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Doc Emrick pays tribute to Dave Strader
It's the summer episode of The Hockey Show. Paul Altmeyer and Horace Greeley commiserate about a number of topics related to hockey, and talk with Nate Ewell of College Hockey Inc.
THE HOCKEY SHOW, JUNE 2017
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
Max Domi makes quick work of Ryan Kesler
MALCOLM SUBBAN AND GOLDEN KNIGHTS
BEAT BRUINS IN VEGAS, 3-1
What were the odds of that happening?
George McPhee’s call to designate Alex Tuch and Vadim Shipachyov to the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves before the season came with a caveat.
The Golden Knights’ general manager declared that both forwards had done more than enough to make the NHL roster. The only reason they were being sent down was because, unlike other players on the roster, the team could do so without the risk of a competitor claiming their rights.
Tuch, the former Boston College Eagle, and Shipachyov confirmed McPhee’s contention in their debuts Sunday night, as they each scored a goal to lead the Golden Knights to a 3-1 win over the Bruins at T-Mobile Arena.
“Those were great call-ups obviously,” Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said after the victory. “They played a great game, and they capitalized on their chances.”
The Golden Knights were supposed to be past the history-making phase after winning in both their first-ever game, at Dallas, and first home game, against Arizona, but Sunday’s win brought even more firsts. The goals by Tuch and Shipachyov were both the first of their NHL careers after they moved up to the Golden Knights to take the spots of the injured Jonathan Marchessault and Erik Haula.
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury joined Marchessault and Haula on injured reserve due to a concussion, setting the stage for backup Malcolm Subban to lock up his first career victory. Subban stopped the Bruins’ first 21 shots on goal before David Pastrnak slipped one through via deflection with 30 seconds left after the team pulled their goalie.
Oscar Lindberg erased any tension seconds later, when he fired the puck from the Golden Knights’ defensive zone to score the team’s first-ever empty-net goal.
All the achievements combined to improve Vegas to 4-1 on the season, making it one of 12 teams in the league with eight points in the standings.
“We want to win,” Tuch said. “We know we’re an expansion team, but I think we’re proving people wrong left and right.”
Subban silenced the most doubters on Sunday. Boston practically gave up on the 23-year-old five years after drafting him by putting him on waivers before the season began.
Vegas claimed Subban, a curious move at the time considering it already had a more proven, young backup in Calvin Pickard. But McPhee said the team saw something in Subban, subsequently trading Pickard to keep him on the roster.
The 17,562 fans in attendance Sunday started to see it too, as Subban looked much better than he had in two previous NHL appearances where he gave up six goals on 22 attempts. Defenseman Colin Miller, the other former Bruin on the Golden Knights’ roster, raced down the ice to embrace Subban as soon as the game concluded.
“It’s our former team but stuff happens,” Subban said. “We’re not out to get anyone or anything like that. I think he was more happy that I got my first win than anything.”
Buoyed by what Gallant called “a real strong” defensive game, including by defensemen Brad Hunt and Jon Merrill in their season debuts, Subban got into a rhythm early despite Boston only getting five shots on goal in the first period. That was one more than the Golden Knights, which were out of sync early on offense.
The line featuring Tuch and Shipachyov had to pull them out of it in the second period. Tuch was the catalyst, first stealing the puck away from Boston’s Brandon Charlo and sailing a shot over the shoulder of goalie Tuukka Rask.
He said fans could learn more about his style from the Golden Knights’ second goal, though. Tuch got in front of Rask and fired a shot that was stopped, but put his stick on the rebound and passed the puck over to Shipachyov, who slid it into the net.
“That’s what I’m here to do,” Tuch said. “I’m not the most skilled player. I throw in a little skill every once in a while and I can shoot the puck but I try to use my speed, my size and my aggression to open it up for my linemates and create havoc.”
The humble Tuch tried to deflect his own praise, but didn’t save any superlatives when it came to talking about Shipachyov.
“He’s really good,” Tuch raised his voice. “He’s super smart, can find those areas and really good with the puck. He finds me when I don’t even think I can be found. It’s pretty special.”
Shipachyov reportedly wasn’t happy with the AHL assignment — he never showed up in Chicago, though the team said he was approved to stay in Las Vegas — but Tuch took it in stride. Neither Shipachyov nor Tuch should have to worry about proving they belong after the win over the Bruins.
They both have a place in the NHL, just as McPhee promised.
“When you lose players like Marchessault, Haula and Fleury the last game, you bring these guys in and they’re a big part of our group,” Gallant said. “They played real well.”