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Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury will return to the net for the Vegas Golden Knights Tuesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Coach Gerard Gallant announced his decision after the team’s morning skate.

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Fleury was granted personal leave by the team after the passing of his father. He last played Nov. 23, a 4-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers, and left the team Nov. 26 to travel to Quebec.

Fleury rejoined the team last Thursday, but didn’t play in losses to the New York Islanders and New York Rangers, with Malcolm Subban making the starts. All told, Subban started seven games in Fleury’s absence.

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Fleury is 11-6-2 this year with a 2.54 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage.

Vegas enters the game in fourth place in the Pacific Division, but also one point ahead of the Vancouver Canucks for the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

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Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury will make his first start in more than two weeks Tuesday when the Golden Knights host the Chicago Blackhawks, coach Gerard Gallant confirmed.

Fleury left the team Nov. 26, and his father, Andre, died the following day at age 63 in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec.

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Fleury rejoined the team Thursday in New York and served as the backup to Malcolm Subban the past two games. He hasn’t played since a 4-2 loss to Edmonton on Nov. 23.

In 20 appearances, Fleury is 11-6-2 with a 2.54 goals-against average and .919 save percentage.

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The Blackhawks look to extend their point streak to four games when they start their three-game road trip against the Golden Knights on Tuesday night in Las Vegas.

Chicago (12-12-6) blew a 3-1 first-period lead in its shootout loss to Arizona on Sunday. Alex DeBrincat scored a goal for the third straight game, and Robin Lehner made 44

saves. It was the Blackhawks’ third straight game to go past regulation.

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The Blackhawks will be without forwards Drake Caggiula and Andrew Shaw (concussions on long-term injured reserve) and defenseman Duncan Keith (groin on IR) during its road trip.

With Olli Maatta (flu) questionable to return after missing three games, the Blackhawks recalled rookie defenseman Adam Boqvist from the AHL. He has one goal in six NHL games

this season. Chicago also called up forward Matthew Highmore, who played in two NHL games in late November.

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Corey Crawford is expected to start in net against Vegas (15-12-5). After two straight starts of allowing four or more goals, Crawford was stellar on Friday against New Jersey

making 29 saves on 30 shots and stopping Jack Hughes in the shootout to clinch victory for the Blackhawks. In his last start against the Golden Knights on Nov. 13, Crawford made

39 saves on 42 shots to help Chicago capture their first win against Las Vegas.

Forward Ryan Carpenter will play his second game of the season against his former team in Las Vegas. He had a primary assist in Chicago’s 5-3 win Nov. 13 in Vegas.

View from the other side

Golden Knights blog, Knights On Ice

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The Golden Knights took five of a possible six points on their recent New York trip before being shut out 5-0 to the Rangers upon returning to Las Vegas. The loss ended Vegas’

streak of scoring in 52 straight games, dating back to Feb. 18 at Colorado.

Vegas rookie Cody Glass will miss Tuesday’s game with a concussion, which means we won’t get another look at two of the best rookie forwards matching up in Kirby Dach and

Glass. The Golden Knights called up Valentin Zykov from the AHL on Monday as a result of Glass’ head injury.

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Alex Tuch did not have a November to remember.

The Golden Knights forward battled injury and inconsistency throughout the month before ending on a high note in Friday’s 2-1 shootout victory over the Arizona Coyotes at T-Mobile Arena.

“Obviously, my productivity’s been low, but more than anything else, I just want this team to win,” Tuch said. “It’s something I’ve got to work on myself. But I’ve got to play good defense, a good team game, and just try to help the team win as much as possible and play the right way, and, hopefully, points start coming.”

Tuch was injured in the preseason and missed the first 13 games with an upper-body injury. He scored in his season debut against Montreal on Oct. 31, but was knocked out of the next game Nov. 2 after a high hit from Winnipeg’s Adam Lowry and sidelined for four games.

Tuch returned Nov. 13 against Chicago with an immaculate “Movember” mustache, but he struggled to develop chemistry on the third line with wing Cody Glass and either Paul Statsny or Cody Eakin at center.

In 11 games, the Tuch-Eakin-Glass trio registered 43.33 percent of the shot attempts at 5-on-5, the lowest percentage of the Knights’ four lines.

“Inconsistent. He had some real good games, then he tailed off a little bit,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “Again, it’s not easy when you get hurt and you’re chasing guys from behind and your conditioning is not quite with the other guy. But he’ll be fine.”

Tuch went seven straight games without a point until he broke through against the Coyotes. With a second-period power play winding down, Tuch moved to the front of the net and deflected defenseman Nic Hague’s wrist shot to put the Knights ahead.

He then scored the winning goal in the shootout with a silky move, going to his forehand to beat Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper.

Tuch has two goals and an assist in 11 games, and his 47.46 shot attempts percentage at 5-on-5 is one of the lowest among the team’s forwards.

But Gallant hopes Friday’s game will spark Tuch in December, starting with Monday’s game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

“When he skates and plays a bumping-and-grinding game and gets open, he’s a real effective player,” Gallant said. “He’s just got to do the simple thing. Tuchy thinks too much sometimes. Just go out and play and have fun. That’s when he plays his best hockey.”

Ballot box

Knights fans have the chance to vote Marc-Andre Fleury, Mark Stone or William Karlsson onto the Pacific Division All-Star team.

The three are the Knights’ nominees for Pacific Division captain. Fans can vote until 8:59 p.m. Pacific time Dec. 20 at NHL.com/Vote and the NHL app, and the top vote-getter in each division will be named captain. The league selects the remaining players.

NHL All-Star Weekend will be Jan. 24-25 in St. Louis. The All-Star skills competition will be Jan. 24, and the All-Star Game, which consists of a series of 3-on-3 games between the four divisions, will take place Jan. 25.

Fleury was the Knights’ lone All-Star last season. He and James Neal represented the team in 2018.

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Defenseman Nate Schmidt overheard the discussion in the Golden Knights’ locker room Thursday and had to jump in.

“When you say ‘Star Wars,’” defenseman Shea Theodore said, “his eyes just light up.”

Schmidt is the biggest “Star Wars” fan on the Knights and has been eagerly awaiting the release of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” the final installment of the sequel trilogy that came out Thursday.

He said he is staying off social media and the internet as much as possible to avoid any spoilers before he sees the movie.

“We’re not going before Christmas. We couldn’t get everybody together to have it all work,” Schmidt said. “I am extremely excited. But I feel like there’s going to be such a hammer in the movie that it’s going to be so hard to get away from.”

When “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” debuted in theaters in 2017, Schmidt said several members of the organization went to see it together.

With the team currently hosting its fathers trip, Schmidt anticipates a similar outing once the team returns to Las Vegas.

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William Karlsson and Alex Tuch are also big fans of the “Star Wars” movies, Schmidt said. But a number of their teammates confessed they barely know a lightsaber from the Buffalo Sabres.

“Is there a new movie coming out?” rookie defenseman Nic Hague asked.

“I’ve never seen any of them. How many are there?” Theodore said.

“I’ve seen ‘Spaceballs,’ ” Max Pacioretty said of the 1987 parody. “Never seen (a “Star Wars” movie) in my life. I get flak for that. Maybe eventually I’ll watch one.”

Eakin sighting

Injured center Cody Eakin (upper body) joined the Knights for their two-game road trip that concludes Sunday at San Jose.

Eakin, out since Nov. 29, was seen stretching before Thursday’s morning skate at Rogers Arena but has not resumed skating.

“Good sign,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “He’s not going to play on this trip, for sure, but, hopefully, get him back soon. He’s got stages to go through, and he’s working hard.”

Rosters frozen

The NHL’s annual holiday roster freeze began at 11:59 p.m. Thursday and lasts until 12:01 a.m. Dec. 28.

The rule prevents players on the active roster or injured reserve from being traded, waived or loaned. Teams can still make recalls if roster space is available and claim players who were waived before the freeze.

Protective father

William Carrier’s dad, Andre, was put to work by the Knights during the first day of the annual fathers trip. Andre Carrier interviewed Gallant after the morning skate and asked whether his son would be getting more ice time.

“He’s playing hard, he competes hard and he’s playing the same game every night,” Gallant responded. “A smarter coach would play him a little bit more, for sure.”

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After four of the best games for the Vegas Golden Knights this season, and their first four-game winning streak, a goaltending controversy has come to light. No, Malcolm Subban isn’t pushing Marc-Andre Fleury for the starting job, but he should be seeing more starts.

After national writers speculated that the Golden Knights needed a new backup goaltender, and just 19 starts in 2017-18 and 20 in 2018-19, Subban played incredibly well once given the opportunity. He entered this stretch with just three games played within a week of another start. He had three outside of a week. He’s only had 11 starts so far this season, and six came within the last six games.

Here’s the thing about Subban (and, if expanded, likely all goaltenders): he’s better when he’s seeing consistent time. That’s been a problem throughout his tenure with the Golden Knights. In 2018-19, Subban had more starts further than a week apart (10) than he did within a week (9). Subban, in his three seasons worth of starts within a week, has a .912 save percentage (that’s at .919 this season). With more than a week apart: .877 (.896 this season).

Save percentage isn’t the only stat that demonstrates just how much better Subban is with a consistent schedule. His starts within a week this season have led to a high-danger save percentage of .875 and 2.24 goals saved above expected, his starts more than a week apart have a .774 high-danger save percentage and -3.37 goals saved above average.

Subban, simply, has been used poorly. That’s likely contributed to his standing this season — he’s tied for 37th in the league in save percentage, but he and Fleury have stats that are pretty close. Fleury’s got a .919 save percentage and Subban is at .909 (again, .919 with more consistency would make that go up). Fleury’s high-danger save percentage is at .853, Subban’s is at .845. They’ve both made plenty of high-danger goals saved above average (Fleury 6.46, Subban 3.05).

And Subban isn’t dealing with the team at it’s best:

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Despite this, Subban has had a better track record at some aspects this season than Fleury, and has saved more goals relative to expectation.

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So Subban is playing well in spite of the team in front of him, sometimes, as the game against the Devils proved.

It’s also likely not a fluke that Fleury’s save percentage fell 14 points last season, from a .927 save percentage in 2017-18 to a .913 save percentage in 2018-19. He had 15 more starts, going from 46 to 61, and while his shutouts doubled (going from four to eight), his percentage of quality starts (starts above his season-average save percentage) fell.

In an era that’s moving closer and closer to platoon netminding — two of the best goaltending performances this season have been from duos, in Antti Raanta and Darcy Kuemper in Arizona and Robin Lehner and Corey Crawford in Chicago — why wouldn’t Vegas do the same? If Fleury’s demonstrably better with starts numbering closer to 45 than 60, and three of the final four goaltenders in the playoffs last season played between 40 and 50 games (only Martin Jones, statistically the worst of those goaltenders, played more), shouldn’t Subban, who just proved he’s capable of giving more, given the opportunity, be playing more than 20 games?

The answer is yes. Subban’s got 11 starts through the first 31 games of the season. He should likely have more, but before this stretch he wasn’t playing great hockey, and he was injured for a time. Now that he’s proven he’s healthy and he can play excellent hockey, though, getting Vegas their first four-game winning streak of the season, he should see an increase in starts and in percentage of games started.

Nobody wants to see Fleury get hurt again. The Golden Knights want to get back to the Stanley Cup Final, and that was the expectation before the season. There’s a simple answer to these two problems, and that’s play Malcolm. He’s earned it.

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Tomas Nosek scored what scored what proved to be the game-winning goal early in the third period, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night in Las Vegas.

Shea Theodore and Chandler Stephenson also scored goals, and Mark Stone added two assists for Vegas. The Golden Knights extended their home win streak to three games, their longest of the season, while improving to 8-2-1 in their past 11 games. They also have won three in a row overall.

It was the 453rd career victory for Fleury, moving him within one of Curtis Joseph for sixth place in NHL history.

Mats Zuccarello and Zach Parise scored for Minnesota, which lost for the first time in its history in four games played in Las Vegas. Alex Stalock finished with 26 saves.

Minnesota took advantage of Vegas penalties on Reilly Smith for tripping and Stone for interference within a 23-second span to score its first five-on-three goal of the season en route to a 1-0 lead late in the first period. Zuccarello took a cross-crease pass from Eric Staal and then fired a bad-angle shot from below the left circle under Fleury’s right arm for his eighth goal of the season.

Stephenson tied it midway through the second period, finishing a two-on-one with Stone with a one-timer from the right circle that beat Stalock on his glove side.

Vegas then took a 2-1 lead with 10 seconds left in the period on Theodore’s fourth goal of the season. Stone once again set up the goal, winning the puck along the left boards and then passing to Theodore, who crept in and then beat Stalock with a wrist shot from the middle of the right circle.

Nosek made it 3-1 at the 6:16 mark of the third period with his first goal in 14 games, firing a wrist shot from the middle of the left circle that redirected off the stick of Wild defenseman Carson Soucy and over Stalock’s left shoulder into the top far corner of the net.

The Wild pulled Stalock with 2:42 remaining, and Parise cut the deficit to 3-2 with 1:15 left when he knocked in a rebound of a Kevin Fiala shot from the right doorstep. But the Wild managed just a Matt Dumba shot that Fleury saved easily after that.

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Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman is reporting that Capitals GM Brian MacLellan told Chandler Stephenson that he would do his best to put the bottom-six forward in a favorable situation when it was clear the Caps no longer had room on the roster for him. The Capitals ultimately traded Stephenson to the Vegas Golden Knights for a fifth-round pick, reuniting the Canadian forward with the man who originally drafted him, the Golden Knights’ President of Hockey Operations.

Friedman revealed the nugget in his 31 Thoughts column.

Friedman writes:

Chandler Stephenson has points in four straight games after scoring his sixth of the year in Vegas’s 3–2 win over Minnesota on Tuesday night. Word is that when it became clear Stephenson could be the odd man out in Washington, Capitals GM Brian MacLellan made it clear he’d do his best to make sure the forward went to a good situation. Players talk about this stuff.

Friedman’s comment of “Players talk about this stuff” is either personal opinion or a revelation that he got this inside information from a source who was speaking well of MacLellan.

Stephenson, who is currently on a four-game point-scoring streak with the Golden Knights, has three goals and five points in eight games since the trade. The Stanley Cup champion had four points in his previous 24 with Washington.

Here are all three of his goals with Vegas.

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Nate Schmidt set up Paul Stastny for the game-winning goal in overtime as the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Nashville Predators, 4-3, on Wednesday night at Bridgestone Arena.

HOW IT WENT DOWN
Mark Stone knocked home his 11th goal of the season to give Vegas a 1-0 lead. Reilly Smith added to the lead in the second period before Mikael Granlund and Ryan Ellis tied the game for Nashville. Matt Duchene gave Nashville the lead in the third period but Max Pacioretty leveled the score with .3 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime. After a costly turnover by the Predators, Schmidt and Stastny dashed in on a 2-on-0 to score the game-winner.

TOP PERFORMERS
Paul Stastny: Stastny scored for the second game in a row to lift Vegas to victory.

Mark Stone: Stone got Vegas on the board with the all-important first goal of the game.

Reilly Smith: Smith notched his 11th goal of the campaign on a crafty breakaway in the second period.

Roman Josi: Josi had two assists for the Predators.

LOOKING AHEAD
The Golden Knights return home for a Gold Friday matchup against the Arizona Coyotes at 3 p.m. at T-Mobile Arena.

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Reilly and Brendan Smith’s offseason skates together had a different feel this summer.

Younger brother Reilly Smith of the Golden Knights had to show older brother Brendan of the New York Rangers some new tricks. That’s because Brendan Smith, who spent his first eight seasons in the NHL playing defenseman, has switched to forward this season. So he and Reilly participated in forward drills to get him ready for a new chapter in his career.

Brendan Smith is now playing on the Rangers’ fourth line while transitioning back to defense on the penalty kill. It’s an unorthodox role, but it’s helped him become a consistent contributor. And Reilly Smith will get to see his brother’s new responsibilities in person again when the Knights host the Rangers at 4 p.m. Sunday at T-Mobile Arena.

“I think he’s done a really good job. Obviously, it’s not an easy situation,” Reilly Smith said. “He’s enjoying it. He’s a big part of their team.”

Brendan Smith has six points (three goals, three assists) in his new role. He had an unassisted goal Monday against the Montreal Canadiens, stealing a loose puck and beating goaltender Carey Price with a backhand move.

That kind of skill is impressive from a player still getting adjusted to a new position. It’s better than Reilly Smith could do if the brothers’ positions were reversed, because he said he couldn’t learn to play defenseman.

“I can’t skate backward,” Reilly Smith said.

Stephenson gets adjusted

New Knights forward Chandler Stephenson earned a prime spot in the City National Arena locker room: The stall between talkative forwards Jonathan Marchessault and Ryan Reaves.

It’s one of many ways the team is trying to integrate Stephenson into the group after he was traded from the Washington Capitals on Monday. Saturday was his first practice with the Knights at City National Arena, and Sunday will be his first game as a member of the home team at T-Mobile.

It will be his second game in the rink since Game 5 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, when he got to carry the Cup around the ice as a member of the victorious Capitals.

“Obviously, what happened is something that will last a lifetime,” Stephenson said. “(I’m) looking forward to being on the good side now.”

Glass sees NYC

The Knights’ recent three-game trip was rookie Cody Glass’ first visit to New York City. The center took full advantage.

He said he visited Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Central Park and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

“It was really cool,” Glass said. “I’m from Winnipeg, so I don’t see that much stuff.”

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Unofficially, New York Islanders dynamo Mathew Barzal had the puck on his stick for 54 consecutive seconds in overtime.

To Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt, it seemed much longer.

“It felt like an eternity,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt turned in a remarkable shift against the speedy Barzal in overtime of the Knights’ eventual 3-2 loss to New York on Thursday.

He chased and hounded and pestered and didn’t give an inch as the Islanders’ leading scorer probed for an opening that wasn’t there during 3-on-3 play.

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“That is very satisfying as a defenseman, especially since that’s your matchup, right?” Schmidt said. “He’s an excellent player. He’s got a lot of moves to his game. He’s very shifty. He’s seen corkscrewing guys into the ice many times, and for me, at the end of it, it felt like it was five minutes long.”

Barzal gained possession a little more than 30 seconds into the overtime and went to work, patiently stickhandling near the blue line. His first two attempts to drive to the net were cut off by Schmidt, and Barzal retreated back to center ice.

After building up a head of steam, Barzal carried the puck back into the zone and was forced to circle the net by Schmidt. He hit the brakes but couldn’t ditch Schmidt and regrouped in the neutral zone for the second time.

Barzal eventually gave up trying to get around Schmidt and released the puck to Josh Bailey with about 3:30 remaining before heading to the bench. The scene was reminiscent of Schmidt’s work against Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele during the 2018 Western Conference Final.

“It was two good skaters,” Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. “Barzal’s a talented hockey player, and when Nate plays his best hockey, he can skate with anybody.”

Schmidt remained on the ice and blocked a shot by New York’s Derick Brassard, which led to a scoring chance for Mark Stone at the other end. Schmidt did his best to join the rush but his legs wouldn’t allow it.

“The extra jump at the end when I tried to catch up with Stoney, I think I might have roasted my boosters for the next couple minutes,” Schmidt said. “It’s fun, though. That’s what you like.”

In all, Schmidt’s shift lasted 1:21, though he didn’t play the rest of the overtime. And without Schmidt defending, Barzal’s wizardry with the puck eventually wore down the Knights.

Forward Jonathan Marchessault couldn’t stay with Barzal on his next shift and took a tripping penalty with 1:50 remaining in overtime.

The Islanders scored the winner 10 seconds later when the Knights’ penalty killers all were caught in the corner and New York defenseman Ryan Pulock waltzed down the slot before beating goaltender Malcolm Subban from point-blank range.

“He’s a nice player,” Schmidt said of Barzal. “For me, I love that, because that’s what you want. You want that matchup. You want to be able go out and test yourself against one of the best players one-on-one in the league.”

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The stories began to leak after the Toronto Maple Leafs relieved Mike Babcock from his coaching position. Former and current players spoke out about Babcock’s harsh, critical style hidden behind his success. Then more stories came out by past players, stories that were very concerning.

Akim Aliu

@Dreamer_Aliu78
Not very surprising the things we’re hearing about Babcock. Apple doesn’t fall far from the Tree, same sort of deal with his protege in YYC. Dropped the N bomb several times towards me in the dressing room in my rookie year because he didn’t like my choice of music. First one to

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Akim Aliu broke open the door when he accused former coaches of being openly racist. Aliu’s claims were taken seriously enough that Calgary quickly parted ways with coach Bill Peters for his involvement a decade ago. They weren’t claims anymore, the nightmare stories by former players were sadly proven right. Peters resigned and the league is better for the swift actions.

Most teams got a chance to address the controversy over the past two weeks, so we thought it was time for the league to hear from some of the Golden Knights.

I wasn’t there in those situations but the Bill Peters thing, there’s no room for that on hockey. There’s no room for racism in the world at all.

Guys coming out saying that got yelled at, if you’re a hockey player you have to have tough skin. If you’re getting yelled at you probably just have to brush it off. I don’t know. All of these stories coming out about the past is a little weird but this stuff about berated guys, racism and that stuff is important and needs to be discussed and taken care of. -Ryan Reaves

Ryan Reaves didn’t hesitate to call out Peters for his racist actions but he doesn’t want the outpouring of other stories clouding Aliu’s serious accounts.

Akim Aliu comes out with the racism story, that’s an important subject. That’s something that needs to be dealt with but the four or five other stories that came out seems like they’re just trying to catch a story and try and be part of a story that isn’t really there. There are certain subjects that need to be dealt with and then there’s certain things that are just noise. -Reaves

Twelve year NHL veteran Max Pacioretty has had his share of uncomfortable moments in his career but he’s never witnessed any form of abuse.

I can’t relate to any of the negative stuff that’s been coming out but often times in a team sport environment you can’t always be everyone’s best friend. You got to pick your time and spots when to be hard on guys and I think that accountability is present on pretty much every good team. -Max Pacioretty

Same goes for #75, he’s never seen any of the accusations firsthand.

I’ve never been on a team that had that. I’ve seen coaches and players battle, and sometimes they didn’t quite like each other. There’s going to be heated moments, it’s a heated sport. Sometimes the emotions get the best of you but I’ve never been a part of anything that crossed the line. -Reaves

In his time in the league, Pacioretty has seen coaching styles change to better fit today’s athlete.

Yeah, I’ve definitely seen different approaches from coaches. They used to come down on the young guys in terms of being hard on them. It seemed there weren’t as many young guys on the team, and when they did come up, coaches wanted to make sure they weren’t too comfortable and they made sure they played the right way. Often times the old school mentality was to be hard on the young guys but I’ve never seen anything that was over the edge. I definitely had some hard coaches to play for, and at the end of the day, all of the hard coaches I played for were the ones I feel made me the best. -Pacioretty

Both Golden Knight players showed their concern and support towards the former players that were emotionally and physically abused by coaches but they were also concerned with the piling on. It gives the sport of hockey a black eye, maybe undeserved.

Just because it’s coming out in hockey only doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened in other sports. You can’t tell me that there haven’t been heated battles in football or basketball. You see it sometimes on the sidelines. But you don’t want to hear any of that for sure, it’s not good for the game. You want to be talking about the actual sport and what’s going on on the ice. -Reaves

Yeah, it’s no good for everyone. Some of the stories you can’t believe that stuff happened. It’s shocking. At the same time, I’ve had coaches yell at me. I’ve had some coaches say things to me that in the heat of the moment I was pretty upset about but at the end of the day no one’s crossed the line with me. Most coaches know how to handle their teams and individual players. -Pacioretty

Gerard Gallant has been coaching in the NHL for almost two decades, so he’s seen the old and new ways of handling players. However, in his eyes, he’s always had the same philosophy.

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@SinBinVegas
“You’re not coaching against your players, you’re coaching with your players.

I think if you ask my players what type of coach I am I think they feel like I’m a teammate of theirs. Can’t comment on anyone else but that’s the way I work.” -Gerard Gallant

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His players absolutely agree with him, Gallant is just like one of them. A teammate. That style, Gallant’s style, is the changing of the guard. Coaches across the sport should approach their players the same way.

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NEW YORK (Dec. 16, 2019) – Vegas Golden Knights left wing Max Pacioretty , Ottawa Senators left wing Anthony Duclair and Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Dec 15.

FIRST STAR – MAX PACIORETTY, LW, VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
Pacioretty led all skaters with 5-3-8 in four contests to help the Golden Knights (18-13-5, 41 points) win three of four contests to move into second place in the Pacific Division and one point back of the Arizona Coyotes (19-12-4, 42 points) for first. Pacioretty, who has scored a goal in each of his last four appearances, opened the week with one goal in a 5-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Dec. 10 and then scored another goal in a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues Dec. 12. He then registered back-to-back multi-point performances with 1-1-2, including the overtime winner, in a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars Dec. 13 and a season-high four points (2-2-4) in a 6-3 triumph over the Vancouver Canucks Dec. 15. The 31-year-old New Canaan, Conn., native is in his second campaign with the Golden Knights and leads all Vegas skaters in goals (15), assists (19) and points (34) in 2019-20.

SECOND STAR – ANTHONY DUCLAIR, LW, OTTAWA SENATORS
Duclair tied for the League lead with five goals, including a pair of multi-goal outings, totaling 5-1-6 across three games to help the Senators (14-17-2, 30 points) capture five of a possible six standings points. Duclair opened the week with 2-1-3 in a 5-2 victory over the Atlantic Division-leading Boston Bruins Dec. 9 and then was held without a point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens Dec. 11. He closed the week by capping his third career hat trick with the overtime winner in a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Dec. 14. A 24-year-old native of Pointe-Claire, Que., Duclair leads all Senators skaters and ranks tied for ninth in the NHL with 18 goals this season (33 GP) – two shy of his career high set in 2015-16 (20 G in 81 GP). Since being acquired by Ottawa in a trade on Feb. 23, Duclair has registered 26-13-39 in 55 games – only nine players in the League have scored more regular-season goals over that timeframe.

THIRD STAR – JACK EICHEL, C, BUFFALO SABRES
Eichel recorded multiple points in each of his three appearances last week and tied for the League lead with five goals (5-1-6 in 3 GP) to help the Sabres (16-11-7, 39 points) gain five of a possible six standings points and move into second place in the Atlantic Division. Eichel opened the week with consecutive two-goal games, netting 2-0-2 including the game-winning tally in a 5-2 victory over the Western Conference-leading St. Louis Blues Dec. 10 and then another pair of goals in a 4-3 triumph over the Nashville Predators Dec. 12. He capped the week with 1-1-2 in a 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Islanders Dec. 14 to extend his point streak to 16 games (15-14-29 in 16 GP) – the longest by any player this season and longest by a Sabres skater since Tim Connolly in 2009-10 (16 GP). A 23-year-old native of North Chelmsford, Mass., Eichel ranks among the top ten this season in goals (2nd; 23), assists (9th; 25) and points (t-5th; 48).

ABOUT THE VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
The Vegas Golden Knights are a National Hockey League franchise owned and operated by Black Knight Sports and Entertainment LLC. The Vegas Golden Knights were established by founding partners William Foley and his family and the Maloof family. For the latest news and information on the Golden Knights visit vegasgoldenknights.com. Fans can follow the team on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.