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Tag: Brad Hunt

The Unfortunate Part Of The Winning Streak

The last time the Vegas Golden Knights lost a hockey game was on December 12th, 21 days ago. The last time they lost in regulation was December 1st, 31 days ago. That’s awesome news… unless you are a Golden Knights healthy scratch waiting for your chance to get back into the lineup.

It’s not done on a daily basis but I talked to some of those players a couple days ago and I talked to Sbisa today. They understand, they are true pros and that’s why our team has been so good. We have a bunch of good leaders and character guys. They all want to play, they are all ready to play. That’s the toughest decision I have to make every day. When you are winning games your players understand. It’s hard to go out there and say well we are going to switch it up. Sometimes you have to do that but right now the way things are going we are pretty comfortable with our lineup. Everybody understands, and that’s what I like about our team. They aren’t happy about it, but they understand. -Gerard Gallant

Winning streaks aren’t awesome for everybody. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Luca Sbisa got injured against Carolina (12/12), he hasn’t played since. Brad Hunt has been a healthy scratch in every game since the win at Dallas (12/9). William Carrier was hurt in Arizona (11/25) and he hasn’t come off the IR despite practicing every day for nearly a month, and Ryan Carpenter who was picked up on waivers on December 13th has yet to put on a Golden Knights jersey.

None of these decisions are because they are bad players. In fact, Hunt was playing great in his time in the lineup, Carrier played most games on the excellent “fourth” line, and Sbisa was a member of the top defensive pairing. It’s simply because the Golden Knights refuse to lose.

We don’t want them to lose though either. The boys are playing great and you understand it’s all part of it. You’ve got to be great teammates and make sure we are ready when we do get a chance. -Brad Hunt

Then there’s Carpenter. The Golden Knights went out of their way to claim him on waivers three weeks ago, yet he remains on the shelf waiting for that first opportunity.

Turk has talked to all of us but it’s pretty obvious in pro hockey, if you are winning and everyone is playing well you don’t change it up. If I were in the lineup and we were playing like that I wouldn’t want to be taken out. You are on the first place team in the division, so there’s absolutely no part of me that feels entitled to play. -Ryan Carpenter

The Golden Knights seven game winning streak did happen to begin the moment Carpenter walked in the building.

Do you think you deserve any credit for the winning streak? -SinBin.vegas

Absolutely not. -Carpenter

So here we are tonight, January 2nd, with another home game against the Nashville Predators and yet again, Hunt, Sbisa, Carrier, and Carpenter will sit out. It’s a small price to pay to keep up the winning ways, luckily they all seem to be just fine with it.

It’s Perron’s Turn Tonight (And Brad Hunt’s Too)

There’s been a running theme with the Golden Knights that was almost so obviously to be expected that we almost ignored it. But after William Carrier‘s effort against the Sabres, it’s become a true storyline every night.

Not sure why, cause I’ve been there many times, but David Perron loves St. Louis. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In Dallas, former Star Cody Eakin took the ice for 31 shifts, playing 22:57 minutes of TOI. The center led Vegas in both categories on opening night. Eakin also added two blocks, and assisted on James Neal‘s game-winning goal.

Against Boston, Vegas defenseman Colin Miller and goaltender Malcolm Subban both took pride beating their former teammates. Miller was +1 and added 3 shots on net. Even more vindicated was Subban, stopping 21 of 22 shots. Earning the goaltender his first career win.

Last game vs. Buffalo, “fourth” line forward William Carrier noticeably played his best game of the season.

You guys proved it to me, no doubt Carrier played better against Buffalo. –Gerard Gallant

In six games, four times Vegas players have faced their old team. The Golden Knights are 3-1 in those games. And honestly, I doubt Tomas Nosek was anymore motivated than he normally was when Detroit came to town, as he only played 17 games over two years with the Wings.

Tonight, it’s Golden Knights’ forward David Perron’s turn. P-Money (he called himself that, don’t blame it on us) played his first six NHL seasons in St. Louis and one encore season in 2016-17. Perron is always consistent on the ice, but playing his old teammates could motivate him more.

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Too Much Of A Good Thing?

Like a lot of things with the Golden Knights, too many guys playing well was not a concern we expected to be an issue. However, five games in, that’s the exact spot Geroge McPhee, Gerard Gallant, and the Golden Knights have found themselves in.

Hey everyone, look how great we’re all playing! (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

After leaving Vadim Shipachyov, Alex Tuch, and Shea Theodore off the opening day roster due to “numbers decisions,” Vegas started the season 3-0 using the same 20 players in all three games.

Then the injuries and a loss came. Erik Haula and Jonathan Marchessault were put on IR which freed up spots for Shipachyov and Tuch, and Gallant decided to mix up his healthy scratches following the loss as he inserted Brad Hunt and Jon Merrill for Jason Garrison and Brayden McNabb.

All four “new” players had a major impact on the game Sunday night, and it’s left Vegas with an abundance of players and not enough roster spots to keep them all.

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Golden Knights/Bruins Storyline Round Up

Hey Subbs, want to go dominate these bums that let us go? (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Miller and Subban Get Even

After the 3–1 victory over Boston, the first guy to congratulate and hug Malcolm Subban was defenseman Colin Miller. Former teammates in Boston and Providence, beating their previous organization must’ve been a great feeling for both.

Regardless of who it is against, we’re just trying to get the win. It’s our former team but we’re not out to get anyone. We’re just trying to focus and play our game. I think he (Miller) was more happy that I got my first win. – Malcolm Subban

Watch the end of the game, it’s clear Subban and Miller were pumped to win. You could tell from the start, the defenseman was amped, and up for the challenge. Miller unloaded 8 shot attempts, and 3 shots on net. He played 18:25 of TOI, on 26 shifts.

“Fourth” Line Effort

They may not get the same attention, but the Golden Knights fourth line deserves just as much as the first line. I should stop calling Pierre-Eduard Bellemare, William Carrier, and Tomas Nosek the fourth line. Gerard Gallant told us at his postgame press conference that he doesn’t count his lines. He would say he’s continuously been impressed by the line that plays the least.

They worked their asses off and competed hard and played hard. That’s what they do every night. I really like them. They’re a solid line. They aren’t going to score a lot of goals, but they do the right thing most times. -Gerard Gallant

Doing the right thing includes, winning face offs, blocking shots, penalty killing, breaking up plays, and getting pucks on net. That’s exactly what this line is doing. Bellemare won a total of 7 draws (64%) and in the defensive zone, Belly went 3 for 5 (60%) on faceoffs. Carrier played physical and added body checks, blocked shots and takeaways. Plus, he got pucks on net creating pressure on Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask.

Tossed out centers

On Sunday, five different Golden Knights (Eakin, Perron, Lindberg, Karlsson, Bellemare) were thrown out of the faceoff circle by an official. In one sequence, the refs tossed Cody Eakin and David Perron on the same draw leading to a two-minute delay of game penalty. Eakin and Perron’s linemate James Neal was obviously frustrated and pleaded to the ref. Ultimately, Perron went on to serve the two-minute minor. Center William Karlsson also had faceoff frustrations after being thrown out and having another official overrule the other.

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McPhee Must Make Multiple Tough Waiver Decisions By Tuesday

October 3rd is right around the corner. That’s the day NHL teams are required to cut their roster down to the 23-man squad that will begin the regular season. The Golden Knights now have 30 players remaining in camp who are eligible to make the final 23.

It’s not as simple as picking seven guys to send down to the minor leagues though. In the NHL, if you want to “re-assign” a player to the AHL, the player must go through a process called waivers. In short, every team has the option to buy the player’s contract off the Golden Knights and place them on their NHL roster. Unless… the player is waiver exempt, like Shea Theodore, Tomas Hyka, and Alex Tuch.

To this point, 91 players have been placed on waivers in the NHL, including Chris Casto, Paul Thompson, and T.J. Tynan of the Golden Knights. A total of 1 player was claimed (Jordan Nolan LA -> BUF). Over the past three years, more than 1,000 players were placed on waivers prior to the season, only 15 were claimed. It’s not terribly common, but it does happen.

Are Hyka and Tuch worth the risk to try and sneak Nosek through waivers? (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

So, who are the guys Vegas may have to consider trying to slip through the process? Starting with forwards, Brendan Leipsic, Tomas Nosek, Teemu Pulkkinen, and William Carrier are the four players who have 2-way contracts. Assuming the Golden Knights get James Neal back to start the year, which now seems probable, there are four spots available to go to those four players plus Hyka and Tuch. Send the waiver exempt players to the AHL and there’s no risk of losing anyone, but if George McPhee wants to keep Hyka and/or Tuch, he’ll have to roll the dice to try to get someone through.

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Emelin Traded, Quiet Day Of Free Agency, Development Camp Shootout

July 1st is always a big day in the NHL, and especially for the Golden Knights who still had trades to make, players to sign, and rookie camp to wrap up. But when the sun set on the first day of the first league year in Vegas NHL history, there was just a single transaction that made waves.

The Golden Knights traded Alexei Emelin, who they selected from the Montreal Canadiens in the Expansion Draft, to the Nashville Predators for a 2019 3rd round pick. Vegas also agreed to retain $1.2M of Emelin’s salary, something they could not agree to do during the Expansion Draft. The trade gives the Golden Knights three 3rd round picks in the 2019 Draft and a 12 total in that draft.

Emelin was the most likely defenseman to be flipped from the Expansion Draft after Marc Methot was sent out earlier in the week. McPhee is likely to trade one more defenseman before the end of the long weekend. The leading candidates are Luca Sbisa, Clayton Stoner, or Jon Merrill.

On the first day of free agency, Vegas was expectedly quiet signing six players who will all likely play in the minor leagues next season.

Brad Hunt (D), Chris Casto (D), Paul Thompson (F), Stefan Matteau (F), T.J. Tynan (F), and Maxime Lagace (G)

All six were signed to contracts worth $650,000 if they play at the NHL level.

Hunt, Thompson, and Matteau have all have NHL experience. Matteau is also noted because he was selected in the 1st round (29th overall) of the 2012 Draft by the New Jersey Devils, and his father scored the goal on one of the greatest TV calls ever.

Finally, Development Camp wrapped up with a final scrimmage and a subsequent shootout. Here are some highlights.

All in all, Development Camp was more of an orientation to NHL in Vegas for the 44 players who participated, but that didn’t stop Alex Tuch and Erik Brannstrom from shining on the ice. Next time we’ll see Golden Knights on the ice will be on September 7th when rookies report to training camp.

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