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Golden Knights Make Statement In Win Over Rangers

(Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke, SinBin.vegas)

Last night was a good reminder. To fans, to the New York Rangers, to the rest of the NHL, and even to the Golden Knights themselves; when Vegas plays at their best, they are an absolute juggernaut.

On a night where the Golden Knights played with multiple starters still out of the lineup, they completely took it to the Rangers in all phases of the game. It was a familiar sight to those who have watched hundreds of Golden Knights games over the past five years, but one that hasn’t quite been as common this season as in years past.

Against New York, Vegas was exiting their own zone with ease, flying through the neutral zone, generating chances off the rush, and forechecking as a unit to keep the pressure on the Rangers all night long. It led to a game that appeared to be fairly close for 25 minutes to get completely out of hand by the time the full 60 had elapsed.

We started turning those pucks over at the blue line and we started defending in our D-zone instead of playing… giving them time like we’re killing a penalty. When you let them go D-to-D and get pucks to the net and win battles, you’re not going to beat that team. -Gerard Gallant, NYR coach

Vegas scored five goals in total but tallied four in the final 32 minutes of the game when their hard work early started paying off.

I thought in the 1st we were a little slow, but in the 2nd we upped our pace and caught them a few times in between. -Pete DeBoer

The main difference came in the center of the ice. While Vegas’ in-zone defending was solid the entire night, they struggled to control the puck through the neutral zone early against a good Rangers team. In the 2nd, those issues cleaned up and they looked like the team many projected to win the Stanley Cup before this season game.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5 NEW YORK RANGERS 1 (23-13-1 47 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights hosted the New York Rangers and welcomed back former coach Gerard Gallant and forward Ryan Reaves. New York took control early taking the first four out five shots of the game. Both teams were awarded power play opportunities which Vegas’ Jonathan Marchessault took advantage of. The forward flipped in his 17th of the season taking the first lead of the game. 

New York evened the score 1-1 in the opening minute of the 2nd period. Vegas responded later in the frame receiving goals from Mark Stone and Mattias Janmark. The Golden Knights took a 3-1 advantage into the second intermission. 

Vegas’ offense kept firing and and the puck continued to go in New York’s net. Brett Howden made it a three goal game and Marchessault stretched the score to 5-1 with his second of the game. 

The Golden Knights record improves to 23-13-1 defeating the Rangers 5-1. Vegas will next face former goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night. Puck drop is set for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: A excellent game for the Golden Knights in which they used their speed in transition to dominate the game. They cleaned up their early game neutral zone turnover issues and completely took over the game. The game in New York was a comeback win that Vegas probably shouldn’t have gotten, tonight was much different as they were clearly the better team. (Recap by Ken)


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

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Islanders’ Barry Trotz On VGK: “They’re Legit”

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It was the perfect road trip for the Golden Knights last week along the Eastern Seaboard. Winning in Boston, New Jersey, and two in New York sent a loud message across the league. Vegas’ four-game sweep had some hiccups but collecting eight points was all that mattered. Three of their opponents were openly impressed by how the Golden Knights found ways to win.

They’re a legit, deep, big, fast, well-coached hockey team. A good sign for us. We measured up against a pretty good hockey team. -Barry Trotz, NYI coach

The Cup-winning coach knows Vegas well, and has had some success against them. We’re all aware of Trotz and the Capitals eliminating the Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Finals but the results have been different in the regular season.

Outside of the postseason the current New York Islanders coach is 2-5-1 against Vegas. However, most games were tight and Trotz’ players were always prepared.

We played composed, we played with some urgency when we were down a goal to come back like this against a team like Vegas that keeps pressing. I thought we did a really good job tonight to come back and get the lead. It’s unfortunate to give up a goal at the end like this and lose that point. -Jean-Gabriel Pageau, NYI forward

The Islanders forced the Golden Knights into a hard-fought 60 minutes. Vegas’ skill and speed stood out to the Islanders, and specifically some of their quicker players.

You watch [Stephenson] play now, there’s no governor and he realizes it. He’s got himself to the next level. And he’s a good player. -Trotz

Vegas was sharp for several periods in New York and were hampered in others, but it never cost them in the end. Against the Rangers, the Golden Knights were completely in control of the game after the opening 20 minutes, but the remaining 40 were challenging.

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VGK Flying Home Happy, But Still Not Satisfied

It’s December and once again the Golden Knights are red hot. They’re coming home from a four-game road trip with eight points in hand, wins in eight of the last nine, and the top spot in the Pacific Divison.

Here’s the crazy part… they still aren’t playing close to as well as they can, and they know it.

It was a big road trip. We got some lucky bounces. We didn’t necessarily play our best games the past few games, but tonight I thought we played pretty well. It was probably tonight and that game in Boston that were our best two games of the trip. -Jonathan Marchessault

The Golden Knights used 3rd period comebacks to rescue both games against the teams from New York and then won each game in shootout. They struggled in the 2nd period in each of the games, fighting turnover problems which led to much less puck possession than they prefer.

However, the resilience of this group continues to shine through.

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VGK’s Eastern Conference Invasion

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s been an up and down ride for the Golden Knights in games against Eastern Conference teams. In fact, their record was 4-5-0 against Atlantic and Metropolitan clubs before this road trip began. After their shootout win in New York the traveling Golden Knights have a chance to sweep their annual pre-holiday road trip on Sunday.

In nine periods, Vegas scored 12 total goals and trailed for just a combined 25 minutes. The Golden Knights got off to a fast start in Boston, essentially sealing their victory after the first 20 minutes. Sure, Boston was hampered with several key players out after testing positive for COVID. However, Vegas took advantage of a team in disarray and left the Bay State with two points. There were times Vegas looked disjointed in New Jersey and the final score reflected their messy 5-3 finish. Even coach Pete DeBoer knew the process was ugly but he only cared about the two points his club picked up.

We did just enough to win. We take the two points and move on. I liked our 1st period, hated our 2nd, and we were opportunistic in the 3rd. -Pete DeBoer

Give the Devils credit for making a late push but the Golden Knights got caught trying to close out a road game too early. Eventually, the visiting team came out on top and took care of business. Which is the only goal on non-conference trips. Pick up two, and pack your bags.

It wasn’t clean but it was another character win for the Golden Knights in New York. The Rangers opened the door by laying back which allowed an opening for Dylan Coghlan’s game tying goal. Vegas beat an emotional, highly talented team for their seventh come from behind or late game triumph.

When you step out there you definitely don’t want to lose to them. They chirp on the bench. You got to play them physical and frustrate them in all three zones. -Ryan Reaves, NYR forward

Thankfully for Golden Knights fans Reaves’ new team couldn’t frustrate the Golden Knights enough.

Earlier in the season Vegas struggled with foreign opponents and now they’re on track to beat four of them in their own territories. It’s safe to say the Golden Knights are making a league wide statement on this trip. Not only is Vegas healthier but their determination, force, and urgency are beginning to remind NHL teams why they’re regarded as a deep threat. And they’re an Alec Martinez and Jack Eichel away from a full (sort of) lineup.

Okay, so they’re not the Beatles and they didn’t fly across the pond, but storming the Northeast like Vegas has should qualify as an invasion.

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 NEW YORK RANGERS 2 (19-11-0 38 PTS) – SO (1-0)

Recap: The Golden Knights controlled the 1st period at Madison Square Garden against the NY Rangers. Brett Howden opened the scoring with his third of the season.

The Rangers tied the game :17 seconds into the middle frame on a tricky shot that Vegas goaltender Laurent Brossoit couldn’t handle. New York would eventually take the lead scoring on a power play opportunity. After 40 minutes the Golden Knights trailed 2-1.

Vegas fought back in the final 20 minutes but couldn’t muster up enough quality shots until late in the game. In back-to-back games defenseman Dylan Coghlan scored from the blue line tying the game 2-2. The game needed extra time to determine a winner. Jonathan Marchessault ended the contest scoring the only goal in shootout. 

The Golden Knights record improves to 19-11-0 beating Gerard Gallant and Ryan Reaves’ NY Rangers 3-2 in shootouts. Vegas’ road trip wraps up Sunday night against the NY Islanders. Puck drop against the Islanders is scheduled for 11 AM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: As good as the Golden Knights were in the 1st, they were that bad in the 2nd. A lot of it had to do with what the Rangers looked like, but Vegas struggled to deal with their push back in the 2nd. In a low-event 3rd the Golden Knights finally got a shot through and tied it up. A wild overtime couldn’t decide it and VGK extended their OT/SO winning streak to an insane NHL-record 15. (Recap by Ken)


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

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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.

https://twitter.com/camjanssen25/status/1430247771601264641?s=21

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: SinBin.vegas 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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NEW YORK RANGERS 5 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 0 (15-12-5 35 PTS)

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

 

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 NEW YORK RANGERS 1 (14-11-4 32 PTS)

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

 

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