Golden knights vs ducks
Photo Credit: Fox 5 Vegas

FSM Presents: 2 Minutes with Gawlik – Weekly VGK Update – Vol 13

Franchise Sports Media

 

Welcome to “2-Minutes with Gawlik, Volume 13.”  Southern Nevada Professional Hockey continues to roll. The Vegas Golden Knights went 4-0 and Henderson Silver Knights went 2-1 last week!

 

Golden Knights vs Kings
Photo Credit: CBS L.A.

Monday, April 12th vs. Los Angeles Kings: Another game that featured the Golden Knights playing with an uncommon roster. Injuries to Ryan Reaves and Keegan Kolesar meant defensemen, Dylan Coghlan, would dress as the twelfth forward. Tomas Jurco was recalled from the 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. Mark Stone scored a shorthanded goal with thirty seconds remaining in the second period to tie it up. Alex 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.

Wednesday, April 14th vs. Los Angeles Kings: This is a game where you would expect the Kings to have a response ready after coughing up a two-goal lead Monday night. Well, that was far from the case. VGK netted three first-period goals, chased Jonathan Quick from the net in the first period, and coasted to a 6-2 victory. The “low-light” of the game was Max Pacioretty’s goal late in the first period. One could say that Pacioretty knew exactly what he was doing. If I were Pacioretty, my explanation of the goal would have been, “They thought I was just dumping it in, but what I really did was flick the puck off my backhand from the blue line with just enough English so it would bounce right in front of Quick and hook to throw him off a bit.” What really happened was Pacioretty was trying to get the puck deep and scored on a lucky bounce. Either way, it was VGK goal on the scoreboard.

 

Golden Knights vs Ducks
Photo Credit: Yahoo! Sports

Friday, April 16th vs. Anaheim Ducks: “These guys we’re playing got no heart.” Quote from “Remember the Titans” by “Rev” (played by Craig Kirkwood) as Williams High won their Friday night game. The Ducks do not have the talent to compete with the top three teams in the West Division; that is far from a hot take. Anaheim had some early first-period pressure; however, neither team scored in the first. My neighbor was nice enough to set up a TV in his garage, and a few neighborhood families enjoyed the game together. I suggested that all of us do a shot whenever VGK scored from the second period on. My quote regarding Duck’s goalie, John Gibson, was, “He will give up one goal or four or more goals. Nothing in the middle.”  Fortunately, or unfortunately for us in the driveway, VGK would score three second-period goals, which left the Gawlik, Warnke, and Crawford families feeling a bit tipsy. VGK went on to win 4-0 in a game in where it appeared that the Ducks wanted to be doing anything other than playing hockey. Hopefully, VGK can keep their feet on the gas pedal for Sunday’s matinee.

Sunday, April 18th vs. Anaheim Ducks: Anaheim was expected to come out with some energy after Friday’s blowout, but it would not be enough. VGK scored early and often. The game’s most exciting moment was when the Ducks appeared to successfully execute a “Flying-V” which was made famous from “The Mighty Ducks” back in 1992. Anaheim had a four-on-one and played some tic-tac-toe to get one by Marc Andre Fleury. That would be the only time the game would be tied after the first faceoff. VGK went on to win 5-2 in a game in which they were barely tested.

 

VGK has only twelve games remaining in the regular season and are currently tied with the Colorado Avalanche for points in the West Division.  However, Colorado is in the middle of a “Covid” break as they have had to re-schedule some games from the weekend.  Colorado has one game in hand and the two teams will face each other at T-Mobile Arena on April 26th and 28th.  Those games just could decide who gets the number one seed in the division.

 

Golden Knights vs Sharks
Photo Credit: Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

One thing I wonder about is the parody amongst the divisions. Teams have only faced off against opponents from their division and will not play a game outside of their division unless they win two playoff rounds. VGK has not had any trouble accumulating points against the Arizona Coyotes, St. Louis Blues, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, and Anaheim Ducks. The Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche have been a different story. The Wild and Avalanche are solid teams. It is unfortunate that after two playoff rounds, only one of those teams will still be alive in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. If Vegas can make it out of the West, how will they match up against the other division winners?

This is where the scouts and coaching staffs will earn their salaries. It is not like they can pull film from a game earlier in the year trying to gain a strategic edge over their opponent. Here is a not so bold prediction, once the final four teams in the NHL are determined, the team that will win the Stanley Cup will be the team with the coach with the most NHL Stanley Cup Playoff games coached.

VGK “only” has three games in the upcoming week, two against the San Jose Sharks and one against the Anaheim Ducks. San Jose will be pumped for tonight’s game as Patrick Marleau will break Gordie Howe’s record of most games played (1,767). Marleau first entered the NHL in 1997 with the San Jose Sharks. Besides brief stints with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins, Marleau has spent nearly his entire career with the SharksJoe Thorton (1,669) and Zdeno Chara (1,598) are the only active players that are within striking distance of Howe’s record. Can they outlast Marleau? Time will tell. Those in attendance at T-Mobile Arena tonight are in for a special night, and I am sure the VGK gameday team will have a special moment to commemorate this day in hockey history.

 

I look forward to having you back in the box for another “2-Minutes with Gawlik next week right here on Franchise Sports Media.

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-Chris Gawlik – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Chris on Twitter @TDChrisG

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