Golden knights vs sharks
Photo Credit: Vegas Golden Knights

FSM Presents: 2 Minutes with Gawlik – Weekly VGK Update – Vol 9

Franchise Sports Media

 

Welcome to “Two Minutes with Gawlik, Volume 9.”  Another successful week of Southern Nevada Professional Hockey!

 

Golden Knights vs Sharks
Photo Credit: News3LV

Monday, March 15th vs. San Jose: This was an odd game. VGK seemed to be in control of the game from start to finish but could not put the Sharks away. Max Pacioretty made quick work of a first-period powerplay as he only needed seven seconds to score. Mark Stone scored early in the third period to give VGK a 2-0 lead. VGK had many quality chances throughout the third period, but Sharks goalie Devan Dubnyk made plenty of amazing saves to keep the Sharks in it. Timo Meier gave the Sharks hope, but VGK would escape with the regulation victory. Marc Andre Fleury stopped multiple breakaways, including an amazing poke check on Evander Kane. Both goalies played great games, and this was a classic goaltending duel that left players on both sides of the rink looking to the rafters.

Wednesday, March 17th vs. San Jose: VGK had to dig deep as they were without Alex Tuch, Chandler Stephenson, on top of already being without Alex PietrangeloShea Theodore got an early first-period goal; however, the Sharks put up a three-goal second period. The energy was sucked out of T-Mobile Arena and it seemed like it was going to be a long night. VGK would score the first four goals of the third period and win this one 5-4 in regulation. Ryan Reaves found the back of the net twice, but only one counted as goaltender inference was called on his first goal. It is a special night when Reavo finds the back of the net twice.

 

Golden Knights vs Kings
Photo Credit: KTNV

Friday, March 19th vs. Los Angeles Kings: Plenty of questions surrounding the roster leading up to puck drop. William Karlsson was the latest victim of a false positive Covid test. Chandler Stephenson and Alex Tuch seemed to be game-time decisions. Karlsson, Stephenson, and Tuch were all able to suit up. Robin Lehner also made his first start in six weeks. Pacioretty scored two first-period goals, and it seemed like smooth sailing for VGK. The Kings got one late in the first period and scored the first goal of the second period to tie things up. Even though the game was tied, it felt that VGK was in full control. A second-period goal by Karlsson gave VGK the lead for good and would end up winning 4-2 in regulation.

Sunday, March 21st vs. Los Angeles Kings: The month of March has VGK playing seventeen games in thirty-one days. Games like this are going to happen, and VGK could not dig deep enough to find a victory. Without Max Pacioretty, VGK could not make the most of their forty-two shots on goal and lost 3-1. The turning point came in the third period when Chandler Stephenson appeared to score a power-play goal.  The review showed Drew Doughty stopping the puck and knocking the net off the pegs. VGK had a two-man advantage for over a minute and was not able to score. VGK only has a small handful of goals while on the two-man advantage in their history and ranks near the NHL’s bottom in that category.

 

Shame on me.  Like many, I wondered about the mysterious disappearance of Robin Lehner.

 

Golden Knights vs Kings
Photo Credit: Sportsnet.ca

It seemed odd how he showed up for a game, a game that he was scheduled to start. He would never leave his car to enter T-Mobile Arena and ended up alerting the team he was unable to play. That was the last we would hear about Lehner until a week ago when he started practicing. I recall the game on Super Bowl Sunday where it seemed like he was in pain after taking a puck high. But he was able to practice all week, including the day of his scheduled start.

So, what was the deal? I almost immediately removed the possibility of injury from my mind. Something else had to be up, right? I mean, he does have a documented history of substance abuse. In addition, he has been diagnosed “Bipolar 1.” Like many, I assumed that Lehner had something else going on. Was he back in rehab? Was he having trouble and simply needed to be away from the team for a while? Somewhere during his absence, coach Pete DeBoer did mention that Lehner had an injury and was progressing. But because of Lehner being honest about his past struggles, I did not believe it. I assumed rehab, or he needed to be away from the team to work things out.

In one of Lehner’s first meetings with the media, he mentioned the reason he was away was a concussion. He went on to mention that “the stigma around mental health is insane.” Lehner has been candid about his past issues and what he has gone through. So, because of his honesty, his reward is people like me doubting him. People like me assuming he is hitting the bottle again. I do not know where to really take this segment from here beyond reminding myself and anyone reading this, professional athletes are humans too.

Everybody has stuff they are dealing with. Do not assume until you know—shame on me.

 

The Henderson Silver Knights welcomed their first three thousand fans to the Orleans Arena for games on Saturday and Sunday.

 

2 Minutes with Gawlik
Photo Credit: Hockey Blog in Canada

I was fortunate to be in attendance for both victories! These were my first two live hockey games in over a year, and both games were a blast. My kids are five and six years old, and they had more fun than daddy did! Their favorite part was the “loud horn” when the Silver Knights scored. The horn may sound a bit familiar to those that attended Las Vegas Wranglers games.

Lucky,” the Henderson Silver Knights mascot, was unveiled during the first period of Saturday’s game. Hailing from Battle Mountain, Nevada, Lucky stands in at seven feet tall, he shoots to score, and he is a nice horse that tries hard and loves the game. The kids seem to love the glittery horse too!  In my opinion, Harold the Town Crier stole the show over the weekend. From his “horse joke of the day” to his educational segments and his goal announcements…when the spotlight is on the back of section 109, and he is standing behind the mic, something good is about to happen! Huzzah!

 

The Silver Knights stand alone at the top of the American Hockey League with a record of 13-2-0 and twenty-six points. HSK is undefeated in House Henderson!

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-Chris Gawlik – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Chris on Twitter @TDChrisG

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