To say the month of November has been a roller coaster for the Vegas Golden Knights would be an understatement. The team went 4-6-4 in their 14 games, but fortunately, they finished the month fourth in the Pacific Division and in a playoff spot.
In a month that saw them lose five in a row and seven out of eight, they could not put together a full 60-minute contest and blew multiple leads. However, the fact that they were able to tread water and stay in the race is the sign of a good team and they ended November on a two-game winning streak.
Let’s take a look at news and notes from the month that was.
Hockey Fights Cancer
This season the Golden Knights hosted an extra special Hockey Fights Cancer night as the team honored defenseman Shea Theodore and his grandma before the game. Theodore was diagnosed with testicular cancer this past summer after a failed drug test showed he possessed abnormal amounts of hCG. He had surgery during the offseason and has made a full recovery since, playing in every game thus far this season.
Theodore’s grandma, Kay Darlington, dropped the ceremonial puck as she is a survivor of Stage 4 breast cancer and the two shared an emotional hug at center ice.
Cancer is a foe we all can team up against. To support the NHL and their fight against cancer, you can donate here.
Play of Marc-Andre Fleury
While the Golden Knights haven’t been on the winning side of many games in November, it wasn’t because of a lackluster effort from Marc-Andre Fleury. In four of his seven starts, he allowed two goals or less with one of them being a shutout.
Fleury has made a number of highlight-reel saves through the first two months of the season and the one below could be the best one so far. The face of Nicolas Hague (#14 Golden Knights) and Ilya Mikheyev (#65 Toronto Maple Leafs) say it all.
Fleury posted a record of 3-3-1 with a 2.58 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. Even with the subpar month from the Golden Knights, he is still top-10 in the league in wins and my pick to win the Vezina.
Practice in Henderson
This is big news not only for the Golden Knights but for the game of hockey in general. The organization is building a two-sheet arena in the city of Henderson. Adding a facility of this size to the desert will get a lot more kids on the ice and learning our great sport of hockey.
With the effort the Golden Knights are putting forth in the community, it won’t be long until we have more NHL players coming from the state of Nevada.
Shenanigans During Intermissions
Sometimes all the action doesn’t happen during the game. At a recent home game against the Calgary Flames, we had this cute canine show off his skating abilities.
King Benny is a rescued Yellow Lab who does tricks and brings joy to many. It wasn’t your typical Las Vegas show, but he still brought the crowd to their feet and made the fans smile!
Roster News and Notes
Nicolas Roy was living out of a suitcase for the month of November. He was called up and sent down four times in the past month. In six American Hockey League contests, he scored two goals and six points, while he played five NHL games and registered two assists. With the recent acquisition of Chandler Stephenson, it looks like he may stay in the minors until an injury occurs.
Hague seems to have found a regular spot in the line up next to Theodore. After being in and out of the lineup in October, Hague has solidified himself in a top-four role on the Golden Knights’ blue line. His time-on-ice increased 40 seconds from October to November and his confidence continues to grow with each game.
Valentin Zykov served his 20-game suspension and upon returning was assigned to the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. In his seven games with the big club this season he recorded two assists and brought some extra grit and speed to the lineup, but has left a sour taste in management’s mouth after knowingly taking a banned substance without the consent of the team.