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New York In Need Of Vegas’ Toughness

When former Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant was hired by the New York Rangers earlier this summer nobody in the hockey world was surprised. One of the league’s better coaches was officially a free agent and it was only a matter of time before someone scooped him up. It so happened to be the young, slick skating Rangers, that in ownership’s opinion hadn’t grown enough under their last regime. One area that needed addressing was NY’s lack of toughness. With that in mind, the Rangers added some of the street toughness the Golden Knights are known for.

When you’re a good team and you are ready to win that’s when you start filling in your roles. You get these guys you need to help push you over the top. When you have nine, ten, eleven kids that have to play. I get a kick out of people who said ‘we lacked toughness.’ I knew we weren’t that tough in New York. I knew we needed to get to it.-Jeff Gorton, former New York Rangers GM on Cam and Strick Podcast

After four seasons and one coaching change the Golden Knights have built a reputation for being tough as nails. And it’s not just about throwing bodies around. The word is out, it’s unlikely Vegas backs off from blocking a shot. The Golden Knights have been racking up points and early round playoff wins by wearing down their opponents with size, skill and taking bruises. None of that was happening in Manhattan.

In one swift move the Original 6 team spent their offseason firing an established front office and a bright, young coach to be more like the 31st franchise.

You look at the lineup and you see a team ready to take the next big step. I want to be the hardest-working team in the league – to work hard, to battle hard, to make other teams say, ‘That team works hard every night.’-Gerard Gallant, NY Rangers Head Coach

At his introductory press conference in NY the former Golden Knights leader sounded as if it were 2017 again. His hard working style turned the highly motivated Misfits into a Stanley Cup contending team. Playing fast, along with quick decision making led the Golden Knights to the Finals, not necessarily the heavy, physical style we would see later in Vegas. It was the second season when the local club became bigger, heavier skilled players were added to the roster. The past two seasons Vegas was the biggest and beefiest team in hockey and it’s earned them three trips to the conference finals in four seasons.

Those guys are completely valuable. That’s why you see the Rangers go after Barclay Goodrow. That’s what they’re going after Reaves.-Jeff Gorton, Cam and Strick Podcast

One of the uglier incidents last season occurred in front of Ranger fans at historic Madison Square Garden. NY star Artemi Panarin was unfairly assaulted by Capitals power forward Tom Wilson during a meaningless late season contest. Ownership was furious with Wilson, on ice officials, NHL’s Department of Player Safety and their own personnel. The one-sided scuffle in essence changed the direction of the Rangers, leading to an organizational house cleaning.

NY ownership realized to compete, you have to be able to play like the big boys, or like the Golden Knights. Vegas has become a team other franchises are beginning to emulate. One thing we know Gallant and DeBoer both agree on is mixing it up and playing some old school hockey once in a while. Or old man hockey as Ken would say. Maybe it’s Vegas’ success, or maybe other coaches believe it’s also the style to play to make the promise land.

5 Most Anticipated Home Games On The Golden Knights 2021-22 Schedule

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

After a year that involved 56 games against the same seven teams and sparse crowds throughout, it’s great to be back to a normal 82 game schedule that includes all 31 teams making an appearance at sold-out T-Mobile Arena. Here are the five home games that jump off the schedule as the most anticipated matchups of the year.

5. December 27th, 2021 – vs Colorado Avalanche

It’s a shame the first time these two teams meet won’t be at the site of the Avs demise last season, but there’s no secret these two are likely to be the class of the Western Conference once again. The collision course in the playoffs will probably be played up all year and every game between the two will be highly engrossing.

4. December 21st, 2021 – vs Tampa Bay Lightning

If there’s one thing we missed more than anything else with last year’s horrendous schedule, it was measuring stick games. About a month into the season everyone knew exactly how everyone else matched up against each other in the division, so the remaining 40+ games were essentially useless. This year, there will be plenty of those measuring stick games and this is the king of them all. The two-time defending Cup champions come to T-Mobile after the Golden Knights return home from a tough four-game road trip. VGK vs TBL games have always been a blast, this one should be no different.

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Recap: The Vegas Golden Knights got to skate on their home ice for the first since November 29th in an afternoon matchup against the New York Rangers.

Vegas had many quality scoring chance from the start of the game but couldn’t seem to get one past Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev. New York scored two goals in a span of :14 seconds to take a 2-0 lead after one period of action.

The Rangers continued to shut down Vegas’ offense and score more goals in the 2nd period. Vegas gave up a power play goal, followed up with an even-strengthen goal to make it 4-0 visitors.

The game got chippy in the 3rd period leading to a fight with William Carrier and NY’s Brendan Lemieux. Lemieux landed a questionable hit on Cody Glass which Vegas to exception with. The Rangers would add another taking a commanding 5-0 lead.

Vegas’ record drops to 15-12-5 and break their five-game point streak. The Golden Knights will try and get back on track Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks. Game time is scheduled for 7PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights came out firing on all cylinders in this one creating heaps of scoring chances in the 1st period. However, they couldn’t find a way to put one past a goalie that played incredibly well. The offense dissipated as the game went on and New York capitalized on every chance they had. The game was not nearly as bad as the score, but a 4th loss as a -200 favorite is a huge problem. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs New York Rangers at T-Mobile Arena

  • Golden Knights players chat about the league-wide coaching issues
  • Jonathan Marchessault’s new stick is helping his game, but not in the way you’d expect

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** William Carrier
** Tomas Nosek
* Reilly Smith



Recap: The Vegas Golden Knights came in the historic Madison Garden looking to take care of business. NY native Alex Tuch got things going immediately for the Golden Knights, scoring two goals in the first 3:50 of the game.

Reilly Smith continued Vegas’ offensive attack early in the 2nd period with a nasty backhand over Henrik Lundqvist, making it 3-0. Max Pacioretty have Vegas a four goal lead a minute and a half later. After the first 30 minutes of the game, the Golden Knights had two even-strengthened goals, and two power play goals. The Rangers would get on the board but Vegas would hold a firm 4-1 lead after 40 minutes of action.

The Golden Knights defended and secured their three goal lead in the 3rd period. Vegas only shot four times on net but fought off a handful of Ranger power plays. The Golden Knights finished of New York 4-1.

Vegas improves their record to 14-11-4 with their first victory of a three game road trip. The Golden Knights get right back on the ice tomorrow against the New Jersey Devils. Puck drop is scheduled for 4P. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights came out on fire to start this one. Alex Tuch was an absolute monster playing in his natural right-wing position and William Carrier and Cody Glass looked much better on that line as well. The defensive system was far from perfect, but Subban and a bunch of missed chances by the Rangers kept the game at bay. Overall, it was the kind of game the Golden Knights needed for their confidence. They jumped out to an early lead, and despite taking a bunch of penalties were able to coast to the finish. Not sure I would call it dominant, but it was absolutely a good enough effort to beat an average team.  (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden

  • More on the acquisition of Chandler Stephenson

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Malcolm Subban
** William Carrier
* Alex Tuch


Carp: Knights Will Be Tested On Big Apple Road Trip

**Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Famer, Steve Carp’s returns to for the 2019-20 season. His weekly column publishes every Sunday during the Golden Knights season and is brought to you by the Jimmerson Law Firm.**

NEW YORK — When the NHL schedule came out last July and the Golden Knights were on the docket for three games in the New York metropolitan area, two things jumped out at me:

One, the Knights were going to have to go to Long Island for the first time when they played the Islanders on Dec. 5 after playing in Brooklyn the first two seasons.

Two, this was a trip I wanted to try and make.

Second things first. I’m here amid the cold, the rain and the snow for the entire week. And yes, the game at Nassau Coliseum Thursday became the toughest of the three, which you couldn’t say was the case back in July.

My initial thought was the Devils game Tuesday in Newark would be the toughest for Vegas. New Jersey had significantly upgraded its roster. It had the No. 1 overall draft pick in Jack Hughes. Hell, the Devs even snagged Nikita Gusev from the Knights and there was a lot of hand-wringing among the SinBinners that Gusev was going to emerge as a superstar in Jersey and replace Filip Forsberg as George McPhee’s biggest gaffe as a hockey executive.

The Rangers? They’re on a youth kick, though veteran center Mika Zibanejad has had some nice games against the Knights. Still, the Knights had won in Madison Square Garden before and they figured to put enough offensive pressure against the Blueshirts’ defense corps and get a couple pucks past Henrik Lundqvist (if he plays), or more likely Alexandar Georgiev. Plus a matchup between the pipes of The King vs. Marc-Andre Fleury, both of who are headed to the Hall of Fame, would be worth the flight to the Big Apple.

As for the Islanders, I thought they would regress after last year’s amazing turnaround, especially losing goalie Robin Lehner, who was nothing short of outstanding. Of the three games, I thought this would be the best chance for the Knights to pick up two points on the trip.

That was my thought process back in July. Obviously, things have unfolded quite a bit differently since to change my mind.

The Devils may be the NHL’s biggest disappointment. The Rangers are inconsistent and despite having a winning record, struggle to finish games.

The Islanders? They figure to be the toughest opponent on the Knights’ three-game roadie which begins Monday at Madison Square Garden with the Rangers and continues Tuesday in Newark against the Devils. And not just because they’re currently the best of the three teams the Knights will face, their building is a bitch to play in.

Mat Barzal, the Isles’ all-star center, said while the team has had success both in Brooklyn and at the Coliseum, he admits the vibe is a little different at the place Islander fans call “Fort Neverlose.”

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It took quite a while for whatever was happening on the ice to look like a hockey game, but when it did it was clear which team was better. Vegas scored first with a Cody Eakin goal on a slick no-look chip in by Alex Tuch, then Brandon Pirri does what he always does scoring his seventh in eight games. Jonathan Marchessault got on the board with the Golden Knights third goal, his first in seven games. New York finally struck back in the 3rd breaking up the shutout, but the game was in hand all the way for the Golden Knights’ seventh straight.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs New York Rangers at T-Mobile Arena.

  • Nate Schmidt, Ryan Reaves, and Marc-Andre Fleury in quite possibly the funniest interview ever.

Ken’s Three Stars
*** Max Pacioretty
** Brandon Pirri
* Jon Merrill


The Golden Knights controlled the puck for all but about 10 seconds of the first three minutes of the game, yet somehow New York scored and drew a penalty during that time. Vegas stormed back though with a pair of goals of their own starting with a shot from Colin Miller that bounced off the glass and back into the crease and Reilly Smith put it home. The Rangers tied it again in the 2nd, but William Carrier created a turnover and then scored a return feed on an odd-man rush. A quick strike saw the score tied for a third time and eventually, it stayed that way into OT. An odd-man rush with Paul Stastny and Alex Tuch broke out and Stastny fed Tuch for the game-winner.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden

  • Oscar Lindberg: Lineup wrecker (because he’s been good)

Three Stars
*** William Carrier
** Henrik Lundqvist
* Alex Tuch


In front of one of the loudest and most juiced up crowds of the year (highest attendance of the year) the Rangers struck first in the 1st period. Vegas was able to answer with one of their own from James Neal. The 2nd went scoreless. The Golden Knights grabbed the lead with a beautiful Reilly Smith cross-ice pass to William Karlsson, who never misses an open net. Fleury was tremendous down the stretch of the 3rd and the Golden Knights were able to win their 29th game and record their 60th point in the first half of the season.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. New York Rangers at T-Mobile Arena.

  • A deeper dive into the insanity (or not) of William Karlsson’s shooting percentage.
  • Expansion Draft Report Card – Midterm, Year 1 (Postponed until after the deadline. There were not as many changes as expected by this point to publish another one. The next report card will come in early March. )

Three Stars
*** James Neal
** Marc-Andre Fleury
* William Karlsson


The Golden Knights took a 2-1 lead and extended it to 4-2 heading into the 2nd intermission. But then everything crumbled as a pair of penalties by David Perron sparked a four-goal barrage by the Rangers. Vegas drops its second in a row to start the six-game road trip.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Three Stars

***Reilly Smith
** Pavel Buchnevich
* Mika Zibanejad

Replay: In The Bin – Vegas Golden Knights at New York Rangers (Guest: Jesse Granger)

SinBinVegas is on Mixlr

Starting at 3:45 we will be live watching the game providing commentary in a way only can for a Golden Knights game.

You can listen here or you can download the Mixlr app.

**Thanks to Jesse Granger from the Las Vegas Sun for being the guinea pig on tonight’s “In The Bin” maiden voyage.**

Miss it? Here’s the replay. We’ll be back at it Thursday night for the game in Boston.  Same place, same time, new guest.

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