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Vegas Golden Knights Are Accused of Sabotaging Opponent's Training Equipment During the Playoffs

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Legendary Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach would be proud of the Vegas Golden Knights.

One of the most enduring legacies of Auerbach’s tenure presiding over the Celtics (aside from his nine championships) was the “intimidation” factor.

As this 2017 Boston.com article notes, Auerbach and the Celtics had a bit of a reputation for stretching the definition of “home-court advantage” to ludicrous lengths. The article points out that, while nothing was ever definitively proven, Auerbach and his team have long been linked to nefarious tactics — like turning off the hot water in the visitor’s locker room, turning off the air conditioning in the visitor’s locker room, or (in the case of the Los Angeles Lakers, the Celtics’ most storied rival) turning up the heat in the locker room.

Depending on who you ask, that’s either bush league stuff or the ultimate crystallization of competitive spirit.

Well, that debate was revived after the Winnipeg Jets beat the Golden Knights in the first game of their first-round playoff series on Tuesday.

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While there normally isn’t much to write or discuss about when a team wins 5-1, as the Jets did to the Golden Knights, Elliotte Friedman was compelled to report on the game on his “32 Thoughts” hockey podcast.

That’s because Friedman made the wild claim that the Golden Knights had taken a page out of Auerbach’s book with some nefarious alterations to the Jets’ locker rooms.

“The last time Winnipeg played Vegas, in the 2018 Western Conference Finals, there was the gamesmanship about the practice lights being kept off, the arena lights being kept off, until the exact moment that the Jets could get on the ice,” Friedman recounted. “Like they wanted to go out early, and they were told, ‘Nope, the light’s off, and that’s not put on.’ Vegas is the old-school team, that way.”

Do you think the move was unsportsmanlike?

After the hosts reminisced about old-school coaching mentalities, they got to the latest round of allegations.

“So the story making the rounds today is that on the exercise bike, outside the Jets’ dressing room, the pedals were missing,” Friedman said. “I have to tell you, there was one GM who hit the roof when he heard that.”

“That is… brutal,” co-host Jeff Marek said.

“So one general manager called me about that, and he’s like, he called someone else, and that someone else said, ‘Well, you know, it’s home ice advantage,'” Friedman said. “And he said, ‘I got so angry at that guy, that I called you.’ Because he said, ‘That’s not home ice advantage. We shouldn’t be doing that.’ So, he was steaming when he heard about that thing with the bikes.

“We’ll see if the bikes have pedals for Game 2.”

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Friedman added that another GM told him, “We can’t be doing that stuff anymore. Beat your opponents fair and square, is what he said.”

Marek, meanwhile, joked that the focus of the next game would be on making sure working pedals were attached to exercise bikes, instead of the game itself.

Again, this was a bit of a moot point because the Golden Knights lost by four goals in a lopsided game. It is fair to wonder if the backlash to the bike tampering would’ve been much louder had the Golden Knights won.

Game 2 of this budding rivalry will take place tonight in Las Vegas.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Birthplace
Hawaii
Education
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, Korean
Topics of Expertise
Sports, Entertainment, Science/Tech




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