83°F
weather icon Clear

Knights’ Theodore must bounce back from Wheel of Misfortune

ARLINGTON, Va. — Things were gliding along Saturday night, the Washington Capitals treating their fans to a nostalgic video of players then and now, a captivating arrangement of shots past and present, complete with music and a sea of red thunder sticks glowing in the darkness of Capital One Arena.

Then the guy who calls out letters for a living walked onto the ice and things became sort of awkward.

It was then Shea Theodore should have considered buying a vowel.

Pat Sajak sure knows how to halt the momentum of an otherwise memorable pregame ceremony, and it was shortly after the “Wheel of Fortune” host introduced starting lineups when Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final commenced between the Capitals and Golden Knights.

It’s one Theodore needs to move on from quickly, both for his own sake and that of the Knights.

Washington beat Vegas 3-1 and leads the best-of-seven series 2-1, with Game 4 on Monday and the Knights very much in need of evening things up or facing the harsh reality that history will not look favorably upon them in terms of winning a Cup.

The Knights haven’t for the first time these playoffs lost consecutive games based solely on the play of a young and talented defenseman.

Far from it. Way far from it.

Vegas only has one line really playing well right now, and when it’s your fourth in a Stanley Cup Final, issues are obviously spread among several names.

But there are also times when one’s mistakes are magnified, when it’s as if you’re the only one on skates and standing under an intense spotlight usually reserved for Sajak, times when you can’t stop spinning the Wheel of Misfortune.

“Did Shea do something real bad?” Knights coach Gerard Gallant said dismissively to a question regarding Theodore’s play in Game 3. “He plays the game like everybody else. He made a couple mistakes that ended up in the back of the net. A lot of guys make mistakes in a hockey game that don’t end up in the back of the net.

“Shea is a 22-year old kid who I love. He’s a great player, and he’s going to be a star in this league.”

Lean on veteran

This is where, more than anything, Theodore can benefit from defending alongside veteran Deryk Engelland. Momentum in a series can change with one shift, one period, one result, and yet carrying your errors from a previous game to the next is never a suggested format for improvement.

Theodore just wasn’t very good. He broke a stick that led to a Evgeny Kuznetsov goal, whiffed when trying to clear that led to a turnover and a Devante Smith-Pelly goal, and was badly out-skated near the end of one shift by Matt Niskanen, forcing Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to come out and defend, leading to a tripping penalty and erasing a Knights power play.

Theodore has been on ice for four of Washington’s last six goals, and was sat by Gallant for more than three minutes immediately following the Smith-Pelly score.

Gallant said to ask assistant coach Ryan McGill about that later.

Um, the Knights ridiculously didn’t even make their top liners available to media Sunday — “It’s like the ‘27 Yankees putting Wally Pipp up there,” said Review-Journal columnist Ron Kantowski — so you can imagine the response had someone requested to inquire of McGill about skipping shifts for Theodore.

“(Shea) has been great for us all year,” Engelland said. “He’s young, he’s going to have mistakes. I talked to him (Saturday night). You’ve just got to tell him to make it simple.”

Gallant might be considering lineup changes — anyone for giving Tomas Tatar a look up front? — but in no way should they include Theodore.

He assisted on a goal in Game 1 and scored in Game 2, the guy who runs the Vegas power play and is far more an offensive threat than anyone now sitting as a healthy scratch.

Theodore was among those not made available Sunday, but did talk briefly following Game 3, saying things like he needed to recharge and have a short memory and be better all over the ice.

Then again, so does Pat Sajak, and he has hosted “Wheel of Fortune” on and off for more than three decades.

Which means there is hope for all the Knights to even this series Monday, including a certain young and talented defenseman.

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact columnist Ed Graney at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Follow

@edgraney on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Golden Knights Videos
Vegas Golden Knights President Kerry Bubolz on the Golden Edge Podcast
Review-Journal reporters Ben Gotz and David Schoen talk with Golden Knights president Kerry Bubolz about his experiences with LeBron James, the team's new initiatives, a possible MLS expansion team and more.
George McPhee Conference Call on Nikita Gusev trade - VIDEO
Golden Knights President of Operations George McPhee answers questions on a conference call about the teams most recent trade of Nikita Gusev to the New Jersey Devils.
Vegas Golden Knight's Deryk Engelland Happy to Re-Sign - Video
Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland is happy to stay in Las Vegas after signing a one-year deal with the team.
Golden Aces hold Tryouts For 2019-2020 Season - Video
The Golden Aces hold tryouts for the 2019-2020 season for the Golden Knights.
Golden Knight's owner Bill Foley's House for sale in The Ridges - Real Estate Millions
Vegas Golden Knights, Fleury Make Day for Critically Ill Teenager in ESPN “My Wish” - Video
A 13-year-old Las Vegas boy who has faced Hodgkin’s lymphoma is treated to a special day by the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights in a new ESPN “My Wish” Series feature debuting Wednesday, July 17, on SportsCenter. In the feature, Doron Coldwell spends a day with the team and even gets an opportunity to replace his favorite player, three-time Stanley Cup winner Marc-Andre Fleury, in the net.
Golden Knights Sell "Battle Worn Armor" To Season Ticket Holders - Video
The Golden Knights sell their "battle worn" apparel throughout both of the teams seasons including pucks, sticks, helmets and skates.
Summerlin 4th of July Parade - VIDEO
On July 4th Summerlin will be hosting the 25th annual Summerlin Council Patriotic Parade, an event that has grown massively over the years
Golden Knights McPhee talks on the first day of NHL free agency - VIDEO
Golden Knights incoming president of operations George McPhee addresses the media as free agency starts.
Golden Knights Trade Colin Miller as Development Camp ends - VIDEO
George McPhee speaks to the media following the end of the Golden Knights development camp.
Golden Knights Development Camp Day 4 - VIDEO
Nic Hague stands out at day 4 of Golden Knights development camp.
Golden Knights Hold First Scrimmage of Development Camp - Video
The first of three scrimmages was held at the 2019 Golden Knights Development Camp. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writers Adam Hill and David Schoen discuss what stood out to them.
Golden Knights George McPhee Discusses Erik Haula Trade - Video
A day after it was announced that Erik Haula had been traded to the Carolina Hurricanes, incoming President of Hockey Operations George McPhee spoke to the media discussing the move.
Golden Knights Trade Erik Haula - Video
The Golden Knights have traded Erik Haula to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for prospect Nicolas Roy. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writer Adam Hill discuss the trade.
Golden Knights Coaches Looking for Veterans to Step Up in Development Camp - Video
Day two of the 2019 Golden Knights Development Camp is in the books. Director of Player Development Wil Nichol says his staff is looking for the veterans of the camp to step up and be leaders to the younger guys, while at the same time doing their best to impress the coaching staff.
Golden Knights Draft Player with Strong Hockey Bloodlines - Video
The Golden Knights drafted Mason Primeau in the 5th round of the 2019 NHL Draft. Primeau is no stranger to professional hockey, both his dad (Wayne Primeau) and his uncle (Keith Primeau) played in the NHL.
Golden Knights Kelly McCrimmon Talks Development Camp - VIDEO
Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon talks about what he expects from everyone at development camp on their first day.
Golden Knights Dylan Coghlan On Veteran Experience - VIDEO
Golden Knights defenseman Dylan Coghlan talks about his veteran experience playing in Chicago and development camp.
Golden Knights President George McPhee talks about Williams Karlsson's 8 year deal
George McPhee presser highlights June 25, 2019.
Golden Knights Center William Karlsson speaks to media about 8 year contract
William Karlsson presser highlights June 25, 2019.
Golden Knights Development Camp at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada
For the third consecutive year, Vegas Golden Knights Development Camp participants participated in a special community event at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
2019 NHL Awards Highlight Video
The 2019 NHL Awards took place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Wednesday night. Though Vegas Golden Knights forward Mark Stone came close to winning the best defensive forward trophy, St. Louis Blues center Ryan O' Reilly took home the coveted Frank Selke Trophy. Jason Zucker, who was raised in Las Vegas and plays for the Minnesota Wild, accepted the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership and humanitarianism. Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov took home the NHL's MVP Award. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gary Bettman discusses NHL rule changes - VIDEO
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the media after Wednesday’s Board of Governor’s meeting.
Golden Knights' Mark Stone up for Selke Trophy
Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone is a finalist for the Selke Trophy. The award goes to the best defensive forward in the NHL. Stone led the league in takeaways last season with 122. His competition is St. Louis Blues center Ryan O'Reilly... And Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron. Stone will find out if he wins Wednesday at the NHL Awards.
Vegas Golden Knights announce preseason schedule
The Golden Knights announced their preseason schedule Tuesday, as well as the date of their rookie camp and training camp.
Mark Stone and Stanley Cup visit MGM Grand
Mark Stone took photos and signed autographs for Golden Knights fans at the MGM Grand on Sunday. The Stanley Cup also made its way into the MGM Grand Main Lobby. The most revered trophy in hockey is on display to celebrate the upcoming 2019 NHL awards at the Mandalay Bay Center on June 19th. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights, Raiders Unite for Charity Softball Game - Video Highlights
Golden Knights and Raiders players alike were more than excited to join together in a charity softball game to raise money for pediatric cancer. Players from both teams cannot wait for the Raiders to arrive in Las Vegas so more joint events can take place.
Golden Knights and Raiders Raise over $100K in Charity Softball Game - Video Highlights
In the first-ever Battle For Vegas Charity Softball Game, the Golden Knights and Raiders raised $136,000 for the Tyler Robinson Foundation. At the end of the nights, it was the Raiders that raised the Battle For Vegas trophy, after beating the Golden Knights 20-16. Take a look at some of the highlights from the game!
Golden Knights' Reilly Smith Ready to Battle for Vegas - Video
Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith is ready to Battle For Vegas in a charity softball game that will feature various celebrity athletes, including teammates Jonathan Marchessault, Ryan Reaves and Erik Haula. Smith's team will face off against former Raider Marcus Allen and his teammates, including Vontaze Burfict, Josh Jacobs and Maurice Hurst. The charity softball game is set to take place on Saturday, June 15th at the Las Vegas Ballpark.
Golden Knights Will Have a New Home in Henderson - Video
The Golden Knights are saying goodbye to the Henderson Convention Center and hello to the team's new hockey facility that will be located in the second largest city in Nevada. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
‘Helmetgate’ is sort of drama Raiders get with Antonio Brown

How can a guy like the Pro Bowl wide receiver, who works so hard on his craft — more committed and diligent and driven than anyone, says head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr — also be so contentious about something like which helmet he wears?

Don Banks, giant of NFL writers, gone too soon

Banks died in his sleep early Sunday morning at the age of 57, alone in a hotel room in Canton, Ohio, having attended the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies and earlier filing his first story for the Review-Journal.

 
Raiders hoping Trent Brown lives up to massive paycheck

A Super Bowl champion with the Patriots last season and then made the highest paid offensive lineman in NFL history by the Raiders, Brown at right tackle will be among those protecting quarterback Derek Carr.