Golden knights vs coyotes
Photo Credit: Knights on Ice

FSM Presents: 2 Minutes with Gawlik – Weekly VGK Update – Vol 12

Franchise Sports Media

 

Welcome to “Two Minutes with Gawlik, Volume 12.”  Lots of activity, injuries, and changes to the roster.  Let us get right into it.

 

Golden Knights vs Blues
Photo Credit: KLAS

Monday, April 5th vs. St. Louis Blues: The Golden Knights needed a bounce-back game in the worst way.  St. Louis has been a tough place for VGK to get wins, and there was no worse place in the division to be to have to crack a three-game losing streak. Tomas Nosek scored first for VGK just over six minutes into the first, and VGK never looked back. VGK scored six goals in the first two periods and would end up winning by a score of 6-1. Robin Lehner’s performance was under the radar due to the offensive explosion. Lehner made many great saves early on. Good game VGK, no better way to stop a losing streak.

Wednesday, April 7th vs. St. Louis Blues: The dreaded first shot of the game got by Marc Andre Fleury just forty-eight seconds into the game. St. Louis took a two-goal just over seven minutes into the first period, and VGK would spend the rest of the game chasing a multiple-goal lead. VGK peppered Jordan Binnington with fifty-one shots on goal, but only one would get by him. St. Louis goes on to win by a score of 3-1. VGK did not play a bad game by any means, and it is tough chasing a lead while dealing with a hot goalie. Games like this happen in the regular season; they just hurt a bit more in a shortened season.

Friday, April 9th vs. Arizona Coyotes: I had to separate the laundry, and the plan was to tune in to the game about ten minutes into the first period. It is only ten minutes, what could I possibly miss? Just a few moments into the game, I hear my kids celebrating upstairs. They also cheered loudly when “Herold, the Town Crier” from the Henderson Silver Knights announced the first goal to the T-Mobile Arena crowd. Less than two minutes later, I hear the kids celebrating again. Then two more minutes go by, and they are celebrating again. Now, I am starting to get mad. I am mixing up the kids’ socks, putting the wrong things in the baskets, and I may have stretched a sock or two in frustration. Just under three minutes go by, and I hear more celebrating. I want to take this moment to apologize to the door on the dryer that I may or may not have slammed in frustration. VGK put up a four-spot in the first period and ended up winning by a score of 7-4.  Arizona did pull within two goals a couple of times to make the game a bit interesting. It is hard to keep your foot on the gas in a blowout game like this one.

 

Golden Knights vs Coyotes
Photo Credit: Bleacher Report

Sunday, April 11th vs. Arizona Coyotes: No shortage of storylines in Sunday’s matinee. Nosek logged the game’s only goal in the third period. Ryan Reaves put a game-ending hit on Jordan Gross in the first period. Gross appeared to admire his pass a bit too long, and Reaves demolished him with a check that the NHL deemed to be perfectly legal. No penalty was given on the play. Arizona played a very aggressive style of play, and it seemed like every stoppage featured post-whistle activities. Conor Garland sent Mark Stone head over heels with a low check fifteen seconds remaining in the game. That brought all 11 skaters on the ice together for some pushing and shoving. VGK has two more games against Arizona, and we can expect plenty of rough stuff during play and after each whistle. Keegan Kolesar and Reaves suffered injuries during the game that will force both to miss some time.

Monday, April 12th vs. Los Angeles Kings: Another game that featured the Golden Knights playing with an uncommon roster. Injuries on Sunday to Reaves and Kolesar meant defensemen, Dylan Coghlan, would dress as the twelfth forward. Tomas Jurco was recalled from the Henderson Silver Knights to also play forward on the fourth line. Cal Peterson was in net, and the Kings had a two-goal lead midway through the second period. It seemed like nothing was going right for VGK and that the Kings would run away with this one. Nicolas Roy scored with just over five minutes remaining in the second period. Then VGK captain Mark Stone scored a shorthanded goal with thirty seconds remaining in the second period to tie it up. If I had a nickel for every time I said Alex Tuch is one of the hardest players to stop between the blue lines with a full head of steam, I would have no less than $1.40. Tuch scored a wonderful coast-to-coast goal early in the third to give VGK the lead for good. Perhaps it took VGK a while to get their legs on the back end of a back-to-back. VGK got stronger and stronger throughout.  4-2 VGK.

 

Yesterday was the trade deadline. General Manager, Kelly McCrimmon, had to play “money ball” unless he was willing to trade a marquee player like Jonathan Marchessault. The lone deal had forward Mattias Janmark joining VGK in a three-team deal with the Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks. VGK gave up a second and third-round pick.

 

Vegas Golden Knights
Photo Credit: Vegas Golden Knights

Janmark has nineteen points, with eight of them coming on the powerplay this season. This is more of a depth move for VGK. Janmark strengthens line three, which will most likely Tuch, Nosek, and Janmark. Line four also gets an upgrade with Roy dropping down. Plus, Janmark can move up to the top six forwards should an injury occur. This is not the trade-deadline splash that VGK fans are used to. At the end of the day, VGK remains up against the salary cap, and it would have been tough to improve VGK any further without exchanging an important piece of their core.

While not technically a trade deadline acquisition, Nosek’s production as of late is like what a trade deadline acquisition offers. Nosek had a slow start due to injury and Covid. As of late, he has come on strong. VGK coach Pete DeBoer has mentioned that Nosek has given him no option but to move him up in the lineup. Through thirty-two games, Nosek has seven goals and seven assists. Nosek has had success at the AHL level as a goal scorer and has found his scoring touch in the second half of this season. It will be interesting to see how Tuch, Nosek, and Janmark produce for the rest of the season.

 

Rough week for the Henderson Silver Knights as they went 1-2.  Tuesday’s game against the San Jose Barracuda was exciting.  Trailing late, HSK tied the game with two minutes remaining and would go on to win in a shootout.  Pavel Dorofeyev’s shootout winner was spectacular.  It seemed like he was trying to “backhand-forehand” his shot.  Just as he went to the forehand, Dorofeyev brought the puck to his backhand with just one hand on the stick.  Very fun goal to watch scored by someone with a lot of confidence.          

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-Chris Gawlik – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Chris on Twitter @TDChrisG

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