Saturday, March 6, 8 a.m.
Morning, Kelly McCrimmon and George McPhee. Your two hockey teams are tops in their respective leagues in points percentage. Nice work, fellas.
The Golden Knights own a .775 points percentage with a 15-4-1 mark. Pete DeBoer is doing an excellent job coaching the Golden Knights and has lost just nine regular season games since taking over the club in January of 2020.
The Henderson Silver Knights, led by a hat trick on Friday night from Vegas born forward Gage Quinney, have build a 9-1 record which is good for a .900 points percentage.
So the Golden Knights braintrust has built two very strong teams.
No surprise here as when McPhee was GM of the Washington Capitals, his NHL team won seven division titles and had eight seasons with 40 or more wins and lost in the Stanley Cup Final. Down on the farm, McPhee's Hershey Bears won three Calder Cups and made four appearances in the league final.
Oscar Dansk earned his start on Friday night and battled to get the Golden Knights a 5-4 win in overtime. Dansk, in the words of team captain Mark Stone, has been "tireless" in his work as the team's third goalie dating back to last summer when the team was in the bubble. The life of a third goalie is hard as the job is to eat pucks in practice but never get into a game. Robin Lehner has been injured and after 10 straight starts for Marc-Andre Fleury, DeBoer gave Dansk his first NHL start in over 500 days.
Silver Knights goalie Logan Thompson has been excellent in the AHL this season and is tops in the league among goalies with more than 300 minutes played with a save percentage of .943. Thompson owns a 5-1 record and a 1.84 goals-against average.
DeBoer rightfully gave Dansk his start but the organization needs to have a look at Thompson in the NHL and his play in the AHL dictates a big league start. Vegas another back-to-back situation next weekend vs. St. Louis so we'll see which direction management and the coaching staff go.
Quick hits: The top four teams in the West Division make up the most competitive top-four in the NHL…The East Division isn't as top heavy as the West but its top five teams are all competitive… Zach Whitecloud and Nic Hague play their best hockey when paired together. All that time growing and dominating together in the NHL makes for chemistry which can't be bought or manufactured… DeBoer and D coach Ryan McGill split up Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore last night which from this perspective is best for the individuals and the group. They both need a green light to join the offense and that's tough when they're together. Splitting them up also makes for two separate pairings with elite characteristics…The top six forwards in Vegas are as good as any in the NHL… The big question on the Vegas roster lies within the bottom six. Can a consistently effective line develop out of Alex Tuch, Cody Glass, Nic Roy and or Keegan Kolesar?