Recap: The Golden Knights were home for the first time in six games to host the Anaheim Ducks. Paul Cotter scored the only goal in the first period giving Vegas a 1-0 lead after the opening 20 minutes.
Both teams exchanged goals in the middle frame. Brett Howden scored his second of the season assisted by Keegan Kolesar and Nic Roy.
Vegas’ offense really turned on in the final period. The Golden Knights received goals from Shea Theodore, Phil Kessel, Jack Eichel Michael Amadio, and William Carrier. The game ended in blowout style.
The Golden Knights’ record improves to 32-18-4 crushing the Ducks 7-2. Vegas will host the Sharks this Thursday for their next game. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM.
Analysis: Like many games the Ducks have played in this season, the Golden Knights dominated territorially the entire game. They scored quick but then the chance generation slowed down through the middle of the game. In the 3rd they ramped it back up by getting pucks on net again. The Ducks then quit and VGK turned it into a rout. Easy win against the league’s worst team. (Analysis by Ken)
Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Anaheim Ducks at T-Mobile Arena.
Recap: The Golden Knights traveled south of LA for the second game of a back-to-back against the Anaheim Ducks. Anaheim opened the scoring 3:27 into the game and doubled their lead nine minutes later. Mark Stone quickly cut the Ducks lead in half with a 1st period shorthanded goal. After the opening 20 minutes, Anaheim held a 2-1 advantage.
Anaheim continued to commit penalties and put Vegas on the power play in the middle frame. Altogether, the Ducks handed the Golden Knights five power plays in the first 27 minutes of the game. Unfortunately, VGK couldn’t take advantage of any of them but they were able to even the score 2-2 with a 5-on-5 goal from Ben Hutton.
The game slowed down in the final period with each offense struggling to get any momentum. The game needed overtime and eventually a shootout to settle a winner. Anaheim would score the first two and pick up the two points.
The Golden Knights’ record drops to (24-12-2) losing to the Ducks 3-2 in a shootout. Vegas will head back home for their last game of 2022 on Saturday against the Nashville Predators. Puck drop against the Predators is scheduled for 12 PM. (Recap by Jason)
Analysis: Lil Jon got his wish tonight as VGK fired shot after shot after shot on goal. What did not happen though was the goals part. VGK scored twice, once on a shorthanded breakaway and the other on a fluky own goal off a Ducks skate. Another game where finishing is the problem and this one hurts a bit because that has to be a free two points. (Analysis by Ken)
Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center.
Last night Vegas missed out on a golden opportunity to stash away more money in the bank before their busy season begins. So what, they lost to Buffalo. It’s only one game and a win tomorrow would keep Vegas on pace to cross the 50-point mark by year-end. We’ll get into January later, but for right now the Golden Knights have four more games to focus on in 2022.
Starting tomorrow night, the Golden Knights are set to play statistically some of the league’s worst defenses and offenses. Putting it lightly, the remaining schedule is as soft as Santa’s beard.
Some would argue that St. Louis and LA aren’t walkovers and they tend to get up for games against Vegas. However, both are struggling to keep the puck out of their own nets and have two of the worst penalty kill units in the league. The Golden Knights will likely attack the net knowing there are holes in each team’s defense. If it plays out, Vegas should be in a position to expose weaknesses in LA & St. Louis’ special teams. Both clubs are manageable but it won’t be as easy as the Golden Knights other two opponents.
At the end of the NHL regular season when teams are planning for the postseason or the golf course, it’s unlikely for the players, coaches and managers to huddle around and go over how they reached their fate. For losing clubs, it’s a quick clean out of their lockers and get out of dodge to their summer destinations. For the fortunate 16, they’re preparing for a potentially long run in the playoffs. However, for prognostication purposes, it is important to note how successful teams got to their ultimate goals.
After last night’s 2-1 OT victory over the hapless Philadelphia Flyers, Vegas extended their Western Conference best record to 41 points. It wasn’t the prettiest, but a win is a win when fighting for a seat in the playoffs.
When you break down how the Golden Knights picked up their points, you’ll notice that they’re taking care of business when facing lesser competitors. This is exactly what all playoff hopefuls do throughout a long 82-game regular season. Call it bum slaying, padding stats, or anything you’d like but those points are vital to any team fighting for the postseason.
Points from Non-Contenders: (22)
10/13: VGK 1 vs CHI 0
10/25: VGK 4 @ SJ 2
10/28: VGK 4 vs ANA 0
11/03: VGK 5 @ OTT 4
11/05: VGK 6 @ MTL 4
11/10: VGK 7 @ BUF 4
11/17: VGK 4 vs ARI 1
11/21: VGK 5 @ VAN 4
11/23: VGK 4 vs OTT 1
11/28: VGK 3 @ CBJ 2
12/03: VGK 4 @ DET 1
12/08: VGK 2 vs PHI 1
Now to be fair, the Golden Knights have not taken advantage of all low-level opponents. Vegas lost three times to inferior lineups, all occurring at T-Mobile Arena. For the most part, all three were uncompetitive and the Golden Knights lost by a total of eight goals. In the trio of games, the road team scored two or more goals that went unanswered by Vegas. It’s okay to have a stinker but several at home vs sub .500 teams are wasting VGK fans’ hard-earned money. Thankfully, Jonathan Marchessault didn’t let that happen again last night in OT.
Missed Points From Non-Contenders (6)
11/12: STL 3 @ VGK 2
11/15: SJ 5 @ VGK 2
11/26: VAN 5 @ VGK 1
For Vegas to keep up their 104-point pace they’ll need continue bullying inept franchises crashing for Connor Bedard. Half of the teams in the NHL have roster weaknesses and are capable of exposing on a nightly basis. Through 29 games, the Golden Knights have jumped on mistakes, ill-timed penalties, poor goaltending, and turnovers. It’s been the team’s identity all season under coach Bruce Cassidy. In addition to their 22 “bum slaying” points, Vegas will have 15 more opportunities against the league’s worst to cushion their conference and divisional lead.
Now of course the NHL is a professional league with incredibly skilled players. Even the worst organizations have the ability to defeat star-studded lineups. Just ask the Boston Bruins, who lost to the Arizona Coyotes last night in Arizona. That’ll wake up a team. Hopefully, not by Sunday evening.
Recap: The Golden Knights took advantage of a power play in the 1st period when Chandler Stephenson jammed home a goal from right out in front.
In the 2nd, it was an open game for a while until Vegas struck on the penalty kill. Then, the floodgates opened as William Karlsson added a tipped shot and Nic Roy scored on a breakaway. It was 4-0 at the end of 40.
The 3rd period was useless aside from the fact that Logan Thompson completed his second shutout of the season.
The Golden Knights record continues to climb to 7-2-0, defeating the Ducks 4-0 on Nevada Day. Next up is the Jets before the Golden Knights head out for a tricky five-game eastern road trip. Puck drop on Sunday against Winnipeg at T-Mobile Arena is scheduled for 5:00 PM. (Recap by Ken)
Analysis: It took a while for the game to really get going, but once it did it turned into a classic VGK vs ANA game. The Golden Knights cleaned up their act in the defensive and neutral zones and the Ducks began to break down all over the ice in every situation. Stephenson took advantage of a PK and goaltending mishap, Smith buried a 2-on-1 on a friendly-fire-led break, and Roy finished a chance born out of the Ducks seemingly having never seen what happens when a puck bounces. Give credit to VGK across the board though, it starts with how you defend against these horrible teams. If you make life tough on them, they’ll make it very easy on you. (Recap by Ken)
Throughout team history, Vegas averages 102 points over an 82 game season. This season, 102 points would’ve earned Vegas a third place finish in the Pacific Division and a seven game series against Edmonton. There’s a strong case that a healthy Golden Knights roster would’ve given the Oilers a run for their money.
There are no excuses and we need to have a good start and go from there, but this is part of playoff hockey and you’re going to go through adversity. There are no easy games and no easy series, so we’re going to be prepared to go .-Ryan Nugent Hopkins, EDM forward
So far, only the Central Division has had a team eliminated. In a few days, it’s possible two of three Pacific Division teams are sent home packing as well. Sure, Calgary is up a game but Dallas hasn’t been an easy opponent. In the other western series, the Oilers have fallen right into the trap of the underdog Kings. It’s premature but none of the three Pacific teams are looking like favorites to win the Stanley Cup.
Let’s say the Golden Knights are healthy enough next season to make the playoffs. If they top off at 102 points they would likely be the second or third team coming out of the Pacific. In that case, Vegas would be guaranteed to face off against a divisional rival. Chances are the familiar faces will be in play in 2022-23. Which statistically favors the Golden Knights.
Since 2017-18, Vegas has a total of 464 points. The Golden Knights have earned more than a third from inside their division. Excluding the now Central Division Coyotes, the Golden Knights have tallied 176 Pacific Division points in 119 games. That’s a hearty .676 winning % against the teams Vegas faces most and in the opening rounds of the playoffs.
Golden Knights fans have now watched how predictable the Pacific division has been for half a decade. LA in and Vegas out was the only real surprise over that period. The landscape will likely stay the same next season.
When the oddsmakers set the lines for next season’s divisional leaders the Golden Knights are likely to be the favorite. Other teams have areas to address as well. Calgary will have to make some big decisions, so will Edmonton, San Jose and Vancouver. LA’s quick climb to the postseason will be interesting if it keeps up, especially if a healthy Vegas team is rolling. In year six no matter what changes have been made the Golden Knights will have a chance to fight for the division and form a path to another conference final. It’s that easy, depending on offseason changes.
He’s not the most popular player but last night even the most critical Golden Knights fans had to feel happy for Evgenii Dadonov. In his first game “back” the 33-year-old forward scored Vegas’ third goal of the game and is now tied for the second most on the team.
Dadonov began a flurry of three total Golden Knights power play goals. The crowd roared when #63 backhanded a loose rebound into the net and his teammates wrapped him in a tight group hug on the ice.
I felt that support from the stands. Probably pumped me up even more. I always loved playing here… Great experience playing here in front of this crowd. Still think it’s the best fans in the league. -Dadonov
In the end the trade was voided and Dadonov is back in line with the rest of his Vegas teammates. However, this messy deadline incident will not go away. Player protection clarity will be a future topic of conversation with league officials. The NHL never wants this to never happen again.
I think there’s going to be some fallout. They are going to be talking about this at the GM meetings. A no-trade list is submitted solely between a player agent and the club. The league does not keep track of no trade list, the NHLPA doesn’t. Which by the way, is crazy. –Pierre LeBrun on TSN
Clearly, there were miscommunications from several parties and it wasn’t the league’s finest moment. On a spotlight day like the NHL trade deadline the eventually voided Dadonov deal led headlines. The league would rather make player protection awareness a more streamlined and transparent process.
It’s been almost 48 hours since the Golden Knights front office attempted to trade forward Evgenii Dadonov. While we wait for the league’s decision the coverage and speculation has been non-stop across the US and Canada.
You tell me how the NHL can do anything except void this trade. This is not on Ottawa. The Ottawa Senators right now should be telling the NHL, Anaheim and Vegas, scram. –Nick Kypreos on Sportsnet 590
Like all of us, pundits are puzzled as to how the deal was approved and how widely available trade protection information was missed by the NHL and the Golden Knights.
Vegas is saying that when they made the trade with Ottawa there was no trade list submitted. They had no idea that he had a no trade list. How is it possible in today’s age? You can click on CapFriendly and come up with every trade protection to every player in the NHL, yet the NHL and Vegas Golden Knights didn’t know. There’s a lot of finger pointing right now. This deal could get voided. –Darren Dreger on TSN Toronto
The deal in itself makes sense. Vegas would gain cap relief and have room to activate Mark Stone off LTIR. There is also an argument to be made that Dadonov’s depth scoring may have come in handy in the playoffs. Also, that Stone might not be fully healthy or as effective as he can be.
If this trade doesn’t go through it’s going to be extremely difficult for them to activate some of the players they have on LTIR. I do think it’s possible that another team, like Arizona, would step forward and say ‘if you’re willing to give us an incentive we can potentially help you out here.’ I’m asking people that are smarter than me to do the math and they’re telling me that they don’t see without this deal happening that Vegas can activate some of its players. -Elliotte Friedman on NHL Network
It has to be frustrating for Vegas’ front office. The NHL is carefully working on a solution all the while the Golden Knights regular season continues without either Dadonov or Stone in their lineup. Not only that, management has to be prepared if the trade is voided. Will they throw extra incentives for another team’s assistance? They’re not in an envious position.
Recap: The Ducks took the first lead of the game early in the 1st period. A few minutes later Ben Hutton tied the game with his second goal of the season.
The Golden Knights’ offense really picked up in the middle frame scoring four times. Jonathan Marchessault and Michael Amadio each scored one and Nic Roy scored twice stretching Vegas’ lead to 5-2. Anaheim got a late one in the period to get within two.
The Ducks tightened the score on the power play to close the gap and make it a little tighter than VGK would have liked. But the Golden Knights held on and got a much-needed victory.
The Golden Knights record improves to 31-21-4 defeating the Ducks 5-4. Vegas next hits the ice on Sunday against the Ottawa Senators. Puck drop is set for 7 PM at T-Mobile Arena. (Recap by Jason)
Analysis: Sometimes you just have a team’s number, and no matter how you are playing coming in, it doesn’t matter. That’s been Vegas against Anaheim for the entire history of the franchise. In this one, the offensive issues faded away for a night and VGK scored every which way possible at even-strength. The defense wasn’t great and made it interesting, but in the end, it was the type of game they needed and now it’s time to build. (Recap by Ken)
Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center.
Recap: The Golden Knights took control early in the game scoring twice on the Ducks in the 1st period. Nic Roy opened the scoring and Adam Brooks doubled Vegas’ lead.
Mattias Janmark scored the only goal of a messy 2nd period. Both teams were handed a dozen penalties in the middle frame for roughing and fighting.
The game settled down in the 3rd but Anaheim spoiled Vegas’ shutout scoring in the waning seconds of the contest.
The Golden Knights record improves to 22-12-0 defeating the Ducks 3-1. Vegas will face off after the New Year on Sunday against the Winnipeg Jets. Puck drop is set for 1P. (Recap by Jason)
Analysis: The Golden Knights whipped the Ducks all over the ice from the moment they dropped the puck to the second the game ended. Complete and utter domination to ring in the New Year. (Recap by Ken)
Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Anaheim Ducks game at T-Mobile Arena.