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Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

What We’re Watching For At Training Camp

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights open on-ice Training Camp today as they prepare for the abridged 2021 regular season. Unlike a normal camp that is nearly a month-long, this one is condensed to less than two weeks with the season opener right around the corner on January 14th. 4o players will be in camp for the Golden Knights, 24 forwards, 12 defensemen and four goalies.

Here’s what we’ve got our eyes on as the Golden Knights get back on the ice.

Put The Thing In The Thing

Normally I wouldn’t care how often guys were scoring in drills or scrimmages during camp, but I can’t get my mind off the camp in July before the Golden Knights headed up to Edmonton and the bubble. That camp was marred with an inability to score basically up and down the lineup. At the time, we chalked it up to great goaltending, excellent defending, and rust from being off for a few months. Then, the Golden Knights caught fire scoring when they first got going in the playoffs. So, all seemed well. Of course, we all know how the year ended for Vegas and it brought me back to that camp. When I say the Golden Knights couldn’t score at City National Arena before they left, I literally mean there were 10 minute long drills where the puck would go in once, 20 minute long scrimmages where neither team scored, and one specific 2-on-1 drill I remember that went 0 for 31.

I want to see something different this time around. Marchessault, Pacioretty, Stone, Karlsson, Smith, Tuch, Theodore, Pietrangelo, put the puck in the net, please. Scoring draughts have been an issue for the Golden Knights for two seasons running and the time for it to stop is now, like literally today in training camp.

Goalie “Competition”

It would take something monumental for Marc-Andre Fleury to unseat Robin Lehner as the starter for Vegas against the Ducks on the 14th, but it’s not like we haven’t seen anything like it before. When the season paused, Fleury and Lehner were splitting the goal evenly. Then, despite Pete DeBoer claiming otherwise, somewhere between Phase 3 (July camp) and Phase 4 (games) of the Return to Play, Lehner won the job.

I was at every practice during that July camp and it wasn’t hard to see who was stopping the puck more frequently. The Golden Knights were struggling to score, but when they did, it was usually on Fleury. It’s important to note that in the three years I’ve watched practice with Fleury in the goal, it’s not uncommon to see him get scored upon fairly frequently. However, it clearly meant something to the head coach and it probably will again in this camp. If Fleury wants his job back, he has to dazzle in camp. There aren’t any preseason games but he’ll see plenty of shots in front of DeBoer at CNA. If he stops a bunch more than Lehner, maybe we’re in for yet another controversial switcheroo.

2017 Draft: It’s Time

Of the 40 players in the Golden Knights camp, six of them are VGK draft picks from the 2017 Draft. Cody Glass is ticketed for a major role on the team this season, so it would be nice to see him flash like a projected #2 center should. It’s the other five guys that I’m really looking at though; Jack Dugan, Lucas Elvenes, Jake Leschyshyn, Ben Jones, and Nic Hauge. Roster spots are limited but with the cap crunch the Golden Knights are facing, there are spots to be had if someone steps up and really claims one. Dugan dominated in college last year, Elvenes was one of the best AHL rookies, and Hague had limited success at the NHL level. Someone step up and make that draft class look like something more than a bushel of assets the front office used to buy Pacioretty and Stone.

Center Of Attention

One of the greatest concerns for the Golden Knights coming into this season is their center depth. William Karlsson is a legit high-end center, but it gets real thin real quick behind him. The first question is which one of the remaining four is the odd-man-out and gets sent to the 3rd line wing. Chandler Stephenson was the most successful of the four (Glass, Roy, Nosek, Stephenson) last season, but he also is the best fit on the wing if the other three can hold down the fort. It will be interesting to see how DeBoer lines them up in scrimmages, who works with which group, and who is between Pacioretty and Stone. If the Golden Knights aren’t one of the best teams in the NHL, a big reason will be their centers. It’s probably going to be a revolving door for a while, but I’d love to see at least the 2C job locked down in the next two weeks.

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23 Comments

  1. If Vegas is not successful this year goes on Pete Debooor he has the horses its same for every team.
    No excuses get it done.

  2. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    I agree that the center spot will be the most critical/interesting to see how it develops. Glass never got a proper look at center last year. He’s not a winger and I think he can shine at center. Also would would like to see at least one more young guy make the lineup. We are very strong at goalie, regardless of what the rotation ends up being. People are going to be coach D haters no matter what. He’s a good coach, but can’t step on the ice to play. That’s all on the players and I think they will do well!!!!!!

  3. Tim

    Watching the training camp video I don’t know about you but it’s a cluster F@@k. For as good as Vegas is with all it’s shows and video / audio technology they can’t stream the practice without problems. I was really waiting to get into it but it is what it is.

  4. Good coach because?
    VGK made a quick, poor decision to replace Gallant. If Debooor has a good year i will give him his creds.
    I am not a hater just long time hockey fan and happy for VGK

    • fred d.

      Gallant had been on chopping block for a long time….look at pedigree of GMGM, Deboer and Foley…two lawyers and a West Point grad…Gallant is a stubborn working class coach from Canada…different corporate culture….

      • No chopping block. Gallant x player great rapoir with players
        Not stand offish and arrogant like Deboor

      • Daryl

        So is PDB stubborn or hard headed…. If you look at last season especially the playoffs he ran the same offense no matter how unsuccessful it was. And I would be hesitant to say he is a good coach just based on how he’s done at other programs

      • What a laugh pedigree mgt group. You must think all the lawyers etc in DC are a pedigree group also. That’s even a greater joke. Your opinion of yourself judging Gallant as a working class stiff from Canada speaks volumes concern your lack of hockey knowledge.

  5. Mikegron32

    So what is your definition of a good year? He took them to the Western Conference Finals last year. Only 2 coaches in the entire league went further

    • Daryl

      So VGK made it that far b/c of PDB? Yeah I don’t think so. They didn’t look good for most of the playoffs. If they didn’t play such bad teams they would have been lucky to get past the first round and definately not the 2nd.

  6. vgk2021

    and Gallant admitted that he has not received ONE SINGLE COACHING OFFER since being fired.

    there is a reason for that. he is not considered a good x and o’s coach in today’s different style game. even Detroit would not hire him. he played there and was expected to get that job, but Steve Y decided to stick with a loser in Blashill instead of Gallant. he will probably end up in Seattle

  7. I would love to see him in Seattle if he has success there they would probably keep him. Remember Foleys goals shattered first year.

  8. JimL23

    Any ideas how VGK are going to solve their cap issues? I know many ideas have been thrown about (playing a forward short, sending Fleury to the taxi squad when he is not playing, etc.) but all of those are just short term hacks and are not really season long solutions, especially when short term injuries start showing up and some cushion is needed.

  9. sb

    Got two major problems to resolve: Gotta move Fluery’s $7 mil cap hit. Equally important is getting that Number 1 center for Stone and Pac. Big mistake to have two hi-end scorers deprived of a true playmaking center. Picture a guy with Adam Oates talent there.

  10. the president Elect- Hockey God

    gallant is done

    only a loser franchise will hire him

    slow to change
    old school , stodgy, hates russians

    he gone

    PS and Trump won in landslide.

    • Daryl

      First of all, I agree with you on TRUMP!!!

      Secondly, I don’t know what the status will be with Gallant but you can’t say he is done because he is slow to change because that is exactly what we have with PDB

  11. Thank you i needed that this morning.

  12. Looking at Twitter, Fleury did better than Lehner in the scrimmage game today. I don’t see that in this article though, hmmm.

    So it appears the dazzling has already started. I know it doesn’t fit SinBin’s narrative, to praise Fleury, so I don’t mind doing it. He is an all-star, money-making, future HOFer, not to mention a consistent fan-favorite (just ask The Atlantic). He will step up because that’s who he is. Taxis and trade talk are noise for those who don’t recognize substance in a player. The stupid decision to sign someone else before clearing space may turn out to be the best thing Vegas did in all of 2020.

  13. DOC (sanity returns Jan 20th)

    On the 20th, the man who the people elected by a HUGE landslide, WILL be sworn in. And that sure isn’t the orange fat ass!

    • knights fan in minny

      hide your money doc mindless joe the the clown who bumble and stumbles his words is coming for your dough to pay for all the free loaders who refuse to work and only want free stuff

      • DOC (sanity returns Jan 20th)

        Don’t have any to hide. But if I did, I would gladly give it all to get poor old honest Joe and his sanity leading us and not the horrible BS, lying, racist , mentally ill idiot who has been. yahooooo! 🙂

    • Daryl

      We all know who will take office… And we all k ow he plans on shutting down the economy longer which will increase suicides and put more local owners out of business

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