucky to be here in Las Vegas.

    Now, I am not sure how this gets turned around, but it is clear to me that reliance on Krebs, Howden, Dadanov and Lehner (The McCrimmon Misfits) isn’t the answer. Out of the bunch, Krebs is likely the only McCrimmon Misfit who has a future. Nolan Patrick also has great potential and I expect him to become more productive as the season progresses.

    I am a Season Ticket Holder I am realistic about the current state of this team. I am all in and root for the team on the ice. But I am not going to sit back on my hands and cheer for what I think have been bad moves. My checkbook gives me that right. Even those fans who are not invested have the right to be critical. That is the right of any fan. People like winners and fans like me believe that the winners were shipped off to other parts of the NHL and not in a good way.

    I love this team and root for every single player on the ice to win.

    This is the way most of us fans feel. The reason why there are empty seats isn’t about the players, and it isn’t about the wins or losses. It’s about the direction of this team the past year or so.

    Don’t even respond to this post. It’s just venting to this article that doesn’t begin to come close to how I feel as a fan.

    • AGREED! I FEEL THE SAME ABOUT THE TEAM. LOVE and SUPPORT THE PLAYERS, N-O-T MANAGEMENT. BAD MOVES. TRADED AWAY TOO MUCH QUALITY FOR ROOKIE-STATUS PLAYERS, ALL FOR THE $$$$. I EXPECT US TO BE A BOTTOM-FEEDER FOR AWHILE…PAINFUL TO WATCH.

    • LVNikonGuy

      5 year season ticket holder here. Agree 100%

  7. Herby

    VGK get the fan reaction they deserve…..they did not respect the fan opinion in their recent trades. The coach is gone, almost all fan favorites are gone…..soon many more fans are gone…..

    No problem if they do not care about the fans. At the end it is a business but they seem to have forgotten, that the fans are customers…..

  8. knights fan in minny

    when will brooosiot get a start

  9. Tim

    I told everyone months ago if the Knights don’t win they’ll be trouble in River City. UNLV football has never drawn and I’ve been hear since the inception 1968 because for the most part there a loser. This year I don’t think they’ve won a game. UNLV basketball under Tark was the biggest show in town when they fired him so went the basketball program. The Knights keep losing those 130.00 seats will be hard to fill at 20.00. It’s just the reality of Las Vegas people don’t waste there time on a loser trust me. You may have 6,000 loyal fans that will go to games but the fair weather fans will find other things to do.

    • let's go McCrimmon

      also, the fans will not turn out for minor league fill-ins and borderline nhl/ahl players at high NHL prices either. not unless they are winning games, and hearts and minds

      Vegas is a glitzy, star-power town.

      Fan enthusiasm can be lost in a hurry, too.
      case in point, Buffalo Sabres had over 16,000 full season tickets last year. This year they have a little over 6,000……that’s right, one of the NHL’s usually dependable towns for attendance and ratings for the past 20 years has lost 10,000 full season ticket holders in just one summer.

      and that is what McCrimmon is risking if he continues to ignore the paying customers.

  10. Big Bad Vlad

    Krebs? They need Krebs?? My how we are scraping the bottom of the barrel!

    Just because you ignore the facts it does not make them go away

    Krebs was a league leader in junior with one of the worst plus/minus ratings for 2 years in a row

    Every year he played for team canada everyone had such high hopes which quickly faded along with his playing time. Frankly, he was a disaster. They year the Hunter brothers didn’t put him on the team canada won the tourney!

    AHL points. Yes Krebs managed to scrape together a few points with the HSK…as did a whole lot of others. The difference is Krebs points were all 2nd assists… tag along points.

    AHL +/_. Krebs was on the ice for almost every single goal against the HSK… once again his brutal 1 way playing reared its head. A liability.

    In junior Krebs got very few goals every single year he played. He is NOT a goal scorer. Never has been, never will be. To expect that to suddenly change because mcrimmon is infatuated with him isn’t going to happen.

    How anyone thinks this is all of a sudden going to change and he become a contributing player is laughable.

    If vegas needs goals which they desperately do they need players who have a proven history of scoring them. Krebs is not that

    Mcrimmon has got rid of almost every player he did not draft. Its wither his way or the hi way. Case in point Suzuki

    It won’t be long before fans see this for what it is

    • Daryl

      I think you are in love with Krebs girl and delusionally you think he stole her from you. I can’t remember the lady time someone was so infatuated with another person

  11. When you take the heart from the team one should not be surprised and what’s happened. The FO has done their upmost to dismantle a winning team with foolish spending that will never provide the ROI they thought – assuming they understand what ROI is, l am sure Foley does but based on what’s gone on it appears he has turned the reigns over to less than compent individuals. Frankly it’s amazing a man of Foley’s business understanding has allowed this to take place. They haven’t a snow balls chance in hell of raising the Cup as they lack something money can’t buy and that’s a winning attitude. This isn’t on the players but put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself what’s missing – mgt has proven what’s missing and haven’t brains enough to right the ship. It’s a sad state of affairs and fans recognize that expressing themselves in the only way available by just staying away.

  12. Vegas Geezer

    So, where to begin. How can we right the ship. Let us look back on things that have been done is our recent past. Mired in a three game loosing streak, change the coaching staff. Still no cup. I know, we must have a captain. Still no cup. I know, we need another netminder. Still no cup. I know, we need an overpriced blue liner. Still no cup. I know lets just change the way we approach the way we play the game. Get rid of the quick and gritty parts an replace it with slow and predictable. Still no cup, and we are somwhere we have never been before. Last place. The responsability belongs to the Big Mc’s.

  13. Galdom

    Thank you Ken Boehlke and Kevin Iole for providing this column. I’m always looking forward to content and check regularly. I am more than happy to be patient and don’t expect a new column every single day. I hope you read this. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if you wrote these articles but did not read any of the comments anymore because of how ridiculous and negative they all are. If I were in your shoes I probably would have either disabled all comments or kept them enabled but just did not read them.

    I’m a born and bred Canadian who grew up a Maple Leafs fan but completely stopped watching the sport about 12 years ago because of how bad the product was that they put out. They literally made me become uninterested in the sport. After years of staying away I had tried following other teams but once the VGK came into the league I was completely sold. It was never my intention following a Western time zone team since I live in Toronto but the heart wants what the heart wants. If the fan base is giving up on the team and leaving games early because of multiple injuries than that is an embarrassment and very disappointing.

    There are legitimate reasons to not support the team or temporarily stay away if management and ownership is not doing their job. It’s important to keep them accountable. Supporting a horrible team like maple leafs fans have always done tells ownership that they don’t need to put out a good product.

    Like most fans I’m gonna miss Stone, Pacioretty, Tuch and Martinez badly. These aren’t pieces that you can replace internally. It’s going to be interesting and even fun to see how they make up for these missing pieces. Huge opportunity for Miromanov and Coughlan on the back end. Dadonov is not far removed from being a big-time player with Florida. I was also impressed with Krebs on Friday. Nolan Patrick looks like he’s getting a bit more comfortable each game. This is definitely going to be a test of our patience. My regular season expectations have gone from The Presidents trophy to just doing enough to get into the playoffs with a healthy roster.

    Let’s go VGK and keep up the good work Ken and Kevin.

    • Richard Santomauro

      Look, Ken is one of the best critics. He calls it like he sees it. He’s not going to heap praise on this organization when it is undeserved. It is one of the reasons why I am on this site and enjoy it. But this piece was not completely honest about the decisions made and seemed to deflect blame to the skaters. I appreciate the site because it gives us a venue to talk about the team. So, from the perspective thank you.

    • THE hockey GOD

      @ Galdom, smart precise post Galdom.
      Patience, the Leafs are not in panic mode after pens butt kicking on hockey night in Canada. Loser leafs will bounce back, watch it in their next game.

    • Vegas Voice of Reason

      Galdom

      Thanks for the intelligent, articulate and concise comment. Also, no misspelled words, Bravo. If I see one more person spell “lose” loose…. or “losing” Loosing…. I think I’ll
      scream.

      We have a banged up team… the CoVid shortened season, abbreviated off-season, and just bad luck resulted in players playing hurt…and thereby staying hurt. As we begin to get our players back, one by one, play will improve. It’s a long season and it’s way to soon to panic.

      Even with Sundays loss, I’ve seen a marked improvement in passing, puck management and structure. Offense will improve as we get our top 6 back on line.

      On another note, I’m not sure why personal attacks in the comments section of articles like this are now so common. To insult people, and call them childish names is a very disturbing trend, probably from (lack of) Social media. Life is hard… we do not need to make it harder.

  14. I would never boo or leave early. We have been very spoiled. It’s awful we have lost so many guys. I’m not optimistic in the short term, the 2nd half of the season we have to make a run.

  15. Very Vlad

    Saw it last year in the playoffs. Shut stone and pac down and team can’t win

    This year no stone no pac and team can’t win

    Even some of the simpletons here can figure out a pattern …. well maybe

    Like the leafs NO depth

    And like the leafs both teams have newbie Gm’s that are easily schooled

  16. MD

    Cup contender … laughable.

    Beat fans in hockey … lol. Not even in the same stratosphere. They’re just willing to pay more for the dream of just making it back to the Cup Final, which they haven’t done since the fluke of an inaugural season.

    Oh, you’ll see a Cup contender and a team built for the long haul on the ice Sunday night – only it’s gonna be the team from the east coast.

  17. Vlad

    Islanders 1-0 after 2 minutes

    Who was on ice? Yup Krebs. Again

  18. Zak702

    Tickets have gone up every year and the players have been less accessible, not to mention the product itself isnt any better than it was in year one . The environment that made this team such a part of the community has a different look these days. The team was this awesome local small business but it grew into a corporate giant and lost touch. They overturn players, personnel, and even broadcasters yearly. Its just really tough to ask fans to be loyal when the franchise isn’t. Still rooting for this team and this town regardless but this isn’t a bandwagon issue at all, its much much deeper than that.

    • Richard Santomauro

      The product isn’t even close to year 1. Period. There’s nothing else that can be said about it.

  19. Laura

    I love the VGK players but it seems like every time they get the team players working together well, management or coaches change it up and start all over again. In okay with leaner but what they did to Marc Andre was despicable. He had a giant fan base, was athletic and entertaining, besides being great. He and a few others like Stone seemed to bring the team together… not so much now.

    • THE hockey GOD

      what MAF did to the team was despicable, his back stabbing cartoon proved he was not a team player. He was being paid 7 million a year. He didn’t get the job done. He was ok the first year. But after repeatedly failing in playoffs it was time to let this lead balloon go. his billy buckner moment in semi- finals was last straw. His interference with trade talks showed again he was not a team player and hurt the organization because they got nothing in return due to his interference. Stop believing the hype, MAF and his agent did no favors to this organization or it’s fan base. Actions speak louder than words.

      • Daryl

        MAF didn’t want to go to Chicago…. can you blame him. It’s a shit hole. And it’s funny you say MAF isn’t a team player yet he got treated like shit from the FO and the coaches. Plus he was told he could retire in VGK by people that were conspiring behind his back to ship him away. And MAF saying he might retire didn’t stop VGK from getting anything from trading him…. VGK wanted to deal him to get rid of his salary which is exactly what they got. It’s not MAF fault the FO wasted the money they saved on the players they got. You can continue to defend the FO with this debacle, but you are delusional if you think they are innocent with any of this!

  20. mz

    well when you build a top heavy team (like toronto) and the top players get hurt, it tests the depth of the team. and the young talent in the franchise to call up and fill the holes is near zero. when you give out overpriced contracts, you need to draft well too to fill the other spots on the team. and KM has been more occupied with trying out a ton of reclamation projects instead like Patrick & Howden.
    this team has no identity. they dont play great D, and they don’t score a lot. which leaves them in no mans land. and it’s going to be a very long year.
    this is likely smith’s last year. and if they don’t improve, they might as well cut a lot of dead weight. tuch is never healthy. karlsson was a 1 year wonder.
    but i’m not sure KM should be making the trades.

  21. Vlad

    Islanders 2-0

    Who was in the ice again? YUP! Krebs!

    Ha ha ha how predictable

  22. Firing Gallant for hot trash Deboer is not an upgrade. Trading Fluery away for nothing and leaving us with an unstable goalie lost me and a bunch of other people.

    Guy who wrote this article is clueless.

    • THE hockey GOD

      dh- what MAF did to the team was despicable, his back stabbing cartoon proved he was not a team player. He was being paid 7 million a year. He didn’t get the job done. He was ok the first year. But after repeatedly failing in playoffs it was time to let this lead balloon go. his billy buckner moment in semi- finals was last straw. His interference with trade talks showed again he was not a team player and hurt the organization because they got nothing in return due to his interference. Stop believing the hype, MAF and his agent did no favors to this organization or it’s fan base. Actions speak louder than words.

  23. Richard Santomauro

    NYI WIN 2-0. Quick Summary.

    One big fat hot mess out there. No chemistry, passing non-existent. Let’s see just how long VGK FO and PDB can ride the injury excuse.

    HOT MESS

    LEHNER IS NOT THE GUY – PERIOD.

  24. Jose

    ‘This is a team, though, that is built for the long haul, and a strong run in April and May will make these frustrating early days of the 2021-22 season quickly forgotten’

    Kevin – I am not sure I completely agree with this. As much as I respect what the VGK have accomplished in the past few years, the team is built to win NOW….this is not a ‘long haul’ team. Outside of a few youngsters on the team…Patrick, Krebs, Hague….this team is made up of veterans who are not young, who are mostly well-paid, and in some cases, some of these older players have to win now – there is no long haul.

    My point is – I know Bill Foley wants to win now, but the heart and soul of that team left when MAF was shipped out after winning a Vezina with one year left on his contract so that the team could…?? Have more cap space? Let Robin Lehner be the undisputed #1 goalie? It’s been a while since Vegas went to the Stanley Cup Final, and I wonder if part of the reason the team is struggling isn’t just because Stone and Max P are injured…as well as Alex Tuch…..but also because the team is starting to lose its identity and soul…

    • Frank

      Starting?????? The team lost it’s soul the minute Fleury was shipped out. Period. Gonna be long season.

      • Scrobacca

        It started when they shipped Schmidt and got rid of him doing the countdown and “It’s Nighttime!” for the MC who does it without near the enthusiasm. As far as defensemen go, he had the best defensive stick on the ice, but the PR from the PED issues was too negative. Then it was Eakin, one of their best PK men, because the “push” that became a 2nd round exit was “inexcusable.” Now Reaves and Fleury. It looks like anyone the fans like, they get rid of and promote “Team over the player at all costs.” Very CCPish.

    • Stephen Cupp

      It’s not just when Fleury left. I think Reaves played a big role with the heart and sole aspects. There was a reason he would come out of the locker room second to whoever the goalie was that was playing.

  25. Jake

    Vegas is painful to watch. That’s why I turn the game off at times. That’s why people leave early.

    If the players and coaches (especially the power play groups) don’t seem to be “in it” why should I. It gets to be late watching here in the Central Time Zone.

    Aside from the injuries, the team looks heartless.

  26. Kendra Daar

    Holy Cow!!! Through a long article it is plain to see that what VGK needs is you in the PR Department. Way to “Spin It.”

    One player can make a difference – especially with the fans. Trading away the heart of the team (not to mention a future Hall of Famer) will impact the team and the fans are their displeasure.

    Keeping a “Life-long backup” to replace said HOF was perhaps one of the dumbest moves in sports history.

    VGK will make the playoffs, just because only teams that would lose to PeeWee Teams make the playoffs in the NHL – that’s as far as their going.

  27. Tracy Ortiz

    We are not used to losing. It has happened to every team. Chin up. Good years bad years, always Stay loyal. No fair weather fans.

  28. Kendra Daar

    I never complained about winning or losing (perhaps that was a little of your inner feelings coming through). My ONLY comment was in the off-season moves and counting on a goalie who has NEVER come through when needed.

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