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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5 WINNIPEG JETS 0 (42-27-5 89 PTS)

The game couldn’t have started any faster for the Jets and the Golden Knights. On the first shift of the game Mark Stone laid a hit on Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler which the Jets captain didn’t appreciate. The 6’5 Wheeler and the 6’4 Stone slugged it out in a good old fashioned heavyweight bout. Both players were given five-minute major penalties for fighting.

After tempers settled down William Karlsson and Reilly Smith took over. Karlsson scored his 21st goal of the season 1:24 into the game, and Smith added his 16th seven minutes later. The 1st period was a big success for Vegas but unfortunately, Max Pacioretty left the game late in the period with an apparent injury.

The Golden Knights would have to start the 2nd period down a man as Pacioretty wouldn’t come back. Vegas would be forced to kill multiple penalties in the second frame but it didn’t impact their offense. Tomas Nosek nabbed his 8th goal of the year on shorthanded shot just under the crossbar. Smith and Karlsson would join the party again and both added 2nd period goals :24 seconds apart. After forty minutes in the books the Golden Knights controlled the game 5-0.

In the third Malcolm Subban continued to turn away every chance the Jets had.

In the third Malcolm Subban continued to turn away every chance the Jets had. Overall the goalie had 20 saves for his third consecutive victory. Subban and his teammates smoked the Jets 5-0 and his first career shutout.

The Golden Knights improve their record to (42-27-5) and remain in the Pacific Division’s 3rd place position, with eight games left to play. The team will get back on the ice Saturday as Vegas will host the Detroit Red Wings. Opening faceoff is scheduled for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets at T-Mobile Arena.

  • What are the Golden Knights best at? (This story is coming eventually)
  • Hopefully a Max Pacioretty update

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** William Karlsson
** Reilly Smith
* Malcolm Subban

 

WINNIPEG JETS 6 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 (32-26-5 69 PTS)

The Golden Knights were horrendous out of the gates giving up a pair within the first 90 seconds of the game. They worked their way back into the game with one in the first from Bellemare and the equalizer in the 2nd by Theodore. But, like they did in the first 90 seconds, the Golden Knights fell asleep again at the end of the 2nd allowing two more. Jonathan Marchessault got Vegas back within one with a quick goal in the 3rd. But (which is the story of this game) two penalties from Pacioretty and McNabb sent the Jets on a 5-on-3. Winnipeg scored on that one, and that was enough to bury the Golden Knights for the night.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Winnipeg Jets at T-Mobile Arena.

  • Just how close were the Golden Knights to getting Erik Karlsson, and how might that trade falling apart effect this deadline?

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Alex Tuch
** Jonathan Marchessault
* Shea Theodore

The Prelude To The Sequel?

**Steve Carp’s twice-weekly column publishes every Wednesday and Sunday during the Golden Knights season.** 

Watching Tuesday’s first meeting between the Golden Knights and Winnipeg Jets reminded me just how good the hockey is when these two teams get together.

It’s a fast-skating, hard-hitting, opportunistic kind of game. The atmosphere at the Bell MTS Place is amazing, just like it is at T-Mobile Arena. You can see both teams have a mutual respect for each other.

And they should. Both have been smartly built by their general managers. Both are well-coached. Both are always prepared. Both are playing at a high level despite key injuries.

Which begs the question: If you’re a Golden Knights fan, would you sign up right now for a sequel of last year’s Western Conference Finals?

Damn right you would. Ditto if you’re just a fan of the sport.

Tuesday may have been a prelude for what could happen this spring. The Jets prevailed 4-1 on the strength of a short-handed goal and pair of final-minute empty-netters. The Knights, despite a team-record 26 second-period shots and seven power-play opportunities, managed to get just one of their 43 shots by Jets backup goalie Laurent Brossoit. He is 10-0-1 as a starter this year and has won seven straight.

You know what, I like periods like that. I like games like that where I’m tested early and often. The second period was definitely one of those and it got me into the game. There’s not a lot of rest in between. I like that. -Brossoit

Yeah, the Knights ran into a hot goaltender. It happens. Think of all the opponents who mutter to themselves on the bench when they face Marc-Andre Fleury. But the Knights can take solace in the fact they went into a tough building, fell behind 2-0, kept battling, made it a one-goal game thanks to you-know-who (more on him in a moment) and had plenty of chances to gain a point or two.

If there’s a postseason rematch, will the Knight cut another Jet in half? (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

But that’s what makes things so compelling when I watch the Knights and the Jets. The matchups are great. The coaching battle so acute.

These two teams have two more meetings left in the regular season, both in Las Vegas — Feb. 22 and March 21.— and I would anticipate it’ll be more of the same. Hopefully, it leads to another meeting in the postseason.

By then, I would like to think Jonathan Marchessault will have scored again and William Karlsson will have registered a point. The team’s No. 2 and 3 scorers are trying to battle through some tough times. Marchessault has just one goal in his last 10 games while Karlsson has just one point since Christmas and has been held off the scoresheet for eight straight games, his longest drought as a member of VGK.

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WINNIPEG JETS 4 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 (28-17-4 60 PTS)

Vegas spent a majority of the first two periods on the power play, including a late 5-on-3, but the only goal that came from it was a shorthanded goal for Winnipeg. A  turnover at the blueline led to the Jets second goal and the Golden Knights headed to the locker room down a pair in the 2nd. Vegas finally got on the board early in the 3rd, but Laurent Brossoit played unbelievably. Winnipeg added two empty-netters late.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place.

  • Nikita Gusev update from George McPhee
  • Carp’s Wednesday column presented by the Jimmerson Law Firm

Ken’s Three Stars
*** Laurent Brossoit
** Laurent Brossoit
* Laurent Brossoit

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 WINNIPEG JETS 1 (4-1 VGK)

Vegas’ forecheck came out firing to start Game 5 creating all sorts of turnovers in the Jets d-zone. About five minutes in one hopped off Ryan Carpenter, directly to Alex Tuch in front and he spun and got it past Connor Hellebuyck. Vegas stayed in control for a bit of the period but it faded as the Jets 2nd line ramped up the pressure. Winnipeg tied it on a clean draw win and a shot to the top corner by Josh Morrissey. The 2nd period was a high octane one and it ended with Ryan Reaves scoring his first ever Golden Knights goal to give Vegas the lead heading into the final period. The Jets scratched and clawed but could not find a way to get one past Fleury. The Vegas Golden Knights have won the Western Conference and are going to the Stanley Cup Final!!!

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets in Game 5 of Western Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell MTS Place.

  • No clue, but the Golden Knights are going to the Stanley Cup Final!

Three Stars
*** Josh Morrissey
** Ryan Reaves
* Alex Tuch

“Are You Serious? What Do You Mean Luck?”

Connor Hellebuyck used the word “luck.” Adam Lowry chose “bounces.” Blake Wheeler said the Jets would have won Game 4 “nine out of ten times,” and Tyler Myers believes his team has been better of the two “for the last five periods.”

The narrative floating around the series has been that the Jets have had control but through a combination of Marc-Andre Fleury’s domination and a touch of luck the Golden Knights are one win away from punching their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final.

Are you having a lucky series? -SinBin.vegas

Are you serious? What do you mean luck? I think we’re playing pretty well. Winnipeg is playing well too. I wouldn’t say we are lucky. We are playing good hockey, we wouldn’t be here if we weren’t a good hockey team. Maybe we’ve had a couple puck luck goals but there’s some luck that’s gone against us too in this series. No, I think we are playing good hockey. -Gerard Gallant

The Jets have the advantage in shot attempts, shots on goal, scoring chances, high danger scoring chances, and expected goals, yet they find themselves down 12-9 in the only stat that matters and 3-1 on the big scoreboard that determines who wins the Western Conference.

Nothing this man is doing is this series has been lucky either. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Winnipeg can call it whatever they like, but the fact of the matter is they haven’t been the better team in this series to this point. The games have been tied for 25:39 in the series, and the Golden Knights have scored the tiebreaking goal five of the six times.

The Golden Knights are forcing the Jets into mistakes and then capitalizing on them. It’s what they’ve done all year, and for whatever reason, opposing teams, media, and fans can’t seem to wrap their head around it.

Nonetheless, no matter what anyone thinks, if the any of the next three games go like the previous three, the Jets (like the Sharks and Kings) will leave the series like most leave the fine magic shows of Las Vegas wondering, how in the world are they doing this?

And just like the people who pay hundreds of dollars every night to be amazed by con artists who are good at misdirection, they’ve head home none the wiser and the show on the Vegas Strip will go on. Oh, and none of it has to do with luck.

Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets: Game 4 Western Conference Finals – Photo Gallery – May 18th, 2018

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Golden Knights Ability To Force Errors Continues To Leave Opponents Shaking Their Heads

They’ll call the Golden Knights opportunistic. They say Vegas capitalizes on others mistakes, and they’ll throw out quotes like this…

We win that game nine times out of 10. Tonight was the one. -Blake Wheeler, Jets captain

Those terms don’t resonate for the Golden Knights though because they don’t believe dumb luck is what’s making it happen.

Sometimes you create your own bounces. -Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

You go do what you can on your shift, and you rely on the next guy to go do his job on his shift, and hopefully that wear and tear will eventually push them into making a play they don’t want to make. Nate Schmidt

This is a look many goaltenders have had at T-Mobile Arena. It’s a look of confusion, but it shouldn’t be.  (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Vegas is tenacious on the forecheck, they hound teams in the neutral zone, they transition from defense to offense faster than any team in the NHL, they roll four dangerous lines and three solid d-pairings, and they have high-end talent that finish the chances when they come.

This isn’t a mirage, this is a darn good hockey team and it doesn’t take much to end up on the wrong side of the result when teams play against them.

Most people will call the mishaps of the Jets, Sharks, and Kings mistakes, but it’s probably best to call them something else. “Forced errors” is the term that popped into my head, but if you’ve got a better one let me hear it. No matter what we call them though, the Golden Knights are the best in the league at creating them.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 WINNIPEG JETS 2 (3-1 VGK)

For the third time in a row in the series the Golden Knights got on the board first. It came on a power play after a bit of a foolish penalty by Tyler Myers. On the power play the Golden Knights won three consecutive draws and got shots on all of them. The third one was won back to the point, then a pass from Marchessault opened up the net for William Karlsson and like he’s been doing all year Karlsson buried it. Just as Game 3 the Jets tied the game but the Golden Knights took no time to retake the lead, this time on a Tomas Nosek’s first goal of the post season. The Jets came out flying (yep, I did that) to start the 3rd and tied the game. It stayed that way for a bit but Reilly Smith finally got on the board in the series after a bobble at the blue line by the Jets. Winnipeg gave it everything they had but the Golden Knights held on for dear life and won Game 4. They’ll head to Winnipeg for Game 5 with a chance to win their way into the Stanley Cup Finals!

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets in Game 4 of Western Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at T-Mobile Arena.

  • Photo gallery from SinBin.vegas photographer Brandon Andreasen
  • Winnipeg keeps making miserable mistakes and the Golden Knights are taking full advantage.
  • When the games have been tied, Vegas has been the better, and faster, team. (Possible)

Three Stars
*** William Karlsson
** Marc-Andre Fleury
* Reilly Smith


Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets: Game 3 Western Conference Finals – Photo Gallery – May 16th, 2018

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