SinBin.vegas

Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Tag: Alex Pietrangelo Page 1 of 7

Josh Anderson Says Alex Pietrangelo “Sucker-Punched” Him After Suspension-Worthy Hit

Late in the game last week between the Golden Knights and Canadiens forward Josh Anderson delivered a dirty hit on Alex Pietrangelo. The play resulted in a scuffle that saw Anderson ejected from the game and earning a five-minute major while multiple Golden Knights went to the box for roughing.

The next day, the NHL Department of Player Safety slapped Anderson with a two game suspension.

Pietrangelo bobbles the puck momentarily and slows, turning towards the boards. After he does so, and with numbers facing him, Anderson adjusts his course, readies, and hits forcibly through Pietrangelo’s back left side, driving him dangerously into the wall. -NHL Department of Player Safety video on the hit

Here’s a look at the play from two different angles.

 

Anderson served his suspension over the last few days and spoke with the media for the first time today.

It looks like he had two options. One he’s gonna chip it in or two it looked like he was going to turn back and make a play to the D. I tried to hit him as much as I could on the shoulder but he put himself in a tough position and things happen fast. Obviously, I’m glad he’s ok. He was on the power play the next shift. -Josh Anderson

He was not thrilled with the Golden Knights’ reaction after the play.

He went in hard but I didn’t think much of it because he got right back up and sucker-punched me. I thought he was okay there. I guess it’s okay to knock out your two front teeth and not get anything from it. That’s just the way it is. -Anderson

The Habs and Golden Knights do not meet again until March 5th at T-Mobile Arena, but despite the four-month gap between games, everyone involved will surely remember that play, and emotions during that game will be high.

Just One Game, But Golden Knights Are On The Road To Establishing Consistent Style Of Play

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Last year, due to a combination of inconsistent play and players in the lineup, the Golden Knights struggled to find and maintain an identity in the way they play.

One game into the 2022-23 season, there’s already one emerging.

I thought we had really good sticks. We were knocking down a lot of pucks. That’s been an identity. We’re such a long team. If we can close in little sections, that’s when we’re able to bat down pucks and go the other way. Overall it just felt like we were in sync. -Mark Stone

Where it was most noticeable in the season opener in Los Angeles was in the neutral zone as the Kings attempted their breakouts. The Golden Knights hounded LA, constantly breaking up passes or forcing them to turn back and start over. A perfect example is the game-winning goal.

With our size on the forecheck and they don’t have a huge group of defensemen, and we can skate, when we get in there it’s always going to be a battle and when we are winning those battles it’s tough to get the puck back for the defense. I know playing against big forwards that can skate it’s hard. -Alex Pietrangelo

But it extends to the other two zones as well. In the O-zone while forechecking, VGK’s length makes life difficult on the opposition by limiting passing lanes. Vegas’ active sticks disrupted multiple exit chances for the Kings and led to quick-strike offense.

In the D-zone, the Golden Knights used their new zone defense structure to eliminate passes through the center of the ice. Their size and skating skill help keep the puck to the outside and there is almost always at least one VGK body between the puck and the goal.

A key to maintaining this identity is patience, something the Golden Knights excelled at in the opener. Rather than forcing the Kings into making mistakes by creating numbers advantages in puck battles, Vegas did it with positioning and size and allowed the mistakes to come to them. For the Kings, it had to feel like there were opposing sticks and players all over the ice. This helped feed what the Golden Knights do best offensively.

The strength of our team will be transition but you have to play the game in front of you too and I thought we did a good job of that. -Bruce Cassidy

The last piece of the puzzle is another area in which Vegas experienced challenges a year ago, puck management. A big part of what made the Golden Knights tough to play against in Los Angeles was their structure. The only way to properly set up in the neutral zone, check in the offensive zone, or defend for extended periods of time in the defensive zone is with proper structure. Step one in maintaining that is not being caught out of position when the puck is turned over. Sloppy play through the neutral zone or unforced turnovers in the offensive zone leads to rushes the other way. The Golden Knights managed the puck much better than their opponent and it bled into every other part of the game.

We bought into puck management. They play a 1-3-1 in the neutral zone so if you try to get through there and try to make pretty plays that’s where LA is very effective. So I thought tonight that we managed the puck and tried to play in behind them and take what they gave us. It really worked well. -Cassidy

It’s just one game, so we’re a long way from being able to confidently say what we saw at Crypto.com Arena is what we’ll see consistently over the course of the season from the Golden Knights. But the groundwork is there for it to become a staple of Vegas’ game this year.

Length, size, skating, and active sticks make the game hard on every team in the league no matter their talent or system. The Golden Knights achieved it and played with a clear identity in Game 1 of the season.

Next step: Repeat.

Inside Look At The Crazy Final Play Leading To Mark Stone’s Game-Winning Goal

With a little over a minute remaining in regulation of a tie game, the Kings found themselves with clean possession of the puck as the Golden Knights made their final line change of the game behind the play. Defenseman Matt Roy left the puck for his partner Sean Durzi who carried it behind the LA goal where he was poised to begin a breakout.

But, instead, Durzi waited, and waited, and waited.

I honestly didn’t know he was coming out. If he would have taken it to OT, I would have stood there and waited. There’s no sense in letting him bait me. -Mark Stone

We just assumed he was going to kill the clock and take the point. -Alex Pietrangelo

Durzi had other ideas.

I was hoping he’d come out. We want to play hockey. No one wants to stand there and watch that. We didn’t want to give ourselves up and flush him out though, that’s a sucker’s race. -Bruce Cassidy

After holding the puck for exactly 22 seconds behind the goal with the crowd urging the King to get the puck forward and attempt to win the game, he did just that. Durzi skated out to his left and fired a pass 100 feet along the ice to the red line.

Here’s what he saw as he went to make the pass.

Read More

Golden Knights Have What Darryl Sutter Says You Need To Win

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter has been around the NHL for a long time. He’s heading into his 22nd season as a head coach, has won multiple Stanley Cups, led four different teams to the playoffs, and posted a winning record with every franchise he’s been with.

The change he’s had on the Flames has been impressive seeing them go from missing the playoffs to posting 111 points last season before being dispatched in the second round by the Edmonton Oilers.

Sutter is an old-school head coach. He believes in many of the long-standing traditions in the game of hockey and his no-nonsense yet almost aloof-sounding attitude makes him one of a kind. There’s no questioning his knowledge of the sport and what it takes to win in today’s game though.

Lucky for us, he’s willing to share exactly what he thinks it takes. In an extended sit-down with Sportsnet’s “The Big Show” Sutter was asked a myriad of questions about the team he currently coaches. Many of them were about his new players and the wild offseason his team just went through, but along the way he mentioned three different aspects of the game he believes a team must have to win the Cup.

Bottom line is we were not good enough at center ice. It showed up in the playoffs. The top teams in this division are three centermen deep and it really exposed us. –Darryl Sutter to Sportsnet’s The Big Show

Sutter was speaking about the importance of his team adding Nazem Kadri to go along with Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund.

Since the addition of Jack Eichel, the Golden Knights are strong down the middle. William Karlsson and Chandler Stephenson will likely begin the season as the next two centers, but the option to use Nic Roy or Brett Howden gives the team even more flexibility.

Historically, center has been a bit of a weak spot for Vegas with Karlsson clearly filling the role as the team’s best. With him slotting down to 2nd or even 3rd best, VGK can go toe to toe with just about anyone. Also, the Golden Knights have a nice mix of players including an insanely talented scorer, a lockdown defender, and a speedster.

Next, Sutter pointed to the blue line.

Read More

Can VGK Repeat Blue Line Success From The 2020-21 Season?

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

If you look back to the 2020-21 NHL season you’ll recollect just how dangerous the Golden Knights were. They outscored their opponents by 1.21 goals per game and ended the season with a remarkable +63 in scoring differential. Vegas was a legitimate Cup favorite and was destined to face the Colorado Avalanche for Western conference supremacy. One reason why the Golden Knights had so much success throughout the shortened 56-game season was the support they received from the blue line.

With the addition of Alex Pietrangelo, VGK’s defense in 2021 was among the top scoring clubs in the NHL for points from the men who man the points. Between the group, Vegas’ d-men posted 142 points. Lead by Shea Theodore (8 Goals, 34 Assists), several Golden Knights defenders had career highs in points per game.

So, is it possible to duplicate their blue line scoring in the upcoming 2022-23 season?

We’ve broken down how new coach Bruce Cassidy has a slightly different mindset than previous coach Pete DeBoer when it comes to defensive involvement. Of course in Cassidy’s system blue liners will have the opportunity to score but not as much as they did in the past.

2020-21 VGK Defensemen Points
Shea Theodore: 8 Goals, 34 Assists
Alec Martinez: 9 Goals, 23 Assists
Alex Pietrangelo: 7 Goals, 16 Assists
Nic Hague: 5 Goals, 12 Assists
Zach Whitecloud: 2 Goals, 10 Assists
Brayden McNabb: 2 Goals, 6 Assists

14-year veteran Alec Martinez not only registered his highest points per game average (0.60) but was also a dangerous power play weapon. The two-time Stanley Cup winner scored 3 PP goals in 2021, the most he scored in seven previous seasons. Martinez even lead the Golden Knights struggling man-advantage with two PP goals in the 2021 postseason.

Most fans expect Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore to actively help out offensively but can the rest of the defensive unit step up like they did in 2021? With the lack of natural scoring forwards, even under Cassidy, Golden Knights’ defensemen should have ample opportunities to pitch in. To qualify for the postseason VGK may be forced to rely on crucial points from the point.

What’s the saying? Oh right, it takes a village to win a Cup.

Four Prerequisites For The Golden Knights to Miss the Playoffs

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Yesterday we looked at the four prerequisites that had to happen for the Golden Knights to win the division. Today, we’re doing the opposite. Here’s what would have to happen for everything to go wrong for Vegas and see them miss the playoffs yet again.

Jack Eichel leads all centers in goals against per 60 at even-strength

Last year Eichel actually led the team with the fewest goals against per 60. Eichel finished slightly better than William Karlsson, and all of VGK’s other regular centers, while wearing a VGK uniform. However, the last seven games nearly saw Eichel blow the lead as he was on the ice for seven goals against down the stretch, mostly in games the Golden Knights lost.

If Eichel takes the step forward defensively that Bruce Cassidy and the entire VGK organization are hoping for, it’ll completely change the makeup of the way they can utilize their lines. Karlsson will no longer have to play the heaviest defensive minutes and Eichel could potentially pair up with Mark Stone on defensive zone draws against opposing top lines, something Cassidy will likely avoid early in the season.

This isn’t saying Eichel needs to turn into a Selke candidate, or anything close, but if he doesn’t become a reliable defensive option, the rest of the team will struggle to make up for the shortcoming.

Read More

Continued Reliance On Offense From Defense In New System?

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Over the course of his first few weeks as the head coach of the Golden Knights, Bruce Cassidy has shared quite a bit of information on his preferred systems of play. One of the constants that has come up is his appetite to see the puck on the sticks of the forwards a bit more in the offensive zone.

That’s not to say Cassidy is completely against the low-to-high play the Golden Knights have grown accustomed to using, but it’s not going to be Plan A as it has been for the past few years.

With it comes a fairly large concern due to the point distribution Vegas has seen over the past few seasons under Pete DeBoer.

Last year, Vegas defensemen scored 47 goals or 18% of the total output for the team. They had three players (Pietrangelo, Theodore, Whitecloud) with at least seven goals and saw the blue line generate almost a quarter (24.2%) of all team points.

Offense from defensemen has become a staple of the Golden Knights’ identity and they’ve just hired a head coach that certainly does not operate his offensive system the same way.

In his five full seasons behind the bench in Boston, defensemen never accounted for more than 34 goals in a season, typically amassed between 11-12% of the team’s goal-scoring output, and saw just three players in the last four years combined (McAvoy, Krug, McAvoy) score seven or more goals in a season.

 GoalsGoals/Game% of Team GoalsPointsPts/Game% of Team Points
2021-22 VGK470.570.1791672.040.242
2020-21 VGK360.640.1891422.540.275
2019-20 VGK340.480.1521331.870.230
2021-22 BOS310.380.1231411.720.201
2020-21 BOS180.320.1101001.790.223
2019-20 BOS320.460.1411442.060.236
2018-19 BOS310.380.1211551.890.222
2017-18 BOS340.410.1271621.980.223

Read More

2022 Has Been Challenging In Many Ways For The Golden Knights

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It hasn’t been easy for the Golden Knights in 2022. Overall, Vegas has lost 14 games this calendar year and collected only 24 out of a possible 48 points. It gets even worse. Since January 1st, the Golden Knights have scored the second least number of goals in the entire league. Adding to insult, Vegas has a meager .375 winning percentage in one-goal games since January.

It’s been a challenge considering the injuries Vegas has faced but like Sunday against the Senators, the Golden Knights just need to find ways to win. So how bad has 2022 been for Vegas? Well, let’s examine the numbers.

Goals Scored In 2022

  1. Florida 119
  2. Colorado 113
  3. Toronto 113
    ** 31. Vegas 61

Goals Scored Per Game In 2022

  1. Florida 4.58
  2. Toronto 4.19
  3. Calgary 3.85
    ** 28. Vegas 2.54

It’s no secret the Golden Knights have been struggling to score. Against a below-average Philadelphia team, Vegas’ offense stunk up the joint only creating one goal on 48 shots. You can give credit to hot goaltenders or look in the mirror and accept how poorly the club shoots the puck. Fourteen games this season the Golden Knights have shot 40 or more times on net. After Tuesday’s loss, Vegas is 5-8-1 when they shoot 40+.

Highest Shooting Percentage In 2022

  1. St. Louis 12.7%
  2. Tampa Bay 12.4%
  3. Florida 12.2%
    ** 32. Vegas 7.4%

The game against the Flyers was the 11th time the Golden Knights scored 2 goals or fewer goals since the turn of the calendar year. After four postseason exits, fans are well aware scoring two goals in the playoffs won’t cut it.

Read More

Analyzing Usage Changes With Jack Eichel In VGK’s Lineup

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

As expected, the moment Jack Eichel stepped into the Golden Knights lineup, certain things would change.

The most obvious was his role as top-line center which left Chandler Stephenson in need of a new position. At first, that was on Eichel’s left wing, but the last two games it’s been as 3C.

The next spot was on the power play. Eichel stepped right in on the half-wall to the goalie’s right on Vegas’ #1 unit. He’s played with a few different groups of players, and it appears they have found the right mix after Eichel’s game-winning snipe with 5.2 seconds left on the clock last night.

But one spot that may go under-recognized is the shift in usage that Eichel’s introduction to the lineup has caused. In his nine games as a Golden Knight, Eichel has seen just 30.3% of his shifts begin in the defensive zone. He’s taken 29 of his 115 faceoffs in the defensive zone, which has led to an increase in defensive responsibility for others.

The main group of “others” who have been shouldering that load has been The Misfits, William Karlsson, Reilly Smith, and Jonathan Marchessault.

Karlsson leads the team with 65 defensive zone draws taken since the Colorado game on February 16th, Eichel’s first. In fact, no one else is even close to Karlsson as Eichel, Stephenson, and Nic Roy, the next three in line, have combined for 81.

Prior to Eichel’s arrival, Karlsson, Marchessault, and Smith each started about 54% of their shifts in the offensive zone. With it, they each posted a Corsi right around 55%. In the nine games with Eichel, The Misfits are all under 45% offensive zone starts (Karlsson’s is 43%), with their Corsi numbers staying about the same as a group.

Simply put, they’ve been asked to take on the brunt of the defensive work and they’ve still been able to thrive offensively, especially in the second game against Colorado, the two against San Jose and one in Anaheim.

It’s also heavily affected Alex Pietrangelo’s usage. Instead of spending most of his time playing with the top-six as he did prior to Eichel’s arrival, he’s seeing more time with the depth group. To this point, it has had a pretty significant effect on his production as he’s been on the ice for just five goals in the previous nine games, which equates to 1.85 per 60 minutes. In the 46 games before Eichel, Pietrangelo was on the ice for 2.69 goals per 60 minutes, nearly a full goal more.

Eichel and Pietrangelo have shared the ice for 47:43 in the nine games they’ve played together and the Golden Knights have yet to score or be scored against with the pair out there. In Eichel’s 83:48 without Pietrangelo though, he’s been on the ice for six goals for and just two against.

In the time they’ve played together, they’ve taken 24 offensive zone draws compared to just 11 defensive, yet they have been outshot significantly (23-15), have allowed eight high-danger chances while creating just three, and have a 41% expected goals share. All of these numbers are better for both Eichel and Pietrangelo when they’ve been away from each other.

Obviously, it’s only been nine games, so the sample sizes are limited across the board. But the early returns have shown that Pete DeBoer has taken an approach of lessening Eichel’s defensive responsibilities early on in exchange for upping the pressure in different areas on Karlsson, Marchessault, Smith, and Pietrangelo.

It’s worked for some, it hasn’t for others.

NHL Exec Details Skills Competition Plans, Including Scrapped Plan Involving Shooting Pucks Off The Strat

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

By now you’ve probably seen the plans for the unique, Vegas-centric NHL All-Star events set on the Strip. The two additional skills competitions will take place outdoors, on a locked-down Las Vegas Boulevard, and will singlehandedly blow away every other All-Star event in history. Steve Mayer, the NHL’s Chief Content Officer joined 32 Thoughts yesterday to break down the events and why Las Vegas is the perfect location to have such a grand event.

We’re going to have two events outside the arena. What we’re doing is creating a rink, what will look like a rink, on the fountain. The faceoff circles, the goal, the middle faceoff circle will be hard surfaces on which the skill will be performed. Imagine that the water of the Bellagio fountain is the ice. So when you look from high above you’re going to think we built a rink in the Bellagio fountains. We’re using the fountain as an element to the game. –Mayer on 32 Thoughts Podcast

When the NHL asked for bright lights, glamor, and innovative entertainment, event planners knew there was only one location. Some ingenuity and a little elbow grease, the City of Las Vegas will make it happen.

We’re going to shut the Strip down. We’re going to take the Strip over and we’re going to do an event which accuracy shooting meets Black Jack. We’re going to roll it out on to the Strip. The players are going to shoot, every time they hit a card that’s their Black Jack hand. Closest to 21 wins. Another really cool big personality event. I think there’s going to be a lot of strategy, a lot of talking a lot of going after each other. –Mayer on 32 Thoughts Podcast

When the league staked claim in Las Vegas five years ago it was clear they were here for several reasons. The NHL’s suits correctly forecasted their product would not only survive but thrive in Southern Nevada. The Golden Knights have been a contender since their first season and the fan experience is better than all 31 other cities. So yeah, the NHL believed hockey would achieve success in Las Vegas. Also, it is a great place to throw league parties.

Read More

Page 1 of 7

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

SinBin.vegas

SinBin.vegas