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What VGK’s Blue Line Would Look Like With Alex Pietrangelo Or Torey Krug

Yesterday we went into potential alternatives for the big-time add on the blue line for the Golden Knights. Today, we’re diving into what the Vegas defensive unit would look like if they do indeed land Alex Pietrangelo or Torey Krug.

There’s been a lot of rumblings about Alex Pietrangelo and Vegas, and someone told me today they were wondering if Vegas might take a run, if it’s not Pietrangelo, at Torey Krug. –Elliotte Friedman on 31 Thoughts Podcast

Before we get into the pair combos, let’s start with what the Golden Knights would have to do to make it happen. Pietrangelo is likely going to command somewhere around $8-9 million where Krug will likely fall a bit lower at around $7-8.5 million. Either way, with the Golden Knights looking at about $1 million or so in available cap space currently, they’ll have to get to work.

The whole offseason must begin by settling the goalie situation. In a perfect world, Vegas would find someone to take Marc-Andre Fleury’s complete contract off their hands without forfeiting much more than a lower round pick. Then, they’d sign Robin Lehner for between $5-6 million and earn themselves a bit of relief (Fleury’s cap hit is $7 million). However, it’s more likely there will be at least a bit of Fleury’s salary retained on the Golden Knights books, or they’ll have to buy him out, and they will hope to be back at $7 million in goalies after signing Lehner long team.

The next decision would be at the center position. If the Golden Knights believe they can replace Paul Stastny with Cody Glass (or Stastny with Stephenson and Stephenson with Glass) then that would be the least invasive start to finding the cap space. That’s $6.5 million which would essentially offset the majority of the space needed to sign either defenseman.

If they don’t trust that route (which I wouldn’t), then you look to the wings. Max Pacioretty’s $7 million and Jonathan Marchessault’s $5 million are the two that jump out.

Finally, if VGK add a defenseman, they would likely be looking to move at least one of the existing ones out. The leading candidate being the $5.95 million owed to Nate Schmidt. Otherwise, Alec Martinez’s $4 million could be an option, but after trading two 2nd round picks for him, they better be able to recoup at least one, if not both of them to make that route worthwhile.

So, you can pick the path you like the most with the understanding that if they save money on the goalie exchange, it would only have to be one player, while if they don’t, it’s likely one forward and one defenseman that must go.

Now let’s get on to the fun part; what the Golden Knights look like on the blue line if they add a big-ticket defenseman this offseason. Let’s start by assuming the Golden Knights make it happen without getting rid of any current defenseman on the roster.

Add Pietrangelo / Subtract No One

Schmidt-Pietrangelo
Martinez-Theodore
McNabb-Whitecloud

Add Krug / Subtract No One

Schmidt-Theodore
Krug-Martinez
McNabb-Whitecloud

OR

Martinez-Theodore
Krug-Schmidt
McNabb-Whitecloud

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Pietrangelo is a right-handed offensive weapon that can be relied upon to soak up top-pair defensive minutes. Paired with Schmidt, they may be a bit better defensively than Schmidt was with McNabb and definitely would be world’s better offensively.  Plus, this would allow for the continued protection of Theodore, which helped lead him to a 6th place Norris finish and a dominant postseason in 2019-20.

As for Krug, he’s a smaller, mobile offensive defenseman who has primarily played with a big defense-first style player. The most normal fit would be with McNabb but they both play the left side. So, the way Martinez fit with Theodore makes it likely he could do the same with Krug. Despite playing the left side, he’d be unlikely to find his way onto a permanent pair with Theodore, but when the Golden Knights need offense, that would be way more effective than the Schmidt-Theodore pair that DeBoer utilized in the playoffs.

Now let’s move on to what it looks like if they have to move on from a defensive piece.

Add Pietrangelo / Subtract Schmidt

Martinez-Pietrangelo
McNabb-Theodore
Hague/Holden-Whitecloud

Add Pietrangelo / Subtract Martinez

Schmidt-Pietrangelo
McNabb-Theodore
Hague/Holden-Whitecloud

Add Krug / Subtract Schmidt

Martinez-Theodore
Krug-Whitecloud
McNabb-Holden/Bischoff/Coghlan

Add Krug / Subtract Martinez

Schmidt-Theodore
Krug-Whitecloud
McNabb-Holden/Bischoff/Coghlan

Pietrangelo really sures up the right-hand side of the Golden Knights defense even if Schmidt or Martinez would be sent out. Moving one of those two would put some added pressure on another young defenseman, but paired with Whitecloud in a third pair role it should be do-able, especially considering how well Hague and Whitecloud played together as Chicago Wolves.

With Krug, things get a little dicey as the left side becomes overwhelmed. McNabb has only played on the left side in Vegas and while all of Schmidt, Theodore, and Martinez can play the right, none of them are right-handed. This would likely mean a massive role increase for Whitecloud. The third pair right-defense spot would be a competition that Vegas would be cheering for right-handed Coghlan to win. His offense would bring a weapon to the third pair as well as another power play option. The issue is he’s never been given a chance and it’s hard to believe he’ll be able to jump both Holden and Bischoff after a weird offseason. Finally, this completely buries Nic Hague, which isn’t exactly ideal and would almost force the Golden Knights into looking to move him.

No matter which route the Golden Knights go, Pietrangelo’s right-handedness seems to make him the much more attractive option. If they keep Schmidt and Martinez they’ll instantly have one of, if not the best defense corps in the conference. With Krug, it would likely be more of an upgrade on Schmidt, which would be nice, but doesn’t have quite the franchise-changing look that Pietrangelo brings.

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78 Comments

  1. Herby W

    VGK do not need any D! Especially not another one in his 30s. The D prospect pool is promising. What they need is a sniper!

    • Chase

      Correct Laine and Eichel both possibly available they need to pull the trade on one of them, it’ll cost a lot, but easily worth it as both excel on power play and know how to find the back of the net. 40+ goals a season and someone you can rely on to score!! Also trade Marsh and sign Dadanov true sniper!

  2. Hasan Zia

    We don’t need defence. Vegas needs a more offensively skilled centre and a net front guy. While I don’t mind getting Pietrangelo, I’d rather spend cap space on our forwards

  3. Julie

    Or, get rid of PDB, get rid of McCrimmon – then don’t sign Lehner, keep Fleury, use all that space to get a couple young players where needed. Get a GM and coach who can GM and coach.

    • Nick

      Here we go again with these ridiculous takes

    • Hi Julie – I wondered where you have been missed your comments and wisdom – while Ken’s article goes into a lot of what ifs he neglected the obvious which you so nicely pointed out. I can’t see investing another 8 to 9 million on another guy, we have one already while a good hockey player not sure it equates to what he is getting paid. I figured after the playoff showing Foley would have been hiring a head hunter to make some replacements up top – who knows maybe he has. Fluery has a couple of years left on his contract, if he wanted to stay, find a back-up and let the Elite Lehner – that all before didn’t want and let him walk go elsewhere. Don’t thinks as Tim has pointed out a couple of times the Splash Brothers don’t need to made another.

      • Julie

        Hey, HD! Hope you are doing great! I wanted to check on my parents with all the COVid-19 stuff and so far so good.

        I agree on your point about Foley. He wants to win but he is all about respect. No doubt there was at least a few conversations with and about PDB. McCrimmon put it all on PDB publicly, so the fallout must make PDB feel as welcome as a hooker in church. PDB is costing Foley money, fans, and respect. That’s a big deal for a millionaire West Point graduate who self-funded the VGK team and was vocal about the Nevada Gov implementing a tax hike on hotel rooms to cover the cost for the Raiders.

      • Joan Krajca-Radcliffe

        I am another lurker who’s in the Julie and hdbiker camp (and yes, I played college hockey and have some understanding.)

        • Julie

          Hi, Joan – glad you are here! How do you think all the trades and decisions will play out?

        • Mike Brown

          Joan,

          Nothing to do with hockey.

          I am connected to the Western Pennsylvania Radcliffes through my maternal Radcliffes.

          Do you know where your Radcliffes are from.

          Mike

    • Julie didn’t l read somewhere that George and Kelly made a bold move to get PDB – someone must be drinking something strange the guy was fired and unemployed . What am l missing here. Seems they replaced a winner with a loser based on his playoff performance and the issues he caused along with top mgt

      • Julie

        HD, I need to research the bold move you mention, however, it might be in line with what Tim said about those two being the “Splash brothers”. They like to make an impact somehow in their decisions. I read today Fleury wants to stay and finish his career in Vegas and I believe had indicated that when he first came to VGK (checking on that out of curiosity). I’m not feeling it’s a done deal for Lehner as at least the media has assumed. I forget who posted all of his stats over the playoff games showed his range of inconsistency and the multi-team history seems a bit much. And you don’t see him publicly. I don’t know if that is good or bad.
        However, it wouldn’t be the first questionable decision if management makes an offer. Maybe you or another kind poster knows why VGK wouldn’t work with Dansk more who has similar stats to Lehner and he’s already signed? Because management wants someone who has already played more games? Why sign Dansk?

        • Mike StG

          Julie, the media hasn’t assumed Lehner has an agreement. It was reported by some of the most reliable hockey media, who would not have released the info without solid sourcing. I’m really surprised at all the negative comments about Lehner. He was very good throughout the playoffs with several shutouts. Most of the goals scored against him were impossible for any goalie to stop. I love Fleury and hope he can remain with the team. But disrespecting Lehner by comparing him to an AHL goalie (which is what Dansk is) is uncalled for. Lehner was a Vezina finalist in 2018. And he’s had a solid save percentage and GA even though he has been on mediocre teams. The fact he’s yet to get an extended contract is due to his personal issues, but he has demonstrated that he has successfully dealt with those. He’s a #1 goalie and a very good one. Vegas will be lucky to keep him (and Marc-Andre too).

          • Julie

            Wait, what? Oh, Mike. Let me say I appreciate your passion.

            First, I said I didn’t think it was a done deal as far as Lehner is concerned because all media, including SinBin has accepted the position that Lehner will be signed. It’s not certain. Yes, the media leaked the “gentleman’s agreement” between Lehner and VGK management but Lehner flat-out denied it. Maybe he had to. It probably didn’t help Lehner to have that happen. Truth is, this is all speculation on what should or will happen.

            Second, no, Lehner’s numbers in the playoffs weren’t that good and no, he didn’t miss “impossible” goals. 8 goals in 93 shots over 4 games. Some were tough, sure, but not all. He doesn’t move quickly once he’s on his knees. His numbers for each game in the playoffs are quite varied. He was a finalist for an award in 2018, and I know he got two other trophies – fantastic. He was also let go from 5 teams in 10 years – not so fantastic. How do you know he hasn’t received an extended contract because of personal issues? Is it not possible that he didn’t get a long contract because he has trouble maintaining consistency due to his skill no matter the reason? And btw, those issues are an ongoing struggle, so it will always affect him. I am not even worried about that, but VGK will have to monitor it for sure.

            Third, my apologies, as I didn’t see the rule book that it’s sacreligious to compare one goalie to another because one is in the AHL. They are both with VGK and looking at Lehner’s career, he was just there in 2016, so it didn’t seem that big of a jump anyway.

            Fourth, I don’t hate Lehner. But I don’t see how he is better than Fleury at this moment or worth 5×5. I also don’t think Stone is worth 9.5m, but to each his/her own. Lehner’s played less games for Vegas than Fleury and his numbers don’t scream “elite” to me.

            Look, VGK will do what they want. I hope they treat Fleury and Lehner well however it turns out because I think they both got used and it didn’t work (hockey is a business I am told and that’s how it goes). That’s PDB and McCrimmon and McPhee who orchestrated that calamity. But, in the meantime, and in the future, I will continue to look at all angles before I conform to a narrative simply because it’s convenient. Sorry we don’t agree on everything, but for what it’s worth, I do look up the details you and others provide because I respect pretty much everyone’s opinion here.

          • Mike StG

            Julie – your eye test of Lehner’s performance is pretty subjective. Here are some facts:
            1) before the pause when both MAF & Lehner we’re rotating Fleury was 2-2 and Lehner was 3-0.
            2) you quote Lehner’s goals allowed in a 4 game stretch, obviously in support of your claim that Lehner wasn’t very good in the playoffs. Why only 4 games? He played in 15 of the 17 games. Fact is he allowed 9 goals in 5 games (1.8 GPG) against Dallas. He had 4 shutouts in the playoffs, which is more than many starting goalies had over the entire season.
            3) go back and watch the goals scored on Lehner throughout the playoffs and you will see the majority of goals were such that no goalie could have likely stopped them. Not ALL, but the majority.
            4) I would suggest that you look at Lehner’s career save% and compare to Fleury’s, and consider the fact that Lehner has played on mostly mediocre or outright crappy teams and been consistent regardless. That speaks volumes
            about the quality of his goaltending.
            5) you sarcastically suggest that comparing Lehner to Dansk is no big deal. But in reality that would be like comparing Mark Stone to
            Keegan Kolesar and suggesting the team would be just as good with either. There’s no “rule”, it’s just kind of nonsensical to make that kind of comparison. Dansk will NEVER be a starting NHL goalie much less ever a Vezina finalist.
            6) you suggest 5×5 is more than Lehner is worth, but most Vegas hockey media suggested he would command 6-7mil in free agency. He would probably get that in a normal market but 5 seemed more likely to me with the financial uncertainty and frozen cap due to the pandemic.
            You’re certainly entitled to believe what you want, but other than some of the posters here the opinion in the NHL among media, players and management is that Robin is indeed an elite goalie. And unlike the oft-repeated opinions on SinBin article posts and Twitter – elite goalies don’t grow on trees and they DO have a significant impact on a team’s success.

          • Don't Panic

            Mike – all I can say is that you are a true saint for trying to reason with and bring factual information and/or very informed opinions to some of these knuckleheads. (Did someone really just equate Dansk’s performance in the AHL with Lehner helping his team to the NHL semi-finals, and finishing 6th in the Vezina voting??) I would never have the patience, and you never know what you are actually dealing with on the other end. But for the record, you are doing the lord’s work on this website. I am a witness! Mike for assistant GM!

          • Daryl

            I’ve never said Lehner is not a starting goalie but I don’t think he is one on a Cup contending team. He had good numbers throughout the playoffs but remember two of those series were against not very good teams in VAN and the Hawks, two teams VGK should have swept. And no I’m not putting that on Lehner. But Lehner did let some very easy goals get past him, including in the OT. I don’t think he had too many really tough saves minus that one MAF type he made in one game. Again I do think overall he played well. IMO I don’t think he would have played better than MAF, but that can’t be proven.

            I think the reason Lehner has moved around has a lot more to do than just his mental issues. As for his play, once he goes to his knees he becomes very slow. He is slow to get back up and he is slow on lateral movement. He also has a huge issue with rebound control. Put him up against a team that plays heavy in front of the net and he will struggle badly.

    • james

      Right get rid of the 2 guys who got us into playoffs 3 yrs in a row because some clown says so.

      • Julie

        I believe Gallant was one of the guys who got us to the actual Stanley Cup in the first year, playoff in the second, and he’s gone. Doesn’t seem that big of a stretch considering this year.

  4. Hague_for_Norris

    I’m fine with our defense I much rather see us go after a top 6 power forward such as Wayne Simmonds or Cedric Paquette.

    • Mike StG

      Vegas’s needs are a top 6 Center, and net front scoring forwards. Playoffs exposed vulnerabilities at both positions, with Top 6 forward group nearly shut out and Vegas’ offense limited to outside scoring chances. Their defense was very good both in season and playoffs, so no need to throw 8-9M at a defenseman.
      Centers – possibly Cirelli. Or, have to make do with Stastny and hope Glass can step up and make it thru the season without injury.
      Forwards – need LW. Could offer sheet Kubalik at 4M (cost only a 2nd), maybe sign Haula (who could play either LW or C). Simmonds is the type of player who would fit the need, but he’s RW and Vegas is set on right side with Stone, Smith and Tuch.

      Last – Fleury. I’ve heard suggestions that they waive him. Two benefits: won’t have to retain salary, and will likely not end up on a rival contending team since team with worse record gets preference on waiver claims.

      • Julie

        Hey, Mike! Wouldn’t Fleury be waiver-exempt? Seems like that would be standard for him. How effective do you think Reaves is?

        • Mike StG

          Julie – On Fleury, no I don’t think so. The suggestion was made by Dennis Bernstein of TFP and he’s been covering hockey for 30 years. On Reaves, he’s a 4th liner, good skater, physical, softens up the opposing team, and he’s not expensive. Well worth it for what he brings.

      • Daryl

        I still think we need to do something on defense. McNabb, Schmidt and Holden all looked bad in the playoffs. They need to replace at least one of not 2 of them. Holden is probably the cheapest to keep and they can use him as a spot player similar to Engo and Merrill. Plus, for whatever reason, PDB really likes Holden. We need s physical blue liner who can help clear the front of the net

        • Mike StG

          Daryl – McNabb & Schmidt played against the best players (top lines) on the opposition. They also take the majority of DZ faceoffs, so one mistake can end up in the back of your net. Shea is the most sheltered defenseman on the team by a large margin, and it’s for a purpose. They should either make Shea carry more defensive responsibility or add another quality Dman. I do think McNabb is not a 1st pair defenseman on most teams, and if Vegas does pursue a dman it should probably be someone like Pietrangelo or maybe Zadorov (RFA). I’d like to see if they could sign big Buf at 2-3mil for a year. He’s a beast. Holden is a decent 3rd pair (or fill-in at 2nd) and a good replacement for Deryk at a reasonable cost. He’s a good mentor for younger players like Zach.

          • Daryl

            When VGK played at home McNabb and Schmidt played more often against top players but that isn’t necessarily the case on away games. I’m willing to bet that on ATOI wouldn’t be much different from the 1st pair to the second pair against other teams top line. Same of DZ faceoffs. Somewhere on this site (or the Athletic) they did a story on that exact thing. At first I thought the same as you but after reading the article I found out that it wasn’t much different between the pairings. If Shea and Martinez weren’t playing so well together I would say move Shea up and give him more responsibility. For me, McNabb is definitely NOT a 1st pair blue liner. I like Schmidt but even he is questionable on a good team but I’m ok with him being up there.

            As for your comment about one mistake hurting, as many turnovers as our 1st pair had, especially in the playoffs. Schmidt had 39 GA in the regular season but had 30 in the playoffs. McNabb had 32 regular season and 21 in playoffs. Both looked really bad in the playoffs.

            I also completely disagree with you on Holden. I see him as a spot 3rd pairing defenseman at best and no where near a spot 2 pairing. Holden has a $2.2m salary but I don’t think that is even close to the $700k Engelland had when you compare what you get. I’m not here debating whether Engo should have played just the fact that Holden isn’t that much better, especially for that price.

  5. Marc

    I’m totally fine with VGK getting Alex Pietrangelo because he is a solid two way player. He is an excellent defender and he can also score goals with his offensive ability. So for one cost and in one player you gain 2 sets of skills. I’d keep the entire team together and add in Pietrangelo. They can cut Derek Engelland and maybe cut Stastny if they can use Cody Glass or one of the young guys in his place. I definitely would not touch Pacioretty or Stone, Marchassault, Smith or Karlsson. Those are all solid pieces. I’d keep Fleury over Lehner. Yes Lehner is younger but he’s no hall of famer. Losing Fleury will really hurt and be a massive set back. Hall of fame goalies don’t just grow on trees. Be smart VGK, be smart!!!

    • Daryl

      Engelland is a base salary player so keeping him ir letting him go won’t make a difference overall… But he is probably done either way. There are several players VGK would be OK cutting

  6. THE hockey GOD

    need to completely re tool team and build around
    no 2 , no 3, stone, tuch, stephenson, walrus in goal, 71, Carrier, Roy, Krebs, Theodore. Everyone else gone.

    Especially 81, 88, reaves, 67,

    • Chase

      A Vegas fan that actually knows a bit about the business and the sport… need to get rid of fleury and stastny before anything… possibly Marsh and or Pac to go along with Schmidt all depending on their plans for the offseason. They should be looking at trade market Laine or Eichel and free agency Pietangelo and Dadanov all depending on their plans which we don’t know yet

      • THE hockey GOD

        Ty for kind words Chase, I am on fence with Smith. Probably lean towards keeping him unless someone makes a good offer.
        .

  7. Daryl

    Everyone keeps saying our defense is fine but I completely disagree. Thanks to PDB we are stuck with Holden but maybe he can become a spot player. I’m not happy with the play of McNabb or Schmidt and wouldn’t mind losing either one of them. Whitecloud was a pleasant surprise and hopefully another year of the NHL will help him a lot. He was caught out of position quite a bit and too often chased the puck/player instead of keeping his ground. Some of that was due to playing alongside Holden. Defensively, we need some tougher guys. NONE of the players seem to be physical enough to move players out in front of our goalie. They also seem afraid to block a shot or at least know where a shooting lane is. I’m not sure our young blue liners will be much better

    Our Front Office also wasted money on Reaves… I don’t mind signing him, but the amount they paid was just plain stupid. Instead of getting a “sniper” as some have pointed out, we need someone to play in the dirty area. We need someone who isn’t afraid to stand in front of their goalie and take a beating just to get to rebounds (and screen their goalie). We don’t need anyone else who can shoot from the outside.

    As for the goalie situation, we don’t need and can’t afford both our goalies. I think the smart move, money wise, is to keep MAF and let Lehner go. If we let MAF go VGK will have to eat some of his contract which is wasted money. If they find someone to take his entire contract then fine, but good luck with that.

    • Morning Daryl – sorry good afternoon where you are – Guess there are more that think letting Lehner walk is not a bad thing. Haven’t seen many defenders of keeping him around of late. Not sure MAF would want to stay but money talks and BS walks – and he is a professional and hopefully still liked by all. Mgt had a doing in the fiasco that took place so some of the blame belongs there. We need goalie screeners of one kind or another – that or teach what we have to do the job. They all could learn something from #16 and #10 of Dallas – no I am not a fan of either but give credit where credit is do. Don’t believe adding Simmons does much and as for Reaves not sure why they gave him all that money – his contribution or lack thereof certainly doesn’t justify that.

      • Daryl

        For me, Wayne Simmonds is just like Engelland. I think could still play another year (even longer for WS) but I don’t think you could get much more than a couple games in a row of good hockey out of them. WS has slowed down a lot since his time in Philly. I just don’t think he is worth what he would want.

        I’m not sure what is going on with Stone. He could be that gritty player in from if the net but doesn’t. I’m thinking it’s more on PDB than it is on the players. Before PDB Reaves would play in front of the net some but he didn’t do it any during the playoffs. Even though I still think we need those types of players, if the coach isn’t going to use them that way what’s the use of having them

  8. Like Cody Glass but rather concerned about he being a little injury prone. Not sure why that has been the case up to now – maybe its behind him lets hope so for his sake. Of course Patch at 7 million certainly wasn’t at his best for the play-off and probably took more penalties then than he did all year – seemed he was a little frustrated with how things were going. What was rather sad it seemed he had a lot of company Marchy comes to mind among others. While they are in the regroup frame of things hopefully all will take a step back and see what develops Draft and Free Agency wise keeping forefront not sure Vegas can adapt to PDB’s system.

  9. Vic

    Don’t tamper with the following: Shea, Tuch, Stone, Whitecloud, Smith, Lehner, Glass, Krebs and a few of the other minor league kids. Hopefully Glass proves he can make it. Aim for Jack Eichel, and sign a tough D-man like Dillon.

  10. james

    It really doesn’t matter if we continue to have the same offense. Players can change but you only shoot from the outside these goalies are too good. Short passes down low is what the coaching staff needs to practice. Watch the captials or tampa Bay on the powerplay. Beautiful passing results in goals. 3 on 5 powerplay were shooting from outside , results 3 for 23 . Horrible

  11. Mike StG

    Seems to me there are a lot of calls for heads to roll, get rid of players, tear down & rebuild the team. Calm down everyone. In their first 3 seasons this team made the playoffs every year, as well as cup final & WC final. The hyper negativity would make sense if we were Sabres or Sharks fans, but not given the success of this team. PDB came in for a few months and took the team from middle of the pack in the Pacific to winning the division and making it to the WC final. So he should be fired? The team roster is constantly being improved from the hodgepodge of average players in Year 1. So GM and KM should be fired? Oddsmakers had Vegas at 7-1 to win the cup along with TBL and BOS, not out of sentimentality but because they’re a really good team. They’ll continue to make incremental improvements. Unlike some teams this Owner will spend to the cap – how would you like to be a Sens fan with your hopes riding on that weirdo Melnyk? Let’s appreciate that we have an NHL team that out of the gate has been really good and great fun to watch. We have decades in front of us when the team may yet go through bad periods and we can all become jaded and hypercritical then. For now let’s enjoy the success!

    • knights fan in minny

      your so right mike you guys have had glory in 3 years this team is still good some teams dont even get to the wcf for years or the cup finals dont get mad at what i say you get spoiled by early glory this team will be fine it sucks to lose when you should win

    • The Noodle King

      Well said, Mike. You covered everything perfect. Good job 🙂

    • Julie

      Vegas set a precedent coming out of the gate – all the way to the Stanley Cup their first year, a team that embraced the community, playoffs the 2nd and 3rd years, etc. That makes them exceptional. A lot has changed in the last year. Not sure how it’s hyper negative to call out the obvious mistakes in management with the abundance of material we have in front of us. But if hockey is a business, change should not be limited to the players.

      • Mike StG

        Julie – I’m just pointing out that there is a lot of overreacting to Vegas losing in the WC final. Repeat… the WC final. Do you honestly expect this team to make it to the cup final every year, or win the cup? There are 30 other teams in the NHL, and many fan bases are very resentful of Vegas because of our team’s success. Under DeBoer the team went 11-2 in the last 13 games before the pause. They were on a ROLL. Who can say how far that momentum would’ve carried them had it not been for the pandemic? Other quality contenders (STL, BOS) never regained their season form and didn’t make it past Round 1. I don’t think it is reasonable to crap all over DeBoer when you consider how the team has done under his leadership. He may not be the best coach in the league, but he is a good one.

        • Julie

          Mike, I agree with you that the team has done so well in it’s first three years that many other teams are envious. There are a lot of factors as to why. No, it’s not reasonable to expect they make it to the WC or even the playoffs every year. Never thought it was, and very happy that Vegas has managed it thus far. I also agree that PDB may not be the best coach. I don’t have to over-analyze every shot to know he couldn’t or wouldn’t change his strategy and he even indicated in the post-game interview after losing the WC that he “might have to change” even his approach. All good. I know he created problems as well as avoiding them. Seems to me that is more trouble than we had before.

          • Mike StG

            Julie, you’re right about the trouble caused. He is basically trying to reshape the offense from a mostly transition style to a cycle offense. Sharks were built for that – Burns & EK with big shot from the point, Fs like Hertl, Couture and Pavelski who screened, scored on rebounds and deflections. It’s how Pavelski scored 40 goals last year – he’s probably the most skilled player at deflections in the NHL. The problem for Vegas is their forwards tend to be more skilled at scoring in transition than net front. The way teams defend Vegas’ cycle play is by clogging up the middle and not allowing Vegas to get in front of the net (or creating so many obstructions to shots from outside that it nullified net front play). Add to that the fact that Vegas doesn’t really have good greasy, netfront forwards and you can see how their goal scoring dried up. They had tons of possession time but their shots were mostly from outside and either blocked by defenders or easy saves for the goalie. If you put Stastny with Stone & Patch that is a pretty potent line for cycle offense – recall last year’s playoffs. But Karlsson plays better in transition, and would be better paired with his old line mates. Short of bringing in new forwards that are more skilled in net front play, which would include scoring on deflections and rebounds, DeBoer may be forced to go back to the transition offense that was a trademark of VGK. I guess we’ll see what changes come out of the offseason.

    • Daryl

      In regards to PDB, this team was starting to play really well before Gallant was fired. If VGK didn’t have that stretched around the time MAF father passed along with some injuries, I would love to see how they would have done. PDB pushed he is incompetent by some the same thing over and over even though it wasn’t working. He reminds me if my college football coach who made us run the same play for an hour until we got it prefect…. Problem is you can’t do that in a game and that is exactly what PDB did.

      The coach along with others wasted needed money on the Reaves contract as well as Holden’s. They made some horrible trades and other not so smart trades. Yeah, we’ve made it to the playoffs for three years but if we want to go further subduing needs to change from either the coach or higher up.

      • Mike StG

        Daryl – just a few comments:

        1) Vegas was playing really well before Gallant was fired? They had lost 4 in a row, to the Pens, Kings, Jackets and Habs.
        2) The coach didn’t waste money on Reaves,etc. The coach doesn’t make those decisions, GM & KM do that.
        3) The team didn’t just make the playoffs 3 years. They made it to the cup final one year and the conference final this year.
        4) I don’t know how many coaches are out there that could match DeBoer’s winning percentage this year 28-12-2. If you find one let me know.

        • Daryl

          1. Yes they lost 4 in a row…. but that was right after they also won 4 in a row. VGK was 14-9 in their last 23 games. That’s not great but that was also right after everything else that was going on.

          2. I agree the coaches don’t make those decisions, but I believe they do have a say in them. I personally think his contract had to do with all the racial shit that was going on. But at the same time, if PDB didn’t like Reaves or had something to say about it, that contract would have looked different.

          3. Yes, the team made it to the playoffs 3 years in a row, but only once under PDB. And in that one year they unperformed. They failed to made adjustments and lost even though they are the better team.

          4. I have no idea what other coaches percentages are but you are probably correct. I also don’t know another team who has the calibre at goalie as VGK does. MAF was just getting back to playing good and Lehner is a good goalie (just not as good as MAF IMO).

    • Mike – your assuming Gallant could not have lit a fire under the boys – as l recall when the axe fell they were on a rebound and PDB benefited from it. Yes he was behind the bench and team topped the division at season end. Who’s to say the same would not have happened under old coach. IMO he sure didn’t help much in the playoff playing PDB style which really isn’t Vegas style when started 3/4 of the season gone buy. No suggesting they can’t change but it hurt them in the playoff and Decoach wasn’t capable or interested in adjusting. Continuing to do same thing that’s not working is the definition of insanity

      • Mike StG

        Hd – I didn’t say Gallant couldn’t have righted the ship. I was as shocked as anyone and dismayed too. However your recollection is not correct. Vegas had lost 4 games in a row when Gallant was fired on Jan 14th. Under DeBoer for the rest of the season they were 16-4-2. Including the playoffs they are 28-12-2 under the new coach. Would you say those are lousy numbers worthy of firing him? How many coaches would kill to have a record like that? Their analytics were outstanding through the playoffs and their PK was ferocious. PP was so-so but undoubtedly affected by the fact Max didn’t even make it into the bubble until elimination play was in progress, had no warmup games due to injury, and then sustained multiple injuries in the bubble that he played through. DeBoer changed their PK to an attacking style in zone, which eventually paid off. He thrust Shea into a more offensive role than Gallant had allowed and he blossomed. I’m not sure the change from transition game to cycle is the best offensive style for at least what used to be the Karlsson-Smith-Marchie line, who scored most of their goals in transition. But it seems more suited for Stone-Stastny-Patch (although he put Karlsson with Stone-Patch). The team will continue making needed adjustments. They played less than 2 months before the pause, and then after a long layoff played 20 games in a bubble. They’re a very good team and we can expect they’ll get better with offseason player moves and continue to be a contender for the foreseeable future. Enjoy it while we have it.

        • Daryl

          PDB was fired after losing 4 straight, which occurred right after they won 4 in a row. The team as a whole started playing a whole lot better near the end of Gallant’s time in VGK which was partly/mostly due to MAF getting back on track after his father passed. They also got some healthy players back.

          VGK PK was ok throughout the playoffs but it was helped by playing a not very good at all Hawks team and an average at best VAN team. DAL was 3-13. On the other hand, VGK was 3-27. I really thought VGK should have swept the Hawks and VAN but I know that is hard to do so I predicted they would lose 1 game in each series. I really thought VGK should have beaten DAL in 6 games. I think the style of play PDB uses helps out your defense but hurts your offense. There is less transactions and more puck control but that doesn’t equate into more points or even better shots. If you look at quality shot attempts, every team we faced had similar high scoring chances even though we doubled their shot numbers. A lot of the PK had to do with good goaltending. Don’t get me wrong, I like the aggressive style of PK over sitting back but we got lucky quite a bit. Whitecloud, who is somewhat new to the PK was caught chasing and out of position often but did get better as games went along. Several other players were also caught chasing too much which lead to good opportunities. Thankfully for VGK, there were a lot of shots not on net OR the goalie made a pretty good save.

          And I’m not so sure PDB had anything to do with Theo success or if it was the addition of Martinez who really helped him. And if Max wasn’t ready or healthy that is on PDB as well for playing him. As good as Max is, he isn’t as good as other players if he is injured. He should have minimized his play or even delayed it considering who our first two series were against.

    • Tim

      Mike I’m not a big DeBoer fan but your right he did do a good job. I have more of a problem with management and to many of there trades. David Perron puts up the same numbers as Patch could of resigned him for 4 million. We trade Nick S. and Tomas Tatar plus a second for Patch. Now remember we gave Detroit a first, second, and third for Tatar. So in reality we gave Montreal Nick, Tomas, and a second plus the 3 draft choices we spent to get Tatar now is that insane. To make matters worse Patch isn’t that good and gets dinged up pretty easy at 7 million a year. Please tell me they know what the hell there doing.

      • Mike StG

        Tim, I agree management has made some puzzling moves. But no GM makes only successful decisions. And I think trying to get from Tatar to Patch and the cost across multiple trades and different seasons doesn’t really work. Here is what I recall:

        Tatar – at the time McPhee was looking to improve scoring and traded for Tatar. My sense is that Gallant didn’t like him for some reason. We also found out later that Tatar was still not fully recovered from a fairly severe injury. Remember also that McPhee had acquired a lot of picks in the expansion draft for exactly this purpose. The trade was to help VGK have the best chance in the 2018 playoffs.

        Patch – having decided not to sign Neal (age) or Perron (not sure why, but something seems to have happened during the playoffs and he fell out of favor with Gallant, who sat him for multiple games), they signed a guy who had a history of 30 goal seasons and has a great shot. This was in preparation for the 2018-19 season. It also seems like Tatar was not a good fit, and that Gallant wasn’t going to use him. Seems to me it’s been a pretty good trade, given Max was the team’s leading goal scorer this year.

        I think some of the Perron & Tatar situations reflected on Gallant, possibly Colin Miller in the 2019 playoffs as well. Also, McPhee signed Gusev as an option in the 2019 playoffs only for coach to never give him a chance even when they were up 3-1 on the Sharks. My impression is that between Gallant refusing to play Tatar and Gusev (both who were acquired by mgmt to PLAY and contribute), his insistence on playing Engelland who was clearly struggling to keep up, his clear preference for using Eakin at C instead of Haula, his issues with Perron and Miller, and several other puzzling situations, he may have alienated McPhee & McCrimmon and precipitated his own demise. Those are just my suspicions having closely followed the team for the past 3 years.

        • Tim

          Mike one thing for sure if Gallant didn’t like you you were history. Colin Miller was a good example. Tatar from what I read just didn’t like Vegas and when he went to Montreal he felt more at home. I’m not a Patch guy and when you think we had three future centers in Nick S, Payton K, and Cody G, and I” bet they trade Glass or Krebs to win now but I hope not.

  12. Tim

    First let me say no matter what sport your best players have to show up in the playoffs. Obviously the Knights didn’t so here are my Vegas Knight keepers. Riley Smith, William Karlsson, Mark Stone, Alex Tuch, Nick Roy, Chandler Stephenson, Will Carrier, Shea Theadore, Tomas Nosek, Nate Schmidt, Alex Martinez, Zach Whitecloud, Flower if possible , Lehner, Nick Cousins I’m undecided.
    Now here in my opinion are the Vegas Knight pretenders, Marshy, Patch, Stantsy, Holden, McNabb, Engelland, Merrill, Reeves All dead weight.
    Now here are the young players I’d give a good look at in camp. Peyton Krebs, Cody Glass, Jack Dugan, Lucus Evelens, Nick Hague, Dylan Coglin,
    I hear people say we need a sniper what are you talking about who wants a one trick pony? In baseball you want a 5 tool player same in hockey you want a player that has offense and also a good defensive player can play on the PP and PK.
    Depending on who we can trade or in some cases dump what cap would be available would determine who we could go after. We gave up a lot to get Patch not sure what we could get, Stantsy one year left should find a home. marshy someone will want him. Reeves and McNabb not that expensive they may stay. Holden signed for two years WHY. We’ll see what the Splash Brothers do.
    Pietrangelo for 8 million 5 years or forget it. Jack Eichel would be a nice pickup Buffalo is going nowhere they might deal. Taylor Hall I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole.Preferably younger guys with term if we don’t go big game hunting.

    • Julie

      Tim, I forget why you call them the “Splash brothers”? Funny. I kind of lean towards Statler and Waldorf, but Splash sounds like you had something in mind for the name.

      • Tim

        Julie because every year George and Kelly make a splash big star signing for better or worse hence the reason I refer to them as the Splash Brothers.

    • Rob S.

      Yeah, that Pacioretty is a bum. You do realize that he led VGK in scoring, right? In fact, he had 32 goals (only player to score 30+ other than Wild Bill the first year) and 34 assists for 66 points…in 71 games. He’s also the only sniper we have *and* he will shoot the puck unlike, say, Reilly “Overthink” Smith. Yeah, he had a tough playoff–so did every forward not named Alex Tuch–do you think we’ll ever find out just how badly he was hurt?

      Stastny? Alright, he isn’t the player he used to be. Still, get rid of him and exactly who is going to play the second-line center? Glass? Not until he can play ten games without getting hurt. Stephenson…uh, no. Roy? Krebs? Maybe soon, but not yet. Here’s a thought, why don’t we put him back with “old pros” Stone and Pacioretty rather than the speedier Smith and Marchessault? (This would have the added advantage of returning Karlsson to play with those guys.) Just for the record, Pacioretty, Stastny, and Stone torched DeBoer’s Sharks for *31* points in seven games in the playoffs last year. But now they can’t play together?

      On the other hand, I agree with you completely about McNabb. I know he’s relatively cheap, but I am *so* tired of hearing how “he plays all the tough minutes.” He is one case where advanced analytics don’t tell the whole story. How many times per game do you see him get beaten to a puck in the defensive zone when he has a 20-yard head-start on an offensive player? You think Engelland is slow? McNabb is SLOW. How many times is he out of position (and remember, he’s too slow to recover)? Nor does he skate very well. (Over/under on unforced falls per game? 3.5) Nor is he decisive with the puck, which leads to him rarely clearing the puck out of the D-zone when he’s under pressure. Add to that that he’s a walking turnover machine and the only thing I can figure is that he has compromising pictures of someone high up in the organization. And yet we play him 25+ minutes a night! WHY!?

      • Mike StG

        Rob – what a great post! And I agree 100%! Well, maybe I’m not as hard on McNabb as you. I think he’s just playing in a role beyond his talent, which is more of a 2nd/3rd pair level. I think Patch is solid and like you I ask ‘if not Stastny then who?’ Glass concerns me not only because he can’t stay healthy but I also find his lack of self-confidence concerning. I recall in the first two rookie camps him expressing a LOT of doubts about his own abilities. Seems to me a #6 pick should possess at least some swagger or sense of his own talent. There’s not much in the way of top 6 centers in this years UFA/RFA group, maybe Cirelli but that offer sheet will cost plenty. Elite centers are usually drafted and developed, so I guess in 2021 we’re going to have to hope either Glass, Krebs or Elvenes can be that guy.
        Your comments about Vegas top lines are also spot on. Karlsson with Smith & JM are a really good transition offense line. Stastny-Stone-Patch are better suited to play together, a monster line as they showed last year against SJS.
        I’d love to see both lines reconstituted next season.

        • Don't Panic

          Mike – I am a long time reader/lurker on this board, and have to say that it is really refreshing to read your thorough & thoughtful analysis. Thank god that VGK has smart & level-headed fans like yourself, as opposed to idiot Chicken Littles (by the way, my favorite laughable post from the above thread is as follows: “Or, get rid of PDB, get rid of McCrimmon – then don’t sign Lehner, keep Fleury, use all that space to get a couple young players where needed. Get a GM and coach who can GM and coach.”) . I mean, I know you will always have lowest-common-denominator types posting (“use all that space”!), but cheers to you for being level-headed, observant, and practical! Soldier on and keep preaching the truth, mi amigo!

          • Julie

            DP, that’s quite the passive-agressive comment. You might want to get that checked.

          • Mike StG

            Dont Panic, thanks for those kind comments. There’s a lot of emotion among supporters of this team. As a Red Sox fan since the 60’s and Yaz, I know what heartbreak and frustration is like. Thirty-five years of one near success after another wiped out by some freak play or situation. When they finally won the WS in 2004 I just stopped watching baseball altogether. I don’t think I saw more than one or two playoff games the following year when they won b2b titles! We’re lucky to have a great hockey team from Day One and I think we sometimes need to stop and appreciate it. I went to a Sharks-Canucks game early this year and I was shocked at the insults and swearing Sharks fans were hurling at their own players, and from behind the bench not 10 rows up. I guess that’s what 25 years of Sharks frustration can do!

          • Don't Panic

            Mike – you know, the other factor that I think we’re seeing with many VGK fans is the mythologizing of the inaugural season team, such that anyone associated with that squad can do no wrong and should be protected at all costs. Hence, all of the comments that Gallant was so much better than DeBoer, Fleury is so much better than Lehner – heck, even my “favorite poster” calls for McCrimmon to be fired but does not mention McPhee (probably not realizing that McCrimmon was McPhee’s right hand man in Year 1). Even Pacioretty gets a lot of flack for his playoffs performance (even though he was clearly hurt and well below 100% – and his fantastic regular season is quickly forgotten about), where not much is said about the equally disappointing efforts of “original Knights” like Karlsson, Marchy, & Smith. Statistics and objective viewpoints are thrown out the window by these types of fans. While I loved the Year 1 team as much as anyone, that team was riding a magical and historically unprecedented carpet ride. I believe our Year 3 team was overall better in terms of talent, and just dried up a little too much on offense in the WCF with 4 very narrow losses by 1 goal each. I also get a kick out of how Fleury, Gallant, etc. seem to get a total free pass on Year 2, even though that team absolutely blew it’s 1st round playoff series to the hated Sharks. Fans love to pin 100% of the blame on the “not-a-major” penalty call, and ignore the fact that our team absolutely collapsed – especially our beloved goaltender – and the coach must take some blame in that. As Ken likes to remind us, “that actually happened”! Year 3 ended up so much better than Year 2, and a big part of that improvement was due to De Boer & Lehner (and the development of Whitecloud, who didn’t really get his chance until De Boer came aboard). Bottom line is I get why fans are sentimental about the inaugural team, but it often crosses the line to irrationality and blindness to making good objective decisions – which thank god our front office does not do. Regardless of our upcoming offseason moves, VGK will go into Year 4 as one of the early Stanley Cup favorites, and I’m sure that at least 80% of other teams would trade their rosters, coach, & front offices for ours. We should all be happy & proud of our franchise, including the new additions who have on a whole made this team better, not worse. If people want to continue to re-live the inaugural season, there is a great DVD documentary on it…

        • Daryl

          Reason I don’t like the Karlsson, Smith and JM lines is because they don’t fit the type of style PDB is trying to use. They are great at transition but PDB would rather them set up and play catch in the offensive zone, which is one of the big reasons I don’t like PDB. This team thrives on transition but that isn’t what the coach wants us to do.

      • Tim

        Rob points are points just like baseball averages are averages but in either sport what you do when the money is on the line is what counts. In a coarse of a year in baseball you’ll face a lot of mediocre pitchers hence your average is decent but you face better pitching in the playoffs and you tank. Same principle applies to hockey during the year you face some mediocre goalies and your numbers look good then you get to the playoffs and you tank and that’s how I feel about Patch. We all have our own opinion and in my opinion we over paid.

        • Rob S.

          Uh, Tim, you did note that the *31* points in seven games was in the playoffs? Kind of the definition of “when the money is on the line,” yes?

          Daryl, I agree with you about your reaction to this idea that VGK needs to play heavy, slow, “half-court offense.” Ugh! Not only would I hate to see that aesthetically but, if that’s really what they want to do, they are going to have trash the current roster because it’s not built to support that style of play.

          Mike, I, too, would like to salute you for calm reasoned analysis and your call for some perspective. I mean, Toronto–the self-proclaimed center of hockey–has been waiting on a Cup since 1967! We’ve been in the league three years and we’ve to the playoffs three times, the Western Conference Finals twice and the Stanley Cup Finals once. Do we really imagine there isn’t an Ottawa fan, a Buffalo fan, even an Arizona or Minnesota fan that wouldn’t jump at the chance to support a team with such a record?

          Having said that, of course I’m disappointed that we couldn’t “seal the deal” this year. (Especially after noticing that Khudobin, the second of the two goalies we made look like the second coming of Patrick Roy, has been fairly well lit up in the last two games versus the Lightning…and, no, not all of Tampa’s offense has been the greasy, gritty goals.) I, too, love Fleury and, to this day, I miss Gallant (whom I thought was treated rather poorly) and Perron–and even Colin Miller, who just happens to be the right-shot, offensive D-man that VGK seems to covet.

          I’m sorry the first-year magic couldn’t last forever, but that’s just not how life works. One interesting thing in watching all the VGK “rewind” broadcasts during the hiatus is how much more talented our current team is than the inaugural year team was. Of course, we seem to be missing something in our grit/character/persistence makeup. So, treasure what we had, but the issue now is what do we do going forward to make this a better, more successful team.

  13. helmet lettuce

    This is a good team. Tough way to go out but it does highlight needs. some help with the scoring and another Right handed shot on the back end. Backstrom would provide scoring punch (almost a point per game in his career) and assists. We have some really good forwards who can score and an elite guy like Backstrom will be right at home feeding them the puck at the right spots at the right time. Imagining him on a line with Pac and Stoner is downright sinful and probably wont happen considering the amount of money that would be needed. I like Pietrangelo and hope they go after him. He will provide offence as well. Bottom line is we need cap space so looking for some big contracts to be moved before anything. McCrimmon has always been a deal-maker in junior and I believe he will prove himself in the ‘Chel as well. We shall see in the next few weeks. Not many teams can say they’ve never missed the playoffs in their existence but we can.

    • Mike StG

      Helmet, I like your optimism and think it is well placed with this team. I’m surprised though to read your suggestions of Backstrom joining the team. He’d be a great addition but after negotiating an 8M AAV deal to spend the rest of his career in WAS with Ovi I can’t imagine it’s more than wishful thinking. You’re right though – he’s the kind of center we need in our top 6.

  14. Julie

    Mike – I don’t understand your need to insist that those if us with different opinions follow your thinking and accept your word or others as gospel. Glad you have a handle on what gives you comfort. Now you are saying, that Lehner, who won 3 trophies and nominated for the Vezina, played on “crappy teams” – so he got those awards all by himself or with the help of “crappy teams”? A you said he was never given a long contract on those “crappy teams” because of his mental health issues. Which one? He was great on “crappy teams” to get awards and a nomination, yet somehow held back by his mental health issues to get let go? Nothing wrong with his skill set, just others making his career difficult – got it. I see your logic. I’m good now, thanks.

    • Mike StG

      Julie – I’m not insisting you accept what I say as “gospel”. If presenting you with facts in the free exchange of ideas on the subject is offensive to you, then whatever I guess. Twisting my words is not helpful either. My point was the fact his excellent career numbers were consistent whether he played on teams that were good, bad or ugly says a lot about his skills. A lousy defense that exposes a goalie to many high danger chances usually affects save%. Perfect example is Gibson (ANA), who is pound for pound one of the best goalies in the league but whose numbers suffer from team play. If you follow hockey media you will hear very high praise for Lehner. They classify him as Top 10 and elite, and they speak from knowledge – they’re former players, goalies, coaches & GMs. With respect to his mental health issues he’s only 2-3 years removed from the worst part of it, so it stands to reason why GMs after that wouldn’t give him a contract with term, although he spent 3 years in Buffalo and 5 previous to that as he broke into the NHL with Ottawa . The Isles gave him his first chance after that (18-19), then the Hawks (19-20). There are other factors that teams needed to consider – their cap space and team needs, as well as their plan for dealing with the Seattle expansion draft where most teams can only protect one goalie. As always, you can take or leave these thoughts and facts. I don’t post on these articles to vent or gripe and call names, and I certainly don’t expect everyone to accept what I say. I try to present views based in fact and reason in the hope of having constructive conversations with other VGK fans.
      And I accept that others may have different and better opinions.

      • Julie

        Mike – So, I don’t give you the validation you want when presenting your facts and you claim I’m the one offended? When you tell me it’s uncalled for and disrespectful to compare Lehner to Dansk in the who-stays-who-goes context, I verify what I know about Lehner being in the AHL as recently as 2016. I didn’t see a problem doing that but you took offense. By that logic, comparing Lehner to Fleury is wrong because Fleury has 8 years over Lehner playing hockey. Yet, people do it anyway. Go figure.

        I watch all hockey games and check daily to see what the latest news is but I must see something you don’t see. On Sportsnet the panel (players and knowledgeable types) there comment on how Lehner can’t move from his knees to another position well, and he has trouble on rebounds and shootouts, and how he takes his eyes off the puck. And the jazz-hands goal he let in with Chicago, I believe, and the media said he embarrased himself. Rotowire said Lehner left Buffalo for “Poor performance”. I researched and found their comments to make sense, but I never thought Lehner was bad – just not a better all-around goalie than Fleury. Perhaps you can tell me where you get your media validation from and I can check it out.

        It is possible for two people to have two different viewpoints based on the same set of facts. And for the record, I’m not twisting your words, but I was making an effort to understand you. Part of that free exchange of ideas thing.

  15. Mike StG

    Daryl, I agree that probably Fleury would’ve been as good as Lehner in the playoffs. Robin is a positional goalie and normally saves requiring quick reaction would favor Fleury’s more athletic style – especially with all the odd man rushes the team allowed! But net front Lehner was very good – I think just his sheer size helps a lot plus he tends to play deeper in the net. I think both let in a few that they would normally save, but after a 5 month layoff and round robin games where opponents seemed to be playing at about 3/4 speed it’s understandable. You can’t ignore the fact that Robin had 4 shutouts in 16 playoff games (incl RR) with 1.99 GAA & .917 SV%. That’s outstanding. I think the goalie with most s/o in the 70 game season was ~8. I also think you’re underrating VAN, who finished 3rd in the Pacific and was 2-0-1 against the Blues. Bottom line though is that Fleury is getting older and with 2 yrs left the team needs to think about post-Fleury. It’s unlikely he will get better as he ages and the potential for injury also increases. Lehner has a career .918 save%, and that is playing behind some mediocre teams. The management would be derelict not to see if they could fit him into the team’s future somehow, esp with the possibility of a compressed 82 game schedule next year. That said, it sounds like Fleury wants to stay in Vegas. I really hope that happens – I’ve always been proud he was our goalie and would love to see him retire here and his number hanging one day from the rafters at TMA.

  16. Mike StG

    Don’t Panic – Haha, assistant GM!! I’d last about 5 minutes before they showed me the door. :))
    I do love the game. No sport can compare imo. And I’m so happy that we have a team in Vegas. I lived in NYC when the Isles won 4 cups in a row in the 80s, that team was unbelievable. Was living in San Jose when the Sharks got started and that was fun too. But having lived 24 yrs in Vegas, 21 with no local NHL team, it was a real thrill when VGK got the franchise and then bolted out of the gate to the cup final. What a ride! This team is structured to be competitive for years to come, and I’m looking forward to it. It’s fun to chat and debate opinions about the team with other fans, even though their points of view can be a lot different than mine. It can sometimes get pretty negative, but the way I look at it we could be Yotes or Sens fans. Although even that would have an upside: cheap tix to the games! Ha!!

  17. Mike StG

    Julie, you need to stop making this personal. I don’t want or need your validation. I’m just having a discussion about the team we both support. As far as Lehner & Dansk are concerned, there isn’t one GM in the league who would choose Dansk over Lehner. They would laugh that question out of the building. Lehner received a $5M/1yr free agent contract from the Hawks. You think they pay him that if he’s at Dansk level? That’s pretty funny. What does Dansk make, league minimum? Doesn’t offend me that you think they’re comparable, I just said it’s disrespectful to Lehner (not me). I can quote as many or more media from NHLN, NBC, SiriusXMNHL, McKenzie, Seravelli and other Canadian media, as well as local media like Jesse, Ryan, Daren, Shane and even Ken who put Lehner in the elite category. Otherwise why was the assumption that Lehner would command 7M by everyone? Because he’s average? On the BUF comments, that reason would be expected. Should they have said he has mental health issues? BTW his save% on that crap team was .908 for that year. And his average over his 3 seasons there was .917. And FYI Fleury’s save% this season was .905, which was undoubtedly affected by his mental health issues related to the passing of his father. Those numbers are statistical facts, so if you come to a different conclusion than I do then more power to you.

    • Julie

      Well, Mike, I’ll try one last time with you. We should get some peace however this turns out. Not sure how I made it personal when I just think Fleury is better overall – yes, he’s .905 after 49 regular games for Vegas vs .940 Lehner for 3 games; .910 Fleury in 4 playoffs and Lehner .917 playoffs (16 games). Quite a difference in games played this year. You don’t seem too upset with other posters who corrected you a few times and hold a similar opinion to mine. You keep going there with me. So, if something in my posts around the time this came up triggered you, I apologize, that was not my intent.

      This whole thread has gone south, so now I will make it personal. You were the first person on this site who told me it was good that I didn’t let some of the other posters get to me and stay positive. I appreciated that. Such is the trick with social media.

      I’m not trying to out-do you, or trip you up, or attack you or anything like that. I actually don’t have too much disagreement with your opinions. I have even asked you for your opinions on Fleury and Reaves, etc.

      My question about Dansk, originating with HD, was why sign him if they don’t use him and work with him, or get another more promising goalie – for less money. It’s not disrespectful to Lehner to ask a question like that -it’s just a question. If I can’t get a Porsche, I can get by with a Volkswagen kind of thing – still get the German engineering.

      I didn’t ask you about what media you listen to as an insult, I just wanted to see where you get your opinions from because I like to see everything hockey and you mentioned following the media. I don’t trust all media because it can be biased alot of the time, so I have to research a lot. Example, SinBin is about VGK, but someone there doesn’t care for Fleury – hence the drawing of Fleury with a tear in his eye and the minimal comments about Fleury vs the very pro comments about Lehner. That’s my opinion.

      In any case, good luck to you. We’re arguing over nothing really. I’m not here for that.

      • Mike StG

        Julie – I responded more to you exactly because I find you to be receptive to all opinions and without preconceived opinions or knee jerk reactions that bias you. Some of the others are so extreme that to have a dialogue with them seems pointless. FYI, you didn’t ‘trigger’ anything, and I’m not angry, resentful or any other negative emotion toward you. It’s hard on the internet to communicate as the inability to hear or see others can often lead to misinterpretation of intent, imagining motives, sarcasm or implications that don’t actually exist. I don’t say that to suggest that is the case here, and make it as a general comment only. I happen to agree with you about Fleury. I think they had good intentions in acquiring Lehner but in the long run they created a lot of damage by what followed the trade. I hope they can work something out with MAF and was hoping to see his number the first to be hoisted at TMA – and maybe a statue in front of him making The Save. The situation is very disappointing to say the least. My comments about Lehner have been mostly to counter the many who seem to be piling on him for the fact our team didn’t get to the final. In reality, allowing 1.8 GPG in the WC final is terrific – the team lost because their offense failed them (hard to win a series scoring only 1.6 GPG). And also to some extent their coach failed them by not making needed adjustments in the team’s offense. I personally hope that Lehner signs elsewhere, given Marc-Andre wants to stay and finish his career here. As far as Dansk goes, they signed him because the future with Lehner was (and may still be) uncertain, plus they’ll likely need him for the HSK. He was the #1 goalie for the Wolves last season. He’s also suitable in a backup role with VGK if that’s how it works out, but certainly not the future goalie for the team. Like you I soak up hockey media. Love the locals (esp Jesse & Ryan) and even Ken who I disagree with a LOT. I particularly enjoy TFP (Pagnotta and Bernstein), and SiriusXMNHL hosts (Kouleas, Gordon), and Mike Kelly who I think is one of the most insightful analysts out there. They’re not linked to local TV or radio broadcasts so they tend to not be biased in favor of their local teams. Several of the NHLN or NBCSN hosts are also involved with local broadcasts in various markets and their comments reflect some bias, though not egregious. However it comes across to you, I do enjoy the discussions we have. I don’t take sports personally, it’s supposed to be enjoyable and inspiring. There’s enough misery and negativity in the world already. Respectfully and with kind regards. 🙂

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