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Recap: The Golden Knights traveled to St. Louis attempting to add to their two game-winning streak. William Karlsson opened the scoring with his 13th goal of the season. The Blues scored five minutes later to even the score 1-1. 

Jonathan Marchessault snapped the tie 0:28 into the middle period. Fellow forward Michael Amadio stretched Vegas’ lead three minutes later. St. Louis scored late in the frame to get within one. After 40 minutes the Golden Knights held a 3-2 advantage. 

St. Louis quickly tied the game in the final 20 minutes. The Golden Knights stole the lead when Pavel Dorofeyev scored his first NHL goal off the visor of his helmet. With five seconds remaining, Alex Pietrangelo iced the game with a long-distance empty net goal. 

The Golden Knights’ record improves to 41-20-6 with their 5-3 win in St. Louis. Vegas will finish their road trip on Tuesday in Philadelphia. Puck drop is scheduled for 4 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights once again snagged an early lead which allowed them to play a much more controlled defensive game. They extended that lead with a pair of goalie errors by Binnington and then went back into the defensive shell. St. Louis fired back but the moment the game was tied the Golden Knights turned it back on. The gameplay kind of made it look like the Blues were the better and more aggressive team, but the game state was always in VGK’s favor and they ultimately took home the win, so they must have done something right.  (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center.

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Ivan Barbashev: Best Acquisition By Any Team

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Through five games, newcomer Ivan Barbashev has seemingly fit right in. He’s connected well with star center Jack Eichel and fellow wing Jonathan Marchessault on Vegas’ new top line. So far, he’s a point-per-game player and the trio has been responsible for four goals in 15 periods.

The 27-year-old implied he’s learning on the fly and adding his blend of talent and toughness. A recipe that succeeds in the playoffs.

I’m trying to play simple. I’m playing with Jack and Marchy, so it’s real easy to play with them. I’m trying to make some plays for them and it’s working real well. It’s the way I play. Be more physical and mix it up with skill. -Ivan Barbashev

Overall, the trade with St. Louis has been highly graded by NHL coaches, GMs, and insiders.

I think he’s going to go down as one of the best acquisitions of the deadline by any team. He’s not going to be the biggest but I think he’s going to be one of the best. –Elliotte Friedman on 32 Thoughts Podcast

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Recap: Alex Pietrangelo opened the scoring five minutes in against his former team. Pietrangelo roofed a nifty backhand for his 4th goal of the season. The Golden Knights killed off a late penalty to carry a 1-0 lead into the 1st intermission. 

St. Louis’ offense woke up in the middle frame. The Blues scored :39 in and twice later in the 2nd period. However, captain Mark Stone scored and made a great individual play to set up Michael Amadio for the game-tying goal. 

Tied 3-3, both teams swapped power plays but neither could score the go-ahead goal. Eventually, St. Louis took the lead midway through the final period but Vegas were fortunate to pick up a late power play. With under two minutes remaining, Chandler Stephenson tied the game to force overtime and a shootout. The captain yet again came through for his team and finished the game in shootout. 

The Golden Knights’ record improves to 24-11-1 defeating the Blues 5-4 in shootout. Vegas will take a break for Christmas and next hit the ice on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Puck Drop against the Kings is scheduled for 7:30 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Another wacky home game with the Blues. VGK looked pretty good in the 1st period and then followed it up with another dud in the 2nd. However, they were able to score a few times in the 2nd mainly because of the dominance of Mark Stone. The late 6-on-4 goal was a big one and then as always, Logan Thompson gets it done in shootout. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. St. Louis Blues at T-Mobile Arena.

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Vegas Needs To Finish The Year Strong Before The Heat Turns On In 2023

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Last night Vegas missed out on a golden opportunity to stash away more money in the bank before their busy season begins. So what, they lost to Buffalo. It’s only one game and a win tomorrow would keep Vegas on pace to cross the 50-point mark by year-end. We’ll get into January later, but for right now the Golden Knights have four more games to focus on in 2022.

Starting tomorrow night, the Golden Knights are set to play statistically some of the league’s worst defenses and offenses. Putting it lightly, the remaining schedule is as soft as Santa’s beard.

VGK’s Remaining 2022 Schedule

  • Weds, 12/21: vs. Arizona (10-15-5, 25 Pts)
    81 Goals Scored – 28th
    106 Goals Allowed – 22nd
    .414 Points % – 28th
  • Fri, 12/23: vs St. Louis (16-15-1, 32 Pts)
    92 Goals Scored – 22nd
    113 Goals Allowed – 26th
    68% Penalty Kill – 30th
  • Tues, 12/21: at Los Angeles (17-12-5, 39 Pts)
    109 Goals Scored – 6th
    122 Goals Allowed – 31st
    70.9% Penalty Kill – 28th
  • Weds, 12/22: at Anaheim (9-20-3, 21 Pts)
    77 Goals Scored – 29th
    133 Goals Allowed – 32nd
    3 Regulation Wins – 32nd

Some would argue that St. Louis and LA aren’t walkovers and they tend to get up for games against Vegas. However, both are struggling to keep the puck out of their own nets and have two of the worst penalty kill units in the league. The Golden Knights will likely attack the net knowing there are holes in each team’s defense. If it plays out, Vegas should be in a position to expose weaknesses in LA & St. Louis’ special teams. Both clubs are manageable but it won’t be as easy as the Golden Knights other two opponents.

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Recap: The Golden Knights were back home for the first time since late October riding a nine-game win streak. Vegas welcomed the struggling St. Louis Blues for their first meeting of the 2022-23 season. The Blues took the first lead of game, but Reilly Smith evened the score with a shorthanded goal 59 seconds later. After the opening 20 minutes, the game was locked in a 1-1 tie.

Phil Kessel gave Vegas the 2-1 lead 2:43 into the 2nd period but St. Louis fought back. The Blues tied and took the lead within a :46 span taking a 3-2 advantage into the 2nd intermission.

The game tightened up in the final period as the Golden Knights had to kill two penalties in the opening two minutes. The Golden Knights had several opportunities to match the score but eventually fell 3-2.

The Golden Knights’ record drops to 13-3-0 snapping their nine-game win streak. Vegas will rest up and prepare for a divisional matchup against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night. Puck drop against the Sharks is scheduled for 7 PM at T-Mobile Arena. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: It just took too long for the Golden Knights to get going offensively in this game. That in addition to the fact that the 2nd period was an uphill battle for a full 20 minutes. Adin Hill was good for most of the game but a miscommunication led to a crucial goal. Can’t win them all, and this is one of the rare instances where the Golden Knights didn’t deserve one. (Recap by Ken)

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Bruce Cassidy Not The Only Coach Frustrated With Preseason Defeats

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

This weekend the Golden Knights had their worst outing of the preseason. Vegas lost 7-3 to the San Jose Sharks and their head coach was not happy with their effort.

It’s an attention-getter. You’ve played your games you’ve been at Training Camp, we’re not nearly where we need to be so we’ve got to get the hell back to work the next time we reconvene. That to me is the message that will be sent when we get back together. -Bruce Cassidy

In most cases, exhibition games are considered tune-ups and extended tryouts for prospects. However, with the brief time Bruce Cassidy has had with his new club, every shift counts. With only eight days before Vegas opens the 2022-23 season, it’s vital the Golden Knights continue to learn and execute their leader’s instructions.

After three preseason contests Vegas looked as if they had absorbed their coach’s new defensive look. On Friday night it fell apart. So of course Cassidy was frustrated with the results. This weekend, the Golden Knights coach wasn’t the only one to voice his concerns after lopsided defeats.

Tonight, a lot of the pressure in our D-zone we couldn’t handle it. We couldn’t handle their speed. Consequently they get the opportunities. We’re going to get better but it’s just not happening as quickly as I’d like it to be. -Bruce Boudreau, Canucks coach

After a 4-0 shutout, Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan told the media he was reluctant to talk about his team’s effort. In Pennsylvania’s other metropolis, Flyers bench boss John Tortorella was focused on his player’s confidence. In St. Louis, coach Craig Berube was at a loss for words.

Not enough. We didn’t do enough all around. It wasn’t a very good game. We should’ve played better for them, it was a great crowd.-Craig Berube, Blues coach

This very well could be a ploy from Cassidy and other veteran coaches to get their players’ mentally before regular season action. If you ignore the score, there were several positives to take away from Vegas’ fourth exhibition game. Offensively, Jack Eichel looks dangerous and heathy, while Mark Stone flashed his play-making abilities in his return, and Paul Cotter continued his seemingly undeniable run at a roster spot.

Also, it should be noted that Jake Leschyshyn dropped gloves and defended himself after landing a clean but hard hit on a Sharks player. That’s the character and culture stuff that un-frustrates Cassidy and other coaches.

Playoffs A Reminder Health Isn’t Only Factor For Success

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Watching the Stanley Cup playoffs certainly has a different feel without the Golden Knights as participants. As we’ve been over many, many times since their season finale, injuries played a significant role in why the team is on the outside looking in. Halfway through the first round, it’s clear Vegas needed more than just their health to advance.

Western Conference Playoff Summary

  • 14-0 Team Scoring First
  • 8-6 Home Team
  • 4.25 Winning Team Average Goals
  • 3.22 Average Goal Differential Per Game
  • 1.8 Power Play Goals Per Win
  • 10-4 When Scoring PPG

Down the stretch, the Golden Knights had trouble picking up the first goal of game, received very little output from their power play, and lacked the ability to climb back and win from behind. On most nights in the playoffs, those elements would be a recipe for disaster. Not surprising, early consistent scoring is paying off in the postseason. So far, there have been 14 games played in the Western Conference, the team that scored the opening goal went on to win to all of them.

Naturally, lower-scoring teams focus on winning defensive battles helping them survive in a long series. Last night the LA Kings defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-0 and evened the series by playing their signature suffocating style. The Oilers are +7 in goal differential but are in no better shape than the Kings.

The sixth highest-scoring team in the NHL’s regular season has only mustered up three goals in three games. The Calgary Flames averaged 3.55 goals per game in the first 82 but have been held to 2 goals or less in the last three. Yet, the 2.84 goals per game Dallas Stars hold a 2-1 series lead.

Western Conference Goals Scored Per Game

  • Colorado 5.33 (1 ENG)
  • Edmonton 4.25
  • Minnesota 3.25 (2 ENG)
  • St. Louis 3.00 (1 ENG)
  • Dallas 2.00 (2 ENG)
  • Nashville 2.00
  • LA 2.50 (1 ENG)
  • Calgary 1.0

Subtract empty netters, and the averages decrease for several Western Conference contenders. Making most games much tighter than the averages show. No matter who Vegas faced off against their periodic offensive struggles could’ve haunted them in the first round.

Turn back the clock to Vegas’ run to the semifinals last year. In six games against the Montreal Canadiens, the Golden Knights averaged 2.18 goals per game, scored the opening goal twice, and were blanked on the man-advantage.

Without a doubt, the Golden Knights’ front office is tuning in nightly like all of us. We’ve heard dozens of times the NHL is a copycat league, it’s possible VGK execs are picking up plays for their grease board. Why not take a few notes on Colorado’s lethal PP, or some offensive strategies from Edmonton, Minnesota, or St. Louis. Maybe, it’s best to watch Dallas and LA’s suffocating, everything to the outside type of defense. It may be the difference between making semis or the finals.


Recap: The Golden Knights started off the game well jumping all over the Blues by not allowing a single shot on goal for the first nine minutes. Mark Stone converted a power play goal to give Vegas the lead, but former VGK David Perron equalized a few minutes later.

In the 2nd, The Blues struck two to give themselves leads of 2-1 and 3-2, but goals from Jack Eichel and Zach Whitecloud sent the game to intermission even.

Vegas came out firing in the 3rd getting goals from both William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault early in the period and then adding another from Eichel and an empty netter from Max Pacioretty.

The Golden Knights finish the season with a record of 42-31-8 and finish in 4th place in the Pacific Division with 94 points. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Vegas actually played pretty well in a game that didn’t matter. But, the game didn’t matter, so who cares what actually happened in it? (Recap by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center.

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Vegas Needs Consistency To Manage Challenging Schedule

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Overall, it wasn’t a great weekend for the Golden Knights. They were unable to secure more than three points on their three-game road trip. The Kings, Predators, and Stars all won games as well. Time is running out. So, after an unrewarding weekend the Golden Knights need to quickly find consistency in their game and will need a little luck along the way as well.

Let’s start off positive. The Golden Knights play the 26-42-7 New Jersey Devils tonight at home. NHL computer models predict Vegas will defeat New Jersey fairly easily, so tack on two points to their total. That places them with 89 points, one point behind LA, and two behind Dallas and Nashville. With five games left that keeps Vegas in the hunt. At this late stage of the season that’s all you can really ask for.

We knew we weren’t going to run the table. We talked about that two weeks ago. We were going to drop some points along the way. We’re still right in the thick of things. -Pete DeBoer

After tonight’s game against the Devils, the Golden Knights schedule becomes more demanding. On paper, Vegas has the lineup to win out. Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty’s legs and lungs are building back to form. Thinking optimistically, if they contribute in all remaining games the Golden Knights can win most, if not all.

We’ve got to find a way to score goals in these tough games. In tight, especially. Teams are going to really tighten up in the D-zone here moving forward so we’ve got to find a way to bear down up front. -Alex Pietrangelo

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Teams Gearing Up For Jack Eichel Era In Vegas

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The football season is over and the spotlight has officially been handed over to the  Golden Knights and the NHL. It’s the time of year when fringe fans become real fans and the mainstream networks pay a little more attention. It’s a great time for the league. The playoff chase begins, divisional battles heat up, and teams are already beefing up for a potential matchup with the Golden Knights.

Jack Eichel’s highly-anticipated debut is not only creating news here in Las Vegas but across the league.

Calgary has proven this season that they can hang with Vegas. Now with the addition of Tyler Toffoli, the Flames offense became a lot more dangerous. The former LA King reunites with his old coach Darryl Sutter and brings a little kryptonite with him to Calgary. In last year’s semifinal loss to Montreal, Toffoli registered four points in six semifinal games against the Golden Knights. The former Canadien adds confidence and playoff success to a team that erased the Golden Knights 6-0 last week.

Why let someone else enter the race? I do think they were talking about the possibility of making it a Ben Chiarot trade too. At the end of the day Calgary decided ‘this is the guy we wanted, our coach knows him and we’re going out and getting him.’ This is exactly what they need, a scorer. He’s one of the best scorers available. –Elliotte Friedman on 32 Thoughts Podcast

Now that Captain Mark Stone is on LTIR the playoff roster picture looks a lot clearer. We all know the drill, there would have been cap casualties had the captain been fit to play. Stone’s contract relief might be enough to create a loaded playoff roster that could force other clubs to make improvements.

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