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Vegas Taking Advantage Of Early Schedule

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Give the Ducks credit because last night’s 1-0 victory over the Golden Knights was a rare occurrence. Through 11 games it’s clear, the NHL (and a COVID pause) presented Vegas with a golden opportunity to start off strong.

The Golden Knights have largely preyed on weaker opponents. Their overall opponents’ combined record is 23-21-9. If you subtract the single game with St. Louis, the record drops to a sluggish 16-17-7.

The 5-4 win over Anaheim on Tuesday earned Vegas their 17th point of the season. Ten of those points, or 70% were earned by beating the same two bad teams.

vs. Anaheim & LA
VGK (5-1-0) 10 Points
VGK Goal Differential 21-13
VGK 3.5 Goals Scored Per
VGK 2.1 Goals Allowed Per

There’s also the home-ice factor. Of course, without fans, that is surely muted at least a little bit, but the rigors of traveling in the COVID landscape offer some challenges to the road teams.

The Golden Knights have traveled just one time the entire season and they suffered one of their two losses on that trip. In the two road games, they scored just three total goals.

At 8-2-1, Vegas has succeeded by dominating periods, getting hot goaltending and playing a lighter schedule. It’s not a knock on the Golden Knights, take em where you can get em. They play in a below-average division and as long as they clinch a playoff berth, it doesn’t matter who they beat or where they beat them. It was important for Vegas to jump out and build a cushion in the standings against easier competition and they’ve done just that.

Despite last night’s 1-0 loss to Anaheim, history tends to repeats itself when a Southern Californian team faces Vegas. Going back to the inaugural 2017-18, the Golden Knights have a combined total of 42 points in 31 games against the Ducks and Kings. Vegas has earned points in 22 of 31 games. It’s been a lopsided affair to say the least.

Vegas vs. Anaheim & LA History

vs. Ducks
16 Games Played
13-3 Record
26 Of A Possible 32 Points
55-29 Goal Differential
.843 Win%

vs. Kings
15 Games Played
7-6-2 Record (4-0 in Postseason)
16 Of A Possible 30 Points
42-46 Goal Differential
.533 Win%

Vegas will play Anaheim and LA 10 more times this season. Historical data projects the Golden Knights will earn around 13 points in their remaining games against the Ducks and Kings. If the forecast is accurate, Vegas will collect a whopping 23 of 32 points against the SoCal duo.

It’s possible the Golden Knights can build their path to the postseason from these two opponents alone. That success sets Vegas up nicely even if they happen to fall to better competition.

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 LOS ANGELES KINGS 3 (7-1-1 15 PTS)

Game recaps and Periscopes are brought to you by Kondler and Associates CPAs. Free tax consultation for SinBin fans!

Recap: Los Angeles took a surprisingly quick 1-0 lead :36 into the game. Vegas responded minutes later by tying it up on Reilly Smith’s third goal of the season. The Kings regained the lead but Golden Knights Zach Whitecloud and Chandler Stephenson tied and gave their team the 3-2 lead.

The Kings caught up 3-3 with the only goal of the second period. Both teams traded power plays but couldn’t convert and the game stood tied after 40 minutes played.

Stephenson put Vegas ahead again 4-3 but this time coming on the power play. LA pressured Robin Lehner in the third period but the goaltender stopped everything he faced down the stretch.

With the their 4-3 win the Golden Knights improve their record to 6-1-0. Next up for Vegas is the Anaheim Ducks. The Golden Knights will host the Ducks for two games starting on Tuesday. Game is schedule for 7P PT.(Recap by Jason)

Analysis:A ridiculously open 1st period in which neither goalie was particularly sharp led to a 2nd that was fairly opposite. As the game progressed VGK’s team speed took over and they pulled out a solid win. (Analysis by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Los Angeles Kings at T-Mobile Arena

  • Steve Carp’s Super Monday column

Read More

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5 LOS ANGELES KINGS 2 (6-1-1 13 PTS)

Game recaps and Periscopes are brought to you by Kondler and Associates CPAs. Free tax consultation for SinBin fans!

Recap: Vegas didn’t need much time to get going off their COVID-induced delay. Nic Hague, Mark Stone, and Jonathan Marchessault each scored to give the Golden Knights a 3-0 first period lead. Marc-Andre Fleury was sharp in his first game since January, 24th. 

Vegas continued to pressure Los Angeles in the middle frame. William Karlsson scored his third goal of the season 1:35 into the period and Cody Glass added one on a power play to stretch the lead to a commanding 5-0 advantage. Fleury was again flawless stopping all 12 shots by the Kings in the period. 

Los Angeles scored their first goal 7:47 into the final period, and got closer with a power play. However, Vegas stood strong and secured a 5-2 victory.

The Golden Knights win in their first game back from their lengthy COVID delay. Vegas improves their record to 6-1-0. The two teams match up again on Sunday afternoon. Puck drop is scheduled for Noon PT. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights took about 40 seconds to shake off the rust from being off for nine days. They scored and scored and scored again against an LA team that looked they belonged in a game against the Silver Knights, not the Golden Knights. The butt-whipping continued the entire night.  (Analysis by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Los Angeles Kings at T-Mobile Arena

  • Dylan Coghlan made his NHL debut with it came a big moment for another rising star in the hockey world.

Read More

LOS ANGELES KINGS 4 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 (36-23-8 80 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights hosted the LA Kings in pursuit of a franchise best nine-game win streak. The game didn’t begin as planned for Vegas as Anze Kopitar netted two goals in the 1st period. The Golden Knights struggled to get going on offense and trailed 2-0 after the opening 20 minutes.

The Kings stretched their lead to 3-0 midway through the 2nd period. The Golden Knights were awarded a power play and quickly took advantage. Shea Theodore wristed a shot into LA’s net getting within two. The Kings got their three goal lead back late in the period scoring a power play goal of their own. The visiting team held a 4-1 edge after 40 minutes.

Trailing by three goals the Golden Knights attempted to make a comeback on multiple 3rd period power plays. However, LA continued to frustrate Vegas and killed off the penalties. The Kings closed out the game 4-1 and ended the Golden Knights eight-game win streak.

Vegas’ record drops to 36-23-8 but still remain in 1st place with 80 points. The Golden Knights get a day off and prepare for the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. Game is scheduled for 7p. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The 1st period blues struck again as the Golden Knights allowed a goal on the first shot for the second game in a row. From there the 1st period didn’t get much better and ended 2-0. Then, Vegas turned it on, but Cal Petersen was terrific in the goal. Golden Knights certainly didn’t play well enough to win, but 4-1 is a bit cruel. (Analysis by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Los Angeles Kings at T-Mobile Arena

  • DeBoer’s commitment to experimenting with lines before the playoffs.
  • Using the Expansion Draft to find a future goalie

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Max Pacioretty
** William Karlsson
* Nic Roy

LOS ANGELES KINGS 5 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 (24-17-6 54 PTS)

Recap: The 1st period was completely lopsided to the visiting team as they lit up the scoreboard. The Kings scored four times in the opening 20 minutes. Malcolm Subban had trouble stopping the flurry of LA shots. Vegas trailed 4-0 after one period.

The Golden Knights outshot the Kings 24-4 in the 2nd period and would get two past LA goaltender Jack Campbell. After 40 minutes Vegas trailed 4-2.

Vegas was awarded the first power play of the game 13 minutes left in the 3rd period. They couldn’t convert on the man advantage and would fall eventually fall 5-2.

Vegas’ record drops to 24-17-6 and remain tied with Arizona for first place in the Pacific Division. The Golden Knights will host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night. Game time is scheduled for 7PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: An absolutely atrocious 1st period, again. The 3rd straight game the Golden Knights were a complete trainwreck in the 1st and it cost them their second straight game. Sure, the 2nd and the 3rd Vegas destroyed the Kings, but it’s too little too late. There’s one more game in the homestand, they better not give up a 1st period goal. (Analysis by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Los Angeles Kings at T-Mobile Arena

  • Probably something about all the 1st period goals, but we’ll see.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Too Little
** Too
* Late
(There were some good players, but if you fall behind by four, it doesn’t really matter.)

LOS ANGELES KINGS 4 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 (9-9-3 21 PTS)

Vegas tried to get back on track in LA for a Saturday matinee. The Golden Knights would be awarded an early power play but the Kings would steal the puck and the lead. LA took an early 1-0 edge on a short-handed goal, and the Kings would add another taking advantage of their own PP opportunity. Arch nemesis Drew Doughty got credit for sneaking one past Malcolm Subban. The Kings held a 2-0 advantage after one period of play.

Max Pacioretty would get his team on the board in the 2nd period by deflecting a puck past Jonathan Quick. The one goal deficit wouldn’t last long as the Kings scored their third of the game a minute and a half later to take a 3-1 lead. Thankfully, Jonathan Marchessault brought the lumber and slapped a bomb past Quick. Late in the 2nd period William Karlsson would equalize the game on a nice chip pass by Pacioretty. Through 40 minutes the Golden Knights came roaring back with three goals in the 2nd period.

Both teams battled to break the tie for most of the 3rd period. A tip by Jeff Carter found its way through Subban and gave the Kings the eventual game winner.

Vegas’ record continues to drop 9-9-3 and are stuck on 21 points for the third straight game. Luckily, the Golden Knights get a chance to make up those points tomorrow at home against the Calgary Flames. Puck drops at 4PM. (Recap by Jason)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Los Angeles Kings at STAPLES Center

  • Steve Carp’s Sunday column

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Shea Theodore
** Max Pacioretty
* Jonathan Marchessault

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5 LOS ANGELES KINGS 2 (4-2-0 8 PTS)

The Golden Knights came out hot like they did the night before against Calgary. Reilly Smith scored his fourth of the season, and Max Pacioretty tallied his second on a 1st period power play. LA cut the lead in half but couldn’t tie it up before the period expired. Vegas held the 2-1 edge after the opening period.

In the 2nd, Marc-André Fleury made a few game-changing saves to preserve the one goal Golden Knights lead. Paul Stastny gave Vegas extra cushioning with two Golden Knights power-play goals. After 40 minutes of action the Golden Knights led the Kings 4-1.

Vegas gave LA some life in the 3rd period by allowing the Kings to score and get within two. Mark Stone took that life away :17 seconds later with his fourth goal of the season. The Golden Knights convincingly won 5-2 in LA.

Vegas improves their record to 4-2-0 and get a well deserved day off tomorrow. The Golden Knights next take the ice Tuesday against the Nashville Predators (3-2-0). Puck drops at 7PM. (Recap by Jason)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center

  • Marchessault, Karlsson, Smith dominating in possession and it’s trickling down to the rest of the lineup.
  • I’ll take a look at the power play and see if I can find out if there’s anything different going on beyond just personnel. If there is, there will be a story on it.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Mark Stone
** Marc-Andre Fleury
* Paul Stastny

The Trials And Tribulations Of Faceoffs In The Preseason

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Every year the NHL makes a few tweaks to its rulebook in an attempt to make the game better. Well, really, they are pretty much only focused on creating more offense, but in the eyes of most, that’s making the game better. This offseason they added in a few new rules about the location of faceoffs and through six games, the Golden Knights are learning a lot about how they are going to handle it, both with personnel and about the linesmen.

We start with the new rules. They are fairly simple. There are now four situations in which the attacking team gets to decide which offensive zone circle they would like to take the faceoff from.

  1. Following an icing
  2. On the first draw to start a power play
  3. When the puck is frozen by a goalie on a shot from behind the center red line
  4. When a defensive skater accidentally dislodges the goal

Previously the linesmen would select which side the draw would be taken on based on where the puck was when the play was blown dead. Now the attacking team chooses.

Before we go any further, it seems pertinent to explain why this is important. The reason is that most centers have a side they prefer to take a draw on, usually based on the handedness of their stick. They win more on their preferred side, thus the offensive team will have more opportunities to score.

Which brings us back to the Golden Knights. In the game against Los Angeles, there were six icing calls on the Kings and LA took five penalties. That means 11 times in which the Golden Knights were able to choose where they took the draw. Here were their results.

Following Icing

Smith WIN on left
Marchessault LOSS on right
Nosek WIN on left
Eakin WIN on left
Marchessault WIN on right
Stastny WIN on left

Penalties 

Stastny LOSS on right*
Eakin LOSS on left
Stastny WIN on left
Marchessault LOSS on right
Marchessault LOSS on left*

*Opposite side of expected choice

Vegas won five of the 11 with every player taking the draw electing to take it on the same side as he shoots with the exception of two. One from Marchessault and another from Stastny, both of which were lost, but we’ll get back to that in a moment.

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LOS ANGELES KINGS 3 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 (Preseason Game 6)

It was the Golden Knights first official dress rehearsal before opening night. Coach Gerard Gallant spoke earlier in camp about using the last two exhibition games as dress rehearsals for October 2nd.

The Kings struck first midway through the 1st period on backhand shot behind the Golden Knights defense. LA doubled their lead 2-0 on Alex Iaffalo’s first exhibition goal.

Vegas had much more energy to start the 2nd period. Alex Tuch and Keegan Kolesar bursted through the neutral zone creating early attacks on Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick. Vegas would go on the power play twice in the period but couldn’t connect and the game remained 2-0 LA after 40 minutes of action.

Down two goals to start the 3rd period the Golden Knights quickly stormed back. Paul Stastny and Brayden McNabb scored :74 seconds apart to tie the game 2-2. It was Stastny’s first and McNabb’s second goal of the preseason. The Kings would take the lead 3-2 on a loose rebound scooped up by LA and past Marc-Andre Fleury.

Vegas would go on to lose 3-2, and drop their exhibition record to 4-2. The Golden Knights play their final preseason game this Sunday against the San Jose Sharks. (Recap by Jason)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Los Angeles Kings preseason game at T-Mobile Arena.

  • Game 6 of the preseason was all about faceoffs

Ken’s Three VGK Stars

*** Max Pacioretty
** Brayden McNabb
* Paul Stastny

 

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 LOS ANGELES KINGS 2 – OT(Preseason Game 3)

The 1st period began, VGK sucked, and then the period ended in a boring, scoreless tie.

Vegas’ offense got involved early in the second frame, as defenseman Nate Schmidt was robbed by LA’s goalpost. Both teams traded penalties but neither could convert until the Kings Dustin Brown broke through with a PP goal. After two periods of play, LA held the 1-0 edge.

Seven minutes into the last period LA’s Blake Lizotte snuck one past Vegas goaltender Oscar Dansk for the 2-0 Kings lead. Vegas was sluggish offensively again and took more than nine minutes in to get their first shot of the period. However, it wouldn’t matter as LA would put one in their own net, and then the Vegas veterans took over. Mark Stone tied the game with five minutes remaining, and Jonathan Marchessault stole the game with an overtime breakaway game-winner.

The 3-0 Golden Knights will get back to action on Saturday evening night in San Jose. Vegas will faceoff against their divisional rival for their fourth preseason game. Puck drops at 5PM. (Recap by Jason)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Los Angeles Kings preseason game at Staples Center.

  • Reilly Smith says there is a benefit to losing in the first round.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Oscar Dansk
** Mark Stone
* Jonathan Marchessault

Karlsson left the game on this play. He did not return. Gallant said after the game that Karlsson would have continued had it been a regular season game (per David Schoen, LVRJ).

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