VEGAS — The Bud Moonshine world tour of the Round Two series with the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche series continued Friday. And let me tell you what an amazing experience it is to cover or attend a game at T-Mobile Arena in Vegas. Friday night was the first 100%-capacity game in Vegas in over 450 days, and my god, those fans rattled the place. Montreal is squeezing Winnipeg. There’s more NHL trade talk around Seth Jones. And the Pittsburgh Penguins will probably be without Evgeni Malkin at the start of next season.
Vegas was so loud that my coffee had ripples. Fans literally scream. They jump around. They have a hype man. I’ll post the video below.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: It looks like Evgeni Malkin was in a bad way during the Penguins Round One loss to the New York Islanders. We knew he was hurt, but it appears he was playing through a serious knee injury. Malkin had knee surgery and will be out into next season.
PHN projected the Penguins’ protected list for the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft, and we wonder if Ron Hextall will have to reconsider his stance of not giving up an asset to protect a player. Could they gamble with Jeff Carter? This could hurt the Pittsburgh Penguins.
NHL & National Hockey Now
Sportsnet: Vegas scored two goals in 45 seconds later in the third period and won 3-2. T-Mobile went bananas. Credit those fans, they could have soured, but they were relentless. Vegas wins, and they d-o-m-i-n-a-t-e-d
Colorado: Adrian Dater ripped into the Avalanche, and so did head coach Jared Bednar. The Avalanche were due for a stinker–but wow, that was horrendous.
Vegas: 17,504 fans absolutely rocked T-Mobile Arena. Relentlessly. Joyfully. It was the first full game since COVID. And they brought their A-Game.
TSN: Montreal is squeezing the life out of the Winnipeg Jets. Ole! Ole! Ole! Montreal won Game 2 with a shutout, and the Habs look pretty, pretty strong.
Boston: Brandon Carlo is a maybe for Game 4.
NYI: The Islanders trail 2-1, and they have given away their margin for error.
San Jose: Some solid NHL Draft prep with our Sheng Peng and noted Draft analyst Chris Peters. It’s a wide-open draft.
READ THIS ONE BELOW!
Detroit: For every hockey lover, THIS is a must read story. How hockey history would have changed. How Gordie Howe’s history would have changed if the Red Wings listened to one person…
Ottawa Sun: NHL trade talk. More landing spots for Seth Jones. Don Brennan did some additional analysis and thinks Jones would fit very well in Colorado or Florida.
I don’t know if you’re still affected by the first steps after COVID, but I am. I get excited as we cross barriers and thresholds, and I look forward to our country getting to that 70% barrier. With 100% fan capacity in Vegas and the raw power of 17,504 fans who are as engaged as any fanbase has ever been, it felt good to be there. The VGK fans are a little funny as they cheer EVERY shot in that “almost” sort of way. They go bananas for everything. And it’s fun.
Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t leave the ice after warm-ups. He stayed on the ice for another minute, just looking around. When the place realized he was hanging, they again went nuts. That was a moment born of 452 days without a full barn. And a player who appreciates his station in life and place in the game. Fleury took it in.