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He was held without a point for the first time December 06, 2018 11:41 PM

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Dan Bouchard can appreciate [url=http://www.ducksshoponline.com]www.ducksshoponline.com[/url] , better than most, the Miracle in the Desert.He was a goalie for the expansion Atlanta Flames back in the 1970s, so he knows how difficult it is to build a competitive team from scratch.”It’s astonishing what they’ve done in Vegas,” said Bouchard, who still lives in the Atlanta area, when reached by phone this week. ”I think it’s the greatest thing to happen to hockey since the Miracle on Ice,” he added, referring to the seminal U.S. upset of the mighty Soviet Union at the 1980 Olympics. ”It’s that good.”Indeed, Vegas has set a new norm for expansion teams in all sports. No longer will it be acceptable to enter a league with a squad full of dregs and take your lumps for a few years, all while fans willingly pay big-league prices to watch an inferior product.The Golden Knights have come up with a stunning new template for how this expansion thing can be done.They romped to the Pacific Division title with 51 wins. In the opening round of the playoffs, they finished off the Los Angeles Kings in four straight games , casting aside a franchise that has a pair of Stanley Cup titles this decade while becoming the first expansion team in NHL history to sweep a postseason series in its debut year.Imagine how storied franchises in Montreal and Detroit and Edmonton must be feeling right about now.They didn’t even make the playoffs.From Bouchard’s perspective, it’s all good. Vegas’ success right out of the starting gate will make everyone raise their game in the years to come.”This will wake up the teams that are sitting on $90 million budgets and not doing anything,” he said. ”People will say, `If Vegas can do it, we can do it.’ That’s a paradigm shift in the game.”When one considers how NHL expansion teams have fared over the years, the Vegas story becomes even more compelling.The Golden Knights are the first new team in the NHL’s modern era to have a winning record in their inaugural season [url=http://www.officialblues.com/authentic-adidas-patrick-maroon-jersey]Patrick Maroon Jersey Womens[/url] , a period that began in 1967 and encompasses 26 new franchises (including one, the ill-fated California Seals, who are no longer around).Only six other first-year teams have made the playoffs – and that includes four that were assured of postseason berths in the landmark 1967 expansion. You see, when the NHL finally broke out of its Original Six format, doubling in size to a dozen teams, it placed all the new franchises in the same division, with the top four getting postseason berths even with sub-.500 records.Until the Golden Knights came along, the Florida Panthers were the gold standard for NHL expansion. They finished one game below .500 in their first season (1993-94) and missed the playoffs by a single point. In Year 3, they had their first winning record and made it all the way to the Stanley Cup final, though they were swept by the Colorado Avalanche.That remains the closest the Panthers have come to winning a title.In Sin City, the wait for a championship figures to be much shorter. Heck, the Golden Knights might do it this year.They’re 12 wins away from hoisting the Stanley Cup in a city that has always had a soft spot for long shots.”We’re still a few wins away from this being a great story,” said goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, a key contributor to the Golden Knights success.Even now, it seems like a bit of dream to coach Gerard Gallant, who thankfully will be remembered for something other than getting left at the curb to hail his own cab after being fired by the Panthers.”When this all started in October, we just wanted to compete [url=http://www.officialblues.com/authentic-adidas-tyler-bozak-jersey]Tyler Bozak Jersey Womens[/url] ,” Gallant said. ”Now we’re going to the second round of the playoffs. It’s unreal.”For sure, the Golden Knights wound up with a much more talented roster than most expansion teams – partly through astute planning, partly through getting access to better players as a reward for doling out a staggering $500 million expansion fee, which was a more than six-fold increase over the $80 million required of Minnesota and Columbus to enter the league in 2000.The expansion draft netted a top-line goalie in Fleury, who helped Pittsburgh win three Stanley Cups; center Jonathan Marchessault, a 30-goal scorer in Florida who was surprisingly left exposed by the Panthers; and winger James Neal, who had scored more than 20 goals in all nine of his NHL seasons. It also provided a solid group of defensemen: Colin Miller, Nate Schmidt, Deryk Engelland and Brayden McNabb.In addition, the Golden Knights wisely nabbed young Swedish center William Karlsson, who hadn’t done much in Columbus but became Vegas’ leading scorer with 43 goals and 35 assists.”They’ve got some top centers. They’ve got some real good defense. They’ve got good goaltending,” Bouchard observed. ”They went right down the middle. That’s how the built it. Then they complemented it with the fastest guys they could get their hands on. They went for speed.”Previous expansion teams didn’t have it nearly as good.Bouchard actually played on one of the better first-year teams when the Flames entered the league in 1972. They were in playoff contention much of the season and finished with more points than four other teams in the 16-team league, including the storied Toronto Maple Leafs.But that was a team that had to struggle for every win. The Flames had only three 20-goal scorers and were largely carried by their two young goalies, Bouchard and Phil Myre.”We didn’t have a bona fide 30-goal scorer,” Bouchard recalled. ”We had a lot of muckers.”That was then.The Golden Knights have shown how it should be done.If expansion teams are going to fork over enormous fees for the chance to play, they should have access to a much better pool of potential players.They should have a chance to win right away.That way, everyone wins.—Paul Newberry is a sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at pnewberry(at)ap.org or at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul newberry—AP Sports Writer Beth Harris in Los Angeles contributed to this column.— OTTAWA [url=http://www.officialblues.com/authentic-adidas-chad-johnson-jersey]Chad Johnson Jersey Womens[/url] , Ontario (AP) — In the midst of a so-so sophomore season, the Golden Knights finally scored in bunches.William Carrier put Vegas ahead for good after Ottawa rallied from a three-goal deficit, and the Golden Knights beat the Senators 5-3 on Thursday night.Vegas, which reached the Stanley Cup final in its inaugural season but has hovered around .500 so far in this campaign, scored more than three goals in regulation for the first time since Oct. 16, a span of nine games.“We played a real good game,” coach Gerald Gallant said. “The puck finally went in the net for us so that was a real key for us to get five goals. We’re happy with that.”Jonathan Marchessault, Shea Theodore, Nick Holden and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare also scored for the Golden Knights. Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves.Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel and Thomas Chabot scored for the Senators, who fell behind 3-0 late in the second period before coming back to tie it in the third. Craig Anderson stopped 37 shots.Trailing 3-1 to start the third, Ottawa scored twice in just over a minute to make it 3-3. Dzingel scored at 6:57, and Chabot converted into a wide-open net as Fleury was caught sprawling.Vegas regained the lead about a minute later as Carrier won a battle along the boards, stepped around Mark Borowiecki and beat Anderson stick side.Bellemare got the final goal into a wide-open net after Anderson got tangled with Carrier. The Senators challenged unsuccessfully for goaltender interference, a call that infuriated coach Guy Boucher, who said he isn’t sure what constitutes interference anymore.“I don’t know anymore,” Boucher said. “All of us together [url=http://www.officialblues.com/authentic-adidas-brian-flynn-jersey]Brian Flynn Jersey Womens[/url] , we just don’t know anymore. I’ll let them decide and that’s it. I can’t make it, whether it’s our game or somebody else’s game. I guess that’s why I’m not paid for those decisions.”The goal with 8 minutes remaining was deflating for the Senators.“It’s human nature,” Boucher said. “I was 100 percent sure it was going to be goaltender interference, so it’s just mind-boggling so by the time you get rid of the frustration and all that it’s two goals. If it’s one goal, it might have been different.”Vegas dominated much of the second period and took a 3-0 lead late when Holden jumped into the play and lifted the puck over Anderson’s right shoulder. It was the well-traveled defenseman’s first goal for Vegas.Ottawa finally solved Fleury 29 seconds later when the goalie poke-checked Chabot and the puck went right to Duchene. Mike Stone picked up an assist, extending his point streak to five games.“I thought we did some really good things,” Duchene said. “Obviously when you tie it 3-3 in the third, it can go either way. We had the momentum, so tough way to lose.”Duchene’s goal came after Borowiecki accepted a challenge from Ryan Reaves to drop the gloves.“There’s been a couple high hits on our team the last couple weeks,” Reaves said. “Everybody knows that if you’re going to do that, you’re going to have to answer the bell. Good on him for answering the bell, not a lot of guys will do that, but good on him.”The Knights got two power-play goals in the first period. Marchessault opened the scoring 15 minutes in, and with 20 seconds remaining, Theodore fired a puck from just inside the blue line through traffic and past Anderson.NOTES: Senators rookie Brady Tkachuk returned after missing the previous nine games with a torn ligament in his left leg. He was held without a point for the first time since his debut. … Ottawa LW Max McCormick was a healthy scratch. … Vegas was without LW Erik Haula, who was injured Tuesday against Toronto.UP NEXTGolden Knights: At Montreal on Saturday in the third of their four-game trip.Senators: Visit Tampa Bay on Saturday night in the first of back-to-back games in Florida.


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