Ramblings: Viva Las Vegas! (Oct 11)

Ian Gooding

2017-10-11

Viva Las Vegas! Plus Bratt and Boeser and more…

There were a few firsts on Tuesday. These included first goals for Nolan Patrick and Alex Debrincat, and of course the first-ever home game for the Vegas Golden Knights.
 


The 2-0 (now 3-0) Golden Knights were fueled by the energy of the T-Mobile Arena crowd on what was a bittersweet home opener, erupting for four goals in the first 10 minutes. That wasn’t good news for Antti Raanta owners, thinking they might have an easy start against an expansion team. Raanta was pulled after allowing three goals on just five shots.

James Neal has been the real deal in Vegas, scoring two more goals to give him five in just three games as a Golden Knight. Hey, I’ll admit I was wrong about him being a potential bust. But I’ll turn around and say now might be a great time to sell high to an owner that thinks he’s worth his weight in gold. This is, after all, an expansion team.

And of course props to the Golden Knights for becoming the first expansion team in the 100-year history of the NHL to win its first three games. Vadim who? As long as they’re winning the lineup isn’t changing. That’s how it works in hockey. Sorry to Shea Theodore owners as well.

It’s fair to say that VGK’s best players have been its best players, because Marc-Andre Fleury has won each of his first three games of the season. Flower has allowed just four goals over those three games to go with a .973 SV%. That’s better than you expected, even if two of the first three games were against the Coyotes. The Knights’ next game is a Friday home game against the Wings, so at this point you’re starting Fleury with confidence.

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During the offseason, the jury was out as to whether Sonny Milano would be able to crack a deep Blue Jackets’ roster. But thanks to the Boone Jenner injury and the Josh Anderson preseason holdout, the former first-round pick was able to find a spot on the Jackets’ opening-night roster. Since then, he has delivered.

With two goals on Tuesday, including the overtime winner, Milano has scored four goals in just three games. So not only has he made the team, he has been placed on a solid second line with Nick Foligno and Oliver Bjorkstrand. The Jackets are overflowing with young scoring talent. Once Jenner returns they will be able to send out three legitimate scoring lines.

Now that Milano has quickly established himself, he appears to be in the NHL to stay. The only concern I’d have is icetime, since the Jackets have numerous other scoring options should he fall into a slump. If you’ve stuck with him this entire time in your ke