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CALGARY FLAMES 4 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 (35-24-7, 77 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights traveled to Calgary for a Pacific Division game with the Calgary Flames. The Flames outshot the Golden Knights 13-6 in the opening twenty minutes, but Adin Hill was sharp in net to keep the game scoreless through twenty minutes.

Calgary outshot Vegas again in the middle frame but the visiting team would go on to take the first lead of the game. Newcomer Anthony Mantha scored his first goal as a Golden Knight, giving his new club a 1-0 lead late in the second period.

The Flames fought back to even the score 4:00 into the final frame. Calgary went on to follow up with two more goals over a ten-minute span. Bruce Cassidy pulled Hill from the net with three minutes remaining, but Calgary scored two empty net goals to stretch their advantage to 4-1.

The Golden Knights record drops to 35-24-7 falling to the Flames 3-2 in Calgary. Vegas will look to bounce back on Sunday afternoon against New Jersey. Puck drop against the Devils is set for 12:30 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Sleepy game for the Golden Knights who just never quite got it going in the offensive end. Despite that, Calgary kept them in it most of the night by turning the puck over time and time again. VGK got one and been entered the 3rd with a lead, but that wasn’t enough as they gave up four straight in the 3rd. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome.

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Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Anthony Mantha
** Alex Pietrangelo
* Jack Eichel

 

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64 Comments

  1. Perro

    Dust off the clubs boys
    Gonna be playing golf EARLY this year.

    No heart or desire to play hockey, maybe they can up there golf game this year

  2. D

    Lethargic lame lousy losers

  3. Jake

    Why would Hanifin want to sign long term with this punchless, gutless bunch of players?

    Go back East to your family.

    How can a defending Cup Champion be so gutless, barely hanging onto a playoff slot?

    • DeezNutz

      Correct Jake. If I were Hanifin I would get the hell out of there the first chance I get. I’m not playing for a team that is this easy to defend most nights. I imagine Hertl is watching highlights from this season and noticing a pattern of these guys not having the slightest clue how to score goals like every other team in the league can. This team is just average.

    • Very simple Jake – they lack the winning killer attitude. This unfortunately equates to poor play, lack of intensity and desire. They look worn out compared to Calgary. They were out played the majority of the game and couldn’t put the puck in the back of the net when they did have a chance. It’s one thing to lose when you are playing to win but it’s unacceptable not being engaged to win. Early golf maybe sooner than most posters on this site want to admit. Hope I am wrong but sure not optimistic otherwise!

  4. DeezNutz

    I’m sick and tired of this season. Barbashev is an absolute waste of 5 million dollars this idiot can’t even score on a breakaway and is a turnover machine. Nic Nague is one of the biggest plugs in the entire league he is USELESS out there. Hill kept them I’m it for majority of the game but I knew with VGK’s pathetic offense making a return that he would fold like a lawn chair eventually. I’m also starting to get sick of Bruce’s passive rope-a-dope defensive system that requires all 6 D-men to play perfectly for it to work especially when you have those plugs Whitecloud and Hague out there defending. Just miss the playoffs already so I don’t have to watch this team try to learn how to score goals like NHL players every night Calgary was giving up 6 goals a game until they faced this team of course. Just another all around pathetic performance like the majority of their games this season.

  5. Richie-Rich

    Game 66 Analysis CGY 4 VGK 1

    The Golden Knights were out hustled, out muscled, and just seemed out of sync for the entire game. Credit Aiden Hill for keeping them in this one as long as he did. The wheels all came off in the 3rd period, however. Whitecloud gave up the game winner when he allowed Coleman to get position inside of him for the go ahead 2nd goal. Still, after that the fan faithful were hoping for a 3rd come from behind win in a row. It was not to be as Calgary snagged the insurance goal forcing Cassidy to pull Hill out for some more 6-on-5 magic. This time, however, the magic was left behind in the USA.

    CGY improves to 32-9-5 (69pts). They remain 8 points behind the VGK for the 2nd Wild Card spot, but the VGK does have a game in hand. With the loss the Golden Knights lost an opportunity to leap ahead of the Kings into the 3rd playoff position. The Wild are closing in on the Golden Knights with a 33-27-7 (73pts), just 4 points from knocking the Golden Knights out of the playoff spot altogether. The VGK also has a game in hand over MIN.

    There are 16 games left in the season with 2 of those games against the Wild! This is not the spot that we expected our Stanley Cup Champions to be in. Every single game, every single point can make the difference now between making the playoffs or not.

    Stars?
    3rd goes to Eichel
    2nd to Hill (for keeping them in it despite being peppered in periods 1 and 2)
    1st to to Mantha for his first goal and point as a Golden Knight

    Our big stars, Marchy and Karlsson were pretty much completely shut down and out in this contest.

    The Golden Knights are 4-5-1 since the All Star Break. This is not going to be good enough to make the playoffs. There are 16 games left in the season. I have added two MW games in the remaining schedule, both against the Wild. Win those eight games for 16 points and the team finishes with 93 points. That won’t be good enough to get in, which means they are going to need to win 3 or 4 games against teams ahead of them.

    SINCE ALL STAR BREAK *Playoff Team, **Wild Card Team (MW = must win game)

    26 2/22 H-TOR* LOSS 7-3
    25 2/24 A-OTT (MW) LOSS 4-3 OTL
    24 2/27 A-TOR* WIN 6-2
    23 2/29 A-BOS* LOSS 5-4
    22 3/02 A-BUF (MW) LOSS 2-7
    21 3/04 A-CBJ (MW) LOSS 3-6
    20 3/07 H-VAN* LOSS 1-3
    19 3/09 H-DET** WIN 4-3
    18 3/12 A-SEA (MW) WIN 5-4 OT
    17 3/14 A-CGY (MW) LOSS 1-4

    REMAINING GAMES

    16 3/17 H-NJD (MW)
    15 3/19 H-TBL**
    14 3/21 H-SEA (MW)
    13 3/23 H-CBJ (MW)
    12 3/25 A-STL**
    11 3/26 A-NSH**
    10 3/28 A-WPG*
    09 3/30 A-MIN***(MW)
    08 4/02 H-VAN*
    07 4/05 A-ARI (MW)
    06 4/08 A-VAN*
    05 4/10 A-EDM*
    04 4/12 H-MIN***(MW)
    03 4/14 H-COL*
    02 4/16 H-CHI (MW)
    01 4/18 H-ANA (MW)

    • RR – realistic speaking the door to be a playoff team is nearly shut. While I hope they make it I have serious doubt that’s going to happen. We need those behind us to come off the track and lose as much as we need Vegas to win which doesn’t appear to be happening enough. It’s difficult to watch and accept a Stanly Cup champion team’s lack the heart and attitude to do what’s necessary to win recognizing the precarious position they have put themselves in.

      • Richie-Rich

        Well, they still control their own destiny —- for now. But they are under .500 since the all-star break with no signs of breaking out of it. I mean face it, the last two wins came off of some hockey magic late in the game.

        I have not seen the consistency, or as Cassidy put it, the urgency from this years roster. If they are going to get in they need to win at least 10 or 11 of the remaining 16 games. 10 gets them to 97, 11 to 99. Anything less than that is a roll of the dice. The Wild look to have the best shot to knock us out. It would be extra hurtful if Fleury is in goal when they do so. We play them 2 more times in this final run.

  6. Niggles

    I still believe in them. Go Knights, Go!

  7. Jake

    Coaching change in the works?

    • Perro

      At this point I’m beginning to think this may be a real possibility.

      They can flip the switch and play well when they want to, they just don’t seem to want to.
      Gotta be a reason for it.

      Maybe coach lost the room

      • TS

        Perro, how could Coach lose the players, after the glorious Cup run last season?. Nope. Not possible. The players have lost the winning attitude. Coach can’t put on skates the WIN for them..players know precisely what it takes to win, they just aren’t performing as Cup winners… no desire to put the effort in, as their season slips away. I think they gave up months ago, by the way they played( or DIDN’T play). I know it sucks…

        • Perro

          Losing the respect of the players can happen in an INSTANT.
          I’ve been in management most of my adult life starting in the Marine Corps to owning my own business, and it doesn’t take much. The coach can’t really do MUCH except inspire the players, and CLEARLY the players aren’t inspired. Like you said he can’t put on skates and do it for them, so all that’s left are words, and clearly his words aren’t working. Coaches system works VERY well, I mean we won a cup with it and look at Edmonton after they fired woodcraft, they adopted the EXACT style we play and they have been super successful since.

          I would argue that if the coach had the room , and the players respected him then they wouldn’t be playing so poorly.

          All just a guess, but I’m seriously beginning to wonder

          • ThG

            the ice was pretty bad, or maybe their sticks weren’t taped up properly, the pucks eluded their sticks all nite long.

          • TS

            Perro, do you think Cassidy just talks so dang FAST that his players can’t keep up??. KIDDING…

          • Perro

            None of us know the reason why. None of us are in the locker room.
            I’m just throwing out a theory as to why the motivation seems GONE.

            CUP hangover?
            Burnout from playing Cassidy’s system ?
            Players hate the coach?

            Who knows

    • Richie-Rich

      No, not a chance. This is not a coaching issue. It’s a player desire and urgency once. They’re thinking that they get an automatic playoff position just because they won the Cup last year. That attitude needs to change and very soon.

      Let’s just run the numbers. The VGK has been 4-5-1 since the break. If they repeat that they will be at 86 points with 6 games remaining and gasping for playoff breath.

  8. Earl the Replanted Transplant

    The team needs a retool, simple as that. We all see the players who are sandbagging. No pride in their game, lazy weak, soft play. Of course I say this from my comfy couch. Maybe next year. Not gonna repeat this year.

    • They are collecting a paycheck – they certainly are not earning one. PD was supposed to be covering the guy that scored the go ahead goal and just let him skate on by then couldn’t catch him. All in all a pathetic performance by the team.

  9. The reeling flames…the fire sale flames….no pun intended…the teetering on the brink of falling out of playoff contention…outwill us…outplay us…outwork us…they have odd man rushes…we dont know the meaning of that…seriously no kidding..i cant think of the last time we had a 2 on 1….nor an effective 3 on 2 rush…snaring a rebound in front…not on our menu these days…Hill played well tonight under siege…but…i fully expected Logan in net tonight…i wonder why he wasnt??…was i concerned before?…no i wasnt…am i concerned now?…how could i not be?

  10. Duckboy

    Maybe Calgary was motivated for revenge with 2 ex knights and Hanafin coming back to Calgary. The knights look done, Smells like spring 2022.

    Even though he scored, can we all agree the Anthony Mantha experiment is a failure? It seems like all he does is just circle from blue line to blue line and do NOTHING. Picked up the trash tonight and scored. He is WASTE for his size and speed.

    Hill plays a good game then one rolls up his stick. Bad goal, but no support. Bad defending on the rest of the goals.

    Preparing for them letting this year slip away.

    • Jake

      The season is slipping away along with the draft picks they gave away for two rentals who don’t want to sign with gutless, heartless, losers.

  11. TS

    Not one, but TWO empty net goals against us— why why why does coach keep trying this??? It was a one goal game until these two easy Flame goals–makes NO sense!!

  12. Tim

    The Knights sadly to say have mailed it in.

  13. Bobby

    One step forward, two steps back. Has to be deeper issues.

  14. knights fan in minny

    that was pathetic i thought mantha was brought here to be physical i have not seen him throwa check yet might as well put cotter back in he at least will hit somebody th window is closing

    • ThG

      mantha is not a physical player

      that is known

      back east he was known as player who never “sweats”

      • Niggles

        If true, it definitely tracks with the way he’s playing for us. Big Pussy might be a better nickname.

  15. Rashaad

    I challenge even the most optimistic (Pistol Pete) to dispute my theory on what has happened here.

    Injuries are not an excuse right now. They kicked ass down the stretch without Mark Stone. They just got OUT WORKED by a team that has been selling off their roster for the past six weeks. Losing or getting goalied is one thing but getting OUTWORKED is not a good sign.

    The VGK have reached the top with their championship and seem to now have nothing left to play for. The great quote by boxing legend Marvin Hagler says it all.

    “It’s tough to get out of bed to do roadwork at 5 am when you’ve been sleeping in silk pajamas.”

    They are still celebrating their championship with fancy engagements at the The Wynn resort while teams like Nashville are held accountable by having their U2 concert taken away from them. Tomas Hertl should help but if the guys that were here last year don’t step up then this season is done. That’s the bad news. The good news is that these are all the same guys that were here last year so the pieces are in place, they just need to get their mojo back.

    There is nothing that they do this year that would taint last years championship for me and in my opinion but it would be a shame if they just squeaked into the playoffs and got throttled in the first round. It’s a bad look and it would make it look like they were lucky and a one and done team.

    • Vic

      Your analysis is spot on. Inexcusable to lose that game. They lose to another unknown goalie, and hard to find any net front presence. Even the not so good teams find a way to clog up anything the VGK try on offense. Does the coaching staff have the ability to fix this? Not so sure anymore as they can’t seem to get that hunger and chemistry back.

  16. JB

    I’m just so disappointed in the effort. That’s all I can say.

    • TS

      Me too, JB. I love this team, just really disappointed in them. We have faced adversity every year, but they didn’t handle it well this season. They lacked the WILL to win. They gave up.

      .

  17. TS

    Rashaad, love the quote. I agree that it would suck to limp into the playoffs, only to get embarrassed in the 1st round, giving fans elsewhere a comedy show of JOKES about them. May be better to perfect their putts on the golfcourse.

  18. ThG

    so much for the jinx of pulling a man !!!

    and it’s so stupid to do with three minutes left in the game, these decisions need to be analyzed versus actual game time situations.

  19. Jim

    I blame Maverick … What’s their record since they got that stupid dog around?

    • TS

      Jim, oh, go ahead and blame the Dog. The dog always gets i blamed cause he can’t defend himself!

  20. Jim

    the motto last season was “it hurts to win”

    the motto this season is “it’s painful to watch”

    • TS

      Jim, ” painful to watch, indeed”..I’ve said that many times this season.

  21. NHhell

    The lack of effort, the lack of intensity, with no fire, no desire, no hustle, no muscle, no chance.

    It is outrageous that 2 minor league dmen who went to Calgary from the Vgk played with more desire and hockey sense than the multimillionaire veteran first d pairing of the Vgk.

  22. Rick

    With an outsiders perspective (Colorado fan) I think you folks are misguided on the lack of effort thing. They’re worn down. I listened to a bit of Ken’s audio clip and he wonders why can’t they play to their identity – heavy forecheck, near lights out goaltending. It’s that the style that Cassidy coaches is very difficult to sustain over time. It’s hard to play hockey that way game in and game out.

    I liken last year’s VGK to the 2019 Blues and am surprised others don’t see it as well. A somewhat aging team is languishing in the standings but then combine buying into a new coach’s heavy approach with a journeyman goalie going on a surprise heater for a magical run to a Cup. And then they start the next season like a house on fire again but slowly dwindle as the goalie who just got a big contract is not nearly as unbeatable and the team looks slowly cooked. It’s very physically difficult to sustain playing hockey the way Craig Berube wants it played and the same holds true for Bruce Cassidy. Look at how relieved the entire Boston team seemed to be rid of him. Krejci came back out of semi-retirement even and DeBrusk no longer wanted to be traded.

    That doesn’t take away at all from what Cassidy and Vegas accomplished last season – banners fly forever and you all know how difficult a proposition it is to win a Cup – but the reality is that teams get slowly worn down from having to play that way game after game, season after season. Look at the Blues since that Cup run.

    • NHhell

      Oh, you mean the guy who led Boston to a first round exit vs an 8th place team? No, I will choose the guy who decisively won the Stanley cup over that same Florida team that beat your hero.

      hate to break the news to you, but the Vgk do NOT have a physical forechecking team in the O zone other than the 4th line guys. no, the top 3 lines get beat in the neutral zone.

      The only ones worn out are the fans watching this shitshow.

    • Pistol Pete

      Intelligent analysis. Saving the best for the postseason hopefully but then that might be overly optimistic.

      • Rick

        I suspect that’s exactly what they’re hoping to do. Find a way to just get in, get Hertl – who should be an excellent addition – and hope to flip the switch. Earlier this season the Avs were losing 3-0 in Dallas and ended up winning 6-3. Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek were talking about the game on their podcast and Friedman said, ‘what happened?’ Marek responded, ‘simple Elliotte, the Avs just flipped on their Stanley Cup forecheck and the game was over.’ I think he was mostly being serious. There’s no doubt teams save something (or a lot) for the playoffs. I would selfishly love to think Vegas is not going to be a threat this year but I wouldn’t count them out.

    • Rashaad

      Such a great post by Rick. I wonder is there is a variation of truth between what he said (team being worn down) and what I was said. (have reached the top and are not motivated anymore) The question is how is this fixed so we are more like Tampa who won back to back and less like St. Louis who dramatically plummeted after winning the cup.

      While my optimism dwindles a bit with games like this one, I am still optimistic that they have time to fix this.

      Here is some history…….

      On March 23, 2000 the New Jersey Devils fired head coach Robbie Ftorek and replaced him with Larry Robinson. This was just before the playoffs with only 7 games to go in the regular season, much later in that season then where we are now. The Devils quickly turned things around and won the Stanley Cup. I would never suggest firing Cassidy as I agree 100% with Richie-Rich that this is not a coaching issue. My point is that they have time to fix this.

      • Rick

        Thanks Rashaad. I definitely agree that there’s still plenty of time.

  23. LVsc

    The VGK defensive system is completely flawed now, because of 2 things that have changed.
    One is the fact that opposing teams have figured out that the way to beat the Knights system is to use transition speed and score off the rush, and de-emphasize the dump-in and the cycle.

    and the other is the fact that the VGK players show a complete lack of lateral skating mobility and effort. Have you noticed that the VGK forwards who are supposed to clog the neutral zone just wave goodbye as the opponents skate right by them and around them in the NZ ?
    and that results in the VGK defensemen being caught flatfooted and backing in to their own goal, and just scrambling while the opponent gets a quality, high danger shot many times each game.

  24. Rashaad

    Rick, great points and something else to consider. It just shows how impressive Tampa was to have won consecutive cups and play in three straight Stanley Cup Finals.

  25. Craig Teglia

    I’AM GOING TO SAVE A BUNDLE ON PLAYOFFS THIS YEAR. PLAN YOUR VACATION EARLY

  26. Rashaad

    Such a great post by Rick. I wonder is there is a variation of truth between what he said (team being worn down) and what I was said. (have reached the top and are not motivated anymore) The question is how is this fixed so we are more like Tampa who won back to back and less like St. Louis who dramatically plummeted after winning the cup.

    While my optimism dwindles a bit with games like this one, I am still optimistic that they have time to fix this.

    Here is some history…….

    On March 23, 2000 the New Jersey Devils fired head coach Robbie Ftorek and replaced him with Larry Robinson. This was just before the playoffs with only 7 games to go in the regular season, much later in that season then where we are now. The Devils quickly turned things around and won the Stanley Cup. I would never suggest firing Cassidy as I agree 100% with Richie-Rich that this is not a coaching issue. My point is that they have time to fix this.

  27. Frank

    Lots of doom and gloom on this board…. to be sure… I have not liked their game lately at all. No scoring touch… far to soft on zone entries and in the D zone and allowing too many odd man rushes against. That being said, this is a talented team and I am looking for someone besides Marchessault/Karlsson to show it (ahem… EICHEL, BARBASHEV, STEPHENSON et al.)….. There is now little room for error and we need to start stringing wins together. I remain faithful until the fat lady finally sings.

  28. ThG

    it takes a while for 1) players coming off IR to get their timing back 2) new players to be tuned into the system of play

    give it some more time, do not avail yourself to the depths of wailing, whining, and gnashing of teeth.

    • Pistol Pete

      We agree for a change lol. Cassidy really called them out post game on the lack of urgency. Whatever works for him to say to get them back on track is what he needs to say. I saw again in this game lack of focus, puck management issues at key times leading to goals against. Have seen that before in the third period in these recent losses.

      Since the 11-0-1 start they have won four in a row twice, three in a row once and two in row four times so it’s as though during the 24-24-6 since the 11-0-1 start there have not been some decent stretches. Obviously injuries have played a part including now players just coming back. Stone won’t be back in time to help them make the playoffs but Hertl should be and hopefully he provides a boost.

      I think puck management issues whatever causes them has been the culprit. They are still big, heavy, fast and mobile, defending well for decent stretches, it’s been the chronic puck management problems especially in the third period recently. I hope what Cassidy said about the lack of urgency in key moments will snap them out of these situations where they give up goals against they don’t have to.

  29. Canada

    Wow some really bad feelings for the knights. I never thought they were to old but last night had me wondering those kids skated circles around them .I think they are thinking the same way they are playing we don’t need to start playing heavy yet. Leaving their fate to the last 10 minutes of third period and leaving their playoff spot to the very end . There is no doubt they can get back in it but where there is doubt is in the will to win. It sucks watching them skate by and poke check instead of taking the man but like someone mentioned it hurts to win and we won’t know if they are prepared to make that sacrifice for a few more games . I’m starting to plan for what else I will do with the 10k we might save on playoffs I don’t want to be surprised.

  30. LVsc

    games lost to non playoff teams=

    Chicago……… in Oct
    Anaheim, Wash, Pitt, Arizona, Calgary……… in Nov
    St Louis, Buffalo, Anaheim……….in Dec
    Seattle, Calgary, NJ……….in Jan
    Minn, Ott……….in Feb
    Buff, Columbus, Calgary………..in March

    17 games lost to teams that you should beat to gain a solid playoff spot. sure, you won’t win ’em all, but just a few more points in some of those games and they would not be scratching for their playoff life right now if they had played with more intensity and urgency in those 17 games.

    • Pistol Pete

      See the stretches for yourself. 24-24-6 since the 11-0-1 start. Not having Theo was impactful for sure but injuries are not in and of themselves a game breaking excuse. If not Theo it could have been someone else and it was: Karlsson. Eichel and Stone. Saying injuries is not an excuse is a cliche but at the same time is a valid statement.

      https://www.espn.com/nhl/team/schedule/_/name/vgk

      • Pistol Pete

        C’mon guys buckle down and run the table on this homestand!!!

        Need 10-6 for 97 pts. Win this homestand and we’ll revisit my 101 pts goal!!!

  31. LVsc

    the players are always saying “keep it simple”.

    ok, let’s start with a few simple improvements.

    D zone and N zone= Cover the man, box out the man, and check the man……quit the reaching and pokechecking nonsense, read and anticipate plays better, and quit being puck focused

    O zone= Forecheck hard and cycle the puck behind the net, thus keeping the puck 200 feet from Vgk net, then look for open man in front……quit forcing the puck toward the dmen at the point

    There, that will bring down the goals against and increase team intensity if executed properly.

  32. Larry, I totally agree with your take on the current plight of the VGK, I’m an optimist as well, but a realist that wont be blinded by rose colored glasses either.

    What is needed is cohesion and commitment which have both been in short supply, this is essentially the same crew that hoisted the Cup, and yes i agree that game speed needs to be attained by the returning players, but NO more excuses can and will be tolerated.

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