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Knights On A Tear, Rebels Win Big--Is It All Coaching?

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(AP Photo/John Locher)

Vegas Golden Knights' Ryan Reaves, left, celebrates with goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury after defeating the Edmonton Oilers in an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Las Vegas.

Player skills are big in sports, but coaching matters—immensely. 

The Vegas Golden Knights, with a new coach, are back atop their division. 

“It’s been a little bit of tinkering with the lines but also what has been uncanny, unpredictable and something you can never dream of – all of these new guys that have joined the team have all scored in their first [game],” Mitch Moss, host of the Vegas Stats and Information Network, told KNPR's State of Nevada.

Moss said who would have dreamed that all of the new players the Knights have picked up would score in their first games.

He also noted that the team had a tough series of road games in January and part of February. 

Moss supports the team's decision to trade back-up goalie Malcolm Subban for Robin Lehner from the Blackhawks.

Support comes from

“It was always a hold-your-breath-type of game when they were going to give Fleury the night off because you didn’t know what to expect from Subban,” he said.

He thinks the addition of Lehner will be a "big upgrade from Subban." Plus, sometimes a new addition will push a veteran like Fleury to up his game.

UNLV Runnin' Rebels

The Rebels surprised everyone with a win against San Diego State this past weekend. The Aztecs are one of the top-ranked teams in the country.

“A great job by the first-year coach. He has done a terrific job,” Moss said of T.J. Otzelberger.

Moss noted that he doesn't think Otzelberger a "player's coach" and he doesn't mind if the players don't consider him a friend. He said the coach benched players who had attitude problems and that has paid off with great games by his players.

“Clearly, right now, they’re playing their best basketball of the season. And I would say this for the fans of the program, you have to be – in year one – exceedingly happy with the results at this point,” Moss said.

Moss thinks it could be "possible" for the Rebels to turn it up over the next few weeks and make their way to the Big Dance - otherwise known as the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

UNLV Football

UNLV football’s new recruiting class—led by a new coach—is considered second-best in the Mountain West Conference. 

“You can tell that just by listening to his interviews he’s very charismatic. He’s a very good talker that’s going to translate into homes when he’s recruiting kids,” Moss said of new head coach Marcus Arroyo.

Moss said Arroyo has a good resume from his years at Oregon but its baby steps to rebuild a program that has struggled for so many years. He said fans could see a season of six wins but a bowl game is a stretch.

 “Just to see some improvement maybe if they would cut out some of the silly things that got Tony Sanchez fired, I think that would be a big deal,” he said.

Wilder vs Fury 2

“I think it’s the lamest excuse I’ve ever heard by a boxer in my entire life and we have heard some doozies," Moss said of Deontay Wilder's explanation that he lost his legs in the fight because of the 40-pound costume he wore on his way to the ring.

 

 

Guests

Mitch Moss, host of "Follow The Money", Vegas Stats and Information Network

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