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The new contract will keep the 27-year-old Hanifin in Vegas through the 2031-32 season.

Golden Knights Have Created A Reputation, They Need To Get Back To Living Up To It

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Winning the Stanley Cup brings a team many things. Among them is a reputation. All season long the Golden Knights have been dealing with being the defending champions and constantly getting a high level of focus and effort from the opposition night in and night out. No one takes Vegas lightly, and it has shown in the results this season as it’s been a bit of a rocky road for VGK.

Part of that reputation is the style of play needed to beat Vegas. Not only are teams ready and excited to play the Golden Knights, but they know exactly what is necessary to have a chance against what was the best team in hockey last season.

After last year we have a reputation of being this big heavy team, which we are, so they’ve created that for themselves. The tough part is now you have to live up to it for 82 games and in the playoffs again. So what they’ve created and should be an honor to be considered that way, they have to back it up every night. -Bruce Cassidy

This is specifically the case in the defensive zone.

Vancouver probably had a game plan of ‘if you want to win, you’ve got to get inside.’ Edmonton I’m sure will be saying the same thing. We have to do a better job taking care of business in front of our net. -Cassidy

The last two games Vegas has struggled to defend the area in front of their own goal. The Canucks sent players there consistently and it helped them generate four goals. Edmonton worked a little more around the outside, but they won many puck battles in front of the net to keep plays alive.

It’s not just on the defensive end though, VGK’s game has been lacking physicality going forward as well.

We need to be better on the forecheck to create some anxiety for them, create turnovers, and get us some chances. To me that was the difference in the game. They were miles ahead of us in that area. -Cassidy

If the Golden Knights want to have any success in the playoffs, they have to live up to their reputation every night. Vegas is not one of the most skilled teams in the league, nor are they anywhere close to being one of the fastest. To win, they must be dominant in front of their own net defensively, and wear teams down physically in the offensive end.

Listen, this is what you’re known as so if you want to continue to be known as that then that’s the ask every night. -Cassidy

With four games left in the regular season, timing is running out on getting their game in order. Step one to doing it is living up to the reputation that made them Stanley Cup champions. It hasn’t been there recently, it needs to be starting tomorrow.


Recap: The Golden Knights traveled to Edmonton for a late-season Pacific Division battle against the Oilers. Vegas goaltender Adin Hill started in net for the first time since late March and was tested early. Midway through the period the Oilers took the opening lead and carried it into the first intermission.

Edmonton’s offense continued to produce in the second frame. The Oilers scored two goals in a short span, taking a 3-0 advantage into the break.

The Oilers took a 4-0 lead 6:50 into the final frame but Vegas got it back :60 seconds later. Keegan Kolesar snapped the Oilers shutout with his seventh goal of the season on the penalty kill. Edmonton added another to finish off Vegas 5-1.

The Golden Knights record drops to 42-28-8 falling to the Oilers 5-1 in Edmonton. Next up, Vegas will host the Minnesota Wild on Friday night. Puck drop against the Wild is scheduled for 7 PM.  (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights lacked just about every necessary element it takes to beat the Edmonton Oilers, even without McDavid. They did not have much of a forecheck, they did not control the puck in the offensive zone, and they relied on transition when the Oilers were committed to taking it away. The biggest concern for VGK that comes from this game is the fact that they aren’t dominating the Oilers at 5-on-5 anymore. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place.

Read More Podcast #310: Favorite Things

The Golden Knights are almost to the finish line of the regular season. The picture has made it clearer that it’s likely one of three teams, but VGK’s play and health leave lots of question marks. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

Vegas Choice Dental is the presenting sponsor of the Podcast. Schedule a free consultation now.

  • What to do with the goalies down the stretch and into the playoffs
  • Defensemen have taken a step back
  • Hertl’s first game
  • Jack… EICHEL
  • VGK’s favorite things baskets
  • Tony’s Chocolonely chocolate bars

And much more…

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Tomas Hertl’s Hot And Cold Debut Revealed How Bruce Cassidy Intends To Use Him

(Photo from of @GoldenKnights on Twitter)

The long-awaited debut of Tomas Hertl finally came last night and it was a bit of a mixed bag for the Czech.

Hertl logged a massive 20:20 on 21 shifts in his first game as a Golden Knight including time on the power play, penalty kill, and a pair of mega shifts (1:45 and 2:05) down the stretch with Vegas chasing the game-tying goal.

I wasn’t bad, but I know I will be better. After 10 weeks sometimes I lost my legs or a couple of easy pucks and hopefully that won’t happen moving forward. But it was nice to be back on the ice. -Hertl.

Despite starting, and playing most of his time, on the left wing with Chandler Stephenson and Michael Amadio, Hertl was active in the faceoff circle. He took eight faceoffs and won five of them. This was the first place in which we saw a true specialist utilization of Hertl by Bruce Cassidy.

With 3:47 left in the game, following a TV timeout, and VGK trailing by one, Cassidy created a super-line of Hertl, Jack Eichel, and Jonathan Marchessault. Hertl went into the circle to take the faceoff but was tossed out by the lineman for an apparent false start. Eichel lost the ensuing draw to J.T. Miller and the line was unable to generate anything offensively.

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Recap: The Golden Knights didn’t take long to jump on the scoreboard first in the opening period. Jack Eichel notched his 28th and 29th goal of the season in the first eight minutes of the frame. Later in the period, the Golden Knights took two costly penalties. Vancouver took advantage and tied the game 2-2 before the break. 

The track meet between both teams continued in the middle frame. Noah Hanifin snapped the 2-2 tie on the power play midway through the period. Vancouver came right back scoring two goals to take a 4-3 lead into the second intermission. 

The third period was tight with both teams limiting chances. Vegas pulled their goalie with under two minutes remaining but couldn’t find the game-tying goal. 

The Golden Knights record drops to 42-27-8 falling to the Canucks 4-3 in Vancouver. Vegas will next face the Edmonton Oilers in a possible playoff preview on Wednesday night. Puck drop in Edmonton is scheduled for 5:30 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: VGK got off to a quick start thanks to a struggling goaltender in the opposing net. They scored on each of their first two shots but it went south from there. A couple penalties put the Canucks right back in it, then VGK’s offense kind of shut off aside from one more power play goal. They looked stagnant in the O-Zone and didn’t have enough forecheck to get through a stingy Vancouver D. Two blown leads against a potential upcoming playoff opponent. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena.

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Last 10 Games Typically Tell VGK’s Future In Playoffs

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

There’s always a belief in the NHL that it’s crucial to be hot going into the postseason. For the Golden Knights, it has absolutely proven to be the case in their five previous trips to the playoffs. In the four seasons they ended the year well, they went on extended runs to the Conference Final or beyond. In the two years they stumbled down the stretch, they missed the playoffs and were eliminated in the First Round.

Vegas is currently 3-1-0 in the first four of the final 10 games of this year’s regular season and they have a playoff berth all but officially wrapped up. There are games still on the schedule against two of the three possible opening-round opponents, Vancouver and Edmonton. Here’s a look back at the history of how the season finished and how it turned out.

Last 10 Games: 6-1-3
Playoffs – 16-6 (Stanley Cup Champions)

The Golden Knights were winning and scoring in bunches down the stretch last season. They scored three or more goals in 11 of the final 13 games and posted at least four in eight of them. A pair of dominant wins over the Seattle Kraken ended the regular season and helped lock up the #1 seed in the Western Conference. That meant a home game to start the playoffs, which was a dud, a 5-1 loss to Winnipeg. VGK would go on to win each of the next four and start the Second Round with a win as well.

There were two games against an eventual playoff opponent in the final 20 games of the season, a pair of games played consecutively against the Oilers. VGK won in Edmonton and fell at home three days later.

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