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Oilers on Golden Knights: “It’s Nothing They Did”, “Nothing To Worry About”

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

As you can imagine it was a frustrated visitor’s locker room after Wednesday night’s Game 1 loss to the Golden Knights. Edmonton’s players, including imaginary third-star Leon Draisaitl, were vocal answering questions bluntly and honestly. The Oilers center put on a dazzling one-man show but his four-goal performance failed to overcome Vegas’ pressure in the series opener. Not only were the Oilers disappointed with the outcome but felt they played their way out of the game.

After Game 1, Edmonton solely blamed their performance for dropping the opening game in Las Vegas. The Oilers didn’t fully come out and downplay the Golden Knights’ execution, but they didn’t praise them either.

It’s nothing they did. They’re a good team we know that but nothing we can’t handle. This is just on us not bringing our best game. Different looking team, different system but overall, we weren’t good enough. That’s not even close to how we play. Got to move on and we’ll be better. -Leon Draisaitl, Oilers forward

When asked about his momentous night, Draisaitl scoffed at the idea that four goals in a postseason loss was an accomplishment. It sure looked like it to the rest of us but not to a player more concerned with tying the second round series with Vegas. Edmonton’s star was disappointed by the loss and highlighted the mistakes made by his team as to why his team lost, not because of what the Golden Knights were able to do to them.

Again, the Oilers weren’t entirely ignoring the challenges the Golden Knights presented but they certainly weren’t worried.

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Robin Lehner, Ryan Reaves, And Evander Kane Make Waves On Twitter

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Social media was set ablaze on Saturday night following the pay-per-view boxing event featuring Mike Tyson, Roy Jones Jr., and Jake Paul.

After Paul knocked out former NBA star Nate Robinson, many other athletes stepped up asking for their shot at the YouTuber. Robin Lehner held little back with his initial tweet.

Evander Kane wanted some too.

From there, things got crazy.

Kane took a shot back at Reaves, but later apologized and deleted this tweet.

Reaves responded.

The world needs to see the Golden Knights and the Sharks back on the ice. It’s been way too long.

Ryan Reaves Swimming And Hiking To Keep In Shape

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Golden Knights power forward Ryan Reaves joined After Hours on Sportsnet this weekend to catch up during the NHL pause and answer some fan questions. Isolating with his family in Summerlin, Reaves fielded a range of topics from staying in shape to Evander Kane.

I got to say my brother now because he plays in the CFL. It would be pretty disrespectful if I said me. When we were younger me and my brother were really good at football, we dominated our league. He was really good at basketball and I was really good at football. He tried playing basketball coming out of college but he couldn’t find work… he’s such an athlete that he was able to jump into the CFL after not playing football since he was fourteen.- Ryan Reaves

Reaves was asked why he doesn’t score more often? For three seasons we’ve seen the big fella come close but he’s usually good for just eight or nine goals a season. However, he’s had some memorable goals in Golden Knights history.

I ask myself that all the time. It’s been ten years asking myself that and I just don’t have an answer for you. I should probably do that a little more often. -Reaves

With gyms, parks, and facilities are closed, walking and jogging around the neighborhood is how people are staying fit during the shutdown. Reaves is making the most of what he has, which includes his swimming pool, some weights, and some hiking in his surrounding area to keep in shape.

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Disrespected Flower

This guy is dominating, the Sharks are just afraid to admit it. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In back-to-back games the San Jose Sharks have scored a combined seven goals on Marc-Andre Fleury, all coming in the last two games. So sure, offensively San Jose woke up after Game 1, but they’re still down in the series 2-1.

Over the past two games, Fleury has allowed 7 goals on 89 shots. Add in his shutout from Game 1 and most would say he’s been brilliant. And if you don’t, you will after watching Fleury’s highlight reel save on Logan Couture.

Like I said, brilliant. You’d think the Sharks felt the same but…

He’s a beatable goaltender. At the end of the day, everyone is beatable. Goaltenders are meant to be beat. -Evander Kane, San Jose forward

Obviously, Kane is frustrated. The question was about his third period goal but took a turn to focus on Fleury. Kane has a heavy net presence, so maybe there is a brewing animosity.  When I spoke with Tomas Hertl after Game 2 you would’ve thought they dropped a seven-spot in a game, not a series.

We were screening Fleury, and he didn’t see nothing and that’s why we scored… We showed we can score four goals against Fleury, so they need to think about that now. -Tomas Hertl, San Jose forward

It’s not just these two, you can tell the Sharks are irked. They played arguably their best game of the series but ended up on the wrong side of overtime. Of course, it’s not over, but Wednesday becomes a must-win situation for San Jose. If the Sharks cannot tie and comeback in the series then they’ll only have themselves to blame for stupid penalties, sloppy play, and poor defense.

But hey, why not take it out on the nice guy in net instead.

Evander Kane Suspended One Game, Will Miss Game 2

The NHL Department of Player Saftey has decided that Evander Kane will be suspended for one game due to his cross-check of Pierre-Edouard Bellemare after the whistle in Game 1. Kane will miss Game 2 of the series tomorrow.

This cross-check occurs well after the whistle is blown and serves no purpose other than as a strike to an opponent’s head. This is not a hockey play. -NHL Department of Player Safety

While Kane asserts he did not intentionally strike at an opponents head, there are two cross-checks on this play. The first was delivered directly to Bellemare’s arm, then with no meaningful change of position by either player Kane delivers a second blow which strikes Bellemare in the head. -NHL Department of Player Safety

The Sharks will also be without Joe Thornton once again for Game 2. Head coach Pete DeBoer did say he expects Joonas Donskoi to play.

Evander Kane Likely To Be Suspended One Game For Cross-Check Of Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

The refs absolutely made the right call on the ice, now it’s up to DoPS to make their decision on Evander Kane. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

UPDATE (11:02 AM 4/27/17): Evander Kane has been scheduled for a hearing with the Department of Player Safety.

ORIGINAL STORY:

One of the big stories from the Golden Knights first round sweep of the Los Angeles Kings was the Game 2 suspension of Drew Doughty.Well, gear up, because here we go again.

With the score already 5-0 Vegas early in the 3rd period, a slashing penalty was called that brought a halt to a Sharks offensive possession. Following the whistle, Evander Kane skated towards Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. Kane took a slight jab with his stick grazing Bellemare’s shoulder, then he struck again, this time cross-checking Bellemare directly in the mouth sending him straight to the ice.

Kane was a given a five minute major penalty for cross-checking and he was issued a game misconduct, ejecting him from the game. Bellemare skated back to the bench where he was then escorted to the locker room by trainers, likely to undergo concussion protocol. He returned to the bench shortly thereafter and returned to play following the power play.

I’m not a dirty player by any means. Obviously it was unfortunate. (I) just went into a scrum and kinda just cross-checked him in the arm as you saw there. Unfortunately it kind of rode up the second time when he extended his arm. Obviously there was no intent. I’m glad he wasn’t hurt on the play and it was good to see him back on the ice. Obviously (I) don’t want to put my team in that situation. We’ll put this one behind us and look forward to the next game. -Evander Kane, Sharks forward

I don’t know. I haven’t even looked at it. We had a laundry list of clips to look at. I haven’t started that process yet. Once I get a look at it on video, you can ask me that and I’ll give you an opinion. -Pete DeBoer, Sharks Head Coach

It was the right call made on the ice. It was a cross check to the face, and obviously they are going to look at it. It was definitely a five minute major, and I’m sure they’ll look at it. -Gerard Gallant

The NHL Department of Player Safety usually waits until the following morning to decide whether or not they will have a suspension hearing. The announcement on Doughty’s hearing was made at 7:39 AM Pacific Time, with his hearing taking place via phone at 1:30 PM.

The NHL has suspended just one player for a post-play cross-check this season. It was Johan Larsson for a cross-check on Vincent Trocheck in February. 

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Luca Sbisa: Superstar Shadow

The antidote. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s common in the NFL. Dez Bryant vs. Josh Norman, Julio Jones vs. Patrick Peterson, or Larry Fitzgerald vs. Richard Sherman. Top wide receiver vs. shut down cornerback.

Often times in the NHL teams have their defensive stalwarts, but not always are they asked to do what top cornerbacks in the NFL are expected to do. Here in Vegas, the Golden Knights have that, his name is Luca Sbisa, but we can’t go with the football term, so we’re dubbing him the “superstar shadow.”

Coach was pretty much saying every time he’s on the ice you’ve got to be out there. Wherever he lines up on the draw, make sure you are next to him. -Luca Sbisa

That was what Sbisa had to say about Vladamir Tarasenko, but he’s been doing it for a few games now. Look at his TOI numbers against the opposition’s scoring superstar the last three games.

OpponentTotal TOIPlayer ShadowedTOI vs. Shadow
St. Louis18:48Vladamir Tarasenko12:46
Buffalo21:00Evander Kane15:43
Boston19:07Brad Marchand13:33

That’s one of his roles. He plays against the top lines a lot and against the top players. That’s a role that he likes and he’s done a pretty good job of it. -Gerard Gallant

At even strength against those three top players, while Sbisa is on the ice, the Golden Knights have allowed just one goal in three games. Think about that for a second. 25 minutes and 51 seconds against Vladimir Tarasenko, Evander Kane, and Brad Marchand, and Luca Sbisa has held them to ONE even strength goal. That, is a recipe for success.

Next up is Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks. Normally this should give the Golden Knights nightmares, but with Luca Sbisa: Superstar Shadow on our side, Gerard Gallant and VGK fans can rest easy and start dreaming of a 7-1 start.

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