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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 SAN JOSE SHARKS 1 (33-18-4, 70 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights were looking to extend their winning streak to four games by hosting the San Jose Sharks. Vegas was awarded three power play opportunities in the 1st period but couldn’t find the back of the net. The Golden Knights outshot the Sharks 14-4 but the game was scoreless after the opening 20 minutes.

San Jose opened the scoring late in the middle frame. After a very tight period, the Sharks jumped on a rebound and took a 1-0 lead before the second intermission.

Vegas drew another power play in the opening minute of the final period but couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity. Minutes later Paul Cotter evened the score with his 11th goal of the season. With 0:16 remaining in the game, William Carrier scored the game-winner in front of the home crowd.

The Golden Knights’ record improves to 33-18-4 with their 2-1 victory over the Sharks. Next Vegas will face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. Puck drop from The Fortress is scheduled for 7:30 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights controlled a good portion of the game and put pressure on the Sharks most of the night, but the power play could not help convert an opportunity and it left the game in the balance. Eventually, a bounce went VGK’s way and Chandler Stephenson made an amazing play with it to find Carrier on the back door. Hard-fought win. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks at T-Mobile Arena.

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Bum Slaying: VGK Gladly Collecting Points From League’s Worst

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

At the end of the NHL regular season when teams are planning for the postseason or the golf course, it’s unlikely for the players, coaches and managers to huddle around and go over how they reached their fate. For losing clubs, it’s a quick clean out of their lockers and get out of dodge to their summer destinations. For the fortunate 16, they’re preparing for a potentially long run in the playoffs. However, for prognostication purposes, it is important to note how successful teams got to their ultimate goals.

After last night’s 2-1 OT victory over the hapless Philadelphia Flyers, Vegas extended their Western Conference best record to 41 points. It wasn’t the prettiest, but a win is a win when fighting for a seat in the playoffs.

When you break down how the Golden Knights picked up their points, you’ll notice that they’re taking care of business when facing lesser competitors. This is exactly what all playoff hopefuls do throughout a long 82-game regular season. Call it bum slaying, padding stats, or anything you’d like but those points are vital to any team fighting for the postseason.

Points from Non-Contenders: (22)

  • 10/13: VGK 1 vs CHI 0
  • 10/25: VGK 4 @ SJ 2
  • 10/28: VGK 4 vs ANA 0
  • 11/03: VGK 5 @ OTT 4
  • 11/05: VGK 6 @ MTL 4
  • 11/10: VGK 7 @ BUF 4
  • 11/17: VGK 4 vs ARI 1
  • 11/21: VGK 5 @ VAN 4
  • 11/23: VGK 4 vs OTT 1
  • 11/28: VGK 3 @ CBJ 2
  • 12/03: VGK 4 @ DET 1
  • 12/08: VGK 2 vs PHI 1

Now to be fair, the Golden Knights have not taken advantage of all low-level opponents. Vegas lost three times to inferior lineups, all occurring at T-Mobile Arena. For the most part, all three were uncompetitive and the Golden Knights lost by a total of eight goals. In the trio of games, the road team scored two or more goals that went unanswered by Vegas. It’s okay to have a stinker but several at home vs sub .500 teams are wasting VGK fans’ hard-earned money. Thankfully, Jonathan Marchessault didn’t let that happen again last night in OT.

Missed Points From Non-Contenders (6)

  • 11/12: STL 3 @ VGK 2
  • 11/15: SJ 5 @ VGK 2
  • 11/26: VAN 5 @ VGK 1

For Vegas to keep up their 104-point pace they’ll need continue bullying inept franchises crashing for Connor Bedard. Half of the teams in the NHL have roster weaknesses and are capable of exposing on a nightly basis. Through 29 games, the Golden Knights have jumped on mistakes, ill-timed penalties, poor goaltending, and turnovers. It’s been the team’s identity all season under coach Bruce Cassidy. In addition to their 22 “bum slaying” points, Vegas will have 15 more opportunities against the league’s worst to cushion their conference and divisional lead.

Now of course the NHL is a professional league with incredibly skilled players. Even the worst organizations have the ability to defeat star-studded lineups. Just ask the Boston Bruins, who lost to the Arizona Coyotes last night in Arizona. That’ll wake up a team. Hopefully, not by Sunday evening.

SAN JOSE SHARKS 5 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 (13-4-0 26 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights were looking to start a new winning streak hosting division rival San Jose Sharks. The opening 20 minutes were full of missed opportunities up until the final four seconds of the 1st period. Center Jack Eichel ripped home a one-time pass giving the Golden Knights a late advantage. 

The Sharks evens the score early in the 2nd period but the Golden Knights took advantage of another late opportunity. With under five minutes left in the middle frame, Jonathan Marchessault broke the tie registering his 7th goal of the season. The home team carried a 2-1 advantage into the 2nd intermission. 

San Jose immediately answered and tied the game in the opening minutes of the 3rd frame. Vegas had several chances including two power plays but couldn’t find the back of the net. Late in the game, the Sharks snapped the tie and added two empty net goals for a 5-2 road victory. 

The Golden Knights record drops to 13-4-0 falling to the Sharks 5-2. Vegas will have another chance to begin a winning streak on Thursday night against Arizona. Puck drop against the Coyotes is scheduled for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights started the game well, especially defensively completely shutting down anything and everything the Sharks were trying to do. But as the game wore on San Jose gained more and more footing with the forecheck and it led to a few breakdowns in front of the Golden Knights’ goal. Couple that with a lack of danger at even strength and a power play that couldn’t get going, and it’s the first 3rd period blown lead of the year. (Recap by Ken)

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 SAN JOSE SHARKS 2 (6-2-0 12 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights traveled to San Jose for a divisional battle with the Sharks. On a historic night, Phil Kessel scored the 400th goal of his career in a game which he broke the Ironman night. Kessel’s goal gave Vegas a 1-0 advantage in his 990th consecutive game. 

The Sharks offense woke up in the 2nd period. San Jose took the lead 2-1, scoring early and adding a second goal with under a minute to go in the middle frame. 

Shea Theodore evened the score 0:55 seconds into the final period. William Karlsson broke the tie and moments later Mark Stone extended Vegas’ lead. 

The Golden Knights record improves to (6-2-0) defeating the Sharks 4-2 in San Jose. Vegas will return for two games against the Ducks and Jets. The home stand will begin on Friday night. Puck drop on Nevada Day from The Fortress is scheduled for an early 3:00 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: It was a bit of a slog offensively for the first 40 minutes and a breakdown basically handed the lead to the Sharks late in the 2nd. But another dominant 3rd period by the Golden Knights rescued the two points and gave VGK their first perfect back-to-back of the year. (Recap by Ken)

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SAN JOSE SHARKS 7 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 (Preseason Game 4)

Recap: The Golden Knights were a bit sloppy in the 1st period conceding an early goal to Erik Karlsson and allowing multiple other dangerous chances. They rallied back to tie it up with a 4-on-1 break that Jack Eichel buried. The period ended tied at one.

In the 2nd the slop fest ramped up majorly as the Golden Knights allowed three straight to the Sharks. Vegas headed to the 3rd trailing 5-2 after a late power play goal from Reilly Smith.

Things didn’t really get cleaned up in the 3rd either way as both teams scored early on weird miscues. A wacky one off the back wall completed the touchdown for the Sharks to just VGK’s field goal.

The Golden Knights drop their third exhibition game of the season to fall to 1-2-1 in preseason. Vegas will next host the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night from T-Mobile Arena. (Recap by Ken)

Analysis: For three straight preseason games the Golden Knights looked buttoned up in their own end, running the Cassidy system to a tee. That completely crumbled tonight as they were a mess for 60 minutes. Forgettable result but they must learn from what it looks like when it goes wrong as it did tonight. (Recap by Ken)

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VGK Set To Advance Next Postseason Against Weak Pacific

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Throughout team history, Vegas averages 102 points over an 82 game season. This season, 102 points would’ve earned Vegas a third place finish in the Pacific Division and a seven game series against Edmonton. There’s a strong case that a healthy Golden Knights roster would’ve given the Oilers a run for their money.

There are no excuses and we need to have a good start and go from there, but this is part of playoff hockey and you’re going to go through adversity. There are no easy games and no easy series, so we’re going to be prepared to go .-Ryan Nugent Hopkins, EDM forward

So far, only the Central Division has had a team eliminated. In a few days, it’s possible two of three Pacific Division teams are sent home packing as well. Sure, Calgary is up a game but Dallas hasn’t been an easy opponent. In the other western series, the Oilers have fallen right into the trap of the underdog Kings. It’s premature but none of the three Pacific teams are looking like favorites to win the Stanley Cup.

Let’s say the Golden Knights are healthy enough next season to make the playoffs. If they top off at 102 points they would likely be the second or third team coming out of the Pacific. In that case, Vegas would be guaranteed to face off against a divisional rival. Chances are the familiar faces will be in play in 2022-23. Which statistically favors the Golden Knights.

It’s not just about scoring. There’s a lot more to the game than that.-Daryl Sutter, CGY coach

Since 2017-18, Vegas has a total of 464 points. The Golden Knights have earned more than a third from inside their division. Excluding the now Central Division Coyotes, the Golden Knights have tallied 176 Pacific Division points in 119 games. That’s a hearty .676 winning % against the teams Vegas faces most and in the opening rounds of the playoffs.

Golden Knights fans have now watched how predictable the Pacific division has been for half a decade. LA in and Vegas out was the only real surprise over that period. The landscape will likely stay the same next season.

When the oddsmakers set the lines for next season’s divisional leaders the Golden Knights are likely to be the favorite. Other teams have areas to address as well. Calgary will have to make some big decisions, so will Edmonton, San Jose and Vancouver. LA’s quick climb to the postseason will be interesting if it keeps up, especially if a healthy Vegas team is rolling. In year six no matter what changes have been made the Golden Knights will have a chance to fight for the division and form a path to another conference final. It’s that easy, depending on offseason changes.

SAN JOSE SHARKS 5 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 (41-31-6 90 PTS) – SO (1-0)

Recap: The Golden Knights allowed the opening goal for the sixth straight game giving the Sharks the first lead. Minutes later Chandler Stephenson evened the score 1-1 with a power play goal.

Max Pacioretty gave Vegas their first lead of the contest 7:46 into the middle frame. At the midway point of the period William Carrier buried a one time pass from Keegan Kolesar to extend the Golden Knights advantage 3-1. The Sharks scored late in the period to get within one.

Nic Roy stretched the Golden Knights lead 6:35 into the final 20 minutes. Shockingly, the Sharks were able to even the score and force overtime. Vegas eventually lost in a shootout missing out on a very important point.

The Golden Knights record improves to 42-31-6 falling to the Sharks 5-4 in shootouts. Vegas picks up only one point and trail Dallas by three points for the final Wild Card position. The Golden Knights travel to Dallas for the biggest game of the season on Tuesday night. Puck drop against the Stars is set for 5 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights put on a forechecking clinic against a team that struggles to break out of the defensive zone. They parlayed that into a bundle of shots and enough chances to put a bunch past James Reimer. However, Vegas fell asleep for a couple minutes down the stretch with the SJS goalie pulled and blew a two goal lead. Then, they couldn’t capitalize on a power play in OT. Then they didn’t score a single goal in shootout. They drop a point and they no longer control their own destiny. (Recap by Ken)


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