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Category: Game Analysis (Page 1 of 2)

2-0 In 3-On-3; How and Why The Golden Knights Have Done Well

When it comes to the Golden Knights 5-1 start there’s really not much you can point at and say “well that makes sense,” but nothing’s been more surprising than the Golden Knights success in overtime thus far.

This 3-on-3 thing’s pretty easy. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In six games the Golden Knights have been to overtime twice. They beat the Coyotes in Arizona in the second game of the year and then knocked off Buffalo Tuesday night late in the extra frame.

Normally, when it comes to three on three overtime, the team with the highest skilled skaters wins the day. The game in Arizona is debatable, but there’s no doubt the trio of Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly, and Evander Kane out-skill anything Vegas can throw out there.

Yet, when it was all said and done, the Golden Knights were able to get the job done.

You look at our hockey team and people wonder if we are going to be as good in overtime because of the skill level, cause a lot of teams can put out some very talented players, but I think you look at our group, there’s guys with speed, guys with skill and that’s what’s impressive. I thought our guys have done a great job in overtime. They moved the puck and David Perron scored a beautiful goal. I just hope it keeps going. –Gerard Gallant

The two overtime periods were almost direct opposites of each other. In Arizona, the Coyotes controlled the puck for a majority of the period before a magical play by Perron opened the door for James Neal to get the goal. At home against Buffalo, the Golden Knights controlled the puck for most of the four minutes and finally scored on somewhat of a broken play.

The Golden Knights did do three things very well in both periods, which is ultimately why they found the game-winner in both.

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“I Guess That’s The Nice Thing About Having An Expansion Team”

There may be no “I” in team, but with most professional sports teams, they go as their best player goes. If Sidney Crosby or Connor McDavid have an off day, it’s going to be a rough night for the team.

Which one of you wants to dominate tonight? (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

For the Golden Knights, we expected that player to be Marc-Andre Fleury. Then after three games, it seemed as if James Neal was becoming to lynchpin to the Vegas offense. But over the past few games, and now the season as a whole, there really isn’t one player that needs to be relied upon for this team to have success.

Tuesday night David Perron scored twice, Reilly Smith had a big game, and William Carrier put forth his best effort. Two nights before it was the play of Alex Tuch and Vadim Shipachyov that got the Golden Knights on the board, and the defensive play of Brad Hunt, Jon Merrill, Nate Schmidt, and Luca Sbisa that earned Vegas the victory.

It sounds like a cliche, but with the Golden Knights, someone new truly does step forward every night, and the variety of players doing it is almost astounding.

I guess that’s the nice thing about having an expansion team is you get to pick one player from every team and it seems like a lot of different guys have been stepping up. -Reilly Smith

People really underestimate us as a team. I think we’ve got unbelievable depth and we’ve got a lot of hard-working guys in here that want to win every night. You see it every day in practice and in games. -Alex Tuch

Like I talk about every time we win a game, we’re not going to be able to win if we rely on one line. The guys are working hard and chipping in and we’ve got some good hockey players scoring goals. Tonight, we needed every one of them. -Gerard Gallant

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Perron’s Undeniable Leadership Paying Off For Golden Knights

Hero. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

After every game this season, David Perron has stood in front of his locker and answered questions from the media. The veteran has spoken about leadership, power-play improvements, on-ice responsibilities and his linemate James Neal’s hot start. The one player Perron hasn’t spoken much about is himself. Even after last night’s game, he somehow found room to credit Neal for Perron’s two-goal performance.

It feels good. I pride myself in practice, putting the work in, and shooting the puck. When you play with a guy like Neal, it’s fun to find him in situations. I try to have more confidence in my shot but maybe I’m more of a set-up man with him. It’s good too see a couple of pucks go in for sure. Getting the winning goal is exciting. -David Perron

It’s interesting to hear Perron call himself a set-up man for Neal. The veteran winger has said before, he’s a shooter. After all, he has scored 161 career goals. Offensively, Perron has been one of the most consistent Golden Knights so far. Take a look at his game logs from this season.

10/06 @ Dallas: 25 Shifts, 20:03 TOI, 5 Shots, 2 Hits, 50% FOW
10/07 @ Arizona: 23 Shifts, 19:04 TOI, 5 Shots, 1 Assist, 1 Hit
10/10 vs Arizona: 22 Shifts, 16:25 TOI, 1 SOG, 1 Assist, 1 Hit
10/13 vs Detroit: 21 Shifts, 18:19 TOI, 1 SOG, 1 Assists, 1 Hit
10/15 vs Boston: 26 Shifts, 19:51 TOI, 2 SOG, 100% FOW, 2 PIM
10/17 vs Buffalo: 25 Shifts, 20:02 TOI, 3 SOG, 2 Goals

His consistency game by game is what any coach would want from a top-line forward. He’s second behind Neal in SOG (17), Points (5) and game-winning (1) goals.

He’s a veteran player and I know all of our veteran players when they get their first goal is a big relief off their shoulders. He’s been playing well for us and working hard. Tonight, was a big night for us. He finally got those goals and he got two nice goals. Any time you get the winner in overtime is a nice feeling. Good for David. Like I said, he’s one of veteran players and one of our leaders. Top six guys that we talked about. -Gerard Gallant.

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Golden Knights/Bruins Storyline Round Up

Hey Subbs, want to go dominate these bums that let us go? (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Miller and Subban Get Even

After the 3–1 victory over Boston, the first guy to congratulate and hug Malcolm Subban was defenseman Colin Miller. Former teammates in Boston and Providence, beating their previous organization must’ve been a great feeling for both.

Regardless of who it is against, we’re just trying to get the win. It’s our former team but we’re not out to get anyone. We’re just trying to focus and play our game. I think he (Miller) was more happy that I got my first win. – Malcolm Subban

Watch the end of the game, it’s clear Subban and Miller were pumped to win. You could tell from the start, the defenseman was amped, and up for the challenge. Miller unloaded 8 shot attempts, and 3 shots on net. He played 18:25 of TOI, on 26 shifts.

“Fourth” Line Effort

They may not get the same attention, but the Golden Knights fourth line deserves just as much as the first line. I should stop calling Pierre-Eduard Bellemare, William Carrier, and Tomas Nosek the fourth line. Gerard Gallant told us at his postgame press conference that he doesn’t count his lines. He would say he’s continuously been impressed by the line that plays the least.

They worked their asses off and competed hard and played hard. That’s what they do every night. I really like them. They’re a solid line. They aren’t going to score a lot of goals, but they do the right thing most times. -Gerard Gallant

Doing the right thing includes, winning face offs, blocking shots, penalty killing, breaking up plays, and getting pucks on net. That’s exactly what this line is doing. Bellemare won a total of 7 draws (64%) and in the defensive zone, Belly went 3 for 5 (60%) on faceoffs. Carrier played physical and added body checks, blocked shots and takeaways. Plus, he got pucks on net creating pressure on Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask.

Tossed out centers

On Sunday, five different Golden Knights (Eakin, Perron, Lindberg, Karlsson, Bellemare) were thrown out of the faceoff circle by an official. In one sequence, the refs tossed Cody Eakin and David Perron on the same draw leading to a two-minute delay of game penalty. Eakin and Perron’s linemate James Neal was obviously frustrated and pleaded to the ref. Ultimately, Perron went on to serve the two-minute minor. Center William Karlsson also had faceoff frustrations after being thrown out and having another official overrule the other.

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Tough Stretches Continue To Haunt Golden Knights

An all too familiar site in the 3rd period. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

After last night’s 6-3 loss to Detroit, Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant continuously talked about playing the full sixty minutes.

Well we had a real tough third period again. It was an awful third period. I thought we played a great game up until then. But in the third period, we struggled. -Gerard Gallant

The third period struggles Gallant spoke about starts with allowing four Detroit goals on twelve shots. The Red Wings down one, came out to win in the third.

They took advantage of the chances and they made us pay. We just didn’t look like we had the jump in the third period for some reason. It was disappointing because I thought we played a great two periods, but you can’t play 40 minutes or you’re not going to beat anyone in this league. We’ve got to play a full 60 minutes and tonight we played 40 minutes again. Transition is a big part of this game and it’s a big part of our team playing well. But tonight we fed their transition in the third period. -Gallant

Reilly Smith’s just chalking it up to being early in the season.

You got to nip those in the bud so they’re not stretched into five minutes or ten minutes. I think a lot of reasons why we, or other teams get into those stretches is because we’re not making a simple pass. Sometimes you’re trying to over complicate and guys are tired, so it starts to snowball. -Reilly Smith

The Vegas snowball began from the faceoff circle. The Golden Knights won only 42% on faceoffs all night, and lost 12 draws in the third period. Detroit maintained possession throughout the whole period which lead to multiple defensive breakdowns from Vegas. So how will Vegas fix tough stretches during a game?

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Advanced Stats Say Hot Start Unsustainable

Here at we spent a good portion of the summer teaching you about stats like PDO, GVAA, Corsi For, and others. Now, it’s time we use those stats to crush your hopes and dreams.

It’s no secret the Golden Knights aren’t going 82-0, despite the fact that I’m planning on tweeting it and #CupIn1 until it’s not possible anymore.

However, the question, is this team a lot better than we thought, is a fair one.

So let’s dive into some stats to try and give us a sneak peak into what might be coming up in the near future for the undefeated Vegas Golden Knights.

Starting with the most glaring, PDO. In short, the idea of PDO is that most players and teams will end up at 100 over the course of a season. Currently, the Golden Knights have ONE player with a PDO under 100. One effing player after three games, that’s madness.

Raise your stick if your PDO is over 104. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Of course, that means the team PDO is out of this world as well. The Golden Knights have a PDO of 104.5. Insane. Here’s the rest of the team…

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Power Play Not A Concern For Golden Knights Players And Coach

The only power play goal in VGK history. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Finally, we can all stop holding our breath. The Golden Knights scored their first Power Play goal in franchise history.

It’s really no reason to celebrate due to the 13 straight failures, but getting one on the board is positive reinforcement for the players. Despite the low numbers (1-14 PP, 7.14 PP %) the Golden Knights have played well on man advantage situations. Remember, both Nate Schmidt‘s game-tying goal in Arizona and James Neal‘s first in Dallas were in 6-on-5 situations.

I think we’ve improved definitely. I think our execution can be much better. We lose pucks that we shouldn’t right now, and that prevents you from having more zone time. There’s always puck luck, but we need to create our own luck. –David Perron

Perron is the perfect example. He leads the team in power play time on ice (4:25 per game), plus he’s tied for the most shots (11) and assists (2) on the team as well. However, the Perronster (yeah, we’re going with it) hasn’t lit the lamp yet. But it’s not from a lack of trying.

I do think when you shoot the puck, it loosens things up and breaks them down a little more. I want to score goals, I want to shoot the puck. I do feel like I’ve shot a lot, I got to keep doing that because they’ll go in eventually. -Perron

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Golden Knights Home Opener Photo Gallery

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Click through to see the full size pictures plus any more from the Gold Carpet.

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First 3-0 Expansion Team: By The Numbers

Dominance. Didn’t think we’d be saying that three games in. (Photo by Brandon Andreasen)

In three games, the Vegas Golden Knights are 3-0, have scored 9 goals, allowed 4, and collected 6 points. The 31st franchise has made history on the ice and in the record books. Let’s break down the numbers.

  • First expansion team to start 3-0
  • Fastest expansion team to score first home goal
    • 1st Period 2:31 (Thomas Nosek)
  • First expansion team to allow 4 goals or less in first three games
  • First expansion team to win an overtime game in first three games
  • Most SOG (100) for expansion team in first three games
  • Least PIM (22) for expansion team in first three games
  • Least Power Plays goals (1) given up in first three games
  • Best Penalty Kill (90%) for expansion team in the first three games

James Neal

  • Neal’s 5 goals in three games is second most by one expansion player (6G Chris Kontos-TBL)
  • Neal’s 5 goals in three games is the most in his career
  • Neal’s 11 shots in three games is the most by an expansion player to score multiple goals

Marc-Andre Fleury

  • Fleury’s 4 goals allowed is the least for an expansion goaltender in first three starts
  • Fleury’s .960 Save % is highest for expansion team in first three games
  • Fleury’s 4 goals allowed in first three starts is the least in his career

Schmidt Drops Mighty Ducks Reference

On Saturday night Nate Schmidt slid one by Coyotes goaltender Anttii Raanta. Then, he tried to slide one by us.

It was kind of a Luis Mendoza moment. I was going too fast for my own good. You have to slam on the breaks or else. -Nate Schmidt

Only two games in and #88 is breaking out Mighty Duck references. When describing his game-tying goal, the animated Schmidt compared himself to the speed-skating Mendoza that couldn’t slow down.

I just wanted to make sure I got it on net. I was just trying to whack the thing and hope to God that it went in. -Nate Schmidt

The Golden Knights defenseman didn’t give himself enough credit for Saturday night’s equalizer. Schmidt had to slow up his speed, control the puck, and sneak it past Raanta. But if he wants to continue using movie references to explain actual gameplay, we’ll be okay with that.

The question is, what hockey movie will Schmidt reference next? Goon? The Cutting Edge? My guess is Mystery, Alaska.

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