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VANCOUVER CANUCKS 5 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 (16-6-1, 33 PTS)

The Golden Knights were looking to bounce back against the Vancouver Canucks after losing to the Seattle Kraken on Friday. The Canucks got off to an early start, scoring the only two goals of the first period. Vegas took three 1st period penalties that Vancouver took advantage of.

Trailing 2-0, the Golden Knights tried to stop the bleeding, but they continued to commit costly penalties. The Canucks scored three times and took a commanding 5-0 lead after 40 minutes of action.

Vegas let out their frustrations in the final period, dropping gloves multiple times with Vancouver players. Jonathan Marchessault and Keegan Kolesar both took five-minute penalties for fighting in the final period. Marchessault even snapped the Canucks shutout, but the Golden Knights wouldn’t get any closer.

The Golden Knights record drops to (16-6-1) losing to the Canucks 5-1 at T-Mobile Arena. Next, Vegas will pack their suitcases for a four-game, ten-day road trip. Puck drop against the Columbus Blue Jackets is scheduled for 4P PT on Monday. (Recap by Jason)

(Analysis/Tweets by Alex the Intern)

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5 VANCOUVER CANUCKS 4 (15-4-1, 31 PTS)

The Golden Knights took a short trip from Alberta to British Columbia for a road matchup against the Canucks. Vancouver thought they had taken the first lead of the game but coach Bruce Cassidy challenged the goal and the officials ruled in his favor. The game was scoreless after the opening twenty minutes.

Vancouver officially took the lead midway through the middle frame waking up Vegas’ offense. Jack Eichel flung the puck on net and Mark Stone deflected in the game-tying goal. Less than a minute left, William Carrier scored the go ahead goal assisted again by Eichel. The Golden Knights carried a 2-1 advantage into the 2nd intermission.

The Canucks came out red hot in the final frame, scoring three straight goals in the opening 6:11 of the period. However, Vegas stormed back. Trailing 4-2, Carrier got his team within one, scoring his second of the game and Reilly Smith jammed in the equalizer. The Golden Knights believed they had taken the lead but Mark Stone’s goal was waived off. Minutes later Alex Pietrangelo scored cleanly for the game winning goal.

The Golden Knights record improves to (15-4-1) defeating the Canucks 5-4 in Vancouver. Vegas will next face the Ottawa Senators Wednesday night from the Fortress. Puck drop is scheduled for 7P PT. (Recap by Jason)

(Analysis/Tweets by Kevin Janison)

Teams With Opposite Starts To The Season Crash Tonight In Vancouver

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Saturday’s game in Edmonton didn’t end like the Golden Knights had planned. In reality, when superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl score in the same game, picking up a point isn’t half bad. With a win tonight in Vancouver, Vegas will have a chance to return home with three of a possible four divisional points. Not bad for a two game set against Pacific teams scratching and clawing for wins.

Okay, it’s not a five game, eleven day road trip to the East Coast but traveling to Western Canada can be a challenge. Rewind back to last season when the Golden Knights were chasing instead of leading the division. Edmonton and Vancouver pitched in by spoiling Vegas’ 2021-22 playoff dreams. In three crucial games in mid-April, Vegas left Western Canada with on win.

This season the tables have turned. At the moment, Vegas has a 96% chance to qualify for the playoffs, Vancouver has a bleak 21% chance. There’s no sugar-coating it, the Canucks have had a nightmare start to the season. Just picture the complete opposite of the Golden Knights first 19 games. Not only does losing suck but each Vancouver loss is followed with unpleasant questions about coach dismissals, player fire sales and underachieving personnel. From this point going forward Vancouver will have to outperform the entire division for a sniff of a playoff run.

We know who are next opponents are. You keep the shots to the outside. Most of them won’t go in.-Bruce Boudreau, Canucks coach

For the Golden Knights, it’s another opportunity to separate themselves from another club in the Pacific. So far, the Golden Knights have earned at least one point in five of six divisional matchups. If they pick up any more tonight, Vegas will have points against each Pacific team with the exception of Calgary. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until late February for a second battle with the Flames.

Bruce Cassidy Not The Only Coach Frustrated With Preseason Defeats

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas 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.

VGK Misses Out On Inexpensive Top-Six Option

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The first article of business was taken care of last week when the Golden Knights announced Bruce Cassidy as their next coach. Next on the list, improve the roster.

Earlier in the offseason, the Golden Knights were tied to KHL star Andrei Kuzmenko. The 26-year-old totaled 53 points in 49 games with SKA St. Petersburg this season and would have fit well with VGK’s shrinking cap room. Unfortunately, Vancouver was able to offer Kuzmenko more than just money.

That’s a big win for the Canucks. I really thought the two favorites were Vancouver and Edmonton. These were two GMs who had been after Kuzmenko for some time. There were a few teams, even some of the other ones in it who thought it would be Vancouver or Edmonton.-Elliotte Friedman on 32 Thoughts Podcast

Not only did the Golden Knights miss out on what would have been the perfect offseason risk, but they also lost Kuzmenko to a maturing team in their own division. The Canucks added another offensive weapon in his mid-twenties to an already bright roster.

On top of upside, Kuzmenko was brought in on an entry-level NHL contract. Not only will he be eager to play in a new league, the former KHL’er will be motivated to produce so he can strut into free agency. Sure, Vegas can take a run at Kuzmenko next summer but the value won’t be there.

Kuzmenko could only sign a one-year deal. So he needs a new contract for the next year. He knows he had to be in a good situation to set up that next contract. The one thing he had to be convinced of was he would be put in a situation where he would have a good run at another contract. At the very least Vancouver has to convince him of that. –Friedman on 32 Thoughts Podcast

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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.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS 5 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 (40-29-5 85 PTS) – OT

Recap: The Golden Knights got off to rough start in Vancouver. The Canucks scored on their first shot after Alex Pietrangelo was called for a tripping minor. Vegas stuck to their game and got some luck late in the opening period. Mattias Janmark fluttered the puck on net and it fortunately bounced off Alec Martinez into the Canucks goal. The game was tied 1-1 heading into the first intermission. 

The scoring picked up in the middle frame. Vancouver regained their lead 1:27 into the period and added another two minutes later. Michael Amadio responded quickly for Vegas to get his team within one. Unfortunately, the Canucks took advantage of a 2-on-1 and held a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes of action.

Shea Theodore gave Vegas life by scoring five minutes into the final period and he tied the game with :42 seconds left in the period to send the game to overtime. Vancouver went on to win 5-4 in OT to pick up the extra point. 

The Golden Knights record drops to 40-29-5 after falling 5-4 to the Canucks. Vegas picks up one point as their trip continues on Thursday night in Calgary. Puck drop against the Flames is set for 6 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights were mightily outplayed in the 2nd period but they were definitely good enough in the 1st and 3rd to overcome it. They were able to push the game to OT due to yet another goal with the net empty, but the OT session was rough. In the end, it comes down to special teams, where VGK didn’t kill and they didn’t capitalize on the PP chances. One point is ok, but they really could have used both. (Recap by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena.

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Pacific North Teams Won’t Make It Easy On Visiting Knights

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Vegas is arguably on their most important road trip of the season beginning tonight in Vancouver. Three games against three hungry Canadian teams from the Pacific Division. The Canucks are desperately scratching and clawing, the Flames are in 1st place, and the Oiler’s high-powered offense has likely fueled them to the playoffs. There’s no understating, the next set of games are vital to Vegas’ postseason pursuit.

We’re doing whatever it takes to win. Whether it’s killing big penalties or scoring big goals on the power play. We have the ability in our room. It’s just a matter of us going out there and do it. -Bo Horvat, VAN captain

Let’s start with Vancouver. As Golden Knights fans watched last week the Canucks are not a team to take lightly. The team in green and blue are riding a three-game win streak and have no room for mistakes.

We all know how we have to finish this season. There’s no point of putting all of the stress on yourself. Every game is stressful because it’s do or die. We’ll play the right way and give ourselves a chance. It’s right in front of us. -JT Miller, VAN forward

Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau has his players loose and motivated for a chance to shock the conference. If Vegas drops tonight’s game, Vancouver will be only two points behind them. Vegas fans are already scoreboard watching LA, Dallas, and Nashville games, there’s not enough energy to keep tabs on another. That’s why the Golden Knights must play sound defensively, take advantage of second chances and get their star players back to form. Most importantly, leave British Columbia with two points.

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VANCOUVER CANUCKS 5 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 (39-29-4 82 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights looked to continue their win streak by hosting divisional rival Vancouver Canucks. Vegas center Jack Eichel gave his team the first lead of the game with his 10th as a Golden Knight. Vancouver responded four minutes later with two goals in a :17 second span. After twenty minutes the visitors held a 2-1 edge. 

The Canucks offense continued to push the pace in the 2nd period pressuring the Golden Knights’ defense. Vancouver added two goals to their lead and took a 4-1 advantage into the second intermission. 

Quickly into the final period the Golden Knights committed another costly penalty that the Canucks took advantage of. Vancouver stretched their lead to 5-1 scoring their second power play goal of the game. 

The Golden Knights record drops to 39-29-4 losing 5-1 to the Canucks. Vegas ends their five game win streak and miss out on an important two points. The players will get a chance to rebound on Saturday night against the Arizona Coyotes. Puck drop is set for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Vegas scored first yet again, but not much went well after that. Elias Pettersson completely dominated the game every time he was on the ice and the Golden Knights couldn’t stop him or themselves from causing problems in the VGK end. An absolutely terrible performance in a game they really needed. (Recap by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Vancouver Canucks at T-Mobile Arena.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 VANCOUVER CANUCKS 2 (39-28-4 82 PTS) – OT

Recap: The Golden Knights came out firing in Vancouver taking the first 10 of 11 shots. Vegas defenseman Alex Pietrangelo registered his 13th goal of the season on a quick wrist shot. Up 1-0, Jonathan Marchessault added his 28th doubling VGK’s lead. After the opening 20 minutes the Golden Knights led 2-0.

The 2nd period was uneventful. Both teams protected the puck and wouldn’t allow each other’s offense many chances. Vegas held their 2-0 lead into the second intermission. 

Vancouver cut Vegas’ lead in the half quickly into the final period. The Canucks were later awarded a power play which resulted in the game-tying goal. The game needed an overtime to decide a winner. Shea Theodore slipped in his 11th of the season to end the game in sudden death. 

The Golden Knights record improves to 39-28-4 beating the Canucks 3-2 in overtime. The two teams will match up again on Wednesday from T-Mobile Arena. Puck drop is set for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights were in control of the game through the first 40 minutes. Dominating in the neutral zone, generating chances off Vancouver mistakes, and winning to loose pucks it looked like Vegas would skate to an easy win. But the 3rd period was anything but easy as the Canucks stormed back and very easily could have won the game. In OT, the Golden Knights got a bit of luck to go their way as Marchessault slipped and caused a 3-on-1 rush because of it. (Recap by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena.

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