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Recap: Toronto struck quickly in the 1st taking the lead just 1:24 into the game. The Golden Knights killed a pair of penalties before earning a power play of their own. Keegan Kolesar scored from right out in front, his third of the season, to tie the score.

The Golden Knights looked great to start the 2nd, hemming Toronto in their own end for much of the first 10 minutes. However, they were unable to cash in and the Leafs went down and got a pair of their own. Vegas trailed by two and the end of two.

Vegas stormed back into the game scoring quickly in the 3rd. William Karlsson scored his fifth goal of the season to cut the deficit in half. Then, on a 5-on-3, Alex Pietrangelo fired one past Jack Campbell to tie the game at three.

The game would go to overtime where very little happened. In shootout, Robin Lehner stopped the first two, but William Nylander potted the game-winner. Vegas went 0 for 3 in shootout.

The Golden Knights record drops to 23-14-2 falling 4-3 to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Vegas has the rest of the week off with a pair of games scheduled to be played in Canada postponed. They’ll hit the ice again on Monday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Puck drop is set for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights played a pretty strong game as a whole aside from a couple minutes in the 2nd. They suppressed Toronto’s offense as best a team can, but playing as shorthanded as Vegas did, the Leafs were able to score enough to cause problems. Yet another comeback to steal a point for the Golden Knights though, who are suddenly in the middle of a rough homestand. (Recap by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Toronto Maple Leafs game at T-Mobile Arena.

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Vegas Catching Up With The Eastern Conference

(Photo Credit: 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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San Jose An Example How To Turn Around Canadian Road Trip

(Photo Credit: 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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Recap:  The Golden Knights limped into Toronto for their first of a four-game road trip. The Maple Leafs started the game with heavy pressure in the Golden Knights zone eventually taking the first lead of the game 11:31 into the period. Vegas was outshot 13-4 but kept it tight, trailing 1-0 after the opening 20 minutes.

The Maple Leafs took advantage of an early power play and star forward Auston Matthews made it 2-0. Matthews added his second of the game under a minute left in the period to stretch the Leafs lead 3-0.

Vegas couldn’t slow down Toronto’s rush attack and the gap widened early in the final frame. The Maple Leafs continued to bring pressure and defended any threat by the Golden Knights. Vegas’ winning streak comes to an end with a 4-0 defeat in Toronto.

The Golden Knights record drops to 4-5-0 after losing their first game since October 24th. Vegas travels to Ottawa as they continue their road trip. Puck drop against the Senators is scheduled for 4 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights keep getting more shorthanded due to injuries and they keep looking it on the ice. They simply looked outmanned from the drop of the puck until the game was through. Oh, and the power play looked as bad as ever, which is saying something. (Recap by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Toronto Maple Leafs game at Scotiabank Arena.

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Recap: The Golden Knights welcomed in the Toronto Maple Leafs for a mid November, non conference clash. The 1st period was tight and both teams did a solid job defending. Each team was shutout and the period ended in a scoreless tie.

Cody Glass would open up the scoring with his 4th goal of the season. On a Vegas power play, Max Pacioretty blasted a shot on net which Glass loosened the puck and gave his team the 1-0 edge.

The Maple Leafs would tie the game at one in the 3rd period but the Golden Knights would regain the lead :41 seconds later. Tomas Nosek scored on a breakaway using his backend to give Vegas the 2-1 lead. The Golden Knights would add two more and win 4-2.

Vegas improves their record to 11-9-3 and find themselves on a two-game winning streak. The Golden Knights get back on the ice for a divisional battle against the San Jose Sharks. Puck drop is scheduled for 7PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights played an excellent first two periods, both pressuring the Leafs but also taking care of their own end incredibly well. They looked like the team that the city has grown to know and love and entered the 3rd with the one goal  lead. However, things came apart at the seams a bit in the 3rd and if not for Marc-Andre Fleury, this is another 3rd period collapse.

That being said, Vegas did not lose the game and ends up walking away with two points against a good team (though they are scuffling). It wasn’t a perfect effort but it was another pretty darn good one for the Golden Knights. Overall, they’ve continued to put up good game after good game and certainly appear to be headed in the right direction. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Toronto Maple Leafs at T-Mobile Arena

  • Details on a VGK player-owned restaurant coming soon.
  • Nic Hague played one game in the AHL, he’s been much better since. Coincidence? I think not.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Marc
** Andre
* Fleury

Fans Unfairly Blaming Gallant Should Watch Toronto’s Fallout

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It was a small percent of the fanbase but there were some questioning the coaching ability of Gerard Gallant over the past two weeks. The 2018 Jack Adams award winner has accrued a record of 104-65-17 as the Golden Knights head coach. That’s a .605 points percentage, ranking Gallant among the league’s best over that period. Not to mention his .593 postseason win percentage and 16 combined wins in two playoff runs. Tonight’s visitor, the Toronto Maple Leafs and their head coach are an entirely different story. One that should quiet any Gallant doubters.

Toronto head coach Mike Babcock is highly respected, highly paid, and has one of the most talented rosters in the NHL. He’s also currently on the hot seat.

Babcock is in his fifth season, and under his watch, the Maple Leafs have failed in the postseason never making it out of the first round. This season, Toronto has started slow, put up some stinkers, and according to the fanbase, underachieved.

Fan votes shouldn’t impact an organization’s decision, but it’s a pretty strong indicator of current temperature in Leafs Nation. In reality, there are other elements. Toronto GM Kyle Dubas didn’t hire Babcock, he acquired players that aren’t connecting with the coach, and already has his replacement in the AHL. None of those scenarios exist here in Vegas.

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The Golden Knights were forced to start the game in their defensive zone but the team stepped up defensively. Under heavy attack for most of the period, Vegas and Malcolm Subban kept Toronto out of the net and the opening 20 minutes ended in a scoreless tie.

Vegas came out sin the 2nd period, combining for 14 shots on net. The Golden Knights penalty killing units continued to shine, shutting down Toronto’s power play and even-strengthened offense. After two periods the game remained 0-0.

The Golden Knights finally opened the scoring with a goal by Max Pacioretty 4:08 into the 3rd period. The Maple Leafs would tie the game on their sixth power play opportunity. After three periods of play the game would need to be settled in overtime. Jon Tavares would win it late in 2–1 OT for Toronto.

Vegas drops their record to (9-5-3). The team continues their road trip on Saturday will against the Washington Capitals. Puck drop is scheduled for 4PM PT. (Recap by Jason)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena

  • Can we stop with the “Golden Knights aren’t that good” stuff?

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Shea Theodore
** Max Pacioretty
* Malcolm Subban

Golden Knights vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Photo Gallery – February 14th, 2019

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Vegas spent a majority of the 1st period in the box taking three penalties in the last nine minutes of the period. Toronto’s lethal power play capitalized and got on the board first. The Golden Knights did well to storm back scoring shorthanded by Paul Stastny and another by Oscar Lindberg. But the Leafs wouldn’t be held down long scoring a pair of their own in the 2nd. Vegas came back and tied it again at three with a William Karlsson tap in on a brilliant pass from Jon Merrill. Once again though, the defense couldn’t hold against one of the league’s best offenses giving up three straight to drop their fifth straight at home and eight of the last 11. Yikes.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Toronto Maple Leafs at T-Mobile Arena.

  • I’m not even sure, but it won’t be positive.
  • Also, a photo gallery from the game.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Jon Merrill
** Reilly Smith
* Cody Eakin

Have The Golden Knights Gotten Better Since The First Time They Saw Toronto?

These guys think they are better now than before. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In early November the Golden Knights traveled to Toronto in the midst of their worst stretch in franchise history. It’s hard to believe Vegas lost five of of six games this season. In their first meeting on November 6th, the Maple Leafs survived in a shootout after giving up a 3-1 lead. Since then, the Golden Knights have won 17 of 22 games.

After the 6-3 Vegas victory, Leafs’ Superstar Auston Matthews went on to credit the Golden Knights consistency.

They’ve obviously been a good team all year. Maybe they surprised some people but I think they’ve got good players. Everybody works hard. They’re pretty well-coached. They’re a team that plays right. There’s a lot of depth all through their four lines and three pairs of defensemen. They’re a good team and I think they’ve played the same way when we played them earlier this year. They’ve got speed, they’ve got size, and they play a good team game. -Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs Forward

Pretty well coached?!? What the… nevermind, we’ll let him slide on that.

Teammate Morgan Reilly agreed with Matthews, nothing has changed since November. The Golden Knights were fast, smart and aggressive on November 6th and December 31st.

No. They are pretty consistent. When we played them in Toronto they play a lot like they did tonight. They’re deep, they have a lot of lines that roll over. I mean, they’re for real. -Morgan Reilly, Maple Leafs Defenseman

Jonathan Marchessault doesn’t agree.

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