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Golden Knights Notebook

Golden Knights Room: Injury Updates, the BIG Trophy, & Ghosts of WCF Past



Chandler Stephenson, Vegas Golden Knights

LAS VEGAS — Goalie Adin Hill and defensemen Alec Martinez were absent from practice Wednesday, while the ghosts of Western Conference Finals past could haunt or spur the Vegas Golden Knights.

It’s the fourth time in six years they are one of the final four teams standing, but only once in the three previous tries have they advanced to the Stanley Cup Final. And Lord Stanley has not yet walked the strip or had his pick of resort pool parties.

We think the Stanley Cup, splashing beer, and bearded dudes in flip-flops is more of a Freemont St. party anyway.

Following practice Wednesday, coach Bruce Cassidy downplayed Hill’s and Martinez’s absences as maintenance days. However, since the Golden Knights haven’t played since Sunday, a maintenance day is slightly curious.

Jonathan Quick and Jiri Patera were the goalies on the ice.

There’s no official word on Logan Thompson.

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

This is the fourth time the team has reached the final four. One win and the Dallas Stars await. Sports are full of teams that get to a level but cannot get past it. The wall becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy or limitation until the team finally smashes it.

Of course, there are tangible benefits. Experience and knowing what to expect

How will the team respond to being on this stage … again?

“I think if I were in that position, I certainly would look at it (as motivation), that it’s not a given every year. You see that with different teams around the league. It became one here in Vegas, which is a good thing,” Cassidy explained. “Expectations are high, and then all that is taken away from you (missing the playoffs). So I think that’s where the motivation would come from. Let’s get back to being that team that expects to be there every year and does the work to get there.”

The Golden Knights are built well down the middle with Jack Eichel, Chandler Stephenson, William Karlsson, and even Pittsburgh Penguins salary cap casualty Teddy Blueger, who rekindled his defensive prowess when tasked with Connor McDavid in Round Two.

Perhaps the Golden Knights haven’t been this deep since the Misfits took Washington to the mat for the 2018 Stanley Cup.

Yeah, that big trophy that Stephenson won in 2018 when he wore a Capitals sweater before arriving in Las Vegas.

“Guys know what to expect. Games get harder now. So I think that the experience is the biggest thing,” Stephenson said. “No game will be easy. So you’ve got to bring your best and kind of adapt as the series goes on.”

If Blueger isn’t the fourth-line center, if or when Cassidy puts Michael Amadio back in the lineup, Nicolas Roy becomes the bottom-line pivot, which isn’t so bad either.

Roy hasn’t been here from the beginning but was holed up with everyone else in the 2020 bubble and last season when the playoffs were only on TV. He knows what it means.

“I guess we’ve been through it. When you’re grinding through a series and lose, you haven’t achieved your goals,” said Roy. “I think we that we learned from that. And now we want to push it all the way, all the way, to get a big trophy.”

Teddy Blueger: 

For those not familiar with the Golden Knights’ fourth liner, he’s a bit of a wry wit. In Pittsburgh, he convinced backup goalie Casey DeSmith to let him design his mask. Here’s the DeSmith mask.


Blueger knew DeSmith was a big fan of the office, but Blueger went all out, using an image from the show that fans loved but bystanders had to look twice.

However, in case you’re curious about the new Golden Knights center, no, he has not yet convinced Hill or Quick to hand over control of their mask.

Perhaps if he re-signs.

He does really like Las Vegas.

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