The Golden Knights were off Tuesday following a 7-2 loss at Calgary that defenseman Nick Holden called “unacceptable.” Forward Reilly Smith was searching for answers after the game, and so are the fans. Let’s get to it:
“I don’t know much about putting a hockey team together but part of me keeps saying … why didn’t they just leave the team alone? They are always talking about the first year’s chemistry. Guess they don’t go by the old saying ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ Do you think they can turn it around?” — Lynette Simon (email)
Maybe the Knights lack a little sandpaper in the locker room and on the ice. Maybe one or two players from last year’s team would help in that department. That’s a fair assessment.
But even had the roster stayed exactly the same, it would be impossible to recreate the chemistry of the “Golden Misfits,” which was the perfect confluence of timing and personalities.
This year’s team has yet to find a rallying point and a voice to bring them all together.
Luckily for the Knights, the Pacific Division is a wreck and they were a manageable three points out of a playoff spot entering Tuesday.
“Is it time to start recalling some players from Chicago like Pirri, Macek, Carr or Brannstrom?” — Holger Stolzenberg (Twitter)
“With so many other teams making changes, what do you think will be our breaking point for big enough changes to make a difference? All of our changes seem ‘band aid’ and not addressing bigger problems.” — Jim Halvorson (Twitter)
General manager George McPhee already made a major move prior to training camp acquiring Max Pacioretty. Unless McPhee is willing to part with more players/draft picks to land out-of-contract forward William Nylander from Toronto, there’s not many big changes he can make.
Brandon Pirri and Daniel Carr have NHL experience and could slot into the third line. Brooks Macek is in his first season in the American Hockey League after playing in Germany. Erik Brannstrom is 19 years old.
It’s not fair to expect any of them to snap the Knights out of their funk.
This is a short-term problem, and there’s no reason for McPhee to deviate from his long-term plan to make the Knights a perennial Stanley Cup contender.
“You’re nearly 1/4 through season … where are top 3 press boxes and what do you like about them?” — Jen Leeper (Twitter)
The most important criteria is the view, how accessible it is and, of course, what kind of food they serve. Not to be a homer, but T-Mobile Arena wipes the floor with other arenas in the first two categories.
Pittsburgh’s PPG Paints Arena stands out for the framed newspapers on the wall, adding a bit of a history. Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota is a personal favorite, too.