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Vegas Catching Up With The Eastern Conference

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

After defeating the Detroit Red Wings last night, Vegas clawed back to one game under .500 against Eastern Conference teams this season. The Golden Knights received three goals from defensemen, one from veteran Reilly Smith and rookie Paul Cotter added another. Whatever coach Pete DeBoer drew up before the game, it couldn’t have worked out any better than their well-rounded 5-2 result. It hasn’t gone as smoothly against other teams from the East.

On Tuesday, the Golden Knights faced a much more complete team and lost by two at home. Carolina is one of the NHL’s best overall clubs, and happen to be much healthier than Vegas. The Hurricanes high end forwards and mobile defense troubled the Golden Knights. Star forward Sebastian Aho shot seven times, registering 2 points and the Canes took 14 shots from defensemen. Carolina boasts 3.5 goals per game and like Vegas receive a good percentage of their offense from their blue line. Injuries aside, both rosters are among the elite and would make for an entertaining final.

The NY Islanders were another Eastern Conference team Vegas struggled with, losing 2-0 at T-Mobile Arena in late October. New York played defensively, waited out mistakes, forcing Vegas into bad shots and one and out opportunities. The Golden Knights fell into the Islanders trap and outshot New York two to one, but were out scored 2-0. Games against New York are consistently uneventful and Vegas will need patience and quality shooting to win a tight, low scoring contest. Unfortunately, the Golden Knights fell in similar fashions in back-to-back semifinals, so there’s plenty to learn from an Islanders loss.

At times in an NHL season it’s pick your poison night; a slow frustrating game or an exhaustive track meet. Earlier this month, Vegas traveled and lost by four in Toronto. The loss wasn’t the problem, the concern was the Golden Knights getting blanked 4-0. We’re all aware of Toronto’s weak defense and goaltending of the past, so at full strength Vegas should capitalize.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5 DETROIT RED WINGS 2 (10-7-0 20 PTS)

Recap: Both teams traded chances in the first period but neither could break through. The game was scoreless after a tight opening 20 minutes.

Vegas’ offense broke open in the middle frame. The Golden Knights defense picked up three goals, two from Zach Whitecloud and one from Nic Hague. Rookie Paul Cotter later stretched the lead with his second of the season.

Reilly Smith scored his sixth goal of the season putting the game out of reach five minutes into the final period. Detroit added a late second goal but couldn’t get any closer.

The Golden Knights record improves to 10-7-0 with their 5-2 victory against the Red Wings. Vegas’ six game homestand concludes after their match up with Columbus on Saturday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: After a fairly even first period, with a couple miserable Vegas power plays sprinkled in, the Golden Knights exploded in the 2nd. They scored just about every way you can including a pair from Whitecloud. Vegas added a fifth goal and then it turned into a game of pond hockey. Excellent game for the Golden Knights in all three zones. (Recap by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Detroit Red Wings game at T-Mobile Arena.

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DETROIT RED WINGS 5 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 (6-6-0 12 PTS)

Recap:  The Golden Knights traveled to Motor City for a matchup with the Red Wings. Vegas’ Nic Roy opened the scoring a few minutes into the game with his second goal of the season. However, Vegas would take a couple of costly penalties allowing Detroit to tie and take the lead. The Red Wings would add a third taking a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.

The middle frame was quiet with only one goal in the period. The Red Wings stretched their lead to 4-1 after 40 minutes.

Jonathan Marchessault gave Vegas a chance with 15 minutes remaining, scoring his sixth goal of the season. Pete DeBoer pulled his goalie down the stretch but Vegas couldn’t take advantage and Detroit scored an empty net goal to hand Vegas a 5-2 loss to close out the road trip.

The Golden Knights record drops to 6-6-0 and split their four game road trip. Vegas travels back to Las Vegas for a six game home stand beginning on Tuesday. The Golden Knights welcome in the expansion Seattle Kraken for the second time this season. Puck drop in Montreal is scheduled for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Special teams was the story of the night. Detroit’s power play ripped the VGK PK apart on their first two chances while the Golden Knights’ power play returned to its usual pathetic look. At even-strength Vegas actually outplayed the Wings, but they fell behind early and just couldn’t find a way back in. (Recap by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Detroit Red Wings game at Little Caesars Arena.

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DETROIT RED WINGS 3 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 (9-7-3 21 PTS)

The Golden Knights last stop on their road trip was in Motown for an afternoon faceoff against the Red Wings. Jonathan Marchessault put Vegas ahead 1-0 at the 16:27 mark of the 1st period. With under a minute remaining Detroit was able to tie it up 1-1 on the power play.

In the 2nd period Max Pacioretty continued his hot streak scoring a goal in four out of the last five games. Vegas played strong defensively and kept Detroit off the board in the middle frame. Pacioretty’s goal made it 2-1 Vegas after 40 minutes of action.

The Red Wings tied it up 2-2 midway through the 3rd period. Detroit would keep Vegas’ offense stagnant and would burn the visiting team with :30 seconds remaining in regulation. The Golden Knights lost a 3-2 heartbreaker in Detroit.

Vegas’ record drops to 9-7-3 and went 1-2-1 on their four-game road trip. The Golden Knights will get back on track Tuesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks. Game time is scheduled for 7P at the T-Mobile Arena. (Recap by Jason)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena

  • It’s gone on long enough, changes can’t wait any longer for the 3rd line

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Jonathan Marchessault
** Nate Schmidt
* Max Pacioretty

DETROIT RED WINGS 3 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 (42-27-6 90 PTS)

It took Vegas seven minutes before they took a shot on net last night against Detroit. By that point the Red Wings had six shots on net and one past goaltender Malcolm Subban.

Three minutes into the game Detroit took the early 1-0 lead. The Golden Knights warmed up towards the back end of the period totaling nine shots against Detroit’s goaltender Jimmy Howard. The game remained a one goal game after the opening twenty minutes.

The 2nd period was not much better than the first. The Golden Knights dull play continued for much of the period as their offense was again struggling to create chances. Vegas would finally get on the board at the 14:43 mark in the 2nd period on Cody Eakin’s 20th goal of the season. Eakin buried home a juicy rebound left in the crease by Detroit’s Howard. The game was tied 1-1 after forty minutes.

Subban was strong between the pipes in the 3rd period, stuffing every opportunity from Detroit. With 10 minutes left to play the Golden Knights were forced to go on the penalty kill in a 1-1 game. Star killer Reilly Smith disrupted an errant pass leading to a breakaway. Smith gave Vegas the 2-1 lead on his 4th shorthanded goal of the season. Detroit added a PP goal a minute later to even the score once again. The game would need an overtime period to decide a winner. The Red Wings would only need :19 seconds to win as Anthony Mantha scored the game winner on Subban.

The Golden Knights improve their record to (43-27-6) and remain in the Pacific Division’s third place position, with seven games left to play. The team will get back on the ice Monday in St Louis. Opening faceoff is scheduled for 5PM. (Recap by Jason)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Detroit Red Wings at T-Mobile Arena.

  • *What are the Golden Knights best at? (This story is canceled. My recorder broke and I lost about 4 interviews I was going to use for it. Oh well, we’ll talk about it on the next podcast.)
  • Carp’s Sunday column on the importance of rest prior to the playoffs

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Malcolm Subban
** Ryan Carpenter, I guess
* Cody Eakin

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 DETROIT RED WINGS 3 (31-21-4 66 PTS)

A disjointed 1st period for the Golden Knights led to the Red Wings having a majority of the possession. A fluky goal by Detroit put them ahead, but the Golden Knights got going quickly in the 2nd. Alex Tuch drew a penalty quickly which led toa Jonathan Marchessault power play goal. Then, the floodgates opened a bit as Vegas tacked on two more, another from Marchessault and one from William Karlsson. Marc-Andre Fleury sprung into action as the period wound down making multiple terrific saves. Detroit scored one to cut the lead to one, but a nice Brayden McNabb rush led to a tip and a goal.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena

  • What to do with Brandon Pirri
  • Balance vs. loading up: Gallant has a choice to make

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** William Karlsson
** Jonathan Marchessault
* Marc-Andre Fleury

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 (43-19-5 91 PTS) DETROIT RED WINGS 0

The Golden Knights iced the puck directly off the opening face-off, but that was the end of the bad news for them on the night. Alex Tuch scored his first goal in his last seven games. The Cody Eakin struck twice, once shorthanded, and then Tuch added his second of the night in the 2nd as well. Vegas coasted to the finish line in the 3rd.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena.

  • The obligatory Jason Pothier explains the importance of Cody Eakin after a game in which Cody Eakin dominates.

Three Stars
*** Alex Tuch
** Cody Eakin
* Marc-Andre Fleury

Tough Stretches Continue To Haunt Golden Knights

An all too familiar site in the 3rd period. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

After last night’s 6-3 loss to Detroit, Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant continuously talked about playing the full sixty minutes.

Well we had a real tough third period again. It was an awful third period. I thought we played a great game up until then. But in the third period, we struggled. -Gerard Gallant

The third period struggles Gallant spoke about starts with allowing four Detroit goals on twelve shots. The Red Wings down one, came out to win in the third.

They took advantage of the chances and they made us pay. We just didn’t look like we had the jump in the third period for some reason. It was disappointing because I thought we played a great two periods, but you can’t play 40 minutes or you’re not going to beat anyone in this league. We’ve got to play a full 60 minutes and tonight we played 40 minutes again. Transition is a big part of this game and it’s a big part of our team playing well. But tonight we fed their transition in the third period. -Gallant

Reilly Smith’s just chalking it up to being early in the season.

You got to nip those in the bud so they’re not stretched into five minutes or ten minutes. I think a lot of reasons why we, or other teams get into those stretches is because we’re not making a simple pass. Sometimes you’re trying to over complicate and guys are tired, so it starts to snowball. -Reilly Smith

The Vegas snowball began from the faceoff circle. The Golden Knights won only 42% on faceoffs all night, and lost 12 draws in the third period. Detroit maintained possession throughout the whole period which lead to multiple defensive breakdowns from Vegas. So how will Vegas fix tough stretches during a game?

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Golden Knights vs. Red Wings Photo Gallery – October 13th, 2017

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DETROIT RED WINGS 6 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 (3-1-0 6 PTS)

A miserable third period sunk the Golden Knights after looking pretty good through two. 2nd period goals by Erik Haula, James Neal, and Jonathan Marchessault gave the Golden Knights a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes. Then the third period happened… 4 goals on 12 shots, and Vegas was no longer undefeated.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Detroit Red Wings at T-Mobile Arena.

Three stars
*** Erik Haula
** Gustav Nyquist
* Henrik Zetterberg

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