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Jonathan Quick Won’t Give Sound Bites Motivating Former Team Or Other Contenders

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Although it may have looked strange, goaltender Jonathan Quick suited up in his golden armor for the first time last night.

Quick was on the bench backing up Adin Hill looking surprisingly comfortable in another Pacific Division’s team hat and jersey. The lifetime LA King is now a member of the team he lost to in the 2018 playoffs and is prepared to make a run with his new team in 2023.

I’m looking forward to this opportunity. I’m coming into a locker room where I’ve played with seven or eight of these guys. The comfort level is there right away. I’m just looking forward to helping this team, win some hockey games. I don’t want to give sound bites. I am excited for this opportunity. It’s a great organization, it’s a great group of guys that I’m looking forward to working with them. I’m looking forward to helping them win this division and make a big run in the playoffs. –Jonathan Quick on ESPN’s The Point

Not only was the trade from LA to Columbus to Las Vegas a shock to the 37-year-old netminder but to many across the league. Kings’ leaders Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar expressed a range of emotions to the media after their backstop and dear friend was replaced with Joonas Korpisalo.

The last two days affected us a lot. It was really sad and unexpected. It sucks seeing one of your best friends of your life leave. I expected to play with him for the rest of my career. It’s hockey, it’s business and sometimes things happen that you’re not going to like. -Drew Doughty, LAK defenseman

Captain Anze Kopitar echoed Doughty’s comments.

It’s a very hard day. It was unexpected and sad. I was thinking that Quickie was a King for life, and we’d be playing with him for the rest our careers, Bottom line is we have to deal with and look to the road ahead.  -Anze Kopitar, LAK center

Even former Kings player and TV analyst Jim Fox had a hard time describing the scene after the deal was announced to the team.

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Will The Pacific Division Be More Challenging For Vegas in 2021-22?

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

After four NHL seasons the Golden Knights have benefited by playing in the Pacific Division. Since 2017, Vegas has played 113 games against their divisional “rivals” and tallied a total of 168 out of a possible 226 points. That’s an astonishing .743 Points % against the Pacific Division in four seasons.

Hockey’s been a little bit tough with our team not being very good the last few years and not getting back to the playoffs… Things are looking up for us now. We got some new players and some young guys coming up. I’m excited for this season to start.- Drew Doughty, LAK defenseman on 32 Thoughts Podcast

Let’s be honest, it’s been easy street for the Golden Knights since they entered the league.

VGK All-Time Record vs. Pacific Division

vs. Anaheim: 20 Games (17-3-0) 34 Pts, .850 Pts %, 74 Goals For, 37 Goals Allowed, +37 Goal Differential

vs. Arizona: 20 Games (14-6-0) 28 Pts, .700 Pts %, 57 Goals For, 46 Goals Allowed, + 11 Goal Differential

vs. Calgary: 11 Games (8-3-0) 16 Pts, .727 Pts %, 42 Goals For, 31 Goals Allowed, + 11 Goal Differential

vs. Edmonton: 11 Games (6-4-1) 13 Pts, .591 Pts %, 35 Goals For, 31 Goals Allowed, +4 Goal Differential

vs. LA: 21 Games (11-8-2) 24 Pts, .571 Pts %, 63 Goals For, 60 Goals Allowed, +3 Goal Differential

vs. San Jose: 20 Games (16-1-3) 35 Pts, .875 Pts %, 78 Goals For, 40 Goals Allowed, +38 Goal Differential

vs. Vancouver: 10 Games (8-0-2) 18 Pts, .900 Pts %, 45 Goals For, 26 Goals Allowed, +19 Goal Differential

Since their existence the Golden Knights have proven to be the team to beat in the Pacific. Vegas has a positive goal differential against every team in the division and holds an overall goal differential of +123, talk about dominance. All indications show it should be the same in 2021-22.

Only a few west coast teams have kept their games with Vegas competitive but still not enough to threaten their path to the playoffs. Sure, San Jose won their seven game series in 2019 but in the regular season it’s been embarrassingly lopsided. Since that series three postseasons ago, the Sharks have been a non-factor in the Pacific, same goes for Anaheim, Calgary and Vancouver. However, two clubs that will make things more difficult for Vegas this season are the Kings and Oilers. Each team has challenged Vegas in the regular season being edged out by one game in their series history with the 31st franchise.

While it’s hard to make judgements based off two exhibition games but it’s safe to say that Los Angeles is an improved club. Even with a lack of talent in their lineup the King’s have competed in most matchups. Coming into 2021-22, LA and Knight killer Philip Danault will continue to frustrate VGK’s offensive threats. Coveted prospects are performing at a high level and LA’s star veterans could create further problems for Vegas and the rest of the Pacific Division.

There’s not much to say about Edmonton. As long as they dress Connor McDavid every game is up in the air. Same can be said for the newest team in hockey. Seattle is the biggest wildcard in the division. Based on what the Golden Knights did in their inaugural season you’d be a fool to count out the Kraken. Calgary, San Jose and Vancouver are expected to finish below Vegas but one of those three teams could make a surprising push for the postseason.

All in all, the Pacific Division is still considered relatively weak but has improved. Vegas is the only team that isn’t being doubted by analysts across the league. The other seven teams have questions to answer and it should be a tight battle for two of three divisional playoff spots. Although the Pacific may have gotten better and could make it more difficult for Vegas to run away with the division but it’s still the Golden Knights to lose.

Marchessault And Doughty Show Challenge NHL Will Have Whenever It’s Safe To Restart

The prudent answers are “we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” “when it’s safe,” or even “I have no idea.” Player after player after manager after owner, even the commissioner, are non-committal, uninsightful and frankly unassuring.

We’re exploring all options but when we will have an opportunity to return depends on things we have absolutely no control over. –Gary Bettman on CNN

Enter Jonathan Marchessault and Drew Doughty.

Oh, it’s impossible that it’s over. It’s just impossible. Honestly, I don’t play 70 regular season games to not play in the playoffs. I just don’t do that. I think the NHL thinks the same, because that’s why every hockey player is playing. –Marchessault to VegasGoldenKnights.com

Honestly I don’t see how the season is going to return. We’re all kind of just sitting at home obviously hoping to return to the season or hope to watch the playoffs return. I would think the NHL or whoever would make the decision would have to make some kind of decision on that soon. And it seems like it’s going to be pretty tough to return, resume the season or playoffs. –Doughty to The Athletic

Rays of truth. Polar opposites, but truth.

The challenge the NHL is presented is illustrated inside these two quotes.

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

On one side you have a player whose team is sitting in 1st place in the division and has his eyes set on the Stanley Cup. On the other side, there’s a guy whose season ended long ago and his focus is on 2020-21 when he and his teammates start fresh.

Both broke stride of the hockey norm to actually spew some honesty. Publicly, there won’t be many like these two, there just aren’t enough Drew Doughtys and Jonathan Marchessaults in the world. But privately, every player, every coach, every manager, every executive, every owner, and even every fan has their truth and unfortunately, there’s not a solution to please everyone.

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Drew Doughty Suspended For Game 2

This was the aftermath of the hit. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The NHL has reviewed a Game 1 hit by Drew Doughty, and reported by Sportsnet’s Nick Kyprios, the Kings defenseman has been suspended for one playoff game.

The hit in question was a 3rd period illegal check to the head of William Carrier. Carrier left the bench momentarily but returned before the game was over. He never re-entered the game.

Doughty will serve the suspension in Game 2 of the series. He will be eligible to return to the Kings lineup on Sunday in Los Angeles for Game 3.

As we pointed out earlier today, the NHL’s precedent on this type of hit was a two game suspension, however, there is an unwritten standard the NHL has used for years that two regular season games is equal to one playoff game. Thus, it can be viewed that Doughty earned a two game suspension and will serve it through one playoff game.

Doughty delivers a high forceful hit that makes Carrier’s head the main point of contact on a hit where such head contact was avoidable. This is an illegal check to the head. -NHL Department of Player Saftey

It is important to note that while Doughty’s first point of contact is with Carrier’s arm, the illegal check to the head rule does not take into account what the first point of contact is. Rather the rule states: A hit resulting in contact with an opponent’s head where the head was the main point of contact and such contact to the head was avoidable is not permitted. -NHL Department of Player Saftey

Doughty Will Have Suspension Hearing Today; Should Be Suspended Two Games

See you in Game 4 Drew. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

At 1:30 PM today Drew Doughty will have a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Saftey to determine the punishment he shall receive for his hit on William Carrier in Game 1.

With 10:01 remaining in the game, William Carrier carried the puck in the offensive zone and LA’s Drew Doughty went head hunting.

Doughty is an outstanding defenseman, but his emotions run high. After battling with Carrier for two periods, the Norris trophy recipient saw a chance to take revenge. The star defenseman led all skaters with 28 minutes on Wednesday, but a one second hit should keep him out of the Kings lineup for the next two games, despite not even being sent to the box in the game.

The NHL has set a precedent this season on hits like this over the course of the year. including suspending multiple players that were not penalized in the game.

Anaheim’s Andrew Cogliano was suspended two games for a similar hit on LA’s Adrian Kempe. Keep in mind, Cogliano’s suspension ended his ironman streak.

Nashville’s Filip Forsberg was suspended three games this season for a severe interference penalty on Jimy Vesey. The league ruled the hit was late, made significant head contact and was deemed punishable.

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Drew Doughty’s “Guarantee” Shows A Major Difference In How The Golden Knights Are Now Viewed Around The League

Opposing teams used to think it was cute that the Golden Knights are good, now that it’s gone on for half the season, they’ve turned to being angry about it. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It should come as no surprise that teams are starting to look at the Golden Knights a little differently than they did three months ago. Everyone expected Vegas to be a standard expansion team, terrible. But they aren’t. Instead, they are one of the best teams in the NHL and all the winning is starting to bring out the competitive juices from a few division rivals.

There’s no way they are going to be a better team than us by the end of the season. -Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings defenseman

They get lucky. (Laughter) They played us much better in Anaheim than they did tonight. Ask me that question again at the end of the year. -Randy Carlyle, Anaheim Ducks Coach

That’s a lot different than what it sounded like earlier in the year…

I don’t think anyone expected them to be that good coming into the league. They played a fast game, they seem to all be on the same page. I think they’ve got a good team. –Brent Seabrook, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman on October 24th

Yeah I was saying at game’s end they have a good quick team they have some nice skill, they don’t give you a whole lot of off the rush, and their goalie made some timely saves. -Paul Maurice, Jets Head coach on November 10th

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The Golden Knights Continue To Frustrate The Los Angeles Kings

The Los Angeles Kings are going through a stick shortage.

The Golden Knights continue to frustrate LA’s stars so much that if I had gone into anger management rather than blogging, writing, whatever the heck I do, I’d be standing at the doorsteps of Staples Center with pamphlets in hand screaming, “I can help!”

All kidding aside, it’s easy to understand why Quick was so frustrated after David Perron’s overtime game-winning goal. The Kings goaltender played brilliantly and still couldn’t help his team earn a victory. Early on, Quick made a few difficult saves preserving a 1-0 first-period lead. In the second he stopped quality chances by James Neal, William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault. It was Quick’s unbelievable effort that forced Marchessault to shoot multiple times before scoring.

“We’re lucky to get the point. Quickie had to obviously play well again. They outshot by a pretty big margin. We had a real bad second period. I don’t know, in some ways I don’t think we deserve a point.”- Drew Doughty, Kings Defenseman

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