Vegas Golden Knights
Photo Credit: Knights On Ice


VGK Weekly Update – 6/22/2020 – In Coach Pete We Trust


Being a fan of the Vegas Golden Knights is much more stressful than we could have imagined. Playoffs in three and cup in six felt like a pipe dream when VGK Owner Bill Foley first stated it.


Year one, not much would be expected from the team beyond seeing which of our rookies could lead the team a few years down the road.  Year two, we would see what type of strides our youngest players made while adding some young free agents yet to hit their prime. Year three was supposed to be the time VGK would make a run at their first playoff birth.

Vegas Golden Knights
Photo Credit:

Things did not exactly go as planned. Year one was an incredibly emotional roller coaster with VGK winning the Western Conference and losing the Stanley Cup Finals on home ice in five games to the Washington Capitals. Year two’s team was arguably stronger than year one’s team and suffered a devastating defeat in game seven of the first round of the playoffs.

As emotional as losing the Stanley Cup on home ice was, and as tough as it was to watch the San Jose Sharks score four goals during the major penalty that wasn’t a major, neither of those, in my opinion, was as emotional as the day the team announced the firing of head coach Gerard Gallant and immediate hiring of Peter DeBoer.  Emotions were strong on fan forums, sports talk radio, and in the VGK locker room.

I remember the day former coach Gallant was fired. I was just getting in my car for work, and someone in my VGK Facebook chat mentioned the firing. I took it as a joke and did not think twice about it. Most days, I listen to the NHL Network as I drive to work. However, VGK was in a funk, so I opted for Pearl Jam Radio instead.

I arrived for work about twenty minutes later and saw a ton of notifications on my Facebook as well as my chat group. That’s when I officially learned of the firing. My initial reaction was that VGK ownership and leadership are a tough group to work for.  How could a team fire a Jack Adams Award winner who in the same year won a Conference Championship… for an expansion team?


Twenty-two games and a global pandemic later, it appears VGK has made the right move by turning over the reins to coach DeBoer.


DeBoer has led the team to a 15-5-2 record and a Pacific Division Championship since taking over.  This is not the first or second time DeBoer has experienced success right out of the gate with a new franchise. In the 2011-2012 season, he led the New Jersey Devils to the Stanley Cup Final, and in the 2015-2016 season, he led San Jose Sharks to the Stanley Cup Final.

The commonality between those two seasons?  Both were coach DeBoer’s first with the respective clubs.


Let’s take a look at some of the regular season stats from DeBoer’s Stanley Cup runs and compare it with the 2019-2020 VGK regular season under DeBoer. Please note that the stats in red are pro-rated based on the twenty-two games since DeBoer was named coach.

Golden Knights





Courtesy: NHL
Photo Credit: NHL Rumors

VGK has been playing extremely well since the coaching change was made, and it is fair to say there would have been a rough patch or two throughout a full eighty-two game regular season. The implied stats for goals for and goals against are interesting to me.

Again, twenty-two games are not the ideal sample size, but it is all we have now. Using the implied stats, VGK would have outscored both of DeBoer’s previous Conference Championship teams. However, VGK would have needed every one of those goals, as the goals against are nearly ten percent greater. Hopefully, the goaltending tandem of Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner can continue their stellar play as of late.


Coach DeBoer used a total of two starting goalies for his Stanley Cup appearances, Martin Brodeur and Martin Jones.


Vegas Golden Knights
Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Both goalies started every game of their respective team’s Stanley Cup appearance runs.  Brodeur and Jones did not necessarily have anyone breathing down their necks who could steal the net from them. It is safe to say that Marc-Andre Fleury will start the first game of the round-robin games, but beyond that, it is anyone’s guess as to how the VGK starting goal-tending situation would play out.

VGK could play a maximum of thirty-one games between the round-robin games and NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.  One would have to think most teams will have some sort of rotation to prevent fatigue. Teams are going right from an abbreviated training camp to the most intense games of the year. It will be interesting to see how DeBoer manages his outstanding duo of Fleury and Lehner.


NHL News and Notes:


 The NHL is expected to announce Las Vegas and Toronto as hub cities for the post-season. It is unknown which conference will play in each hub city. The early thought was not to let teams play in their home arenas in the early rounds of the post-season.

Recent reports are suggesting otherwise.

An assumption that can be made that if Vegas and Toronto are playing games at T-Mobile Arena and Scotiabank Arena, fans will most likely be able to attend. Without fans in the arena, I almost wonder if it would be a distraction for Vegas to play at T-Mobile Arena. There would have to be a sense of a letdown not hearing the roar of the Las Vegas faithful as they skate out through the helmet.


Things should start to take shape soon as we are approximately one month away from the beginning of training camps.

VGK weekly update     VGK weekly update     VGK weekly update     VGK weekly update     VGK weekly update     VGK weekly update     VGK weekly update     VGK weekly update     VGK weekly update     VGK weekly update     VGK weekly update     VGK weekly update     

 -Chris G – Franchise Sports Media


Follow The Franchise on social media