Golden knights vs coyotes
Photo Credit: CBS Sports

2 Minutes with Gawlik – Weekly VGK Update – Vol 1

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Welcome to “Two Minutes with Gawlik” where you will be able to get caught up on the previous week’s VGK news and information! VGK is off to a 5-1 start and here is how they got there.

 

Golden Knights vs Ducks
Photo Credit: Knights on Ice

Jan 14th VS Anaheim:  VGK jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the home and season opener however Anaheim battled back to tie the game.  The second period was scoreless. VGK tallied three goals in the third period and never looked back winning this one 5-2.

Jan 16th VS Anaheim: Anaheim was able to blank VGK until under two minutes remaining in the game. With Marc Andre Fleury pulled, William Karlsson tied the game. Max Pacioretty needed just seven seconds to bring the VGK faithful to their feet watching from home.

January 18th VS Arizona: Arizona jumped to a 2-0 lead and VGK was facing their largest deficit of the young season. VGK would score the next four goals to match their best regular-season start in team history.

January 20th VS Arizona: The best first period of the season had VGK leading 3-0 going to intermission.  VGK played their most complete game of the season winning this one 5-2 for the first 4-0 start in team history. Alex Pietrangelo scored his first goal as a Golden Knight in the first period.

At some point during the inaugural season, I recall Arena Announcer, “Big D” (Wayne Danielson) chanting “Third Period’s Ours” as the second intermission ended. He tried this for a few games or so. The goal was to get the entire crowd to join in. To be honest, it fell flat. Many fans are still making their way back from the concessions, restrooms, etc. It was a bit odd as the fans that were in their seats did not join in. Just because the fans no longer chant it, does not mean the message has not been received by the players. Through four games, VGK has outscored their opponents 9-1 in the third period. Total domination to say the least. Those numbers should come back to reality a little, but for now, VGK is the best third-period team in the NHL.

 

Although the season is young, ten points in six games is huge. The season is already over seven percent completed and it feels like it just started.

 

Golden Knights vs Coyotes
Photo Credit-Five For Howling

Coming into the game on January 18th, just one point separated the Golden Knights and Coyotes. Now the Golden Knights lead the Coyotes by five points in the West Division. In a fifty – six-game season when all you play is divisional opponents, a team can find themselves on the outside of the playoffs looking in very quickly.

Keegan Kolesar has been in the lineup for each of VGK’s first four games. In games one and two he was the thirteenth forward, meaning he would be moved throughout each of the four forward lines. In-game three he centered the “meatgrinders” line. In-game four he was on the third line with Alex Tuch and Nicolas RoyKolesar was a difference-maker Wednesday night. Kolesar set the screen for Shea Theodore to score and got the second assist on Pietrangelo’s goal. It is important to note that he was right in front of the goal for both of those goals. Go to the net and good things happen. Line three may be a nice place for Kolesar as he can let Tuch and Roy showcase their skill while he creates havoc in front of the net.

 

Cody Glass was a non-factor in the first two games of the year and was scratched for the previous two. The primary reasons that Glass was scratched for games three and four were a combination of salary cap and waiver issues related to Kolesar.

 

Golden Knights vs Coyotes
Photo Credit: Arizona Daily Star

VGK is right up against the salary cap and will need to use every trick in the book to stay cap compliant throughout the season. A concern is that Kolesar would be picked up on waivers should VGK have no choice but to place him on waivers. Scratching Glass prevents that from having to happen. After last night’s game, I am sure several teams would love to take a flyer on Kolesar without having to trade any pieces away.

What about Glass? Is it time to panic? Of course not! Prior to last week, the last time Glass played an NHL game was February 17th, 2020. Glass has had a long road to get back to full health. He put on twenty plus pounds of muscle during his time off. It will take some time for Glass to find his game, but once he does, he will be a key contributor in the VGK lineup that can play on any of the top three forward positions. I am not suggesting that he is going to bump anyone down from the top-six forward positions. I am simply stating he is a versatile player that gives VGK needed depth.

 

Coach Pete DeBoer has been true to his statement about a goalie rotation to start the season off.

 

Golden Knights vs Coyotes
Photo Credit: The Saratogian

Robin Lehner is 2-0 and stopped fifty of the fifty-four shots he faced. Fleury is also 2-0 and stopped forty–two of forty-five shots faced. Which goalie has been better? WHO CARES! VGK fans, please stop trying to make something out of nothing. This is a fifty-six-game sprint with games nearly every other night. There will be many nights of back-to-back games. Having two elite level goalies is proving to be an advantage. How did we feel as fans when Malcom Subban was set to start a game in place of Fleury? Honestly, I felt great about it. I opened a sportsbook app, pounded the over, and had more money in my account after the game was over. VGK fans, please relax. There is no goalie controversy and no drama needed. Yes, VGK tried to ship out Fleury. It was not fair, we love our Flower…blah blah blah, get over it!  Enjoy the fact that we have two starting goalies.

Cheer for a “W” in the standings, not #29 or #90.  “Boy, if we can afford it, why don’t we keep two (no. 1) goalies give ourselves some real protection? I’m hopeful that we can keep those guys.” Bill Foley stated back in October.

In Bill Foley we trust.

 

I am going to keep beating the drum about this.

 

2 Minutes with gawlik
Photo Credit: VGK Lifestyle

Prior to and during all home VGK games, you can watch “Fortress and Home” on YouTube and Twitch. We all miss being at T-Mobile Arena and this is the next best thing. The arena hosts Mark Shunock and Katie Marie take you through the game starting from warmups to intermission entertainment, and all the way through the three stars of the game announcement. You get a full dose of public address announcer, Bruce Cusik.  VEEEGGGGAAASSSSSS, it’’’’’’’sssssssssssss KNIIIIIIGGGGTTTTT TIIIIIMMMMEEEE! Give it a shot when VGK returns to T-Mobile Arena next week.

The Golden Knights travel to Arizona for games over the weekend…and they will not be alone. Gila River Arena in Glendale permits fans with social distancing and occupancy guidelines. I will guess that at least fifty percent of the attendance is VGK fans, possibly more. The players will feed off that energy! It will be interesting to see how the VGK players react to playing in front of fans again.

So far so good, VGK is 5-1 after they packed up for a quick road trip to Arizona.

GO KNIGHTS GO!

 

2 Minutes with Gawlik is Franchise Sports Media’s weekly VGK update. Chris Gawlik gives Golden Knights fans a quick trip around the rink with the latest VGK news, notes and opinoins. Comeback every Monday at 10:30 AM for your Golden Knights fix!

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-Chris Gawlik – Franchise Sports Media

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