weather icon Clear

Mark Stone well worth the price it cost Golden Knights — VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

Updated April 15, 2019 - 1:03 am

You need to remember the price was steep.

It included 19-year-old defenseman Erik Brannstrom, who was selected 15th overall in the 2017 NHL draft and was already popular enough in Las Vegas, despite having never played in a regular-season game, to where he could have defeated even someone named Goodman for mayor.

It included forward Oscar Lindberg, who suddenly proved he could score a little, and a second-round pick in 2020.

And a few months later, it could be as precipitous a drop as the most frightening of cliffs.

It could be Nanga Parbat.

The Golden Knights gladly would take the plunge for forward Mark Stone every time.

The final score Sunday night was 6-3 in favor of the Knights against the San Jose Sharks before an announced gathering of 18,461 at T-Mobile Arena, but perhaps even more important than taking a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven playoff series is how the win occurred.

“I just love being here,” Stone said. “I love playing in Las Vegas. I love my teammates, the fans, the city. This is why I came here. I want to play playoff hockey. We’ve had some success, sure, but we can’t dwell on it. We have to be good professionals and continue to get better.”

Knights general manager George McPhee said in dealing with Ottawa at the trade deadline that Stone was the here, the now and the future.

I don’t know about the last one, but the here and the now parts are terrific.

Stone had a hat trick Sunday and has six goals in the first three games, leading a second line that is giving the Sharks all sorts of matchup headaches.

San Jose has no answers for Stone, Paul Stastny and Max Pacioretty.

All they did Sunday was combine for the six goals and 12 points.

“They’ve eaten us up this series,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “What do they do well? It is three very good players that are playing at a really high level. We’ve got to find an answer to slow those guys down.”

Things are beginning to look a little familiar, no?

Some leading characters have changed — see that second line of the Knights — but the series suddenly appears more and more like 2018.

Other than a five-minute stretch to conclude the first period of Game 2 and some third-period slippage Sunday, the Knights seem to have returned to a form that allowed them to eliminate San Jose in six games of a Western Conference semifinal last season.

Which is another way of saying they’re again taking things to Martin Jones.

Struggling goalie

Excuse the San Jose goalie if he awakes in a heavy sweat each night with visions of Knights crested sweaters rushing at him, a player who if Vegas isn’t totally in his head by now, has to be fending off such thoughts daily.

Jones had started 13 games against the Knights with a 3.28 goals-against average before this series began, having been pulled four times. He has now dropped two straight, also getting an early exit in Game 2.

“We just want to keep it going,” said Pacioretty, who had a goal and an assist. “Never too high, never too low. (San Jose) is a good team. We know they’re going to push hard the next game, and we have to get ready for it.”

This sort of win doesn’t happen before the Stone trade. Maybe the Knights find success, but not this way. He just makes everyone better. Few fit as seamlessly as he did upon arriving to a team that reached the Stanley Cup Final last year.

Stone did, becoming the team’s highest-paid player with an eight-year extension that carries an average annual value of $9.5 million. None of that mattered. He was immediately welcomed to the room.

Guys know which guys can play.

Guys know the great ones.

“It was fun to watch (the second line) do what they do best,” Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt said. “Congrats to Mark, man. That’s an incredible game from him. That’s why they pay him the big bucks.”

He has been worth every penny.

You need to remember the price was steep, but no matter the height of the cliff, the Knights gladly would take that plunge again and again for Mark Stone.

I’m just not sure San Jose is all that excited that they did.

More Golden Knights: Follow 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 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Golden Knights Videos
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.
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)
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)
Kelly McCrimmon Gets Promoted to Golden Knight General Manager - Video
The Vegas Golden Knights have announced that Kelly McCrimmon has been promoted to General Manager of the team, effective September 1, 2019. Regarding his new role, McCrimmon will represent the Golden Knights at the NHL's General Managers Meetings and will be the point of contact for other league GMs.
Golden Knights Say an "Awful Call" Cost Them the Series - Video
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant and Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault believe that an "awful call" by the officials cost them game 7.
Golden Knights Fans Watch Game 7 at T-Mobile - VIDEO
Golden Knights went through a roller coaster in game 7 which lead to the Knights loss 5-4 in overtime.
Golden Knights prepare for Game 7 in San Jose - VIDEO
Vegas Golden Knigths players and the head coach talk about their mindset ahead of facing the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 on the road at the SAP Center. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Knights' Gallant Calls DeBoer a "clown" - VIDEO
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant calls Sharks coach Pete DeBoer a "clown" and says his comments are a little "unclassy" for him in response to being called the master chirper for the Knights. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights fans father outside T-Mobile Arena waiting for game 6 against the Sharks
Golden Knights gather outside the T-Mobile Arena ready to watch game 6 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the San Jose Sharks.
Knights aim to close out Sharks series at home - VIDEO
The Vegas Golden Knights players and head coach Gerard Gallant spoke about what needs to be done ahead of Game 6 at the T-Mobile Arena to clinch the series. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV’s Tony Sanchez embraces new Fertitta Football Complex

Already, the new UNLV football complex has paid off with several commitments for the 2020 recruiting class, pledges from the sorts of players who likely would have never considered the Rebels if not for such dedication to an on-campus facility.