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MONTREAL CANADIENS 3 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 (1-1)

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Recap: Montreal came out firing and took an early lead in Game 2. The Canadiens would add another in the period to take a 2-0 edge into the first intermission. 

Trailing by two the Golden Knights had much more energy and shot the puck early in the 2nd period. The Canadiens took a 3-0 lead but Alex Pietrangelo would respond 61 seconds later. Down 3-1, Vegas showed signs of life with twenty minutes remaining.

Pietrangelo scored again to close the gap to 3-2 in the final period. The Golden Knights made several late pushes but couldn’t capitalize. 

After losing 3-2 to the Canadiens the seven-game series is even after two games. The series shifts to Montreal for the next two games. Game 3 is scheduled for Friday evening at 5 PM PT. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights allowed the Canadiens to skate around them in the 1st period once again in Game 2. This time the Habs made them pay capitalizing on multiple chances and giving them a lead. We saw a different Montreal team protecting a lead. VGK created a few dangerous chances but just weren’t opportunistic enough to get that third one past Price. Now, VGK have to head on the road where they need to get to their game a little earlier. Plus, they could really use some offensive contributions from forwards. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Montreal Canadiens Game 2 at T-Mobile Arena

  • Diving into some adjustments

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Mark Stone
** Keegan Kolesar
* Alex Pietrangelo

 

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51 Comments

  1. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    EMBARRESSING EFFORT !

    Can NOT continue to play less than 3 solid periods !

    And expect to advance, at this level of the playoffs !

    Petro great … Flurey lets in another soft soft one!

    • jinklu

      It was embarrassing alright, Doc. I didn’t expect that. I genuinely thought we could hold serve at home. However I expected Stone and Patches to stand up and contribute. Where are they? Out on the golf course? Now that the Habs have learned they can win against VGK I expect them to come out blazing in the first game at the Bell Centre. If they win again the Knights are in big trouble superior talent notwithstanding.
      BTW just FYI Doc, Marc-Andre’s name is spelled FLEURY.

    • Sam

      See what happens when Vegas doesn’t hold and obstruct. They lose lol lol

  2. Richard Santomauro

    NO! Montreal didn’t come out firing. Our Golden Knights came out misfiring with a disgraceful showing in periods 1 and most of period 2. Absolutely shameful. Montreal isn’t in the same talent pool with Vegas at all.

    Stephenson out and you put rookie Roy on the top line? Then you adjust because that was a brain fart PDB and put another rookie, Kolesar, on that line? A second brain fart. Sure, Kolesar played better on that line but not good enough.

    Also, 0-6 on the power play in this series. That’s putrid, completely laughable.

    The right move was to put Janmark or Tuch on that top line. Even Brown would have been better.

    Kolesar is going to be a star in this league but he’s not experienced enough to be any higher than line 3.

    • Richard Santomauro

      For emphasis *********** one more time *************

      0-6 on the power play in this series.

      0-6!

    • sb

      Kolesar will be lucky to be a journeyman 4th liner in his career. A star? Nope.

  3. Richard Santomauro

    At this point in the 3rd round I would have to say that it matters not which team moves on to the Finals. The disgraceful and lazy play by the Golden Knights in period 1 of games 1 and 2 so far show them to be unworthy to advance even though they won game 1. The talent they have is far better than Montreal’s even with Stephenson out. With him in all 3 of VGK’s lines are better than MTL’s top line. The goalie play is about even,. The big difference, IMHO, is a lack of HEART, an inability to kick their play into high gear at the drop of the puck in period and to play 60 minutes of hockey.

    Neither of these teams have shown me that they can defeat either the Islanders or the Lightning in the Cup Final.

    I had predicted that VGK would sweep this round as their roster is so much better. Now the series is tied and there will be a game 5. IF they wake up that should be the game we close out the series.

    There needs to be a major change in attitude on this team.

  4. VGKNET29

    It’s bad when all scoring is coming from the D. Love the D effort but can only imagine if our forwards decide to make an impact and do what they are paid to do which is SCORE.

  5. Jeff

    Agree with Doc, this was an embarrassing effort. There was no passion tonight, no physicality. This is a lazy team which is one reason Gallant got fired.
    The forwards were MIA. With the exception of the Karlsson hit late in the game they were not intimidating nor dominant in any phase of the game.

    Knights lost home ice advantage. If they don’t break even in Montreal this will be a five game series.

    • Richard Santomauro

      I would rather the Golden Knights just pack it in and go home and allow MTL to advance if they are not going to play 60 minutes of hockey.

  6. Richard Santomauro

    The pressure is directly on McCrimmon, McPhee and PDB.

    The big experiment that started with the firing of Gallant and bringing Lehner looks rather shaky right now. Anything less than a deep Stanley Cup run will be a season failure for McCrimmon & McPhee.

    Overall this team rarely puts out a 100% effort on the ice, when they do they’re as good as any team, actually better. The problem is with attitude and the mental approach to the game, nothing else.

    Mentally not prepared to lay it all out on the ice. Totally the problem.

    • Vegas pete

      Wow. Over react much?

      • Richard Santomauro

        Contrast the effort being put out on the ice by VGK versus the Lightning. That series is also tied 1-1. I watched both games and both the NYI and TBL put a full 60 minutes of sweat and heart into both games. Not so for VGK. VGK has the talent but isn’t putting in the effort. It has to be a mental attitude thing with them, there can be no other reason. That’s on PDB.

        Time to get that fixed is now.

      • sb

        Agreed. Over-reaction. Just one bad game.

    • EK

      I’d say final 4 qualifies as a deep Stanley Cup run. WTF man, calm down. Series is 1-1. You do understand no team goes 16-0 to win the Cup right? Seems lots of VGK fans are just spoiled by all the early success and don’t really understand what it takes to win the Cup. It ain’t easy folks. Just wait til they miss the playoffs the first time. People will be jumping off the Eiffel Tower at Paris.

      • Maria

        You’re on the money EK! I can’t believe how quick the people are on this feed to go negative. VGK came back after the 1st and out shot the Habs, in the 2nd and 3rd, the puck just didn’t go in. They will bounce back – Have some faith people, it’s the best of SEVEN series!

        • Maria – not any more its the best of 5!!!!!!

        • Richard Santomauro

          It’s interesting that no one is seeing the problem with this team. It’s not skill, or talent. It’s a failure to prepare mentally. I am not overly concerned (at this point) that we’ll be eliminated in this round. What I am concerned about is that if this team goes to the Cup Final without having addressed the issue of being mentally prepared to play 60 minutes of hockey then it will be a complete waste of time.

          Why do I say that? Just tune in and watch the NYI & TBL play. Both teams are putting in a full 60 minutes of physical hockey.

          That’s the only point I am trying to make. Our Knights are loaded with talent up and down the roster. It’s PDB’s task as coach to make sure that his team plays 60 minutes of hockey. I would say that with the exception of a few games, the Knights have taken off a period or more consistently throughout the playoffs so far.

          It’s a credit to their talent that they have made it this far with that mindset.

  7. Tyler Durden

    What a Dick

    “You never say never, but in this case there is nearly a zero chance that Montreal has a chance to win this round. In fact, I believe that, barring some freak injuries, the Knights are so dominant that they should sweep this round and move on to the Finals.“

    “I expect Montreal to continue to put up a good fight, but I am predicting a sweep. I don’t think there is any game plan that they can come up with that can defeat the fact that Vegas is simply a much more dominant team in every category of hockey.”

  8. Well what happened to all those glorious comments from Monday that vegas would sweep. Since reality has set in let’s be objective about this series. If Vegas doesn’t come to play 60 minutes of hockey and get their shit together you can forget any thought of raising the Cup.
    They were out played the entire game and didn’t deserve to win. It’s one thing to loose when you give it your all but when they don’t they have no one to blame but themselves. They are missing the most important ingredient that money can’t buy and that’s the attitude necessary to be a winner. Montreal didn’t get where they are because they are a superior team – far from it – but they have something to prove and that makes them very dangerous. This is not negativity this is reality. Will Vegas prevail – not if they play the way they did tonight sad to say. I am A DOC positive fan but also a realist The pp or lack there of could be their killer.

    • Richard Santomauro

      Totally agree with Hdbiker7851.

      The east semi-final is tied up, but the difference is that both teams played a full 60 minutes and put their entire heart into both games. I DID NOT see that in period 1 of game 1 or game 2 from VGK.

      It’s PDB’s job to make sure that they do and it better get fixed.

      • Rob S.

        Seriously? You think this is the coach’s job? You are a professional athlete getting paid millions of dollars a year and you have to rely on the coach to get you motivated? I don’t think you understand professional athletics very well.

        Moreover, I also have watched the first two games of the other semi. The Lightning did not put “their entire heart” or, as you referred to it further above, “60 minutes of sweat and heart” into Game 1; that’s how they managed to cough up that game at home. (You did see where their coach said they “weren’t engaged.”) Also, the Islanders were not exactly competitive in the last 30 minutes last night.

        This stuff happens. These are all good teams (despite what you may think of Montreal) and momentum shifts, game plans shift, players execute at a high level (or don’t), and goalies steal games–this is why we watch. It’s a best-of-seven series. We lost one game. Let’s see how things unfold. I expect a better–dare I say more urgent–effort from the VGK on Friday.

        Yes, it would be nice to start playing in the first period and yes, our utter lack of a power play may well kill us if we get to the next round, and yes, our front office decision to have one Top Six caliber center (Karlsson) in the entire damned organization may prove to be a fatal flaw, but “the sky is falling” is pure overreaction. There are 28 other teams (including Colorado) that would love to be where we are.

  9. Tim

    Well I was wrong I thought we’d take them to the woodshed tonight but with over 18,000 screaming fans they played with no heart . Going to Montreal will be an adventure if they can’t play with heart at home I won’t be surprised if they take a dump in Montreal. Fleury let in one maybe two if you count the breakaway he may just be wearing down a bit. Disappointment but another good goalie like last year who may steal the series. Today was the day to put the hammer down so we have no one to blame but ourselves and whoever runs our power play seriously should be fired it’s embarrassing after awhile.

  10. Howard

    Habs have a certain style of play that’s a bad match up for VGK – as I mentioned before, they’re not unlike Dallas last year, but not as talented. The biggest difference here from AVS series is Habs dcore size and phyicality. VGK needs to stop trying to stretch pass thru the neutral zone. Instead, they should be dumping, attacking, cycling and be willing to work a lot harder on the forecheck.

    One key to this series Ken pointed out is that VGK had to clear shots on goal to the side boards – they didn’t do this last game and allowed Habs Dcore to establish lane and net presence.

    VGK must clear out shots to the half/side board then reverse that puck out of their zone. and use the side boards to establish entry into Habs zone.

    I was disappointed in their effort to start the game. This is how Habs have been winning games – they come out hard and fast on the forecheck. VGK’s mistake is trying to break out with stretch passes from this, rather than as I mentioned, reverse puck out and catch Habs over playing BY SKATING into the neutral zone rather than passing stretch into it

    Also, VGK PP is terrible. They don’t make fast passes and think way too much on it. I strongly feel it’s time to try other players on it who will be willing to make faster passes side to side. Instead, VGK tries to force straight in and that has proven not to work.

    VGK has more talent, but Habs can win this series if VGK does not adjust back to a workhorse team. Avs series dictated a different style of play. Habs have a big heavy dcore – they’re very beatable, but must put in the workhorse effort, and not fancy pants long stretch passes to force rushes. This is how I see this series.

    • Howard

      Also., VGK is back to OVERTHINKING their shots, rushed shots and way too many blueline shots as they did against Dallas last year, Just outwork Habs and they’ll win. If they continue to insist to look for quick strikes, they will lose this series in 6 or 7 games.

  11. The VGK got hammered! Montreal was brutal on us— it looked like they were trying to take out Petro, as many times as he got hit!(1st game: ditto). Knights are going to have to get TOUGH– These Canadiens do NOT play nice. Our big guys better get their rest, put on some extra pads and GO TO WORK matching Montreal hit for hit, or there won’t be enough of them left to finish the series! We have the size and strength, time to USE IT!!

    • Theresa – its about winning not playing nice. “These Canadians do NOT play nice” Vegas players are carrying their purses full of money, the Canadians have it in their mind to win. Huge difference in attitude and that makes the Canadians very dangerous. They are not a better team but they do have a better attitude at this time. Vegas management is finding out the hard way there is something they can’t buy and that’s an attitude necessary to be winners all the way down the line, each and every player, coaches etc.

  12. THE hockey GOD

    key piece of team , top line center no 20 OUT with upper body injury; likely out for game 3. Whoever wins game 3 wins series. Not coach’s fault that no 20 got hurt. A franchise once with a plethora of centers now have TWO down, and no one in wings. Expect Nosek back for game 3, whether his legs and timing will be there after all this time is a something to look at. Will we see Krebs ? I doubt it.

    On other hand after winning five straight games in playoffs it is tough to continue the winning streak.

    VGK need to re group, and re focus; hopefully the road will help them do that. Sometimes the home is a distraction for home team. But HABS will likely not be seeing nearly half a full rink.

    I expect HABS to turn it up a notch in period one, game three. Will VGK be ready for it ? Facing adversity again in playoffs.

  13. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    Ok ok ….. settle down everyone.

    Too much reaction up & down after each game.

    Game 1 win did not mean sweep.

    Game 2 loss does not mean doom.

    We have watched our team all year, with frustration, not playing in 1st period, etc…. Might get away with this in reg season, but not in playoffs.

    This is up to the boys. If they want the Cup, they need to play like it, the entire game! PERIOD!

    Not winning at home is not acceptable! Now, they must go into Montreal and play like they want it! If they don’t, will be no excuse from me. But, I think they will play like championship caliber!

  14. THE hockey GOD

    not to mention that the VGK farthest trip this season has been to Minnesota, when was last time this team made a cross country trip ? Well over a year ago.

    Meanwhile the HABS are used to it having played in the Northern Division flying all over the place. Trip advantage HABS. Another issue the vGK must deal with.

    • sb

      Luxury jets are really quick. Instead of four hours sleep, it’ll be five hours of sleep. The difference in miles between Minn and Montreal is meaningless.

      • THE hockey GOD

        flight duration from Las Vegas, NV to Minneapolis, MN is 2 hours, 37 minutes

        Flight time from Las Vegas to Montreal is 5 hours

        plus factor in the time change , it’s a three hour difference
        plus factor in the HABS are used to it and VGK are not.

        It is not as bad as going to Europe, but it can make a difference. Plus they are going from a dry heat into a humid environment.

        Lots of factors to consider.

        • Jeff

          All of the things that you have mentioned are real and can be disorienting as will the return trip on both teams. I don’t know which is worse, the travel to the East Coast or the altitude in Denver. The VGK has not demonstrated that they can sustain a maximum effort for 60 minutes in a game. They seem to have a “Country Club” attitude that goes back to the Gallant era sans the Misfit season. If they want the Cup they will definitely have to change their attitude.

  15. ulf

    A tough game to be sure. But whomever says Montreal doesn’t deserve to be in the same league as Vegas needs to take a look at Mtl’s roster with some respect.
    They have 4 cup winners and arguably the best goaltender of his generation in Price (yes, that includes MAF, who’s still a great goalie).
    Montreal has far more center depth than the Knights do. And they have multiple tough guys who can actually skate in the forward lineup. Montreal also has more impactful youth on their roster (Kotkanemi, Caufield, and maybe that Suzuki kid but he hasn’t been electric yet – not that he has to be right now).
    Meanwhile the Knights have a great top 4 D (Mtl’s isn’t too shabby either), a great set of goalies like Mtl, and on forward they may have the best skater, but I’m not even sure about that. It’s closer than you’d think.
    For all the wondering we’re doing about Patches, look at his playoff performance historically – he’s been a 1/2 a point a game guy for most of his career, with 2 postseason exceptions. He’s not the second coming. There’s something you have to look at if most of your goals are coming from defensemen. The forward group is not as skilled as we thought.
    It’s still very possible Vegas wins this one, but let’s not take this challenge lightly and open our eyes to the actual talent level on the Knights.

    • sb

      The best skater on both teams is Tuch. The most dynamic player on both teams is Tuch.

      • ulf

        I like Tuch a lot, but compare him to the effectiveness of Toffoli. Toffoli is almost a point a game, looked very good defensively last game and isn’t someone I want seeing on the PP. Tuch will continue to grow and be a great player, but is 1/2 a point a game, is a different kind of player and isn’t in as good a situation as Toffoli is on lines.
        I think we have some serious overvaluation of the talent on the Knights – compare the rosters and look at the stats and it’s a wake up call for a few.
        Hoping PDB puts Tuch in a better situation but I’m not holding my breath.

      • Richard Santomauro

        Tuch is stuck on that 3rd line and doesn’t get near the ice time to be as effective as I think he can. Earlier this year he did play Center and did very well. I would have liked to have seen him at C on the 1st line instead of either of the two younger and inexperienced players (Roy and Kolesar).

    • yotv

      I’ve watched Suzuki this year because I was curious lol and he’s not really an electric player. He’s a player who does every little things the right way and every once in a while he’ll go out and do magic tricks but overall not the flashy type. You have to look at him closely to see everything he does well on the ice and appreciate him. Habs fans love him because he’s a clutch player.. he’s there when his team needs him the most (in the bubble last summer and at the end of the season when everyone was injured and Montreal was chasing a playoff spot). But yeah I wish we could’ve kept him, he’s gonna be one of the best player in mtl. I see him with Stone 100%. Oh well… we still have Cody Glass lol

      Here’s a good article about him from today: https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/longform/nick-suzuki-became-canadiens-centre-future/

      • Richard Santomauro

        Cody who? If Cody was an option he’d have been called up to fill the Stephenson hole. It is quite possible Cody will be trade bait in the off season?

  16. jinklu

    Just curious, do you work for the NHL? You’ve got the lyrics of their song down pat.

  17. sb

    You know you’re in trouble when the Number 1 center is Kolesar. Who would ever have thought they’d see that? This series has exposed VGK’s two major weaknesses – no Number 1 center (leading to lack of quality center depth) and ineffective PP which is caused by not having a playmaking Number 1 center. Mistake made at the trade deadline two back – going after Lehner and not going after JG Pageau. Both eventually signed for $5 mil. VGK would be a better team today with Pageau. This would have freed up Stephenson to play with Tuch and Janmark. Then three solid lines on the road to the Stanley Cup. Big mistake.

    • Richard Santomauro

      sb, Definitely agree. The Knights have #36 Logan Thompson (G) on the Silver Knights. I believe he was the AHL goalie of the year and very well could be the future starter after MAF retires. Bringing in Lehner was a panic move IMO after the 4 goal major penalty fiasco. Firing Gallant and bringing in PDB was also a part of that panic move. It is what it is. Now, VGK has a major problem to deal with at the G position post-season. And yes, acquiring a top C would have been smart.

      I still would like to see Tuch tried at the C position. Probably will never happen.

      We got destroyed last night also on face offs, and the PP has been non-existent.

  18. Where were all these negative and objective comments when l addressed these issues way back and no one agreed. You either understand the game and what’s necessary to win or you don’t. Its easy looking at the knights thru rose colored glasses and just seeing the positives. Unfortunately the short coming are now becoming obvious to all who know what ROI is all about. The walrus was smarter than vegas mgt and secured his retirement package. Actually it is rather funny when you think about it. Talk about being g sold a bill o f goods. No other team was that stupid. There are some that don’t think the lack of pp is important it could very well be the difference of winning or not and just might be the killer for vegas even if they get their attitude straighten out.

    • Sam

      See what happens when Vegas doesn’t hold and obstruct. They lose lol lol

  19. Sam

    See what happens when Vegas doesn’t hold and obstruct. They lose lol lol

    • ulf

      irritatingly you’re right. But funnily enough there were a couple maulings we did on Mtl that weren’t called….got lucky from the refs I guess.

      • Richard Santomauro

        This happens in every game. If you’re the better team that night you win, if not then you complain about being held and obstructed. In any given game I see about a dozen infractions that go unnoticed and not called. It’s a non-issue.

        • ulf

          or just call the game the same from the pre-season to the post-season. “Letting the players play” is just letting the less skilled players interfere with the skilled players. We’re finally starting to hear some players starting to speak more about this, I live in hope that the NHL will join the other major leagues in keeping the calls the same year-round, in my lifetime.

          • Richard Santomauro

            Calling every infraction would be the end of hockey as we know it. It would disrupt the flow of the game and would end up taking more time to complete games, too much time. I think that the NHL has been adequately addressing some of the concerns via replay.

          • ulf

            to be fair it wouldn’t be the end of hockey, it would simply be closer to the hockey that’s played during the majority of the year (the regular season). And Olympic hockey is largely great, and they certainly call everything in that context.

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