Golden knights vs blues
Photo Credit: myMotherLode.com

FSM Presents: 2 Minutes with Gawlik – Weekly VGK Update – Vol 8

Franchise Sports Media

 

Welcome to “Two Minutes with Gawlik, Volume 8.” It was a week filled with positives and negatives. I am not just talking Marc Andre Fleury’s Covid results. It was week that started off with back-to-back losses and ended with back-to-back wins.

 

Golden Knights vs Wild              
Photo Credit: Knights On Ice

Monday, March 8th vs. Minnesota: It is hard enough to win in the NHL; it does not matter what team you are facing or what their record is. Remove Captain Mark Stone and prized free-agent acquisition, Alex Peitrangelo, and it is that much harder to win. You cannot win if you do not score, and that is exactly what VGK did (not) do in this one, getting shut out by the Wild 2-0. Fleury was his usual self, doing every he could to give VGK a chance to win.  VGK just could not solve Wild goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen, who earned his first career NHL shutout. Too many giveaways in this one was the game-changer. Perhaps that was a product of being without Pietrangelo? This was a tough spot for VGK, who has struggled to play in Minnesota to begin with.

Wednesday, March 10th vs. Minnesota: Stone returned after missing Monday’s game which had to give the team a spark. Unfortunately, Stone’s return was not enough to keep Minnesota from scoring just nineteen seconds into the game. VGK answered shortly after with Dylan Coghlan’s first career NHL goal. The second period was scoreless. Things got wild (bad pun, sorry) in the third period. The Wild scored the first three goals of the period to take a 4-1 lead and chased Fleury from the net. Logan Thompson stepped in for his NHL debut in place of FleuryCoghlan scored his second career NHL goal with six minutes left in the game to give Vegas some hope. With just over two minutes remaining, Coghlan would find the net for his third career goal and first NHL hattrick. VGK was all over the Wild for the final two minutes of the game, and Alex Tuch had a great look off a rebound, but the Wild would hold on for a 4-3 victory. The bad game turned into an exciting game, just with a bad ending.

 

Golden Knights vs Blues
Photo Credit: Vegas Golden Knights

Friday, March 12th vs. St. Louis: Coming off two straight losses after a six-game winning streak, St. Louis is the last place VGK wanted to be as they have never won a game in St. Louis since their inception. Crazy things seem to happen when VGK plays St. Louis, and this game was no exception. VGK held a two-goal lead twice. St. Louis scored three straight goals seventeen-minute span from the second period to the middle of the third period. Alec Martinez scored one of his signature goals to tie things up. Martinez has a nose for the net and seems to score a lot of goals by being in the right place at the right time. Please take a moment and find his 2014 Stanley Cup overtime game-winning goal. He has scored so many similar goals for VGK. This game would ultimately head to overtime. VGK was award a powerplay, and Chandler Stephenson took the faceoff. After winning the faceoff, Stephenson went straight to the bench, and Tuch came on the ice. Martinez sent a pass to Jonathan Marchessault, who sent a nice slap pass to Reilly Smith. Smith buried the one-timer to give VGK the extra point in overtime.

Saturday, March 12th vs. St. Louis: Shea Theodore got VGK on the board just four minutes into the game.  Stone would score the game’s next goal over thirty-seven minutes later. An additional four goals would be scored in the third period; thankfully, VGK scored three of them. Dakota Joshua knocked down Ryan Reaves with a hard check in the first period, and Keegan Kolesar challenged Joshua to a fight. Usually, Reaves is the one taking liberties with the opponent over their actions. Props to Kolesar for stepping in there.

 

Fleury was the latest Golden Knight to enter Covid Protocol.  Thankfully, it was a false positive and he was able to make back-to-back starts Friday and Saturday.  Thankfully, he was also able to earn back-to-back victories on Friday and Saturday.

 

Golden Knights
Photo Credit: Allan Walsh Twitter

Allan Walsh should be no stranger to VGK fans. Walsh is Fleury’s agent. Like many, I started following Walsh on Twitter after the infamous bloody sword through Fleury’s back with Pete DeBoer’s name on the handle. That was Walsh’s not so subtle way of voicing his displeasure of Robin Lehner starting over Fleury.  The most unfortunate thing about the tweet was the timing. VGK was in the second round of the 19/20 playoffs. It was a distraction that VGK did not need.

On March 9th, Walsh tweeted the following, “As I’ve said before, Marc Andre Fleury chose Vegas. There were 4 or 5 other options presented to him in 2017, and he said to Pittsburgh’s GM, please get me to Vegas.” Why now? Why is Walsh choosing now, roughly a month from the deadline, to start stirring the pot? A short view of Walsh’s tweets shows that he is very passionate about those he represents. Fine, that is what an agent is supposed to do. Although he may come across as outspoken, I find Walsh to be more calculated than anything.

Listen, Walsh knows that no one across the league needs to be sold on Fleury. Yes, VGK tried hard to trade Fleury in the offseason. Yes, that was something that fueled plenty of passion and rage among the VGK faithful. But Fleury is not going anywhere this season. Or is he? Lehner is close to returning to the VGK roster, which will give Fleury some much-needed rest as the playoffs get closer. Is Walsh concerned that VGK is still shopping Fleury? I do not believe that to be the case. As I mentioned in my last “Two Minutes with Gawlik” article, keeping Fleury was not a beneficial move in the offseason. The team has too much money tied up in the net and is unable to improve the team at the trade deadline without giving up key pieces to the current roster.

However, giving up Fleury (or Lehner) at this point would be worse. There is a great mystery surrounding Lehner’s injury. I do not believe VGK wants to chance it with one top goalie. So why would Walsh choose now to start stirring up things again? Does Walsh still think VGK will try and move Fleury in the next few weeks? Or does Walsh simply hate DeBoer, George McPhee, and Kelly McCrimmon just that much to the point that he wants to do whatever he can to make them look bad? As I said, Walsh has a motive here, and I have spent the last forty-eight hours trying to figure out what it is. I even met with some of my hockey contacts over a weekend barbeque to discuss it. Unfortunately, a few too many beers were consumed, and they were no help at all. At least we know Walsh will continue to voice his unfiltered opinion daily and may provide some clues as to what his endgame is.

 

The Henderson Silver Knights will welcome fans to the Orleans Arena starting Saturday March 20th!  Their game last Monday was postponed over what turned out to be a false positive Covid test.  HSK returned to play with back-to-back games Saturday and Sunday against the Ontario Reign.  The two teams split the games.

 

2 Minutes with Gawlik                 2 Minutes with Gawlik                 2 Minutes with Gawlik                 2 Minutes with Gawlik                 2 Minutes with Gawlik                 2 Minutes with Gawlik                 2 Minutes with Gawlik                 2 Minutes with Gawlik                 2 Minutes with Gawlik                 2 Minutes with Gawlik                   2 Minutes with Gawlik                 2 Minutes with Gawlik             2 Minutes with Gawlik                 2 Minutes with Gawlik                

-Chris Gawlik – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Chris on Twitter @TDChrisG

Follow The Franchise on social media

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

YouTube