77°F
weather icon Clear

Capitals veto Knights again despite Sen. Dean Heller’s presence

WASHINGTON — Trailing 2-1 in the battle for Lord Stanley’s Cup, the Golden Knights tried to put political pressure on the Washington Capitals before Game 4 of their best-of-seven series at Capital One Arena on Monday night.

“I wore my (Knights) jersey on the (Senate) floor today,” said Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., on the concourse behind the luxury boxes before the puck was dropped. “I had a jacket over it, and I looked up at the press (gallery) and they could see I was wearing my jersey — which is probably not the proper decor for the United States Senate.”

Colleague John Hoeven, representing the great hockey-playing state of North Dakota, immediately skated into his crease.

“I said, ‘What — you have a problem with my sweater vest?’”

Heller, who also wore his Knights jersey to the game, spent 10 minutes chatting with Las Vegas hockey reporters as a red storm of hockey fans began to brew. Capitals fans gave him a hard time. Most were good-natured about it. One accused him of being a flip-flopper.

But on this night, nothing short of a filibuster at center ice would have saved the Knights from falling behind 3-1 in the series. A three-goal first-period Washington blitz vetoed any chance Vegas might have had of climbing back into it.

Landslide brewing?

The Capitals were declared the winner almost before the polls even closed. Washington’s 6-2 victory was its third in a row since it lost Game 1 in Las Vegas. It was only a week ago when the Knights outscored the Caps 6-4 at T-Mobile Arena. It now seems as if it happened during the Truman administration.

When the series returns to Las Vegas on Thursday night, the Knights will be playing to stave off elimination.

What many had predicted would be a long and intriguing series is starting to look like a landslide reminiscent of the 1984 presidential election in which Ronald Reagan carried 49 states and Walter Mondale carried one, along with — you guessed it — the District of Columbia.

Perhaps the former vice president known as Fritz can share some strategy with Knights coach Gerard Gallant for how to deal with D.C.’s surging hockey team.

Hockey, like politics, is no place for the timid, said Nevada’s senior senator, who was elected in 2012 after being appointed by Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Blood sport redux

When the other side is finding the back of the net on one of every three or four shots, which is what the Capitals did over the first two periods against no less a goalie than Marc-Andre Fleury, not even the House Committee on Ways and Means — on which Dean Heller once served — could have forced a shift in policy.

Heller said he sees one major similarity between ice hockey and politics.

“Well, it’s a blood sport. It’s very physical, needless to say,” he said, adding that while he has never been on skates, sons Drew and Harris were recreational hockey players, and hockey is his wife Lynne’s favorite sport. “When I was growing up it was just football, basketball and baseball.”

He mentioned the buzz on the concourse, and said it was hard to believe that those guys down on the ice wearing the white sweaters with the big “V” on front were representing his constituency.

“This is thrilling,” said the 58-year-old lawmaker.

Banner season

When it was announced Las Vegas was getting a NHL expansion team, Dean Heller hung a Knights banner in his office on Capitol Hill.

“I thought it would take five years for somebody to recognize what that banner was,” he said. “And now here we are in the finals, and this is the No.1 selling jersey in the league.”

While the Capitals have not won the Stanley Cup in their 43-year history, Heller joked the Knights are a long-suffering franchise in their own right.

“It took us 350 days to get to these finals,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like this in Las Vegas since the early ’90s when the Runnin’ Rebels won the NCAA championship.

“We’ve had a 25-year (drought) when it comes to sports in Las Vegas, and the Knights have changed everything. So if I were the Oakland Raiders, I would be thrilled with seeing this today, knowing what kind of fan base we have in the state of Nevada.”

But after six different Capitals scored goals Monday, and only two different Knights countered, it’s starting to look like Ronald Reagan vs. Fritz Mondale all aver again.

Not all precincts have been counted, but most of the chads seem to be hanging in the Capitals’ favor right now.

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

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow@ronkantowski 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)
Golden Knights and Henderson make deal on new facility - VIDEO
Henderson City Council unanimously approved a lease agreement with the Vegas Golden Knights to build and operate an indoor ice hockey facility in downtown Henderson, Tuesday evening. ( Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
THE LATEST