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VGK Weekly Round-Up – 6/8/20


It’s a cool December morning on Mount Charleston


The villain is spotted driving the visiting teams’ flag into the snow.  The Golden Knight is called upon and a fierce sword fight breaks out between the two.  The crowd inside T-Mobile Arena cheers as they watch on “Knight Tron”.  The screen goes black and the fight continues on the ice.  The villain throws the visiting team’s logo at The Golden Knight.  The Golden Knight slices the logo in half as the crowd cheers louder.  Now it is time to get the villain!  The Golden Knight drives his sword into the ice shattering it piece by piece eliminating the villain. 

From high above the ice the VGK helmet descends slowly as a “go knights go” chant starts which is kept in perfect time by the Drumline.  “VEEGGGAAAASSSSSSSSSSS, are you ready?!  Because “It’s KNIGHT TIME!” VGK arena announcer Bruck Cusick yells as the the the theme from the movie, “John Wick” starts.  Eighteen -thousand plus fans are in an absolute frenzy as the VGK starting lineup is announced.  

Beloved VGK anthem singer, Carnell Johnson, let’s the crowd take over for a keyword every time he belts out the Star-Spangled Banner.  “Knights!” the crowd yells in perfect harmony at the appropriate moment.  Mark Shattuck and Wayne Danielson (Big D) are pumping up the crowd just before puck drop as Chance cranks the siren.  VGK scores an early goal and the crowd of eighteen thousand plus cheers at over one hundred decibels.  


The hope is that fans can return to the hub arenas during the NHL postseason. 


How many fans, if any, is the real question.  Assuming the stadium is empty besides media, production staff, and people with direct affiliation to the teams, what will it be like watching the games on television?  How can you recreate the energy and feeling after the home team scores?  What about the boost that a team gets from the crowd when there are eight minutes left in a tied game?  Simply put, how can I feel a part of the action while watching on the television?

VGK vs Florida Panthers
Photo Credit:

The National feed through the NBC Sports Networks will always be what they are.  Anchored by Mike Emrick and Eddie Olczyk, fans can expect an upbeat broadcast with Olcyzyk reminding kids to go to the front of the net and Emrick calling the action with a chaotic, yet controlled tempo.  The NBC broadcast stays neutral and entertaining.

My hope is that the NHL allows the remaining teams in the playoffs to continue with their day of game productions too.  Without fans in the seats, I want an experience that isn’t fair and balanced.  I want Dave Goucher and Shane Hindy to call VGK goals with absolute jubilation and giving the officials the business when a poor penalty is called.

 It would be nice to see some of the in-arena entertainment offered in the broadcast too. I want to see The Golden Knight standing up top in section 217 row Q pounding the shield with the sword. Put Chance on the glass behind the opposition’s goalie. Let’s hear “Vegas Lights” by Panic at the Disco after we score a goal. Blast “The Man” by The Killers after Marc Andre Fleury or Robin Lehner stops a point-blank shot. I would absolutely LOVE to see a hybrid broadcast that incorporates as much of the day of game experience into the action of the game. The fans want to feel involved.  


Lastly, I believe the NHL has an opportunity to try something new for the playoffs. 


Offer a completely interactive experience where the fans can control what they see. Let’s see some fixed cameras on players, coaches with microphones, cameras on each bench picking up the conversations between the players and coaches, and microphones placed to pick up the discussions that take place amongst the officials. Different camera angles would be nice too. Fans can gain a greater appreciation for the speed of the game by viewing the action from behind the play instead of the traditional broadcast “left to right” perspective.  The NHL and NBC may even have an opportunity to charge for this “premium service.”  


Playoff Update  


VGK vs Edmonton Oilers
Courtesy: NBC Sports

The NHL has announced that the “play in” round of the playoffs will be the best of five games and the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be the traditional best of seven games. The “round-robin” games will determine the seed for the top four teams in each conference.  In the event there is a tie for total points in the “round-robin” games, regular-season points percentage will be the tie-breaker.  The highest seed will play the lowest remaining seed in each conference playoff series.  Lastly, the NHL has designated “home” teams for each post-season series. The main importance of being the home team is for the last change during line changes.

Vegas Playoff SpinVegas ranks third of the four highest seeds in the Western Conference behind St. Louis and Colorado, and ahead of Dallas. Vegas will need to gain at least one additional point than St. Louis and Colorado in the “round-robin” games to earn a higher seed.  Vegas holds the tie-breaker over Dallas in the event the two of them tie.  A number one seed once the Stanley Cup Playoffs officially begin is a big advantage in a best of seven series.  It would be much nicer to see Vegas face off against teams like Arizona, Chicago, or Minnesota instead of Edmonton or Nashville in the first round.      

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Chris Gawlik



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-Chris Gawlik – Franchise Sports Media


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