Connect with us



Golden Knights fall in Winter Classic

John Froschauer / Associated Press

Seattle Kraken left wing Tye Kartye (52) shoots on goal with Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Nicolas Hague (14) and goaltender Logan Thompson (36) defending during the second period of the NHL Winter Classic hockey game, Monday, Jan. 1, 2024, in Seattle. Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn (29) watches from the left.

SEATTLE — The overcast was dominant all day with no threat of rain. The breeze was slight, but crisp for a perfect winter day. The sun peered out some to remind all in Seattle it still existed.

It was the perfect setting for an outdoor hockey game in a baseball stadium. It was a scene that perfectly encapsulates why the NHL’s Winter Classic has been a memorable experience every New Year’s Day since 2008.

For all the pomp and circumstance that goes into making the Winter Classic the spectacle it is, it’s still ultimately recorded as a win or loss in the record books. And when the book is written on this season, it will read as the Golden Knights being the first team ever to be shut out in a Winter Classic, 3-0 to the Seattle Kraken at T-Mobile Park on Monday.

The ledger will also read that the Golden Knights lost for the fifth time in six games, are 2-6-0 in their last eight, and have still yet to put together a game that says all problems over the past few weeks are solved.

Trying to dignify this game as any different compared to the others will be difficult.

The Winter Classic is a two-day stretch for players and families to create memories together, with a hockey game sprinkled in-between. When the Golden Knights finished practice Sunday morning, their families — wives, kids, parents, etc. — took part in a family skate on the ice rink that stretches across first and third base.

Everyone gets to be with each other for New Year’s and celebrate accordingly. Thirty of the 32 teams are already checked out for the holiday break. The remaining two have to play a game.

Hockey, by default, goes on the backburner.

“You want to win the game, but you want to enjoy the experience,” said captain Mark Stone. “I’ve enjoyed myself the two days here. The outcome is what it is.”

Those same sentiments can best describe the atmosphere on Monday.

Walking around the upper concourse during the first period, it had the feel to a hotly-contested baseball game on an autumn day. The reported attendance was 47,313 a relaxed crowd from the standpoint of being in the moment, families and friends spending time together watching a sporting event.

It wasn’t a raucous environment like one would expect at a hockey game that more than doubles an average NHL attendance. But the volume was loud, and the cheers were clear, every time Kraken goalie Joey Daccord made a save.

The former Arizona State product made 35 saves in his historic shutout and helped Seattle extend its point streak to nine games.

“Their goalie played pretty well. He had a lot of key saves right off the bat,” forward Jonathan Marchessault said. “He played great. Tip your cap to the other team.”

Chants of “Jo-ey!” rang out in the second and third period each time Daccord kept the Golden Knights out of the net. His two biggest saves, both on Jack Eichel, swung the tide in favor of the Kraken.

Had Eichel scored in the second period off that slight breakaway after forcing a turnover at the blue line, or in the third period while all alone below the right circle, maybe the complexion of the game changes. Instead, Daccord got his pad on the first one, then robbed Eichel with his glove on the second one.

Not all of Vegas’ shots resembled that high-danger feel. The Golden Knights had just five high-danger chances at 5-on-5 all game, including one in the third period while Seattle had seven, according to Natural Stat Trick.

Daccord didn’t have to work too hard for his shutout, but the Golden Knights could’ve benefitted from getting the same kind of goals that the Kraken got. Two came just in front of the crease — on a deflection and a breakaway — and the other was off a rebound that Logan Thompson misread glove side.

Thompson made 25 saves but didn’t get the goal support needed.

Given all the elements in play, it’s difficult to say this game is similar to the ones where the Golden Knights allowed at least three goals in eight straight games from Dec. 10-27.

“I didn’t think there was a lot of the floodgates opening against us,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I don’t think for this environment, and having time to prepare for this game, we didn’t have enough intensity or urgency. That’s where we needed to be better.”

Now that it’s over, the attention will now turn to the Golden Knights trying to turn things around.

The 38 games they’ve played are still more than any team in the league. Practices have been limited with not much time spent on trying to fix the problems that have them go 11-11-4 in their last 26 games.

Seven of their next eight games are at home. It’s an important stretch coming up.

Right now, the Golden Knights are dealing with another loss, but it’s still something that will be remembered for the good things in due time.

“When we walk away from it, we’re going to have good memories,” Cassidy said. “We’re going to end up playing 82 games, we’re going to lose our share, and win more of our share, I hope. When you lose, it takes away from all the positive vibes of going into the game. A week from now, I think it’ll be a good memory if you get back to your game and start winning again.”

Danny Webster can be reached at 702-259-8814 or [email protected]. Follow Danny on Twitter at

Article written by #LasVegasSun