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2017 Draft Class On Full Display In 2024 Western Conference Finals

Photo from ESPN broadcast of 2017 NHL Draft

The Golden Knights have been awarded pretty much every trophy the NHL has to offer, including, of course, the Stanley Cup. It’s historically the best seven season start to any NHL franchise in modern history. This its why it continues to be bittersweet watching the Western Conference play out, especially if you believe the Golden Knights are as good as the two teams remaining in the West. Besides the desire for back-to-back Stanley Cup championships, VGK has had quite the storied history through 632 NHL games.

Most Postseason Wins Since 2018

  1. Tampa Bay – 62
  2. Vegas – 57
  3. Colorado – 49
  4. Dallas – 45
  5. Boston – 43

The organization has accomplished so much in such a short time that its small list of failures has become magnified. For instance, the franchise’s first NHL draft in 2017. It’s a draft that has shaped the league and the Golden Knights left with their hands mostly empty. As the conference finals play out, it’s hard not to imagine how much deeper Vegas would have been this season if more than just Nic Hague remained with the organization. Keep in mind, the Golden Knights front office had 12 selections in seven rounds.

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Undisciplined Golden Knights Better “Get Our Friggin Heads Out Of Our…”

(Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke,

Last night’s 4-1 loss to the Florida Panthers was another game the Golden Knights would like to forget. The reigning champions put themselves in harm’s way midway through the 1st period with their lack of discipline. The Panthers took advantage of their initial power play in the opening period and continued through their first man advantage in the final period. It was uncharacteristic, unfortunate, and ugly.

I think our power play sucked the life out of us. Your top guys are on it and those are the guys that make it go. Our best players got out played on special teams by their best players. From there we weren’t able to get our game back. I didn’t speak to the players afterwards but maybe they can answer why they couldn’t get back to their game. Or if they were stuck on failed power plays. -Bruce Cassidy

Beginning with William Carrier’s 1st period tripping penalty, the home team had difficulty bailing out goaltender Logan Thompson all night. Thursday’s loss marked the third time this season that Vegas committed more than seven penalties in a game. The reigning champions are 1-2-0 in those games, losing both to Florida. Perhaps the Golden Knights should have been more prepared for a murky game considering they fell into the Panthers trap less than two weeks ago.

20 guys come to the rink every day. Everyone has to play better. The forwards have to play better. The D have to play better. The goalies have to play better. -Mark Stone

Florida tagged Vegas for three power play goals, accruing one in each period. The Golden Knights penalty kill couldn’t clear out in front of the net and their power play was hopeless. On the flip side, the Panthers were 50% on the power play and 100% killing penalties. If the percentages were slightly different, the local club might’ve been able to close the gap. However, that would have taken a full 60-minute effort.

We better get our friggin’ heads out of our… if that’s what we think we’re going to be perfect every night. There’s not a perfect team in this league. Get back to work and win a game five-on-five. Kill the next penalty and bear down. We weren’t able to do that. -Bruce Cassidy

Since December 12th the Golden Knights have missed out on 12 standing points, taken more penalties than they’ve drawn, and are -7 in power play goal differential. Clearly, VGK’s PP and PK have hit a wall.

While we’re at it, let’s add Vegas’ struggling 5-on-5 to the list. Over their last seven contests, the reigning Stanley Cup champions are averaging 2.14 goals per game and are allowing 4.14 goals per game. Scoring has dried up since mid-December, and defense and goaltending haven’t made the difference.

There’s going to be lulls in the season where the intensity doesn’t match the other teams, but this has been way too long. -Bruce Cassidy

Vegas’ Stanley Cup-winning coach is frustrated with the funk his club is currently stuck in and hopes to work things out by Saturday’s matchup against the New York Islanders. New York has also been struggling since mid-December, but it hasn’t been due to inefficient special teams. In that span, the Islanders have recorded four power play goals in 22 opportunities while allowing four in 26 penalty kill attempts. Both teams are in the middle of the pack in PP% and aren’t all that good on the PK%, so it’s likely Saturday’s game against New York will come down to who wins the 5-on-5 battle. This should make Cassidy, Stone, and the fans feel better about snapping Vegas’ latest skid.


Recap: The Golden Knights were looking to get back on track with a win against the visiting Florida Panthers. Vegas’ Pavel Dorofeyev scored his 4th goal of the season 3:59 into the game. The Golden Knights committed two penalties in the 1st period which the Panthers took advantage of. Florida evened the score on the powerplay after William Carrier was called for a tripping penalty.

Tied up 1-1, the Golden Knights continued to take costly penalties in the middle frame. Zach Whitecloud was called for an elbowing infraction which Florida jumped on. The Panthers took a 2-1 lead, scoring both goals on a man advantage. With under two minutes remaining in the period, Florida extended their lead to 3-1.

Florida added their third power play goal five minutes into the final frame. Vegas gave up their sixth power play of the night which made the difference in the contest. The reigning Stanley Cup champions lost 4-1 to last season’s runner up.

The Golden Knights record drops to 22-12-5 losing to the Panthers 4-2 at T-Mobile Arena. Vegas will remain home to host the New York Islanders on Saturday night. Puck drop against the Islanders is scheduled for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Vegas put in some of their best hockey in quite some time to start this game as they were all over the Panthers with a goal and a bunch of early chances. It evened out a bit until VGK got a 5-on-3 for two full minutes. They hit a post and had one other good look, but it wasn’t good enough. From that moment on they were simply outplayed in just about every aspect. Special teams were a major downfall but the 5-on-5 went downhill after that failed PP. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Florida Panthers at T-Mobile Arena.

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Recap: The Golden Knights were trying to snap their two-game road skill with a victory over the Florida Panthers. The opening period was dominated by the Panthers, but Jiri Patera held strong stopping all 20 shots.

Both offenses woke up in the middle frame. Captain Mark Stone opened the scoring 1:21 into the period but the Panthers came right back with two straight goals. With under a minute in the period Pavel Dorofeyev evened the score at 2-2. 

Vegas committed several costly penalties in the final twenty minutes. Florida took advantage and scored two power play goals to take a 4-2 advantage. The Golden Knights had a sixth attacker on the ice with three minutes remaining but the score didn’t change. 

The Golden Knights record drops to 21-9-5 losing 4-2 to the Panthers. Vegas will wrap up their four game road trip with a stop in Anaheim before returning home. Puck drop against the Ducks is scheduled for Wednesday night at 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: VGK appeared to forget this game started at noon as they were about as terrible as possibly can be in the 1st period. It didn’t end up hurting them but then the same issues as they’ve had the whole trip popped up again. Special teams got outscored, they allowed two more goals in the 2nd period, and the breakouts remained unclean. Brutal road trip. Good time for a break in the schedule. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Florida Panthers at Amerant Bank Arena

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5 Most Anticipated Road Games

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

As the reigning champions, every single road game this season will be a special occasion for the opposition. No matter how things are going, the Golden Knights will be a measuring stick game for every single team. Of the 41 road games this year, here are the five I’m looking forward to most.

5) November 14th, 2023 at Washington

The game itself is not all that exciting, or at least on paper it’s not. But, the Golden Knights have three days off before this game so it will almost certainly be their chance to visit the White House.

Politics aside, it’s always been a really neat tradition to see the champions of each league make the visit. It typically results in a funny comment or two from the sitting president and a chance to see the players a bit out of their element.

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Recap: The Golden Knights came into Game 5 looking to raise the Stanley Cup on home ice. Captain Mark Stone came up with the opening goal 11:52 into the first period and Nic Hague doubled their lead 2-0 minutes later. After the opening 20 minutes, the Golden were two periods away from raising the Stanley Cup trophy. 

The Panthers scored to get within one but the Golden Knights came storming back. Alec Martinez, Reilly Smith, Stone and Michael Amadio all recorded 2nd period to take a commanding 6-1 advantage. 

Ivan Barbashev joined the scoring, giving the Golden Knights an astounding 7-1 lead. Florida scored a pair but Stone stepped in and took a long-distance shot giving himself a clinching game hat trick. Vegas ended Game 5 and the Stanley Cup Finals with an 9-3 over the Panthers. 

In their sixth NHL season your Golden Knights are the 2023 Stanley Cup Champions! (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Yet another masterclass from the best team in hockey. The Golden Knights have won the Stanley Cup! (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Florida Panthers Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena.

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VGK Fans Eyeing Home Ice Gentlemen’s Sweep

(Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke,

After four Stanley Cup Finals games, the current situation couldn’t have set up any better for Vegas Golden Knights fans. Their favorite hockey team is 60 minutes away from hoisting the city’s first Stanley Cup trophy. Along with the Las Vegas Aces, the Golden Knights have a chance on Tuesday to deliver the second professional sports championship in city and state history.

Funny enough, Stanley Cup champions tend to end a series on the road. The Golden Knights can buck that trend a win in Game 5. Since 2000, 10 teams were presented the 124-year-old trophy on home ice, and only three over the past 10 seasons. That rare occurrence can happen for a fourth time in front of passionate home fans on Tuesday.

SCF Winning Team – Home/Road Clinching Game Since 2013

  • 2022: COL – Road
  • 2021: TB – Home
  • 2020: TB – Neutral
  • 2019: STL – Road
  • 2018: WAS – Road
  • 2017: PIT – Road
  • 2016: PIT – Road
  • 2015: CHI – Home
  • 2014: LA – Home
  • 2013: CHI – Road

Tampa Bay snapped the five-year road stretch in 2021 when they defeated the visiting Montreal Canadiens in five games. The Golden Knights could match the Lightning’s approach tomorrow night from T-Mobile Arena.

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