One of the Golden Knights biggest points of emphasis in this series coming was to stay out of the penalty box. In Game 1, Vegas spent 34 minutes in the box. Of course, 20 of those came on misconduct penalties in the final minute, but still 14 minutes, or seven minor penalties, is simply too many against a team like San Jose.
Definitely, they are avoidable. We’ve got to be more disciplined. -Gerard Gallant
You always want to stay out of the box, especially against a team with that much firepower. We definitely have to stay out of there and keep them even-strength. -Deryk Engelland
With just two 5-on-5 goals scored of the seven total in the game, it was clearly a major part of the outcome of Game 1. So, let’s take a look at each one.
Penalty 1 – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – Tripping
It’s not as much the penalty in this case as it is the shift that led to it. Vegas was hemmed in for about a minute before this puck squirted out to the side and Bellemare’s stick gets caught in the between the legs of the Sharks player.
I just need to be sharper. When I see that the puck goes behind him I have to remove the stick quicker. I was trying to make sure he didn’t have full control of his stick so I put my stick in the way, but my stick ended up between his legs. As soon as he started twisting I realized my stick was in the wrong spot. It’s avoidable. -Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
Penalty 2 – Jonathan Marchessault – Unsportsmanlike
In a post-play scrum Marchessault ends up getting punched in the face. The call on Marchessault is essentially called as embellishment and it’s absolutely ridiculous. There’s a clear mark on Marchessault’s face from where Dillon landed a left hook and yet somehow Marchessault is given two minutes for being hurt by the punch. This one is plain and simply the referees losing control, and it hurt the Golden Knights badly. This was the beginning of what was soon to become a 3-on-3 and eventually two Sharks goals.
Penalty 3 – Deryk Engelland – Hooking