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Pacific North Teams Won’t Make It Easy On Visiting Knights

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Vegas is arguably on their most important road trip of the season beginning tonight in Vancouver. Three games against three hungry Canadian teams from the Pacific Division. The Canucks are desperately scratching and clawing, the Flames are in 1st place, and the Oiler’s high-powered offense has likely fueled them to the playoffs. There’s no understating, the next set of games are vital to Vegas’ postseason pursuit.

We’re doing whatever it takes to win. Whether it’s killing big penalties or scoring big goals on the power play. We have the ability in our room. It’s just a matter of us going out there and do it. -Bo Horvat, VAN captain

Let’s start with Vancouver. As Golden Knights fans watched last week the Canucks are not a team to take lightly. The team in green and blue are riding a three-game win streak and have no room for mistakes.

We all know how we have to finish this season. There’s no point of putting all of the stress on yourself. Every game is stressful because it’s do or die. We’ll play the right way and give ourselves a chance. It’s right in front of us. -JT Miller, VAN forward

Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau has his players loose and motivated for a chance to shock the conference. If Vegas drops tonight’s game, Vancouver will be only two points behind them. Vegas fans are already scoreboard watching LA, Dallas, and Nashville games, there’s not enough energy to keep tabs on another. That’s why the Golden Knights must play sound defensively, take advantage of second chances and get their star players back to form. Most importantly, leave British Columbia with two points.

Then it’s on to Calgary.

Some thought the Flames would play it safe down the stretch and possibly rest some impact players. That was news to head coach Daryl Sutter and his team.

It’s about the team. There’s been too much talk over the last week or so about individuals. It’s about the team. We’re trying to become a better club and get some respect in the league. You got to earn it. -Daryl Sutter, CGY coach

The two-time Stanley Cup winning general doesn’t seem concerned about carefully preparing for the postseason. Sutter is holding his practices like it’s the start of the conference final.

When you’re at practice, you’re expected to make tape-to-tape passes, work hard, skate, & then prepare for the next game. It just becomes a big cycle where you play, reset, and expect to win and try and get better everyday. That’s going to be big for us down the stretch. We need to clean things up and get our game where it needs to be. -Chris Tanev, Flames defenseman

The Golden Knights can certainly fly into Calgary and collect two points. With Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty available, Vegas is a different hockey club. No matter what the final score is the Golden Knights should prepare for a battle.

These 10 games left are critical. We want to get points and clinch a playoff spot and we want to finish first in our division to get home advantage. So, all these games left are huge. It’s not a time to relax. It’s pressure time, so you have to be game on. -Oliver Kylington, CGY defenseman

The Golden Knights’ road trip ends in Edmonton. The Oilers are out for blood right now. They’re 12-2-2 in their last 16 games and have scored an average of 4.31 goals per game. Edmonton earned the most points (26) since early March and surprisingly they’re getting quality goaltending.

Our mindset first and foremost finding a way to lock in that position and make sure we’re playing after these nine games. -Darnell Nurse, EDM defenseman

The messages are clear, all three teams on Vegas’ trip will make each game a challenge. One is fighting for their season, a second one is fighting for position and another is fighting for respect. Six points are on the line and splitting them may not be enough. On the other hand, if Stone and other reinforcements make a significant impact on this trip, the Golden Knights’ odds to make the playoffs will have significantly increased. But like most hockey players in the league likes to say; take it one game at a time.

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29 Comments

  1. The run for the postseason and a Stanley Cup begins tonight in Vancouver. Highlighting this milestone will be the return of our Captain, Mark Stone, to the lineup.

    Vancouver will be looking at a completely different opponent from the one they destroyed on 6 April. The defense is healthy for the first time in a while with both Whitecloud and McNabb adding to the points total.

    The offense has been good, but will only be better with Mark Stone back in the lineup.

    Vancouver is going to get a dose of reality tonight because the Golden Knights are going to dominate them in this game from start to finish.

    I think the Golden Knights take 4 points this week, maybe even 6! I feel that good about it. Look for improved play from Karlsson tonight as well. I see goals coming from the top 3 lines plus at least 2 from defensemen.

    This game is going to be fun to watch, and maybe even Lehner begins to win me over as well!

    • RR – admire the optimism – is it the drugs from the knee operation or just wishful, hopeful thinking – I hope your right only time will tell. I would feel a lot better if there was more consistency in their play. Their three opponents this week are not going to make it easy in fact the exact opposite is at stake, and they could very well lose all three. Let’s hope team A shows up tonight for as you know based on this season, they are two different teams’ game after game. They will need to keep their foot on the gas for the entire 60 minutes anything less and they will come out on the short end. My heart wants them to win my realistic head has concern.

      • Biker –

        I think Stone brings, not only the C, but also energy back to the bench. That chemistry has been missing. McNabb and Whitecloud scoring in the same game? When was the last time that happened, if ever?

        I haven’t felt this good about our Golden Knights in quite a while. I see 3 dominant lines hitting the ice tonight. It would be nice to see the Rondjberg, Lechyshyn, Kolesar line hit the net tonight as well. Let’s just hope they give the top 3 lines some rest and play solid defense. I will settle for that. Getting Howden back into this lineup would be nice as well but I will take these 3 solid lines!

        Yes, I am predicting a total dominating game tonight. A blow out that will send a message to the rest of the league and the pundits that the VGK is going to be a force to be reckoned with.

        Now, another Scotch and pill please!

      • Pistol Pete

        Not that your pessimism is completely unwarranted but needless to say some of the inconsistency across the season came from the breadth of the injuries and the sporadic presence of the captain. I definitely side more with the bullishness of R-R however, no offense.

    • Pistol Pete

      R-R you are on fire!!!

  2. RR – you definitely have mellowed out – must be the drugs!!!!! LOL

  3. TJ

    Anything less than 5 points on this trip and I think the playoffs are out unless the teams around us lose. The kings seem to be the best path for us to get in but they have the easiest schedule. The predators schedule is just brutal, so that may offer another path. But as of now with that game in hand over the Kings the VGK actually do control their playoff destiny owning the tie breaker but everything is so fluid game to game. If we get in and are fully healthy, I would not want to play us. Lehner is still my biggest concern.

  4. sb

    From Day 1, I have always supported the General Managers’ decisions, as everyone should because these guys performed a miracle building this team from nothing. Don’t think so? Just look at Seattle. That’s what an expansion team really looks like. However, the GM’s should have never, ever let Edmonton get their hands on Evander Kane. Even before the acquisition, it was clear that Kane was the answer to filling one of two holes on Edmonton – scoring depth and goaltending. Kane is scoring nearly 1 point per game, is +17 since arriving, and Edmonton has been on a tear. Sometimes a team needs to go after a player just so that the opposition doesn’t get him. I think the odds now are against the Knights getting in and one big reason was letting Edmonton pick up Kane. Dreadful mistake.

    • Yeah, right. Because a head-case with a gambling problem is exactly what we need.

    • Pistol Pete

      sb, I have thought the same all along about Kane. What a potential can of worms however. Sure could have used his scoring punch though. As I speculated, that 0-5 road trip would not have happened and the final stretch would not be this tight.

      • Pistol Pete

        I meant to add, DeBoer had him at SJ and may have been the guiding no. We’ll never know. Wonder if they spoke with Eichel. He played with him at BUF. It’s certain imo they would have scored off each other.

    • THE hockey GOD

      if Kane came to Vegas, he would be a FAILURE.

      He would pal up with Pete Rose and become a degenerate gambler, Spending his days in casinos and nights at that night club that ex boxer Mayweather owns. He’s in a good place now, far far far away from everything in Vice City.
      You know
      I know it, we all know it.

    • Ulf

      To be fair it was Kane’s choice. Kane chose Edmonton, full stop. Not everyone wants to play for Vegas, especially if that someone had a bad experience with Vegas’ coach on a previous team. The Kane argument has no basis in reality, something we have to get better at as VGK fans.
      And Let’s not judge Seattle by comparing to Vegas. They have two totally different building styles.
      I have no doubt that VGK’s degree of first year of success was a very pleasant surprise to the leadership group, but VGK was going for an aggressive build model. You can see that even now by trading away young players and picks.
      Seattle’s GM has a reputation of a slow and steady calculated build. He’s more old school. They’re collecting picks and won’t rush prospects.
      Who will have greater success over the longer term? We will see.

  5. THE hockey GOD

    vegas is playing fast and loose with the Sal Cap issues, they are going to get railroaded worse than BOB BAFFERT got stiffed by the morons in Kentucky.

    Mark Stone will be back in the lineup on Tuesday.

    Vegas made a tweet indicating in a runabout way that Stone would return. After that, we got further indication that he would play when Stone was removed from the injured reserve list. In order to activate Stone off the LTIR, Vegas also placed William Carrier, Nolan Patrick and Laurent Brossoit on the LTIR. That gave them just enough space to make this transaction work.

    • Blitz

      They are running a 22 players roster now and no ability (cap) to bring someone back or put someone on LTIR. $430k of cap space left and cheapest HSK call up around 750k. Could be playing with 15 guys again by season end. Fuck it though. Roll the dice. You either make it to the playoffs or you crap out. Same posibility either way with maybe a higher ceiling with Stone. I like Stone and hope he is back healthy, not just back.

  6. MAke SuRe you taKe Some Time tO ScaN this twEet In CaSe we Bury A seCret message or something liKe that!

  7. PP – if l was addressing you regarding RR post. I would have included you initially. Better re-read the response to RR l was simply stating a fact that even you cannot dispute. That’s the difference between you and l your a complete optimist which is fine and l am a realist which for whatever reason you seem to have a problem with. I am a knight’s fan thru and thru and also recognize their short comings as l have been around hockey probably longer than you have been alive. Being a realist doesn’t make you a pessimist.

    • Pistol Pete

      Hdbiker—

      We realize our differences. Both fans, I more the optimist you the realist. I was not labeling a pessimist in general and apologize if you took it that way. To my way of thinking your response to R-R, and btw when you respond to a post on an open forum I do not advise to assume your response should be exclusive to that poster, was rather opposite to R-R’s optimism (isn’t pessimism in some sense the opposite of optimism?). Look, you have repeatedly made it clear you are not very optimistic on this season’s final outcome, and truly I do respect your view. Anyways, you are a realist when it comes to this team in general not a pessimist.

      My main point in responding was on the injuries.

      Also a few months back I may have silenced you on a claim you made back then, something like you being around hockey probably longer than I have been alive? You’d have to pretty senior buddy. I am 68 and last played hockey 51 years ago which was at the high school varsity level. Actually, I recently took up skating again which is pretty cool.

      Good luck vs. the Canucks. I know you want it as much as anyone here!

  8. The Kings are dismantling the Blackhawks right now 2-0 in the 1st.

    • Pistol Pete

      C’mon R-R let’s pull this one out baby! Like I said earlier I would never trade Theodore as part of a next season’s roster rearrangement.

      At least EDM lost.

      • I expected a more dominating game by the VGK. What really hurt wasn’t so much the play but the penalties. The penalties were devastating and took away any momentum that they may have been generating. Coming back from 2 goals down to tie it in the 3rd was amazing.

        I expected a lot better overall across the board and didn’t get it.

        We get a point. Lose a point against the Kings, Preds, and Stars, pick up 1 on Edmonton. Not nearly good enough. Every game becomes more important now.

  9. Why bother Vegas!? If you do somehow make the playoffs.
    It will be 8 short days against Colorado.

  10. Brian

    General question: after last night’s results, I don’t think VGK are going to make the playoffs. However, I can see them getting to roughly the same number of points (93) as they did in season 2, which was the last normal season and got VGK a third place finish and a series vs SJS that still went the distance, even though we all agree that VGK screwed in Game 7. But from a regular season perspective, is this one viewed as more of a massive disappointment compared to the Gallant-led 2018-19? If so, why?

    • Daryl

      Supposedly, this VGK team had a lot better players on it from top to bottom. I get all the injuries but even when mostly healthy they aren’t playing all that good day in and day out

    • Brian,

      Those who love McCrimmon and DeBoer are just going to use the injury excuse. But, the truth is that there simply have been way too many roster moves. When I say the heart and soul was ripped out of this team, people laugh it off. But, that is exactly what has happened.

      It’s simply going to take time now to rebuild that chemistry, but I am not sure it can be done anytime soon. The team is now loaded with paper talent. The problem is that this isn’t strata-matic, it real life human beings playing a sport.

      I will be rooting for my original home team, New York Rangers to win it all. That team went from shit to shit-hot under Gerard Gallant.

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