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Best Road Trip Ever

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Tonight in Buffalo the Golden Knights will put their eight-game winning streak on the line, trying to push one win closer to the franchise record of 10.

They’ll also attempt to do something they’ve never done before, sweep a 5+ game road trip.

The Golden Knights have taken six road trips of at least five games in their history. They’ve walked away with records ranging from an excellent 4-1-0 to a miserable 0-5-0. What they’ve never done is win all of the games, or even get points in all five of a road trip. Even on the longer trips, they’ve never had a five-game point streak inside of the six, seven, or eight-game trips they’ve taken.

Way back in early 2018, during the Golden Knights’ inaugural season, Vegas headed to New Jersey, Columbus, Detroit, Buffalo, and Philadelphia for a five-game span toward the end of the season. It started with a win against the Devils but was followed up by a poor 4-1 loss to the Blue Jackets. VGK went on to win the next three games bringing home eight points from the trip.

As of right now, only because the Golden Knights haven’t stepped foot on the ice tonight, that road trip still stands as the best in team history. Tonight, Vegas will at worst match it, and with a win or an OT loss, they can sweep a five-game trip for the first time ever.

There have been two instances in which the Golden Knights have swept four-game trips. Last year they went to Boston, New Jersey, and the two New Yorks and ripped through the four Eastern Conference teams. In the shortened season, Vegas took a quick trip down to Southern California where they beat the Kings and Ducks twice each.

A win would also push the Golden Knights to within one win of the team record for the longest road winning streak. With the win in San Jose before this trip, the streak currently sits at five. It’s one of just four times the Golden Knights have won five straight on the road. They’ve won six in a row twice and pushed one out to seven. That streak also came last year.

No matter what goes down tonight in Buffalo, this trip has been a massive success. But, if they win it, it’ll become an historic one.

Adidas Designer And Icethetics Share Abandoned Team Name, Logo, Jersey Concepts

As the Vegas Falcons prepare for their 6th season in the…

Wait, that doesn’t sound right.

As the Vegas Desert Knights prepare for….

Nope, still feels a bit off.

Six years ago now, a real discussion somewhat similar to this was being held in the conference rooms of the Fidelity National Investments building just off Summerlin Parkway. While the permanent home of the NHL’s 31st franchise was still under construction a team of designers from Adidas headed up by Jeff Eagles met and presented various team names, logos, fonts, colors, jerseys, and more with The Creator, George McPhee, and a few others representing what would eventually become the Vegas Golden Knights.

In a recent YouTube video from jersey fanatics, Icethetics, Jeff Eagles, the Adidas Design Director at the time, shared some of the early team names, logos, and jersey designs for the team that were eventually tweaked or abandoned completely.

The final three names that were presented to the team were Falcons, Desert Knights, and Golden Knights (Silver Knights was also considered as the NHL team name for a time).

Obviously, The Creator was stuck pretty strongly on Knights, so the majority of the logo create centered around Golden or Desert Knights.

Interestingly, a secondary logo seemed to have made it fairly far into the process and was consistently used in the late jersey mockups. It utilized the phrase found on  the Nevada state flag “Battle Born.”

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Vegas Golden Knights Offseason Primer

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Unfortunately, as the Stanley Cup Final rolls on, the Golden Knights have officially begun the offseason. With the 2021 season running into July due to the late start, this is as jam-packed an offseason as we’ve ever seen in the NHL. Here’s a primer of what’s coming up, when, and where the Golden Knights stand.

Free Agency

Typically on July 1st, free agency opens this summer on July 28th at 9 AM Pacific Time.

The Golden Knights currently have 42 players under contract with 18 of them on the NHL roster. Here is a list of those players with the number of years left on their contract in parentheses.

*Restricted free agent upon expiry (VGK remain rights)

Forwards
NHL: Mark Stone (6), Max Pacioretty (2), William Karlsson (6), Jonathan Marchessault (3), Reilly Smith (1), Alex Tuch (5), Chandler Stephenson (3), Ryan Reaves (1), William Carrier (3), Nic Roy (1*), Keegan Kolesar (1*)
Minors: Jack Dugan (1*), Pavel Dorofeyev (2*), Cody Glass (1*), Peyton Krebs (3*), Mason Primeau (3*), Maxim Marushev (2*), Jonas Rondbjerg (1*), Marcus Kallionkieli (3*), Jake Leschyshyn (1*), Lucas Elvenes (1*), Ben Jones (1*), Paul Cotter (2*)

Defensemen
NHL: Alex Pietrangelo (6), Shea Theodore (4), Brayden McNabb (1), Nick Holden (1), Nic Hague (1*), Zach Whitecloud (1*)
Minors: Layton Ahac (3*), Peter Diliberatore (2*), Daniil Miromanov (1*), Connor Corcoran (2*), Lukas Cormier (3*), Zack Hayes (2*), Kaedan Korczak (3*), Brayden Pachal (1*), Jake Bischoff (1)

Goalies
NHL: Marc-Andre Fleury (1), Robin Lehner (4)
Minors: Jiri Patera (2*), Logan Thompson (1*), Dylan Ferguson (1*)

The Golden Knights have just one restricted free agent. That is Dylan Coghlan. Coghlan played 29 NHL games this past season which means he is not eligible for a larger qualifying offer. The Golden Knights may extend him a one-year, two-way offer worth $750,000. Coghlan does not have arbitration rights this year.

This leaves seven players who played NHL games for the Golden Knights as unrestricted free agents this summer. They are Tomas Nosek, Mattias Janmark, Dylan Sikura, Patrick Brown, Tomas Jurco, Alec Martinez, and Oscar Dansk. The Golden Knights hold each of these players’ rights until July 28th at which point they become free to sign with any team.

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Comparing the Remaining Schedules Of The West Division’s Two Top Dogs

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The stretch run is officially here.

The Golden Knights have just 10 games left in the regular season and despite their position atop the division in points, Vegas is still technically looking up at Colorado due to points percentage. The Avalanche missed a week due to COVID Protocols but they are back in action now and have a pair of games in hand on the Golden Knights.

Winning the West Division comes with a pretty hefty prize. Not only does it earn the winner home-ice advantage in the first two rounds, but it also means a matchup in the first round against a losing team as opposed to a decent Minnesota Wild team.

The simplest way the division will be determined is by either Vegas or Colorado sweeping the two games left between the top teams. Those games are both to be played at T-Mobile Arena with the first taking place this Wednesday and the second rescheduled to Monday, May 10th. If either team takes home all four points (especially if they don’t give up any in OT), that team will almost certainly win the division. But if they split, which the two teams have over the first six games, the rest of the schedule becomes interesting.

The Golden Knights have 10 games left while the Avalanche have 12. Both teams have just four home games left which means Colorado play eight on the road compared to Vegas’ six. (See full schedules below)

The biggest advantage for the Golden Knights is rest. Not only are they getting it in the near future with three consecutive off-days coming up after tonight’s game, but they also have just two back-to-backs compared to Colorado’s three.

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Regular Season Team Stats Compared After Year 3

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

With the return to play format set and the league moving straight into the playoffs, the Golden Knights have now completed three NHL regular seasons. Here’s a statistical look at each season in relation to each other.

**Of course, because this season was 11 games short, stats are listed “per game” if necessary**

Points Percentage

2019-20: .606 (8th)
2018-19: .567 (16th)
2017-18: .665 (5th)

Goals For

2019-20: 3.12 (13th)
2018-19: 2.98 (13th)
2017-18: 3.23 (5th)

Goals Against

2019-20: 2.91 (13th)
2018-19: 2.76 (10th)
2017-18: 2.71 (8th)

Shots For

2019-20: 34.1 (1st)
2018-19: 34.1 (2nd)
2017-18: 32.3 (11th)

Shots Against

2019-20: 29.0 (2nd)
2018-19: 29.0 (5th)
2017-18: 30.4 (7th)

Power Play

2019-20: 21.99% (9th)
2018-19: 16.81% (25th)
2017-18: 21.37 (11th)

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Golden Knights Continuing To Step Up For Community

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It seems like every day either the organization or a player is announcing a new program or donation to support the Vegas community during these trying times. So much so that it’s hard to keep up.

So we wanted to take a moment to highlight each and every one of them and we’ll make sure to keep this article updated with any new initiatives or donations that are made in the future.

$1,000,000 to the Nevada COVID-19 Response, Relief and Recovery Task Force

The Creator and Vegas Golden Knights Foundation have donated $1 million to the task force set up by Governor Sisolak and headed by former MGM CEO Jim Murren.

The money will be used to purchase necessary supplies, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including surgical masks, N95-equivalent CDC-approved respirator masks, medical gloves, and medical gowns.

Support VGK part-time employees for all games missed

Marc-Andre Fleury, VGK players, and The Creator have committed a minimum of $500,000 to pay T-Mobile Arena employees for any games that are canceled.

This includes third-party vendors, service providers, food and beverage employees, retail associates, medical staff, event personnel, production and cleaning operations. Also the entire VGK Cast and Crew – including in-arena hosts, PA announcer, Vegas Vivas!, Golden Belles, Knights Guard, Knight Line, the dj, The Golden Knight, music director, camera operators, control room crew, Battle Wagon driver, Villain and Watchman – and the drivers of the ice resurfacers. Vegas Golden Knights interns who work game days across all the VGK business teams will also be assisted by these efforts. Also the 51/49 raffle staff.

These funds are expected to be paid when the NHL officially announces that games have been canceled as opposed to postponed.

7,500 meals to doctors, nurses and employees at local hospitals

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14 Best Regular Season Games In Vegas Golden Knights History

The Golden Knights made franchise history Saturday overcoming a three-goal deficit to come back and win for the first time. They did it against the defending Stanley Cup Champions and a team Vegas had lost four straight to, the St. Louis Blues.

It was certainly one of the most memorable regular season games in Golden Knights history, so we put a poll on Twitter to see how many would rank it atop the list.

Of course, posting it 20 minutes after the game ends leads to a bit of recency bias, so I decided to go back through the record books and look for the best regular season games the Golden Knights have ever won. Here are the 14 I came up with.

14 – December 8th, 2017 – at Nashville

The first half of the first-ever Dad’s Trip started out well for the Golden Knights as they took a 2 goal lead. With Malcolm Subban in net against his big brother PK, Vegas surrendered three straight sending them into the final minute down a goal. With the goalie pulled, Erik Haula netted the game-tying goal to send the game to OT and eventually shootout. Subban stopped six shootout attempts to help seal one of the most impressive road victories in franchise history.

13 – January 2nd, 2020 – vs Philadelphia

Things got off to a poor start as Philadelphia spent a majority of the first 10 minutes in the Vegas zone, scoring once, but the tide turned in a hurry quickly after. The Golden Knights scored four 1st period goals to head to intermission at 4-2. Fleury stopped a penalty shot, Jon Merrill scored while playing forward, and Pacioretty scored twice. The game got really interesting at the end as a pair of penalties forced the Golden Knights to kill off a 5-on-3 in the dying seconds of the game. Brayden McNabb played penalty kill hero and the Golden Knights sealed their 3rd straight win of the homestand.

12 – December 14th, 2017 – vs Pittsburgh

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

At the time, it wasn’t a guarantee that Marc-Andre Fleury would even be available for the first time his new team would face his old one. He was able to return from injury one game before and made the emotional start against the Penguins. The crowd was fairly close to 50/50 but everyone was cheering for the Golden Knights goalie. A late Jon Merrill goal won the game for Vegas and Fleury allowed just one goal to beat the Penguins.

11 – October 21st, 2017 – vs St. Louis

The Golden Knights were rolling on the team’s first homestand despite losing Fleury a few games earlier. This was a tight game throughout and Vegas used two power play goals to take a 2-1 lead. Then, Malcolm Subban injured his knee and Oscar Dansk was forced to come in and make his NHL debut. One of the first shots he saw tied the game and it appeared it was only a matter of time that St. Louis would put another by him and win the game. But in OT, William Karlsson’s first goal of the year won it for the Golden Knights and the magical run to start the inaugural season continued.

10 – February 28th, 2019 – vs Florida

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In terms of entertainment, it doesn’t get much better than a game with 10 goals and is decided in shootout. Vegas fell behind 3-1 after allowing two power play goals to Mike Hoffman. The next three goals went to the Golden Knights to give Vegas a 4-3 lead. Florida took a 5-4 lead late into the 3rd but former Panther Reilly Smith tied it up with a shot that fluttered past the goalie and into the net. The shootout was a goalie battle as Fleury stopped all three and Theodore tallied the game winner. It was also Mark Stone’s second game as a Golden Knight

9 – October 2nd, 2019 – vs San Jose

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

If the Golden Knight fan base ever needed a regular season victory, it was this one. After the nightmare that was Game 7 ending the previous season, the pent up anger from the summer all came out on Opening Night. Like seemingly every Sharks/Golden Knights game, Vegas scored in the first five minutes, and then again in the first 10 but it wasn’t a cakewalk as San Jose cut the 2-0 to 2-1 in the 1st. It was Cody Glass’ first career goal in his first career game that gave Vegas the cushion they needed. The only thing this game was missing was an Evander Kane ejection, but that’s only because that happened a few nights earlier when the two teams met in the preseason leading to Kane being suspended for the first three games of the year.

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End Of 2018-19 Season Locker Room Interviews

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

This is the raw audio from every end of season interview we were a part of in the Golden Knights locker room and at the podium. The highlights are Eakin, Bellemare, Marchessault, Foley, and McPhee.

So it’s a bit easier to follow and in case you want to jump around a bit, here are the timecodes for each person.

0:00 Tuch
6:25 Bellemare
19:52 Stastny
26:09 Carpenter
29:40 Pacioretty
32:19 Theodore
35:39 Haula
40:04 Schmidt
44:18 Eakin
50:23 Karlsson
54:19 Marchessault (Part 1)
58:12 Smith
58:47 Carrier
1:03:17 Marchessault (Part 2)
1:09:25 Pirri
1:13:18 Stone
1:17:49 Subban
1:26:49 Foley
1:48:47 McPhee
2:05:01 Gallant

Locker Room Clean-Out Day Highlights

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In the final media availability of the season nearly every Golden Knights player spoke to the media. We also had extended press conferences with The Creator, George McPhee, and Gerard Gallant.

Of course, there will probably be 50 stories on this site based off many of the comments on this day, but we wanted to share some of the highlights from the day.

(If you would like to listen to every second of the nearly 2 hours and 15 minutes of locker room interviews that we participated in, go here or to our podcast feed.)

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Golden Knights Have Struggled To Stay Healthy, But Are At The Right Time

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

A major part of this season for the Golden Knights has been battling through injuries and the suspension of Nate Schmidt. With just one game left on the schedule, Vegas has played just 26 of the 81 games (32%) with their top-six forwards and top-four defensemen intact.

12 of those games have come since the trade deadline when Mark Stone was acquired and the Golden Knights have won 10 of those 12 games. Prior to the deadline, Vegas was healthy for just 14 of the first 63 games (22%).

By healthy, I mean not missing any of William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith, Paul Stastny, Max Pacioretty, Alex Tuch (or Erik Haula), Nate Schmidt, Brayden McMabb, Deryk Engelland, and Shea Theodore.

In those 14 games, the Golden Knights won just five. They’ve played 48 of the 81 games without a top-six foward, and have won 26 of them. They’ve been without at least one of their four primary centers 38 times and won 19 of them. And they’ve been missing a top-four defenseman nine times and won four.

Going into this exercise (because of these two tweets), I was expecting to see a team that thrived when healthy and floundered when not. But that’s simply not the case. Instead, the Golden Knights have been basically the same under any circumstance. Except for one… since the beginning of “The Stone Age.”

They have a winning record when missing at least one top-six forward and are above a point per game when missing either a center or a top-four defenseman.

Looking at the roster, the Golden Knights appear to be fairly deep. Lose a top-six forward, you can plug in Brandon Pirri, Tomas Nosek, or hopefully Erik Haula. Lose a top-four D and Nick Holden, Colin Miller, or Jon Merrill can take the place. Go without a center and Tomas Nosek or Ryan Carpenter can fill the void.

This is all good news heading into the postseason, where injuries will inevitably happen. As of right now, with just one game left to play, the Golden Knights are about as healthy as a hockey team can be. Since getting Stone, that’s meant nothing but winning, hopefully, it continues starting next week.

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