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FLORIDA PANTHERS 4 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 (30-11-4 64 PTS) – OT

The Golden Knights fall into three holes by scores of 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2, but they were able to tie the score each time. An incredible goal by James Neal with less than three to go sent the game to overtime, but a quick 3-on-3 session ended with a Florida goal.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Florida Panthers at BB&T Center.

  • Perron’s ability to control the puck is unmatched and irreplaceable for the Golden Knights.

Three Stars
*** James Neal
** Aleksander Barkov
* Aaron Ekblad

Bye Week Returning The Favor; Next Three Opponents Coming Off Bye

Coach Gerard Gallant is not a fan of the CBA mandated bye week the Golden Knights just returned from. In fact, he pretty much blamed the loss to the Oilers on the break.

Tonight was all about having five days off, for me. We weren’t sharp, we didn’t do the right things, we didn’t play our typical game. -Gallant

It’s easy to say that your team is rested and you’re ready to jump. But when you have five days from your break, it’s tough to get going. -Gallant

Where the bye week taketh, the bye week really giveth too. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In the mind of the man behind the bench, the bye week took a point away from the Golden Knights.

Of the 14 teams to have played after their bye, 12 of them played each other, the other two are the Golden Knights and the Coyotes, who both played Edmonton. Both Vegas and Arizona lost.

The same trend occured last year.

As of February 21, 2017 there have been 25 teams that have completed their league mandated holiday and those teams are a staggering 7-18 (28%) in their first game back. Breaking down this unique situation even further, teams returning from their mid-season vacations on home ice are a pathetic 4-13 (23.53%). -Rob Hansen, Covers.com

Ok, now time for the good news. The Golden Knights next three opponents are ALL coming off the bye to play Vegas. Yep, Nashville’s bye ended yesterday, Tampa Bay’s ends on Wednesday, and Florida’s ends Thursday.

The Golden Knights felt fortunate to get a point out of their first game back, now they’ve got a chance to to get that point back, and then some, with three straight games in an envious position.

It’s not quite VegasFlu, but hey, ByeWeekFlu might be just as good this week.

(stick tap to @HockeyResearch8)

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5 (21-9-2 44 PTS) FLORIDA PANTHERS 2

Florida scored the first two but Vegas was able to get both back in the 1st period. A lackluster scoreless 2nd period left the game tied with 20 minutes to go. Erik Haula tipped one home about midway through the 3rd to give the Golden Knights the lead. Two empty netters later, the Golden Knights are back in first place!

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

  • Golden Knights hold Florida to their lowest shot total of the year. What are they doing so well defensively. Have allowed just six goals in the past three games.
  • The Subban/Fleury balancing act has begun, and it worked. (Possibly)
  • Back-to-back opposing goalies have said the Golden Knights “don’t do anything special.”

Three Stars
*** Erik Haula
** Colin Miller
* Jonathan Marchessault

 

Imminent Arena Announcement For Coyotes Great News For Vegas

Remember way back when, there was some news that the Arizona Coyotes were picking up and leaving the Phoenix area to relocate here in Las Vegas? Well if you don’t, here’s the now clearly false story.

Talking to an Arizona radio station, Coyotes co-owner Anthony LeBlanc had some positive news to share about his franchise potentially getting a new home, and soon.

I’m very positive that we will have something out in the community if not in the next month or two but certainly by the end of the regular season. -Anthony LeBlanc

Why is this significant for Las Vegas? Because it shores up another situation that could have caused the league to have to move one or more of its franchises. With the Broward County deal bailing out the Panthers (and the fact they are dominating) and now this new stadium on the horizon, only the Carolina Hurricanes remain in a tumultuous position.

Speculation has been Quebec City may be a better place to move a team rather than be home to an expansion team. With just the one team left that might have move, the path is completely clear for the NHL to feel comfortable expanding their league and opening up shop in Las Vegas.

Double Minor With Jason Pothier – 1/27/16

Canada shut out? Blackhawks suffering back to back syndrome? Ken’s appearance on TV. Jason heads to the box to take a look at the week in hockey. It’s Double Minor with Jason Pothier.

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When Building An NHL Team, Goalie Comes First

Most successful teams are balanced with a great offense and a great defense. In all sports one player can make the difference, but overall balance is the plan. However, in hockey and football one position truly makes the difference for teams to succeed.

If an NFL team doesn’t have a great quarterback chances are the team isn’t still playing. Same with the NHL, to have success a team needs a goaltender. Not an average one either, a goalie that can anchor a team like Dominik Hasek did. In both sports teams need an elite star that can individually lead them to victory.

This weekend the Golden Boy will defend his title against the legendary Peyton Manning who is relatively beaten up but good enough to be there. On the NFC side, two QBs having career years will face off. Carson Palmer and Cam Newton are former Heisman winners and ready to win their first Super Bowls. They may not be the top four best QBs in the NFL, but they are some of football’s best. All four of them have a good chance of winning this year’s Lombardi trophy.

Now the NHL isn’t so far off. Most of today’s best teams have the leagues best goaltenders. Sure I know an NHL team needs a solid two-way center, a sniper, and a deep blue line. However, those teams are still backed up by the NHL’s best. Let’s take the LA Kings as an example. You could argue Drew Doughty, and Anze Kopitar  are the best players at their position. Doughty and Kopitar will both tell you without their stud goalie Jonathon Quick they wouldn’t be two-time Stanley cup winners.

Over on the Eastern Conference Alexander Ovechkin gets all the praise for lighting up the lamp in DC, but he has a lot of help. Goaltender Braden Holtby is playing out of his mind and anchors the best team in the east. Down south the surprise Panthers are led by their thirty-six year old Vezina finalist goaltender Roberto Luongo. He’s always been a top tier goalie, but this season he has shown he’s still elite. Plus he’s always lead the NHL with his slick salad. This talented Florida team is geared up for a serious postseason run in front of Roberto. Here’s more on glorious heads of hair.

Some of you will argue that Corey Crawford isn’t a top tier goaltender. Hey, I understand the evidence is there. Joel Quennville has had to pull his starter on multiple occasions. Scott Darling has his own fan page thanks to a few stinkers from Crawford. Chicago is also loaded so Crawford doesn’t have to be the star like Carey Price in Montreal. Even after being pulled, Crawford was there at the end stopping Stamkos clappers.

If the trend continues, this year’s Stanley Cup winner will have a steady goaltender leading the charge. Keep in mind the 2012 Kings Cup winning team was an #8 seed. That’s when the Jonathan Quick show began, and it hasn’t stopped airing. LA proved seeding doesn’t matter in the playoffs, and a hot goalie is the key. That’s why teams like the Rangers, Bruins, Predators and Ducks still have a fighting chance in the playoffs. Their goaltenders give them a chance to win on most nights. So this when you’re watching the NFL playoffs, look at the four remaining quarterbacks and ask yourself a question. Would these four teams be playing without these QBs? Chances are no, and the same will be said come Stanley Cup time. The teams remaining will have an outstanding netminder.

Mock Expansion Draft – Protected Players – Florida Panthers

The first step to our mock draft is to establish the list of players that will be available for the Las Vegas franchise to draft. To do this, we decided to have a blogger from each team represent their own franchise and select the players that will be protected from the Mock Expansion Draft available player pool. To see the rules which were followed to protect players, hit this link.

Due to time constraints, our own Dana Lane has taken on the task of completely the rosters for each of the remaining teams. Next up is the Florida Panthers.

Protected Players

The entire list of unprotected players that will be available for Team Lane and Team Pothier to select from can be found here.

To see more team explanations just like this one, check out The Sin Bin Mock Expansion Draft Landing Page.

Special thanks again to Dana Lane for picking up the slack. Show your appreciation by following @DanaLaneSports on Twitter, and heck, throw us (@SinBinVegas) a follow too while you’re at it.

Broward County Approves Deal, Big Step For NHL Expansion

Probably the number one holdup in the expansion process, so we think, is the concern the league has over a few of its struggling franchises.

One such franchise resides in Miami, Florida or Broward County. The Panthers have recently struggled to draw and playing their games in a somewhat dilapidated BB&T Center has cost them money.

So, the Panthers reached out to the county and asked for some financial help to renovate the arena, and in turn, guarantee the Panthers stayed put.

The vote was held Tuesday afternoon.

The commission voted 5-3 to grant the Panthers’ request for an $86 million financial grant that will keep the team in South Florida — and in the county-owned BB&T Center — for the foreseeable future. – George Richard, Miami Herald

This is a massive piece to the NHL expansion puzzle. With Arizona’s situation appearing to be somewhat stable, the league is just left with Carolina as the only remaining problem child. Hurricanes owner, Peter Karmanos, Jr. is on the Board of Governors executive committee, so any necessary information about his club should  not be left unknown in any board meetings.

Assuming the league is comfortable with Carolina staying put, they should be able to more confidently, and hopefully quickly, green-light expansion to Las Vegas.

If they are still concerned about the status of the Canes, it would obviously make most sense to move them to Quebec City (keeping them in the Eastern Conference), which frees up the league to add one expansion team now and possibly another (cough, Seattle) later.

Obviously we aren’t quite ready to pop the cork on the champagne and begin the celebration, but things could have gotten really sticky if the Broward County deal fell through. Lucky for us, it didn’t, and now the road to hockey in Las Vegas got a little bit clearer.

Tick Tock, It’s Time To Make a Choice on NHL Expansion

Although there won’t be a vote in NHL expansion this week in Pebble Beach, California, you can bet (maybe I shouldn’t use bet to make Bettman more comfortable) you can surmise that this will be a defining meeting in relation to Las Vegas receiving an expansion team.

However, another development in Florida may have cemented Las Vegas’ entrance into the league. Tuesday, Broward County, ironically on the same day the league will have their BOG meeting, will vote on an $86 million dollar financial package that would ensure that the Florida Panthers will remain in Surprise. The vote is expected to pass. The caveat to the deal is that the Panthers must be guaranteed a future All-Star game and the NHL invest in youth hockey in the area.

With this development the picture has become more clear. As previously written, this has never been a choice about Las Vegas or Quebec. This has always been about the Panthers, Coyotes, and Hurricanes. If these teams do not show stability in their current cities where would you move them if you ate up two potential landing spots with two expansion teams. The terms of the deal solidify that the NHL has been working with the county to get some sort of assurance that the Panthers will remain a resident. This is easy to see because there is no way the Panthers and the county would come up with an All Star Game carrot if the league hasn’t been involved in the discussion all along.

So now the Pathers appear secure in Florida that brings us to the Coyotes and Hurricanes. The Coyotes are right about where they were in attendance last year with the difference being how competitive the Coyotes have been this season. Consistent hockey in the desert will blow some renewed confidence into the fan base because everyone likes to support a winner. Fans in Phoenix need a reason to drive to Glendale.

It’s a different story in Raleigh. The Hurricanes again appear destined for a losing season and are eight points out of a playoff spot as we speak. They fill only 58% of their building and to put that in perspective the Florida Panthers, the next worse, fills 77% of the Jobing.com Arena.

The end result is crystal clear. The Hurricanes are destined to move to Quebec who are more than happy to pay the relocation fee rather than expansion. This would save them approximately $400 million. This is a more attractive option for the Canadian city who’s currency is about even with what it was when the Nordiques left town for Colorado.

The Panthers get to keep the team in Florida with the city of Las Vegas receiving their expansion team at the All-Star break in Nashville.

SinBin.vegas Podcast #4: Expansion or Relocation w/ Mark Warner

As the waiting game continues we have to start wondering if expansion is ever going to happen. Maybe the team will come via relocation. Mark Warner of The Vegas Hockey Podcast joins the show to discuss that and much more. Hosted by Ken Boehlke.

  • The badass music that kicks off the Vegas Hockey Podcast; where did it come from? Where do we get our own? Can we ever be as cool as Mark?
  • Vegas is the best, why do people continue to hate on us?
  • If one of the currently struggling franchises were to move to Las Vegas, which team would we most like to have?
  • Ken mistakes CBS Sports Football anchor Adam Zucker for Las Vegas hero Jason Zucker.
  • Mark offers up a brilliant (yet surprisingly simple) way to fix the traffic issues that will occur outside the stadium.
  • Which coaches should The Creator be looking at when we do get a team in Las Vegas?
  • More team name discussion. Here is the link we reference.
  • Free plugs galore for Mark. Here’s his Twitter, his website, the new radio network he’s on, his Facebook, his Soundcloud, and of course, his iTunes link.

And much more…

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