Like looking at a Picasso, opinions differ on style of Knights, Kings

I suppose it’s like a class of art students staring at a Picasso and each being asked to interpret the work.

Same painting. Wide range of opinion.

This also holds true in sports, where the aftermath of perspective from a close game is almost always different depending on which side of the score you land.

It’s a safe bet Game 1 of the best-of-seven Western Conference playoff series Wednesday night between the Golden Knights and Kings wasn’t nearly as physical as final stats suggested — a total of 127 hits were officially recorded. But that doesn’t mean Vegas didn’t send an important message: The team whose central strength lies within its speed has no intention of backing down when things get testy.

In fact, the Knights made it a point to hit first.

Then the third period arrived, and one King made it a point to hit dirty.

The Knights beat the Kings 1-0 and will host Game 2 on Friday night at T-Mobile Arena, where Los Angeles will be without its best defenseman because he got all riled up and took a cheap shot.

That the league’s Department of Player Safety did its job and suspended Drew Doughty for one game after his hit on William Carrier of the Knights is an equitable response and one that supports a clear mandate against hits to the head.

Doughty sitting for Game 2 is the right call. A simple fine wouldn’t have been enough.

How much it will influence the way both sides play Friday is anyone’s guess — retaliation is a dangerous theory in a series where goaltending suggests each game will be low scoring and close — but things are sure to get chippy again.

The side that won Wednesday thought it was a fairly physical 60 minutes.

“We were in playoff mode, and we’re going to be hard on guys when we have the opportunity without being stupid and taking penalties,” Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb said. “I don’t think it was a statement by us. We’re not really known as a physical team, but we have guys who can hit and finish checks, and that showed.”

Said defenseman Deryk Engelland: “We can definitely play that (tough) style. I think it was exactly what we expected going into the game.”

The side that lost sort of saw the Picasso of a weeping woman, um, game, differently.

“I don’t want to sound disrespectful when I say this, but sometimes I don’t even know where they’re situated when they are marking those stats,” Kings coach John Stevens said. “I’m not sure where (127 hits) comes from, but I don’t think anybody would be playing (Friday) if those numbers were accurate.”

Said Kings winger Dustin Brown: “The (hit stats) were (bleep).”

Maybe. Probably. But more than how a sheet of paper suggests things went, the Knights set a tone for the series that flew in the face of a theory that says the only way they can eliminate a bigger, heavier Los Angeles side is to outskate it.

Neal’s amazing shift

Vegas did all the little things — physically and skillfully — needed to win a game in which the goalies (Marc-Andre Fleury and Jonathan Quick) were beyond impressive.

Take just one shift from forward James Neal.

It occurred with about two minutes remaining and the Kings trying mightily to create chances and potentially tie the score. It helped that Neal is by far the smartest of the Knights’ players, and yet his ability to disrupt flow and force his man to the side and clog passing lanes and keep an active stick was impressive even for a veteran with 81 career playoff games.

It was a small but incredibly vivid example of why the Knights took the opener.

Those 127 hits?

Well, even Vegas coach Gerard Gallant raised his eyes at that.

“When I see 68-59 (in hits), I sort of … I don’t buy it,” he said. “I mean, if they’re counting every bump, then fine. Jonathan Marchessault — when he gets eight hits — I mean, he finished some checks …”

Yeah, nobody is confusing the Knights’ Marchessault with Matt Martin.

And yet nobody can deny this: The Knights, win or lose the series, survive and advance or make vacation plans, sent a message in Game 1 that they won’t be backing down from a physical standpoint, no matter what the other guys thought.

“Some buildings,” Brown said, “you can kill a guy and not get credit for a hit.”

I suppose it’s like that Picasso.

All depends on how you look at things.

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.

ad-high_impact_4
Golden Knights Videos
Golden Edge Facebook live at City National Arena
Ed Graney and John Katsilometes are live at Golden Knights practice at City National Arena to preview the team's upcoming Stanley Cup playoff series against the San Jose Sharks.
Golden Edge: Knights eager to get back on the ice
Zac Pacleb gives a practice report, including how the Golden Knights feel about the long wait between sweeping the Los Angeles Kings and playing the San Jose Sharks.
Gallant gives an update on Reilly Smith and San Jose prep
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talked to the media after Monday's practice, including an update on Reilly Smith as well as how the long wait has impacted his team.
Players talk about the long wait before playing San Jose
Alex Tuch, Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault discuss their thoughts about the upcoming series against the San Jose Sharks as well as how they feel about the long wait between games.
Golden Edge: Knights take a day off ahead of its series against San Jose
Zac Pacleb talks about the Golden Knights taking the day off, including what Gerard Gallant had to say about players who haven't seen any playing time in the playoffs.
Gerard Gallant talks on the Golden Knights' day off
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks on the Golden Knights' day off ahead of their series with the San Jose Sharks.
Golden Knights Talk About Practice And Prepping For Sharks
Golden Knights Defenseman Brayden McNabb and Nate Schimdt talk about the upcoming games against the Sharks. Head coach Gerard Gallant talks about Brayden McNabb's role on the ice.
Golden Edge: Knights Practice after sweeping the LA Kings
Elaine Wilson and David Schoen were live at City National Arena for the Golden Knights first practice since sweeping the LA Kings in round one.
Golden Knights fan Dee Dravnieks of Perth, Australia
Golden Knights hockey fan Dee Dravnieks of Perth, Australia, talks about traveling more than 9,500 miles to see her favorite hockey team play in Las Vegas and Canada. (Ron Kantowski/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tickets on sale Monday for Knights’ series vs. San Jose
Tickets for the second-round series between the Golden Knights and the San Jose Sharks go on sale at noon Monday. Less than 1,000 tickets will be available per game. Prices range from $125 to $495, a 30 to 40 percent increase from the first round. There is a four-ticket maximum per game per purchase. Standing room for both the Tower Deck and upper balcony areas will also be on sale Monday.
Station Casinos offers free wagers on Golden Knights to win Cup
Station Casinos will offer free bets on the Vegas Golden Knights to win the Stanley Cup. The locals casino company announced a promotion offering free wagers ranging from $5 to $250 on the team who wins hockey’s most coveted trophy. Thousands of invited holders of Station’s Boarding Pass loyalty card will receive an offer by mail to swipe their cards Monday at kiosks at seven properties. A winning ticket could cash for up to $1,000. The Golden Knights are now the 4-1 co-favorites with the Nashville Predators to claim the NHL championship.
Golden Edge: Knights Sweep Playoff Series Against Kings
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond, Golden Knights beat reporters Steve Carp and David Schoen go over the Golden Knights win against the Kings. The Golden Knights now have swept the series against the Kings in the first rounds of the playoffs.
Gerard Gallant talks about Game 4 and series win
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about his team getting a series sweep over the LA Kings.
Golden Knights players react to sweeping the Kings
James Neal, Reilly Smith and Brayden McNabb talk after the Golden Knights' 1-0 win to sweep the Los Angeles Kings.
Marc-Andre Fleury talks about the Game 4 win
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury talks about the Golden Knights 1-0 win in Game 4 to sweep the Los Angeles Kings.
Vanderburg Elementary cheers on the Golden Knights with mascot Chance, Golden Aces cheerleaders
Students at Vanderburg Elementary wrote an original song for a #KnightUp contest from the Vegas Golden Knights. They won the contest and hosted Knights mascot Chance and the Golden Aces cheerleaders for a pep rally. Over 300 students came together to cheer on the Knights as they head into their fourth playoff game.
Golden Edge: Knights have a chance to sweep the Kings
Bryan Salmond talks to David Schoen about the Golden Knights' playoff success as well as some of the best moments from our one-on-one interview with a few of the players.
Gerard Gallant talks about Game 3
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant reflects on Game 3 and the Golden Knights upcoming chance to sweep the Los Angeles Kings.
Neal, Fleury and Marchessault talk about the team's playoff performance
James Neal, Marc Andre Fleury and Jonathan Marchessault discuss the team's performance so far in the playoffs and what it needs to do to close out the Los Angeles Kings.
Erik Haula talks about his interaction with Kopitar
Golden Knights forward Erik Haula discusses his controversial moment in Game 3 with Anže Kopitar.
Golden Edge: Knights take 3-0 lead against the Kings
Bryan Salmond recaps the Golden Knights 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 3.
Golden Knights fans see the team off to Los Angeles
Golden Knights fans waited outside of City National Arena to send off the team as it head to Los Angeles for games three and four of its playoff series against the Kings.
Golden Knights use fitness to grab 2-0 series lead
A day after beating the Kings 2-0 in double overtime, Golden Knights players credited their conditioning. "Your body is tired, but your mind is still racing," said forward Reilly Smith. "The crowd was unbelievable." A season-high gathering of 18,588 at T-Mobile Arena helped inspire the Knights to victory. "This is why we put in so much extra work all summer long," said defenseman Jon Merrill. "For a game like that." The series continues with Game 3 at Staples Center on Sunday night.
Golden Knights React To Winning In Double Ot Against Kings
The Golden Knights react to their double overtime win against the Kings.
Golden Edge: Knights Beat Kings In Double OT
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond and Golden Knights beat writers Steve Carp and David Schoen go over the Golden Knights double overtime win against the Kings.
Golden Edge: Knights Win In Double OT
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond goes over the Golden Knights win in double overtime.
Knights success far exceeds LVCVA's tourism goals
Several months ago, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority set out to market the city as the sports capital of the world. With the addition of the Golden Knights and the Raiders, LVCVA saw the perfect opportunity to do so. The Knights' success and current Stanley Cup playoff run has resulted in a marketing marriage with Las Vegas that has been far more successful than anyone could have imagined. This season, the Knights have managed to unite the community and made hockey fans around the country take notice. “The Knights, in my mind, really put the exclamation point that we’re the sports capital of the world, not only what they’ve done on the ice in this historic season but how they brought the community together." Lisa Motley, director of sports marketing and special events for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Professional sports have been a staple for Las Vegas for decades with championship boxing matches, PGA golf tour events and the National Finals Rodeo. But big-league teams kept their distance from Nevada, due to lingering fears of sports betting somehow influencing games. "Las Vegas stands for something much more extensive and expansive now than what it once did" David Carter, executive director of the University of Southern California's Marshall Sports Business Institute
Golden Edge: Jackie Redmond interview
Bryan Salmond interviews NHL Network host Jackie Redmond about the atmosphere and vibe around T-Mobile Arena and the Golden Knights.
Schmidt, Karlsson talk ahead of Game 2
Golden Knights players Nate Schmidt and William Karlsson discuss their team before squaring off against the Los Angeles Kings in Game 2.
Gerard Gallant talks ahead of Game 2
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant gives an update on his team before Game 2, including status updates on David Perron and William Carrier.
Golden Edge: Knights give Vegas a night to remember
Bryan Salmond, Ed Graney and Steve Carp recap the Golden Knights playoff-opening win over the Los Angeles Kings.
Golden Knights players on their 1-0 win over the Kings
Vegas Golden Knights players speak on what went well for them to capture a 1-0 win over the LA Kings in the first game of the playoff series.
Gallant pleased with Golden Knights effort in 1-0 win over Kings
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant spoke about the team's effort on all fronts in their 1-0 victory in their first-ever playoff game against the L.A. Kings.
Golden Edge quick wrap
Bryan Salmond recaps the Vegas Golden Knights win over the LA Kings.
Smith Glad To Be Back In Lineup
The Golden Knights forward missed 15 games with an upper-body injury, (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hunt Said Buses Are Where Hockey Team Unity Gets Fostered
The Golden Knights defenseman was fortunate to have avoided any accidents while riding the bus in his hockey career. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Saskatchewan Native Brayden McNabb On The Humboldt Bus Tragedy
The Golden Knights defenseman knows the area well where the junior hockey team’s bus collided with a truck Friday and left 14 people dead. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights raise banner honoring Oct. 1 shooting victims
Golden Knights raise banner honoring Oct. 1 shooting victims. On a night when the Golden Knights were looking to lock up the Pacific Division title and secure a championship banner, the team unveiled a banner of its own Saturday. The banner honors the 58 victims of the Oct. 1 Strip shooting. Knights majority owner and chairman Bill Foley and general manager George McPhee also were on the ice, along with the family of shooting victim Neysa Tonks.
Golden Knights playoff tickets go on sale Monday
The Golden Knights clinched a playoff spot Monday night, and now officials are revealing how fans can get tickets. The hottest tickets in town are going on sale Monday morning on the Golden Knights website. There will be less than 1,000 tickets made available for public sale at 10 a.m. Monday. Tickets will only be sold on a single-game basis. Are you planning to go to any Golden Knights playoff games?
Fleury notches milestone as Golden Knights stun Flyers 3-2
Marc-Andre Fleury became just the 13th goalie to reach 400 wins in his NHL career. Fleury stopped 38 shots and led the Golden Knights to a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Monday night. Others in the 400-win club are Martin Brodeur, Patrick Roy, Terry Sawchuk, Jacques Plante, Tony Esposito, Glenn Hall and current contemporaries Roberto Luongo and Henrik Lundqvist. “It’s a nice number to reach and all the guys in front of me I have great respect for and it’s cool to be part of that list,” Fleury said. Fleury played his entire career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, before being picked by the Golden Knights in the 2017 expansion draft.
Rookie Whitecloud Anxious To Learn About Life In Nhl
The former Bemidji State defenseman was in Buffalo Saturday but did not play for the Knights vs. the Sabres. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jon Merrill glad to be back in Newark
The Golden Knights defenseman had played for the New Jersey Devils before joining the Knights. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal )
Vegas Golden Knights, US Army look to settle trademark dispute
The Golden Knights are looking to settle their trademark dispute with the U.S. Army. Both sides have been in a trademark dispute over the name “Golden Knights” and the primary colors of gray, gold and black. The Army says the hockey team’s use of Golden Knights as a trademark causes confusion with its parachute team. They are also known as the Golden Knights. The Army filed its complaint with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Jan. 10. The Golden Knights filed a settlement motion with the patent office’s trademark trial and appeal board on Jan. 25. The motion gives the team 90 days to resolve issues with the Army. “We’re trying to form a joint use agreement where both sides can continue to have their name."
Golden Knights forecheck
At first glance, the Knights’ 1-2-2 forecheck doesn't look unusual. But it’s the aggression the Knights use that makes their forecheck unique. “They’re a tenacious team." - Flyers coach Dave Hakstol The Knights are second in the NHL with 642 takeaways. “I think it’s a good indicator when we’re playing well is when our forecheck is going.” - center Erik Haula
Nolan Patrick Adjusting To NHL
The Philadelphia Flyers rookie Center talked about his game on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 at T-Mobile Arena. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on the recent road trip
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on the team's recent road trip Saturday at City National Arena. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on his team's injury woes
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on his team's injury woes Saturday at City National Arena. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights logo proves popular at No. 4 in NHL merchandise
The Golden Knights’ name and sharp-looking logo may not be big with the United States Army these days. But fans seem to like it. A lot. According to Fanatics, which oversees the league’s online shop, the Knights rank No. 4 in the NHL when it comes to merchandise sales. The New York Rangers are the No. 1 team in sales, followed by the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
Fleury's impact on Pittsburgh lasting long after his time there
Marc-Andre Fleury has had a greater impact on Pittsburgh than just on the ice Fleury and his wife opened a playground at a Pennsylvania Boys and Girls Club The Sto-Ken-Rox Boys & Girls Club is located in McKees Rock, where more than 35 percent of residents live in poverty. The playground opened last year before Fleury started playing for the Golden Knights Fleury financed the construction of a state-of-the-art playground, as well as sports equipment to play hockey.
Ryan Carpenter Glad To Contribute To Golden Knights Win
The forward had a goal and an assist in the 4-3 victory over the Capitals Sunday , Feb. 4, 2018 in Washington D.C. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gerard Gallant Pleased With Knights Bounce-back Effort
The coach liked the way his team skated in the 4-3 win over Washington Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Alex Tuch On Golden Knights Resilient Win Over Capitals
The forward scored the game-winner Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nate Schmidt Returns To Washington
The Golden Knights defenseman talked about his time with the Capitals Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018 in Washington D.C. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jason Zucker on his big season, fatherhood, Golden Knights’ success
Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker, who is from Las Vegas, says he is pleased with his play and the way the Knights have captured the hearts of his hometown speaking before the game Friday, Feb. 2, 2018 in St. Paul, Minn. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
James Neal On Representing The Golden Knights At The Nhl All-star Game
James Neal on representing the Golden Knights at the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday in Tampa, Florida. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights Goaltender Marc-andre Fleury On The All-star Game
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury talks about the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday in Tampa, Florida. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury On All-star Weekend
Marc-Andre Fleury talks about representing the Golden Knights at the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday in Tampa, Florida. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like