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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 DALLAS STARS 0 (SERIES 1-1)

Recap: The Golden Knights needed a strong effort to even up the series with the Dallas Stars. Vegas jumped out to a quick start in Game 2, drawing an early penalty setting the tone of the game. The Golden Knights wouldn’t score in the 1st period but momentum and Robin Lehner’s pads carried them into the first intermission in a scoreless tie.

Vegas’ offense finally got going in the 2nd period. Paul Statsny scored the Golden Knights first goal of the series 4:53 in, William Karlsson added a power play goal four minutes later, and Tomas Nosek stretched the lead to 3-0. It was Vegas’ first power play goal since Game 7 of the second round.

Up three to start the 3rd period, the Golden Knights played more conservative protecting their lead. Lehner was outstanding again as he stopped all 24 of the Stars shots on net. It was his fourth shutout of the postseason.

With their 3-0 win, the Golden Knights tied up the Western Conference finals. Game 3 between Vegas and Dallas is set for Thursday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 5PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights offense finally broke through in the 2nd period with a few tap in goals and a power play goal from William Karlsson. The biggest key to the game for Vegas though was how they handled the Dallas forecheck in that decisive 2nd period. They finally started breaking out of the zone with confidence and speed and it helped lead to a few rushes, multiple goals, and a number of drawn penalties. Play like that again and this series is Vegas’ to lose. (Analysis by Ken)


Upcoming stories from Game 2 of the Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Final at Rogers Place in the NHL Bubble.

  • A look at all the odd-man rushes against. What happened?

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Nic Roy
** Robin Lehner
* Paul Stastny

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Optimistic Vs. Pessimistic Looks At Series Tying Game 2

18 Comments

  1. DOC aPositiveFan

    I said it … and they did it ! I knew the boys would come out and play their game! ANOTHER shutout for Panda!! GO KNIGHTS GO !!!

  2. Peter Turner

    Reaves didn’t matter? PDB thought he did matter? Practically all the players when asked said he did matter. Suddenly you know more than the coach and the players? You said yourself that the VGK guys were playing with more confidence in game 2. Just where do you think that confidence came from? It comes from knowing the fact that we got a big bruising forward that will crush you if you try to be funny with us. That’s where it comes from. Reaves drew a penalty and stayed out of the box himself.

    Reaves had zero scoring chances? Reaves had one of the first scoring chances missing that backhand attempt because the puck wasn’t settled. They replayed it in slow motion for god sake and you claim that’s not a scoring chance.

    Your analysis on the first goal is not completely accurate. It wasn’t so much a breakout but a lazy line change by Dallas resulting in a 4-on-3 advantage that gave Patches and Stastny time and space to make that beautiful play.

    Karlsson’s five hole goal is no good in your eyes because it was flukey and at the goalie? Really? How did you know Karlsson wasn’t aiming for that five hole? That five hole was already wide open when the puck landed on Karlsson’s stick and he didn’t hesitate to shoot it immediately. That takes skill.

    McNabb had a couple of bad turnovers but that’s McNabb. He’s been like that during the regular season as well. But he has taken a lot of punishment for this team. He took a puck to the head, countless shots to the body, took a dirty high stick cross check that broke his nose and bled on the ice for this team and had the temerity to not retaliate against Radulov. McNabb did his job if you ask me.

    You wanna talk about uncharacteristic play, you can say that about Martinez in Game 1 and Stone in both these games. That’s not to blame Stone. He’s a marked man, All the defense is focusing on him and that’s a good thing because that frees up guys like Stastny and Roy to get open and get chances.

    Kudos to VGK for playing a characteristic game and exposing Dallas. The Stars will bounce back and throw everything at VGK including their bag of dirty tricks. VGK needs to stay disciplined and stifle Dallas’s chances. We have the edge in goalkeeping. We also have the edge in that on average, our team is younger and healthier. Our core guys have also played longer together than their core which includes newcomers Pavelski and Perry. Finally their new star kid Kiviranta is finally seeing his magic carriage turning back into a pumpkin. He’s gonna start worrying about keeping his job and that will kill him on the ice. All that being said, it’s still early in the series and VGK just needs to focus on these two words: “scoring and perseverance”. Draw your strength from the experiences against the Capitals in the cup finals 2 years back. If the Capitals could lose Game 1 and win the next 4, so can VGK.

    • Daryl

      I completely disagree on Reaves… I don’t think he is that important. DAL still have 47 hits in this game. They didn’t hold back at all just b/c Reavo played. And yes Reavo drew a penalty, but it wasn’t like he drew it b/c of retaliation for a hit he made, it was just a bad play by a DAL player. I like Reavo and how he trash talks but I think his trash talking is overrated as well…. these are professional athletes and in the playoffs, I don’t think trash talking does much of anything especially against a team that already beat you once. If VGK goes up by 3 games then yeah I think the trash talking can cause problems, but not right now. Even for a team like DAL that is prone to penalties.

      As for the first goal, it wasn’t even a bad line change. DAL had a player get injured and was slow to the bench which lead to an odd man rush. I don’t really care what led VGK to score, just as long as they scored. Maybe a little luck was all this team needed to get their offense going.

      I don’t agree with you on McNabb either…. he has been horrible most of these playoffs. He has let defenders get behind him multiple times in every game. I think he is getting jealous of Theo so he starts thinking too much about offense and forgets he is a defenseman. He’s also been really bad at getting in shooting lanes, but so has a majority of the other defenseman. Martinez had a couple good games but then he’s been way off for a couple as well.

      This was the best game I’ve seen VGK play the entire playoffs. They will need to continue to play like this if they want to move on. The first two rounds were against very subpar teams. If we play like we did against them, this will be a short series

      • Peter Turner

        Wow Daryl. That’s showing your ignorance about the game of Hockey. Of course there’s going to be hits. Show me a hockey game with zero hits? It’s not the number of hits that matter. It’s about which team outhits the other. Case in point who had more hits in Game 1. Dallas did 49 to 47. Hits may lead to giveaways. Who had more giveaways? VGK. did 22-19 which will approximately translate to chances. In Game 2, who had more hits? VGK did 55-47. Who had more giveaways? Dallas did. 14 to 10. Did you actually think we could have outhit Dallas without Reavo playing? It’s not just about the hits either. It’s about the confidence and the attitude. Imagine if you were in a street fight and had Bruce Lee on your team. You already have the edge because mentally, the other team is focused and afraid of that one guy on your team. Every time they have the puck, they wanna get rid of it quicker or they’re just bracing for that big hit that may or may not come. In short, it screws up their rhythm. That’s what Reavo brings. He’s not just an enforcer. He’s a known hitting entity and that’s the difference. Dustin Brown is not a big guy and doesn’t really enforce, but he’s known to be a hard and frequent hitter for the LA Kings and he’s one of the reason they won 2 Stanley Cups when he was their captain and leader in the locker room. When the chips are down, you need guys like Reavo in the locker room to give that John Belushi speech in Animal House. That’s what he brings to the team.

        • Daryl

          Wow Turner, you really are delusional!!! Sorry, but hits do not directly correlate to turnovers, not even close. But if you want to take certain stats and try to use them to support your argument, then go right ahead. And at no time did I say anything about a team not having any hits in a game, I simply stated that having Reaves in the game didn’t slow down the hits that DAL had.

          And as I stated, nobody is scared of Reavo, at least not to the point they are going to back away from a hit. Players like Reavo are there to prevent their star players from being targeted and taking illegal hits, which hasn’t been the case in any playoff game thus far. Nobody out there thought to themselves that maybe they shouldn’t make this next hit because Reavo might come on the ice and pound them into it.

          And exactly how does Reaves playing screw up anyone’s momentum, he averages less than 10min over a 60min game. He’s also only one player on the ice with 4 others. So yeah, a player might get rid of the puck slightly soon if they know Reaves is coming at them, but how often does that really happen…. how often is he making a player think twice? Not very often. You give Reaves WAY too much credit.

          It’s also funny you try to compare Reaves to Dustin Brown who played close to 20min a game. If Reaves played those types of minutes you would have more of an argument. Nice try though….

  3. Julie

    It was great to see the team show up for Game 2! Hopefully, this will continue for the next 3 games.

    Have to agree with Pete’s point about analysis. Reaves definitely brought energy to the game, very noticeable. Karlsson deserves credit, and had Patch not touched the Dallas goalie, it would have been 4 on the board, thanks to Theodore. Lehner was fine stopping all 24 shots over 60 minutes, as many as Fleury did in Game 1, who according to Schmidt, is the reason it wasn’t a blowout for Dallas (but SinBin has an axe to grind on Fleury, so don’t expect much if any credit during a tough game there – certainly not in the Game 1 write-up, que the drawing with the tear). Still, I look for corroborating analysis that Lehner is showing true grit after being tested. I want to believe Stone is worth 9.5 million, subtle or blatant in play, as I have been told he shows up, would be nice to see soon.

    Overall, I see Vegas building its momentum up, and that is fantastic. The suspense is terrible, but I hope it lasts.

    • Julie – your first line said it all – “it was great to see the TEAM show up” with a much different attitude I might add. That certainly wasn’t the case game 1. I have mixed emotions concerning the value of Reaves some – both positive and negative depending on the situation. I am not certain he stops any hits on key players but is capable of doing some damage when he is on the ice. Do I think opposition says I won’t hit so and so because when Reaves comes out he will retaliate no way. Do I like him yes, is he the be all that ends all concerning energy etc not so, in my opinion. There are others on that team that could throw their weight around if they were so inclined. They won last night and like you also said lets hope it continues. Love your point about our boy Fluery!!!! Like DOC repeated below they can win when they play their game. I will leave it at that

      • Julie

        Hi, HD! I know what you mean about Reaves. I think Daryl is saying it too. I just thought he brought energy. He’s kind of a showman. I don’t know if the chirping really gets under anyone’s skin, but sometimes it’s entertaining.
        I didn’t like the hit he did Game 7, and I understood having him leave that game, but I thought the suspension was a bit much for the Game 1 with Dallas. I agree that no one is scared of him and that our guys could be more physical. So, I think I mixed too on Reaves’ value. On a brighter note, I learned what “butterfly style” goal-tending is and amazed all the hockey geniuses in my family, ha ha. :). Here’s too an even better game tomorrow!

  4. DOC aPositiveFan

    I’ve said over and over that our boys can win the CUP if they just play their game, as proved last night. We have a #1 goalie who is on fire and a backup who is a future HOFer. All is well. If we want this, we WILL take it!! Not much analysis is needed here!!!! GO KNIGHTS GO !!!

  5. A VGK Fan

    Thank you Peter Turner and Julie! I said the same thing in the last post by Ken. He continually undervalues Reaves and doesn’t give credit when it’s due. I’m not saying we would’ve won game 1 with reaves, but we sure as hell wouldn’t have been pushed around as much!

    And just as I predicted in my comment in the last post (go check it if you don’t believe me) I knew our breakouts would improve in game 2 and reaves would change the dynamic is pushing back. You definitely saw the stars back down from all the physicality they showed in game 1 with reaves on the ice. Ken also forgot to mention Reilly almost getting a shorty

    Again, Ken infuses his personal beliefs into his analysis making it a poor article that isn’t balanced or fair.

    if Ken continues his biased posts I’m gonna start opening rooting for Jason in this thing

    • Daryl

      Dallas had exactly 2 hits fewer in game 2 compared to game 1…. so exactly how did Reaves scare Dallas into taking fewer hits??? I like Reaves but I don’t think having him on the ice does anything more than any other player on that line. Teams aren’t scared of Reaves. Reaves isn’t going to stop other teams from hitting your star players. This isn’t hockey like it used to be when someone like Reaves was a necessity for a team (and boy do I miss those days). The game has evolved… just like teams don’t need defenseman who can really play defense.

  6. DOC aPositiveFan

    I JUST don’t understand? A great win last night. Everyone played well … yet people still arguing over WHAT????? Can we not just back our team and quit trying to out due each other with meaningless posts? Come on! Be happy, we WON and played well! What else do you want??? GO KNIGHTS GO !!!

    • Julie

      It’s called “perspective”, Doc. We always know what you think, and we’re observing aspects of what others think. Yelling at us to conform to a viewpoint doesn’t have the effect one would think. Nothing here is “meaningless” if offering a perspective.

  7. Tim

    I don’t get all the talk about Reeves and the amount of hits the fact is Dallas is a heavy team who rely on checking to cover up some of there offensive deficiencies. We had 55 hits they had 47 that will be the norm throughout the series. We just have to control the neutral zone and keep pressure on there goalie. Hopefully we got into the head of there goalie and maybe he’ll be a little more tentative and make more mistakes. It’s a long series but I’d like to see us come out in game 3 and shut them down again. Taking a 2-1 edge would be huge.

    • Peter Turner

      Exactly. It’s not about the number of hits it’s about which team lays out more hits. Daryl’s persistent argument that Reaves is not a factor because the number of hits Dallas gives is roughly the same with or without him which:

      1. Makes no sense because hits are not measured by time. There’s no normal number of hits per game. Hits happen when there’s opportunity to regain control of the puck from the opponent.

      2. Implying that the difference in the number of hits each team delivers is not important is like judging a boxing match where punches landed don’t count.

      Now I don’t want to imply that a heavier hitting team will always win because hits also could mean that the opponent has more skills and has higher puck possession because of it. Case in point, Blackhawks back in the day are not known to be a hitting team and their hit numbers were way smaller than the opponents they faced. That’s because much of the time, their plays were tight and their passing was crisps and good luck trying to muscle the puck away from Toews, Kane or Hossa. Anyway, this is different. Here we have 2 almost identical sized team with roughly the same level of skills going at each other. The only way VGK has an edge here besides goalkeeping is getting possession of the puck and because of this team being Dallas, hitting is the way to go.

      It’s not just me the coaches or the teammates. You see the talking heads on TV telling the world a guy like Reaves makes a difference. They’ve said countless time on TV how he sets the tone. These talking heads are former NHL stars themselves so if you think you know better than Patrick Sharp , Anson Carter or Pierre then I can only conclude that Ken and Daryl are seeing something else that we are not. And that’s why Black Lives Matter.

      • Julie

        I’m not sure what race has to do with skill value to a team. It didn’t have anything to do with getting ejected from Game 7, because a white guy in the game last night on TB did the same thing. I guess you are saying because he’s black that Reaves is a good hitter? That can’t be right.

      • Daryl

        Peter… Your lack of hockey knowledge is astounding!!! Hits do not occur when there is opportunity to regain control of the puck, they occur when opportunity presents itself whether you have a chance to gain control or not. MOST hits occur shortly after the puck has been passed to another player.

        And who cares who delivers the most hits? Pens won back to back and I don’t think they led in that category for either of their titles. Same can be said for many teams, so not total number of hits are irrelevant. As for the other part of your arguement, yes we the two teams are similar in size and skill, but I think its VGK speed and better offense which was the difference even though DAL is the stronger team. Our players, even our bigger players, are knocked off the puck more easily as well as losing board battles. Even in the game we won they were the stronger team.

        As for these talking heads, how many of them said the Reaves contract was a good deal for VGK. Almost every person I heard said it was a great deal for Reaves but not so much for VGK. They also had former players who said the chirping from Reaves doesn’t really play any roll in what goes on on the ice. It’s great for the fans and even his teammates, but it’s mostly noise. As for the coaches and current players, what exactly do you think they are going to say when asked? You should NEVER believe a coach/player when they are asked about another player.

        And tell me how exactly he sets a tone when he doesn’t get the first hit of the game. He may not get a hit until the 1st period is over yet you think he sets the tone??? Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. If Reaves is so important, then why doesn’t every team have a player similar to Reaves???

        Lastly…. WHAT THE HELL DOES BLACK LIVES MATTER have to do with anything. My comments go back to when Reaves when was on the Pens and even before that.

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