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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 6 MONTREAL CANADIENS 4 (11-2-0 22 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights looked to stay undefeated on their Eastern Conference road trip with three games remaining. Vegas’ Nic Hague opened the scoring with his 1st goal of the season. Montreal tied the game less than a minute later to take a 1-1 tie into the 1st intermission.

Reilly Smith broke the tie with his 4th goal of the season 2:24 into the 2nd period. Adin Hill was sharp in net shutting down every Montreal shot on net. After 40 minutes played the Golden Knights held a 2-1 advantage.

Montreal’s Nick Suzuki evened the score 2-2 early in the final frame. However, Smith regained the lead on the power play, scoring his second of the game. Keegan Kolesar deflected a puck into Montreal’s net and :21 later Nic Roy added another for Vegas. Suzuki tacked on his second but Jonathan Marchessault doubled the lead on the PP. Again the Canadiens got closer but the Golden Knights went on to defeat the Canadiens 6-4, earning their seventh win in a row.

The Golden Knights record improves to 11-2-0 with two games remaining on their five-game road trip. Vegas will stay in Eastern Canada to face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday. Puck drop against the Maple Leafs is scheduled for 4 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: A bit of a sloppy 1st period was completely erased by about as dominant a 2nd period as we’ve seen all year from the Golden Knights. They lived in the offensive zone and completely stifled everything the Habs were trying to do to get out. The goals didn’t come until the 3rd though, and once they did they didn’t stop. It’s another high scoring win proving that if you aren’t buttoned up defensively against VGK, they’ll make you pay. (Recap by Ken)

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November Notes: Cassidy And VGK Match Thanksgiving Success

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Tonight, in Ottawa the Golden Knights continue a challenging five-game eastern conference road trip. This is the first extended journey for Vegas this season. Up until now, the Pacific Division leader’s longest road trip was a two-game trip to Seattle and Calgary. It’s possible the Golden Knights are fortunate to go on a cross-coast so early in the season. Normally, lengthy road trips allow a chance for players to bond and go through the grind together. Five cities in ten days against teams all with a .500 winning% or higher will help grow chemistry.

With the exception of the 2020-21 shortened season, the Golden Knights annually take an early season trek to the east coast for a handful of games. Here are the results from the previous five seasons.

VGK’s First Extended Road Trip Of The Season

  • 2021-22: (2-2-0) – L 4-0 @TOR, W 5-1 @OTT, W 5-2 @MTL, L 5-2 @DET
  • 2020-21: (2-1-0) – L 3-2 @COL, W 3-0 @COL, W 3-2 @ANA
  • 2019-20: (1-2-1) – W 2-1 @CBJ, OTL 2-1 @TOR, L 5-2 @WAS, L 3-2 @DET
  • 2018-19: (2-3-0) – W 2-1 @MIN, L 4-2 @BUF, L 5-2 @WAS, L 4-2 @PIT, W 1-0 @PHI
  • 2017-18: (1-4-1) – L 6-3 @NYI, L 6-4 @NYR, L 2-1 @BOS, W 5-4 @OTT, SOL 3-2 @TOR, L 3-2 @MTL

Traditionally this road trip hasn’t been kind to the Golden Knights. Defeating the Capitals 3-2 in Washington was a good start for the Golden Knights, considering they’ve lost their opening matchup four out of five years. Since the opening season Vegas has combined for only 18 of 42 points on their early November trips. The 2017-18 club struggled to the point that former coach Gerard Gallant made his now infamous “we’re not an expansion team” speech after losing to the NY Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 MONTREAL CANADIENS 3 (24-15-2 50 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights hosted the struggling Montreal Canadiens attempting to break out of their three game winless streak. Chandler Stephenson opened the scoring with his 12 goal of the season. Late in the period Montreal took advantage of a loose puck and tied the game 1-1.

Midway through the second period William Karlsson broke the tie on a Vegas power play. It was Karlsson’s sixth of the season. A few minutes later the Canadiens evened the score 2-2 with a power play goal of their own.

Montreal surprisingly took the lead six minutes into the final period but Vegas would take advantage of another man-advantage. Jonathan Marchessault tied the game scoring a second VGK power play goal of the night. The game needed overtime to decide a winner. Defenseman Shea Theodore ended the game 4-3 with a beautiful individual move in front of the Canadiens net.

The Golden Knights record improves to 24-15-1 defeating the Canadiens 4-3 in overtime. Vegas travels east for a four game road trip beginning in Washington. Puck drop against the Capitals is set for 4 PM on Monday. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: It was a grind, and the Golden Knights gave up two leads but they were able to gut it out with a pair of power play goals and the OT winner. Robin Lehner had one of his worst games of the season. The only real positive from this one is how much possession of the puck Vegas had, amassing 53 shots. (Recap by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Montreal Canadiens game at T-Mobile Arena.

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Vegas Catching Up With The Eastern Conference

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

After defeating the Detroit Red Wings last night, Vegas clawed back to one game under .500 against Eastern Conference teams this season. The Golden Knights received three goals from defensemen, one from veteran Reilly Smith and rookie Paul Cotter added another. Whatever coach Pete DeBoer drew up before the game, it couldn’t have worked out any better than their well-rounded 5-2 result. It hasn’t gone as smoothly against other teams from the East.

On Tuesday, the Golden Knights faced a much more complete team and lost by two at home. Carolina is one of the NHL’s best overall clubs, and happen to be much healthier than Vegas. The Hurricanes high end forwards and mobile defense troubled the Golden Knights. Star forward Sebastian Aho shot seven times, registering 2 points and the Canes took 14 shots from defensemen. Carolina boasts 3.5 goals per game and like Vegas receive a good percentage of their offense from their blue line. Injuries aside, both rosters are among the elite and would make for an entertaining final.

The NY Islanders were another Eastern Conference team Vegas struggled with, losing 2-0 at T-Mobile Arena in late October. New York played defensively, waited out mistakes, forcing Vegas into bad shots and one and out opportunities. The Golden Knights fell into the Islanders trap and outshot New York two to one, but were out scored 2-0. Games against New York are consistently uneventful and Vegas will need patience and quality shooting to win a tight, low scoring contest. Unfortunately, the Golden Knights fell in similar fashions in back-to-back semifinals, so there’s plenty to learn from an Islanders loss.

At times in an NHL season it’s pick your poison night; a slow frustrating game or an exhaustive track meet. Earlier this month, Vegas traveled and lost by four in Toronto. The loss wasn’t the problem, the concern was the Golden Knights getting blanked 4-0. We’re all aware of Toronto’s weak defense and goaltending of the past, so at full strength Vegas should capitalize.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5 MONTREAL CANADIENS 2 (6-5-0 12 PTS)

Recap:  Vegas was dominated early in Montreal. The Canadiens outshot the Golden Knights 20-1 in the first period and held a 2-0 advantage after the opening twenty minutes.

The game completely shifted in the second period. Alex Pietrangelo broke the power play drought to get Vegas within one and Jonathan Marchessault tied the game with his fifth of the season. The Golden Knights took advantage of another power play and Dylan Coghlan gave his team a one goal lead.

The Golden Knights defended well and received great goaltending down the stretch from Robin Lehner to hold the Canadiens to two goals. Chandler Stephenson and Brayden McNabb added an empty netters to secure a 5-2 road victory.

The Golden Knights record improves to 6-5-0 and jump above .500 since opening night. Vegas travels to Detroit for their last game of the road trip. Tomorrow’s game against the Red Wings is scheduled for 3 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: In what’s becoming quite the disturbing trend, the Golden Knights were an absolute train-wreck in the 1st period. However, the 2nd put an end to another disturbing trend, the power(less) play. VGK scored on back-to-back power plays to somehow manage to help them steal another game they really had no business winning. (Recap by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Montreal Canadien game at Bell Centre.

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San Jose An Example How To Turn Around Canadian Road Trip

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It was a tough start to their four-game road trip. Travel, time zone change and adding insult to several injuries, the Golden Knights were forced to cover Austin Matthews and Mitch Marner without another impact player. The Maple Leafs’ high-end talent took advantage of a beaten up Golden Knights lineup and eventually cruised to a 4-0 victory.

Their best players were on tonight. It was one of those nights, and with the lineup we’ve got right now, we’re going to have to red line every night in all areas in order to compete, especially against good teams, and that’s a real good team. -Pete DeBoer

Sure, the odds were stacked against Vegas but it was all but over after the second goal of the game. The Leafs are an excellent 35-2-3 when Marner and Matthews score in the same game, so it would have been nearly impossible for even a healthy Golden Knights roster to win under those conditions.

The focus now shifts to how the road trip finishes.

Big ask tonight when you look at what we’re dealing with. I think our effort actually wasn’t an issue. I thought we didn’t execute against a team that puts a lot of heat on you, and they put a lot of pressure on us in tough areas. -DeBoer

This season the Golden Knights are 2-2-0 on the road with three upcoming games to improve their record. Stealing 4-6 points over the next three games would send Vegas back home with their heads held high.

A couple of weeks back Pacific rival San Jose Sharks swept their trip to Eastern Canadian. Unlike Vegas, San Jose’s first matchup began in Montreal and ended in Toronto. Against the Canadiens, the Sharks scored two in the first four minutes to ignite a 5-0 victory. Montreal was/is reeling and San Jose pounced on them in several different ways. The Golden Knights have enough weapons in their current lineup to win in a similar fashion.

The Sharks received two goals from rookie Jonathan Dahlen, one from defenseman Erik Karlsson and two on the power play. Between Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Theodore, Alec Martinez and Nic Hague, the Golden Knights have plenty of options from the blue line. Without piling on, Vegas can’t rely on their power play but they may have enough offense to win a low-scoring affair. Now would be the time for 20-year-old Peyton Krebs to start contributing and registering points. The 2019 1st rounder is young and learning on the fly but he’s pointless through nine games this season and has just 10 shots. Vegas could really use his offensive skill as one goal could change their road trip. No matter who’s in the lineup, there should be plenty of motivation to squash the Canadiens after last season’s six-game semifinal defeat.

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Who’s To Blame For The Golden Knights Underachieving… Again

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s a sad moment for fans when a hockey season abruptly ends like it did last Thursday. Reality sets in when a Cup run is over and the 31st franchise will have to wait another year for a chance at the ultimate prize. Unfortunately, the truth is, this was another wasted season for the Golden Knights. For the second straight year, Vegas faced an inferior opponent and couldn’t find a way to force a game seven. Their leaders, coaches, and framers failed again and almost identically in back-to-back years.

Against Montreal, the Golden Knights outshot the Canadiens 193 to 165 yet had two fewer goals in the Semifinals. Keep in mind the Canadiens were the 15th lowest scoring team in the regular season and Vegas was 3rd highest. The Golden Knights fell down the same hole last postseason against the Dallas Stars. Like Montreal, Dallas was another low scoring team that found a way to outscore the Golden Knights in the conference finals. It was inexcusable in 2020, and even more so in 2021 after the organization retooled in the offseason.

So, who’s to blame?

Players

Let’s begin with the leadership group. Captain Mark Stone has built quite the portfolio in Vegas, however, his stock continues to plummet in the playoffs. For three straight seasons, Stone has provided very little offense for the Golden Knights when they needed him late in a series. Going without a single point in the entire Semifinals was rock bottom for Stone. His failure to produce in the backend of a playoff series was evident again against Minnesota, Colorado, and Montreal.

In all fairness to the captain, he owned up to it.

I can praise (the Canadiens) all I want but ultimately it falls down on myself and the top players on this team. We had some guys that produced night in and night out. As far as myself I got skunked this series. That can’t happen. I’m the captain of this team, the leader of this team, I take a lot of responsibility for what just occurred. -Mark Stone

Another concern was the continuous slow starts for Vegas. In six Semifinal games, the Golden Knights allowed the first goal four times, and were sluggish to begin the 1st period in several other postseason contests. In the final 12 games of the postseason, the Golden Knights trailed at some point in 11 of them.

Is it possible the team leaders for Vegas couldn’t motivate their teammates enough to kick off the game on time? It’s hard to comprehend why, but it’s fair to point fingers at the men with letters; Stone, Reilly Smith and Alex Pietrangelo.

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MONTREAL CANADIENS 3 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 (MTL 4-2) – OT

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

Recap:  The Golden Knights were facing elimination and needed a road win in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals to extend their season.

Montreal captain Shea Weber opened the scoring with a power play slapshot but Vegas would quickly respond. Reilly Smith scored his first goal of the series :48 seconds later to even the game 1-1. The Golden Knights generated 10 1st period shots scoring on one. After the opening 20 minutes Game 6 was tied 1-1.

Both teams traded power plays in early minutes of the middle frame and both penalty kill units did their jobs again. Midway through the period, Montreal regained their lead on a stretch pass to young sharpshooter Cole Caufield. Vegas was awarded another man-advantage but failed to capitalize again. After 40 minutes the Canadiens held a 2-1 edge.

Alec Martinez came up big again for Vegas scoring the game-tying goal quickly into the third period. Both teams locked down and tightened up down the stretch. Regulation ended 2-2 and the game would head to overtime for third time this series.

Montreal ended the series 1:39 into overtime sending the Golden Knights home for the season.

After losing 3-2 in overtime to the Canadiens, the Golden Knights are eliminated in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals. For the second straight season, Vegas falls one series short of the Stanley Cup Finals. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Not enough changed quickly enough. And because of it, the game looked fairly similar to the last few, and the Golden Knights just couldn’t find that one extra goal to get them over the hump… a problem they are growing all too familiar with. (Analysis by Ken)

  • Thanks from SinBin.vegas for following along with us during a crazy season. We’ll be here every single day until they drop the puck on Year 5.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Alex Pietrangelo
** Reilly Smith
* Alec Martinez

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Golden Knights Beating Themselves As Much As They’re Being Beaten By Montreal

Much of the focus five games in this series with Montreal will be on the Golden Knights’ inability to score goals. Rightfully so, as they have mustered just 11 goals in the series and a measly seven since the return of Jeff Petry in Game 2. But it’s the way they are conceding that has me more concerned for the next game (or hopefully two).

Last night, the Golden Knights came out and played a pretty solid first 10 minutes. In a postseason where 1st periods have been a problem, it looked like we were headed for something much different to start Game 5.

Another failed power play, the 12th of the series at the time, could have sapped some of the Vegas energy. However, that wasn’t the case. Following the man advantage, the Golden Knights attempted the next two shots on goal and controlled play for the next few minutes. The game was going perfectly for the Golden Knights until they started making their own mistakes.

After a dump-in by Zach Whitecloud, there was a battle for the puck in the corner. The Habs outnumbered the Golden Knights for the puck, but Nick Holden read that the exit will come up the wall. He stepped forward to challenge a pass that never happened, and then when the puck did eventually make it to his player, he was caught in no-man’s land.

It’s a read Holden has made correctly time and time again in this series and aggressive pinches like this are a big reason the VGK forecheck has had success in the times it has. In this case, it was not the right read, but that one mistake didn’t lead to the goal by itself, there were still two more to come.

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MONTREAL CANADIENS 4 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 (MTL 3-2)

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

Recap:  Coach Pete DeBoer went back to Marc-Andre Fleury at home for Game 5 after giving Robin Lehner the nod on Sunday. Midway through the first frame the Canadiens threaded the Golden Knights defense with a breakaway pass setting up a loose puck in front of Fleury. Montreal jumped on the rebound and scored the first goal of the game. Vegas was unsuccessful with their six shots on net and trailed 1-0 after the opening period.

The Golden Knights really struggled defensively in the 2nd period. Montreal found an open man twice in Vegas’ zone and scored twice taking a 3-0 advantage. The Golden Knights couldn’t generate offense again and went scoreless through 40 minutes.

Vegas began the 3rd period with desperation and urgency. Max Pacioretty broke through and scored the Golden Knights first goal of Game 5. Montreal continued to frustrate Vegas throughout the period and the offense dried up for the home team. The Canadiens flipped in an empty net goal and won 4-1 in Vegas.

After losing 4-1 to the Canadiens, the Golden Knights face elimination on Thursday night. The series goes back to Montreal in must-win Game 6 for Vegas. Puck drop is scheduled for 5 PM PT. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Self-inflicted wounds haunted the Golden Knights in a big way in Game 5. They weren’t exactly playing well but they were doing enough to keep the game close. However, mistake after mistake after mistake took the game from close game to an insurmountable deficit. Vegas came back and started playing a lot better in the 3rd, but it was way too little way too late. These last six periods simply haven’t been good enough, and they’ve got six more periods to get it right. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Montreal Canadiens Game 5 at T-Mobile Arena

  • VGK beating themselves. How they can stop.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Brayden McNabb
** Nic Roy
* Alex Pietrangelo

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