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VGK Developing Poor Habit Late In Close Games

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In the end, the NHL is a results-oriented business, so the only thing that matters is winning. That being said, the way you win can often be just as strong a predictor of future success as the result itself.

Recently, the Golden Knights have done a lot of winning, but they’ve also begun to develop a bit of a nasty habit.

It’s another game where we had the puck on our stick a couple of times when they had their goalie out and we weren’t able to finish the game. -Cassidy

When the Lightning tied the game with 27 seconds to go, it marked the fourth time in the last 17 games in which the Golden Knights have conceded a game-tying goal in the final 70 seconds of the game. On top of that Tampa’s two goals with their own net empty added to the tally of six goals Vegas has allowed against six skaters since January 24th.

Also, the Golden Knights blew 3rd leads to both New Jersey and Carolina at home and nearly allowed Montreal to recover from a three-goal hole before this road trip began.

It’s tough. We want the two points but you can’t really worry too much about (giving up the lead). You just have to worry about the next shift. I think we answered very well but it’s always tough especially when it happens as late as it did tonight. -William Karlsson

The worst part about all of this is that they are all happening in different ways, but as Cassidy alluded to, each and every time there has been a moment when the Golden Knights have the puck on their sticks and haven’t been able to make a play.

It comes down to details and execution, and recently Vegas just hasn’t reached the standard necessary to close out games in the NHL.

In the first 38 games, the Golden Knights did not allow a single goal when playing against six skaters. With two more in Tampa, Vegas now sits tied for 3rd place over the course of the entire season allowing seven.

Even though VGK have rescued many of the points that potentially could have been lost in overtime, it’s something that must be worked out before the postseason because a single mistake in a playoff series could be fatal.

Golden Knights Need To Keep “Emotional Needle” High

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

27 seconds into the game last night the Golden Knights got onto the board with a 2-on-1 goal from Keegan Kolesar on a nifty feed from Teddy Blueger. It was the perfect start for Vegas in what was bound to be a difficult road game in Tampa.

For the next 39 minutes and 33 seconds, the Golden Knights were not as potent. They collected just eight shots following the goal for a franchise-low nine shots through two periods. They struggled to generate anything off the rush, they couldn’t set up in the offensive zone for extended stretches, and the forecheck was non-existent.

Then, the game started to change. Not necessarily in how the Golden Knights were playing, but more so in the physicality and temperature of the affair. A hit from behind on Jack Eichel woke the Golden Knights up, an after-the-horn scrum continued to turn up the heat on the game, and when the 3rd period came, Vegas appeared much more engaged and ready to fight back.

At the end of the day I think we found our emotional needle. That little scrum may have dragged us into it even if we lost key players. A couple of those shifts really got us engaged. I’ve always been okay with that for our group. I feel like when we get dragged into it, if we are not dragging ourselves into it, we usually come out ok. And we did again tonight. -Cassidy

This is something Cassidy has spoken about in the past. He believes when the team plays with an added level of emotion that they take their game to a higher level.

Emotion is not easily measured and obviously it’s not ideal for the Golden Knights to be assessed with 75 minutes of penalty time as they did last night. But, in the 11 games in which VGK have taken a major penalty or a misconduct, they’ve posted a record of 7-3-1 and they’ve won five of their top seven most penalized games.

We were just fired up with the boys standing up for each other. -Karlsson

It’s a tricky concept as the hope would be that the emotion is there every night. For Vegas, it just hasn’t, yet that’s not abnormal for any team in a league with 82 regular season games.

The question becomes how they can make sure to keep that level high moving forward and especially into the postseason when the games really count.

They can’t rely on someone taking a cheap shot or a scrum that leads to 10 players being ejected from the game to help “drag them into the game.” It must come ealier, and more often, if it truly is going to have the impact on the games Cassidy and many of the players believe it does.

For one night, the emotional needle rose to the level it needed to for the Golden Knights to beat one of the best teams in the NHL. Moving forward, they need to make sure it stays there as often as possible.


Recap: The Golden Knights were looking for a Sunshine state split with an evening matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Immediately off the opening face-off, Teddy Blueger set up Keegan Kolesar for an easy tap-in 0:27 into the game. Three minutes later the home team jumped on a rebound and evened the score. The game was locked 1-1 after the opening twenty minutes.

Things tightened up in the second period with only 13 combined shots. Tampa was rewarded with multiple power plays, but Vegas’ penalty killers did their job and kept the Lightning off the board. The game remained tied 1-1 heading into the second intermission.

Vegas turned up their game in the final period, taking the lead on the penalty kill and extending it on the power play. First William Karlsson scored shorthanded, and Chandler Stephenson followed it up with a goal on a man-advantage situation. The final ten minutes were marred with ten ejections after several scrums broke out. Tampa pulled their goalie with 2:30 left and forced overtime. Alec Martinez scored the game-winner late in OT, pulling off a wild 4-3 victory. 

The Golden Knights record improves to (39-20-6) defeating the Lightning 4-3 in Tampa. Vegas continues their road trip with a trip to Carolina for a matchup with the Hurricanes on Saturday. Puck drop is scheduled for 4P PT. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: In one of the wackiest games in VGK history, the Golden Knights end up coming out on top. They struggled to generate much of anything offensively through the first two periods mustering up a franchise low nine shots through 40 minutes. But as the temperature of the game turned up, the Golden Knights struck both shorthanded on and the power play to grab a lead. They then blew that lead and had to rescue it in OT. It’s one of the weirdest games I’ve ever watched. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena.

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Remembering The Last Time VGK Used Four Starting Goalies In 10 Games

Exactly one month ago, February 9th, the Golden Knights were sitting as pretty as they have all season between the pipes. Logan Thompson was posting a strong game against the Minnesota Wild and played great in the games leading into the break, Adin Hill played well in the previous game, and Laurent Brossoit was healthy and performing in the AHL.

28 days later, Jonathan Quick is set to start tonight’s game for the Golden Knights in Tampa Bay, Jiri Patera will back him up, and AHL goalie coach Fred Brathwaite served as the backup for the Silver Knights last night.

And maybe the craziest part about it all is… this isn’t new for Vegas in its sixth season in the NHL.

Let’s hop in the time machine for a moment to remember the 10-game stretch back in early 2017 when the Golden Knights also lost not one, or two, but three goalies to injury inside of a month.

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It all started when Marc-Andre Fleury took a nasty knee to the head in the Golden Knights’ fourth regular season game ever. The game would go down in history as the first defeat in franchise history, but the short-term effects were more on the mind at the time.

That thrust Malcolm Subban into action, a goalie who just days earlier was described as “not quite sure he’s ready for this level” by the team’s GM, George McPhee. Subban had recently been claimed on waivers from Boston which led to the trade of Expansion Draft selection Calvin Pickard. The Golden Knights acquired just a 6th round pick for what they expected to be an extraneous goalie. It turned out, he was far from that.

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Goalie Interference – Season 2 Episode 23 – March 8th, 2023

VGK suffered a setback to open up this difficult road trip. We’ll talk about what went wrong in FLA, and what’s been going right against Eastern Conference teams. Plus a dive into some players and units that have been struggling.

Goalie Interference is brought to you weekly by the Jimmerson Law Firm. The Jimmerson Law Firm is one of Las Vegas’s preeminent law firms, specializing in high-stakes business, civil and family litigation.  When winning matters, seek out The Jimmerson Law Firm.

Audio Only

Ivan Barbashev: Best Acquisition By Any Team

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Through five games, newcomer Ivan Barbashev has seemingly fit right in. He’s connected well with star center Jack Eichel and fellow wing Jonathan Marchessault on Vegas’ new top line. So far, he’s a point-per-game player and the trio has been responsible for four goals in 15 periods.

The 27-year-old implied he’s learning on the fly and adding his blend of talent and toughness. A recipe that succeeds in the playoffs.

I’m trying to play simple. I’m playing with Jack and Marchy, so it’s real easy to play with them. I’m trying to make some plays for them and it’s working real well. It’s the way I play. Be more physical and mix it up with skill. -Ivan Barbashev

Overall, the trade with St. Louis has been highly graded by NHL coaches, GMs, and insiders.

I think he’s going to go down as one of the best acquisitions of the deadline by any team. He’s not going to be the biggest but I think he’s going to be one of the best. –Elliotte Friedman on 32 Thoughts Podcast

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Recap: The Golden Knights began their five-game road trip with a matchup in southern Florida. The Panthers quickly jumped ahead 4:25 into the opening period taking a 1-0 lead. 

Florida doubled their lead early in the middle frame but committed a costly penalty nine minutes later. Shea Theodore took advantage of the man advantage and cut Florida’s lead in half to 2-1.

Vegas had more PP opportunities in the final period but their special teams came up short. The Golden Knights had one last chance with time winding down but the Panthers clears the puck and secured a one-goal victory. 

The Golden Knights’ record drops to 38-20-6 losing 2-1 to the Panthers. Next up Vegas will take a short flight to Tampa for a battle with the Lightning. Puck drop against the Bolts is scheduled for 4 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: A slow start really put the Golden Knights behind the eight-ball on this night. They weren’t skating well for the first 30 minutes of the game and it bled into every area of the game. As they picked it up, the forecheck started to come alive and they were able to hem Florida in a bit more. However, they didn’t get much in transition and thus didn’t score a single even-strength goal. The slow start is not as concerning to me as the constant issues in breakouts. Florida took away the walls, and VGK just could not figure out what to do. Don’t like seeing simple strategies work so well this late into the season. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena.

Read More Podcast #289: The Hope That Kills You

The trade deadline has come and gone and as expected the Golden Knights were active. Plus, on the ice, they’ve been doing a lot of winning since the All Star break. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • Playoff lock now
  • Trade deadline to make playoffs, win division, or win Cup?
  • Elvis costume + win song
  • Youth vs Age
  • Goalie conundrum upcoming… again

And much more…

We are on iTunesStitcher, Spotify, and Google Play. Subscribe now!

Hot, Cold, And William Karlsson

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights have been on a nice run since the All Star break, losing just one game in regulation and cementing their place in the Western Conference playoff picture.

Along the way, there have been a few big-time performers stepping up consistently helping lead VGK to goals and eventually wins. Despite all the winning though, there have been a few disappointments as well, players that will need to step up their game if the Golden Knights want to achieve the ultimate goal by season’s end. And then, there’s been William Karlsson.

We’ll start with the good.


Jack Eichel
8 goals, 6 assists, 14 points, +10 rating

There’s really no point in doing this list without starting with #9. Eichel has been on his best run as a Golden Knight since the calendar flipped to February and there are no signs of him slowing down. He’s scored goals in seven of the 12 games since the break, and has been on the score sheet with at least a point in nine.

Plus, the goals have been big ones. Eichel gave the Golden Knights a 3rd period lead against both New Jersey and Dallas, he scored twice in the 2nd period to put VGK ahead against Carolina, and his power play goal against the Flames sparked the Golden Knights’ comeback.

And on top of all of it, he just flat-out looks like the best player on the ice most nights. His powerful skating stride is breathtaking and his shotmaking ability at full speed is spectacular.

Shea Theodore
3 goals, 9 assists, 12 points, +8 rating

Theodore returned from his nasty knee injury a few days before the break. He didn’t quite look himself in those games and the results showed. Since, he’s been every bit of the dynamic puck-moving defenseman the Golden Knights knew they had when they signed him to a long-term deal four years ago.

He’s driving offense from all three zones again and putting teams on their heels with his ridiculous puck-handling ability. In the last nine games, Theodore has recorded at least four shots in five of them and he’s averaging nearly 22 minutes of ice time a night, lightening the load on Alex Pietrangelo.

Scoring from the blue line is not exactly the main focal point of the Bruce Cassidy offensive system, but when Shea is going like he is, the offense looks so much more potent.

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Recap:  The Golden Knights welcomed the lowly Montreal Canadiens to T-Mobile Arena and jumped all over them right from puck drop. It took a bit to finally break through but then Shea Theodore opened the scoring and Ivan Barbashev tallied his first VGK goal.

The Golden Knights continued pummelling the Habs into the 2nd frame and got a quintessential Misfit goal from Reilly Smith on a 2-on-1 feed from William Karlsson.

Things went a little haywire in the 3rd as the Habs broke the shutout then started to make a real comeback. Ivan Barbashev’s chin helped him score Vegas’ fourth goal and give them a 4-1 lead but a pair of Montreal goals in less than a minute made things interesting. Jonathan Quick held strong down the stretch and the Golden Knights took home the victory.

The Golden Knights’ record improves to 37-19-6 defeating the Canadiens 4-3. Vegas now head to the road for a lengthly and difficult five-game swing. The first of the trip is in Florida on Tuesday. Puck drop against the Canadiens is scheduled for 4 PM. (Recap by Ken)

Analysis: For the first 40 minutes of the game it looked exactly like you’d expect from a 1st place team against a last place one. But the 3rd period was a bit of a mess and kinda marred Jonathan Quick’s debut. Wouldn ‘t take too much from that game though. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Montreal Canadiens at T-Mobile Arena.

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