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Tag: Jamie Benn

Vegas Not The Only Bullies On The Ice This Round

In the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Golden Knights were known as the schoolyard bully. Whether it was a big hit by Ryan Reaves, Max Pacioretty slashing Chicago’s Alex DeBrincat late in a game, or Vegas’ bench calling Quinn Hughes a towel boy? The fear tactics worked against those teams, but it won’t make the Dallas Stars flinch.

Vegas may call it playing heavy and physical, but Dallas calls it Stars hockey. They openly invite Vegas to try and bully them around. And by the way, this isn’t a secret to the Golden Knights.

Now that Vegas trails the series 1-0 their approach needs to be clearly focused on hockey. With a slumping offense, finishing hits and behind the play antics shouldn’t be a concern. Of course, there will be after the whistle moments but it’s only worth engaging if the Golden Knights are scoring. With Reaves back in the lineup he’ll add some energy and grit but his big physical force won’t impact the outcome against Dallas. Plus, I’m not sure that’s a road Vegas wants to go down. There are no Antoine Roussel’s on the ice out to take frustrations out on. Sure, Corey Perry is a pest but he’s also 6’3″.

The main reason why the Golden Knights should lighten up with the cheapies and chirps is the Stars discipline, or lack thereof. Among the teams remaining in the postseason, Dallas leads in penalty minutes and penalty minutes per game. They’ve spent 183 minutes in the box, and average 10:45 PIMs per game. Sure, Vegas’ PP is struggling but multiple man-advantages a game allows opportunities to break out of their slump and wear down Dallas’ lineup. It’ll pay off eventually if the Stars begin to unravel.

Both Chicago and Vancouver were comprised of smaller, inexperienced players that were admittedly scared of Vegas’ heavy hitters and shocked by their level of chattiness. As the series went on, the Canucks ignored the after school playground crap and went out and won three games. None of that will exist against the Stars. If it does, it could be the other way around.

There’s no doubting Dallas is a tough team, and tonight Vegas will have to play smart to even up the series. By no means was the physical element the reason why the Golden Knights lost Game 1, it was their offense. Fixing that will change the entire series. Staying composed and taking advantage of Dallas’ undisciplined play will help Vegas get points on the board.

But I’d advise Nick Cousins not to yell a Findlay Chevy “Woooo” the next time he drops Dallas captain Jamie Benn to the ice.

Benn doesn’t seem like the type of guy that would forget.

Stars Take It To Golden Knights, Again

Maybe this is getting old? (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It was bound to happen at some point. The Golden Knights have been playing historically great hockey at home, there was no way it was going to continue forever. Maybe it doesn’t need much analyzing. It could be possible the Stars were more prepared for the Golden Knights after losing to them on opening night. They were a hungry team in need of a road victory.

Vegas is a hell of a hockey club. They’re the fastest team we’ve played all year, quickness on pucks, quickness on attack, so it’s a hard game for a goalie. Vegas comes at you with numbers and puck possession… That’s the challenge when you play against Vegas you are going to give up chances off the rush and you just have to negate them. -Ken Hitchcock, Dallas Head Coach

Opponents have consistently talked about the Golden Knights team speed. Hitchcock went ahead and called them the fastest squad Dallas faced all season. The Stars apparently learned after the first matchup how to defend against the Golden Knights speed. Add in their elite offensive skill, superb goaltending and it’s no surprise Dallas won 3-0.

I think Dallas came in with an attitude that Vegas is playing good hockey here and we’re going to come in here and work real hard. I thought their team played an excellent game.. We just couldn’t create any scoring chances. I think a lot of that had to do with how Dallas played. -Gerard Gallant

It’s reasonable to think teams previously burned by the Golden Knights will come in with an attitude. The Stars planned on defending speed and possession, specifically by muddying up the game early and then making exiting the defensive zone and going through the neutral zone difficult for the Golden Knights. It’s no secret the way to beat a fast team is to slow them down and keep them off the puck, most teams just haven’t been able to do it.

Jamie Benn was one of two NHL Captains (Henrik Zetterberg) to leave Las Vegas in a good mood. He smiled when I asked about the atmosphere in the T-Mobile Arena.

It was awesome. It was pretty electric and these fans were great tonight. We’re glad to bring along our Dads, brothers and mentors as well. – Jamie Benn, Stars Captain

I continued to snoop around and asked Benn if the team would take advantage of their time in Las Vegas? He sent me away with an answer only a veteran Captain would give.

Nah. We’ll get dinner tonight and start getting ready for Chicago. -Benn

This is when I thought I saw multiple Dallas Dads hiding their laughter. He may be the captain of the hockey team, but no one is the captain of the Wolfpack.

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