Sports Illustrated contributing photographer Kohjiro Kinno went behind the scenes with the Vegas Golden Knights before their game against the Minnesota Wild.
April 23, 2018
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Left wing David Perron, one of the 17 Golden Knights who hail from Canada, took a face-off against the Wild.
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Morning skate takes place at the City National Arena, a 20-minute drive from the T-Mobile Arena, where the Knights play their home games. Practice at the City National is open to the public and free!
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Players interact with fans when they come off the ice after morning skate, stopping to pose for photographs and to sign autographs. (Gotta keep that super-awesome goalie mask on, Marc-Andre Fleury!)
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When he played minor league hockey in Oklahoma City, Brad Hunt met Chase Buell, a young fan with Down syndrome. The two keep in touch, and Buell's family drove to Vegas for a visit.
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Players bring multiple sticks to each game, just in case they break. Staffers transport some of these sticks from the City National to T-Mobile and also pack them up for road trips.
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All around the world, hockey players kill time before the game by playing...soccer. Left wing Thomas Tatar of Slovakia (with ball) and his teammates gathered near the back entrance to T-Mobile about three hours before the game to loosen up their muscles.
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Players also find their own spots to stretch. Defensemen Brayden McNabb was in the perfect place in case he got thirsty.
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Sharp skates allow players to move with ease and speed. Before each game, the equipment staff sharpens the blades on the players' skates. The process takes five to seven minutes per pair.
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By three and a half hours before game time, four members of the equipment staff have set out the players' uniforms - complete with shoulder pads, helmets and skates - at their dressing areas in the T-Mobile locker room.
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The ice crew at T-Mobile uses two Zamboni machines to prepare the rink and smooth the ice before games and in between periods. Working together, the crew can get the job done in six minutes!
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Jonathan Marchessault (81) and William Karlsson (71), who play on the team's first line, got ready for their shift. Marchessault was leading the Knights in points (75) and Karlsson was first in goals (43).
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