2 Minutes with Gawlik
Photo Credit: Knights on Ice

2 Minutes with Gawlik – Weekly VGK Update – Vol 4



Welcome to “Two Minutes with Gawlik, Volume 4.”  Just like a ride on the “Big Apple Coaster” at New York-New York Hotel & Casino, it has been a season of twists, turns, jolts, and hills.  VGK found plenty of success in the fifth week of the season, here is a brief recap the last four games.


Golden Knights vs Ducks
Photo Credit: LA Times

February 9th vs. Anaheim:  VGK held two, three-goal leads in this one and were able to sneak away with a 5-4 victory in regulation off a late goal by Zach WhitecloudShea Theodore was unable to finish after colliding with a Ducks player in the second period. Tomas Nosek never left the dressing room to start the third period due to COVID Protocol. More on that later. VGK gets a bit of a pass on this one. They did not play that badly in the third period. Anaheim was able to capitalize on VGK playing short a center and a defenseman. Credit VGK for finding a way to win a game in difficult circumstances.

February 11th vs. Anaheim:  Alex Pietrangelo returned from COVID Protocol after being off the ice for two weeks. Keegan Kolesar was inserted into line three with Alex Tuch and Cody GlassNic Roy went to the fourth line with Ryan Reaves and William CarrierMarc Andre Fleury made his yearly contribution to the “NHL Save of the Year” category when he robbed Isac LundestromLundestrom found himself all alone with Fleury as we made a nice forehand-backhand move. Fleury seemed out of position and was able to get his left arm down to the ice to keep the game tied at zero. Max Comtois was able to get one by Fleury in the third period, and that was how this one would end. Fleury did all he could to give VGK a chance to win, but it just was not in the card tonight. Presumably, Robin Lehner was in line to start Thursday’s game. Lehner arrived at T-Mobile Arena and left before entering the arena. VGK is calling it an upper-body injury.  Also, more on that below.

February 13th vs. San Jose:  VGK was on cruise control from start to finish in the home opener for the San Jose Sharks. Three power-play goals and another solid performance from Fleury did not leave any opportunity for the Sharks to make this one a close game. Evander Kane was doing what he does best, running his mouth, taking dumb penalties, and playing poor hockey. Kane officially lost it when he attempted to fight none other than…Riley Smith? What is Kane thinking? Here is what Tuch was thinking after the game, “Jumping a guy like Smitty…I think Evander’s got him by a few pounds for sure.  I know he’s going to have to keep his head up every game we play. The next 7 games we play Evander better be looking over his shoulder.” Kane does not shy away from social media, and I can assure you Kane will hold Tuch accountable for that statement. VGK needs to be careful. Of course, everyone on the VGK roster wants a piece of Kane. VGK needs to stay the course when the teams meet. Let Reaves handle Kane. The rest of the roster should focus on winning a hockey game.

February 14th vs. Colorado:  This was a fun one to watch. Although we are still early in the season, this game had a playoff atmosphere. Every inch of ice was contested, and both teams made few mistakes.  Max Pacioretty was the lone goal scorer, and VGK fans can enjoy a free dozen donuts (buy one, get one free) at Krispy Kreme today. This was the first of four straight games against the Avalanche. I am excited to see what adjustments are made for games two, three, and four.


Three wins out of four games is a great week.  VGK sits in first place in the West Division, one point ahead of the St. Louis Blues with two less games played.


It is challenging to make sense of the NHL’s COVID Protocol. On January 26th with hours to puck drop, the entire VGK coaching staff was placed in COVID Protocol. As a result, the General Manager ran the bench with the Henderson Silver Knights coaching staff assisting. The next day, Pietrangelo tests hot for COVID, and over a week’s worth of VGK games get rescheduled. Nosek gets pulled from a game due to COVID Protocol and the game finishes. Furthermore, no games are canceled. I am not claiming to have one percent of the knowledge that the experts in this field have. It is hard to understand why some teams play while having multiple players in COVID Protocol, some teams have games rescheduled, and VGK gets forced to play without their primary coaches.


Golden Knights
Photo Credit: Vegas Golden Knights

On Thursday, Lehner was reportedly in line to start against the DucksLehner arrived at T-Mobile Arena, alerted the team he was unable to go and left the arena. VGK is calling it an upper-body injury. We must peel a couple of layers back on this one. What injury could Lehner possibly have that would not allow him to watch the game from T-Mobile Arena? Why did he have to leave? Lehner was never placed in COVID Protocol so we can eliminate that. We did see Lehner take a puck high off his shoulder last Sunday, four days prior to Thursday’s start. Lehner practiced all week as well. Maybe there is more to it; perhaps there is not anything behind the scenes going on. At the moment, with limited information, something is not adding up.

I am going to tell you why Las Vegas Sportsbooks make money. On Tuesday, VGK won by a score of 5-4 against Anaheim. Nine total goals were scored in that game. In VGK’s previous four games leading up to Thursday’s 1-0 loss, the total goals scored were nine, seven, seven, and nine. Station Sports had the over/under for Thursday’s game at 5.5 in the rematch against Anaheim. I was sitting in my neighbor’s driveway a couple of hours before game time, enjoying a few cold ones. I explained that something is not adding up. How can the over/under be 5.5 when seven was the least number of total goals scored in VGK’s previous four games? I also sent a group text to my VGK buddies saying that Thursday’s game probably ends 1-0. I did call it to go to a shootout, so I was not completely right, I guess.

I spotted the trap; the line made no sense. NO SENSE!  So, ask me what I did, ask me if I took the over or the under. You guessed it; I took the over!!!  I could have been rich. House, car, credit cards…it could have all been paid off. I guess it is people like me that keep the sportsbooks in business.


Eye on Henderson:  The Henderson Silver Knights have charged out of the gate to a 4-0 start!  Solid goaltending by Logan Thompson and Dylan Ferguson have anchored HSKPeyton Krebs looks like the real deal.  With one goal and four assists through four games, he just may get an opportunity with VGK in the not-so-distant future. Awesome week of HSK / VGK Hockey!


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-Chris Gawlik – Franchise Sports Media

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