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Tag: Joe Pavelski

Former DeBoer Captain: VGK’s “Great Transition Game” Creates Problems For Opponents

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Dallas Star center Joe Pavelski served four-plus seasons as Pete DeBoer’s captain. Both had great success from 2015-2019, making the postseason each season together, including a Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 2016. So, it’s fair to say Pavelski knows his former coach well on and off the ice. This week the Wisconsin native explained what type of team the Golden Knights were.

They’re a team that if you give them two-thirds of the ice, they’ve got a great transition game. They take off and you saw that. They go at times and make plays. -Joe Pavelski, Stars center

During their time together in San Jose, DeBoer and Pavelski won 59.6% percent of their games. The former Sharks captain averaged 31 goals per season including 38 on the power play. In Vegas, DeBoer’s top offensive forwards Max Pacioretty, Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault have been as dangerous as Pavelski was in San Jose. Since becoming a Star, Pavelski has faced his former boss eight times, seven of which were postseason contests. Without reminding fans of the Stars success in the 2020 Western Conference Final, after Wednesday it’s clear Dallas is comfortable rolling out the same blueprint that eliminated Vegas in the bubble.

Against the Stars in the 2020 WCF, the Golden Knights averaged 36 shots per game but lost four times by exactly one goal. Although Vegas won 5-4 there were similarities on Wednesday night. DeBoer’s squad outshot Dallas 45-23 and trailed for most of the game. At this point, we can assume it’ll be tight 60 minutes every time these two meet.

You can’t take things for granted. We spent quite a bit too much time in the d-zone. They were around the net. -Joe Pavelski, Stars center

It wasn’t just the forwards that flourished under DeBoer in San Jose. Check out sharpshooting defenseman Brent Burns’ numbers from 2015-2019. Burns averaged 75 points per season under DeBoer. Several Golden Knights defenseman are seeing an increase in opportunities because of the team’s extended pressure in the opponents’ zone. DeBoer’s active blue line created a dangerous dual-threat offense that other teams have had trouble with in the regular season.

As a 16-year veteran, Pavelski found success playing with and against DeBoer’s game plan. It’s possible his knowledge of being on a transition team in San Jose aids his current club against Vegas. Either way, the former Sharks captain rightly describes and understands why the Golden Knights are a deep threat. The one unfortunate aspect of the Pavelski-DeBoer connection is that they’re both chasing a championship. Each has appeared twice but neither has been sized for a ring. It’s possible with Jack Eichel in the mix, DeBoer’s quick rush/shot suppression strategy works in the postseason, and they’ll probably need to eliminate Pavelski’s Stars along the way.

NHL Players Unfairly Choose Which Expansion City They’d Rather Play In

Our friends at NHLNordiques.com recently wrote a fine piece highlighting The National Post asking NHL’ers about expansion. I got to give it to NHL players, most pay attention to league news. So when asked what city they would rather play in (video at the bottom of this post), players seemed to favor Quebec. However, looking deeper I found some fuzzy math with their methodology. Most of the players asked were Canadian, and one of the Americans asked James van Riemsdyk, plays for the Maple Leafs.

Let’s try and break this down a little more fairly.

Van Reimsdyk is basically forced to say Quebec or the whole country will hate him. Also if you notice, Van Reimsdyk says “so I guess I’ll go with that one” not a huge endorsement for Quebec. So I’m gonna call it a wash. No goalLV 0 QC 0

Next Steven Stamkos chose Quebec over Vegas but Stevie S. has good reasons. Stamkos played Pee Wee hockey in Quebec. Anyone who played Pee Wee’s will never forget those days. Pee Wee’s in America is when checking is introduced, probably earlier in Canada. I’m convinced Canadians were born knowing how to hit. You never forget playing youth hockey and apparently Stamkos doesn’t either. Goal. LV 0 QC 1

I’m nauseous after watching Leafs Dion Phaneuf play both sides like a cheap suited politician. It’s fairly obvious that Dion is well trained by his smoking hot wife‘s PR team because he barely gave an answer. He said it would be great for both cities. Yeah we know that Mr. Cuthbert, give us a real bleeping answer! Phaneuf’s answer is so diplomatic that it doesn’t cross the goal line. No goal. 0 LV 1 QC

Okay now things get real. Nashville’s Roman Josi is neither American nor Canadian, so his answer might be the purest. When asked Josi quickly blurted out Las Vegas while wearing a huge smirk. You hear a follow up question “any reason for that?” which the Swede shakes his head and laughs. It was one of those secretive, ‘I had the best time of my life in Vegas but I can’t tell you why’ type grin. You can’t buy a grin like that in Quebec. And even our friends at NHLNordiques.com would admit it. I heard Swedes like to party and Josi doesn’t look like he’s missing the net on the Strip. Goal. 1 LV 1 QC

Next is Patrice Bergeron, the one Bruin everyone can like. However, he’s from Quebec, played their growing up so… See above Steven Stamkos. Goal. 1 LV 2 QC

Here we go, now things get interesting. The Russian Vladimir Tarasenko was up next and he was wearing the same smirk as Josi. This time however when asked he blurted out Quebec and started laughing. Vladimir gave the same secretive laugh and grin as Jossi, meaning only one thing. Tarasenko also had the time of his life on the Strip but can’t tell anyone about it. I believe Tarasenko smartly chose Quebec because he couldn’t handle the Vegas. It’s an understandable reason to pick Quebec, I might not like it but… Red light. Goal. 1 LV 3 QC

Meet Joe Pavelski, the American Dion Phaneuf. The Sharks Captains answer was so wishy washy, that Hillary Clinton may hire Pavelski. I know, I’m horrible at humor. Same reasons as Phaneuf. No goal1 LV 3 QC

Lastly we have Dallas Stars Center Tyler Seguin. I thought this was an easy one based off Tyler’s reported partying. Seguin was outed by the pathetic Bruins smear campaign as an avid booze and skirt chaser. Hmmm, that kinda sounds like Las Vegas. However, knowing that his reputation was on the line, Sequin cleaned up his act in Dallas. Tyler smartly toed the party line on the question. Leaving Las Vegas empty on a last minute 6-on-5. No goal. 1 LV 3 QC

Final: Las Vegas – 1  vs. Quebec – 3

I love that The National Post asked players this question and hope they continue to do it throughout the league. Considering the partying some LA King players have done in the past, and the players that show up at the award show I think Las Vegas might get more votes. If you take out Stamkos and Bergeron, this was a much closer contest. In fact Josi and Tarasenko’s answers are the most credible which means we should be heading into 3-on-3 overtime.

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