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Adapting To Opposing Team’s Strengths Crucial For Golden Knights Heading Into Playoffs

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

There’s not much to like about the format of this season’s schedule, but if there is one place where it offers something unique it’s in how teams respond to each other on their second night playing the same team.

On Friday night, the Golden Knights really struggled in the first period dealing with the St. Louis forecheck.

They came out flying in the 1st and were very physical and they took it to us at the beginning of the game. -Alec Martinez

The Blues constantly caught the Golden Knights standing still in their own zone and they appeared to be a step faster all over the offensive zone because of it. Vegas eventually conceded three times in the first two periods before they really settled in.

When presented with the same challenge the very next night against the same opponent, the Golden Knights’ response was tremendous.

As a group on the back end I thought we got back a lot quicker. We made a conscious effort to kind of help each other and move the puck quicker. -Alex Pietrangelo

This season the Golden Knights have won so often in the first of the two games between teams that usually the response has had to come from the other side. Even though they did end up beating the Blues on Friday, they felt they had more to give on Saturday and that showed up.

The key to it was recognizing where the opponent challenged Vegas and adjusting to eliminate it the following game. This is exactly what it takes to win a playoff series and the Golden Knights passed the dress rehearsal with flying colors.

They have really good structure so you’ve got to try and get through that as quickly as you can and when it’s not there you have to be willing to make the simple play and play in the neutral zone. I thought we made good decisions with the puck tonight. It’s just a matter of sticking to that plan. -Pietrangelo

After a game in which that structure made life difficult on the Vegas defense, they were able to quickly adapt to the speed of the Blues forecheck and neutralize it on Saturday.

The Golden Knights are a team that truly can play any way their opponent forces them to. In the Blues case, they’re going to force Vegas to be clean with the puck breaking out of the defensive zone. On Friday, they weren’t, on Saturday, they were.

With a playoff matchup seemingly on the horizon, that’s a lesson the Golden Knights are going to need to remember. Not only how they dealt with the heavy forecheck, but how quickly and efficiently they were able to do it between Game 1 and Game 2 (and really between periods 2 and 3).

Last year, the Golden Knights struggled to change their approach when they ran into a Dallas team that gave them trouble. This year, they have a lot more practice with it in a season jammed with common opponents. The saying goes, luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Last year, luck was tough to come by, hopefully, the extra preparation helps this time around.

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31 Comments

  1. THE hockey GOD

    Jesse Granger
    @JesseGranger_
    DeBoer says an update on Peyton Krebs is coming later today.

    I’ve heard from sources that he is expected to miss significant time after taking the puck to the face on Saturday, so the update isn’t likely to be good news.
    >>>”stuff” happens when you rush your prospect ahead of time, seen it happen so many times.

    • THE hockey GOD

      word on street is that they unwisely rushed him into lineup due to rumor that MAX PATCHES might be out for the season.>>><<<< :O

      • Daryl

        Not having Patches is a player they can’t live without. VGK will be hurting without him come playoff time

        • THE hockey GOD

          @Daryl I think they were referring to “season”, not playoffs. But what do i know ? Not a mind reader.

          Time will tell.

          • Daryl

            I hope you are right about it just being the season. I’d be ok with sitting him until the season is over if need be also to give him more time to heal

      • Blitz

        God you’re pretty adamant about him being rushed, but I see other young players getting a couple/few games of opportunity thru out the league. Hell look at Patrick Marleau. If not for throwing him out there we wouldn’t have had Marleau day last month. So i am not sure I agree with you (respectfully) on him being rushed. Krebs has been with the team quite a bit and so I assume there is some meter of his readiness. The team is down 3 forwards. Some body has to come up to play. They have been playing a rookie d-man as a forward, talk about not ready. They have also gave a couple/few games of opportunity to other HSK forwards. Why not Krebs, see where he is at? It is a good gauge to see where guys are, especially because you may need bodies in the playoffs. To me he did good things, he did bad things/rookie mistakes, he got experience when the team was in a place to give him some. Sure he took a puck to the face. Was it bad luck? Was it cause he is too light? Was it cause a veteran guy out muscled a young guy fresh out of junior? Maybe, but Nosek took a puck to the face not too long ago, and again I think it is important for a team to see where guys are in their readiness for the playoffs. Really the worse case should be Krebs sees what he needs to work on over summer/next year. If he loses confidence cause he was “asked” to play with the big boys for a few games then maybe the NHL isn’t for him. I am guessing he will be just fine though. Maybe he will be the only NHL player with a couple of fake teeth.

        • THE hockey GOD

          @blitz

          if 67 and 92 and 75 weren’t hurt they probably wouldn’t have rushed him. Or maybe played him one or two games.

          I think VGK right now is lacking in forward depth they thought they had a few short weeks ago.

          I feel real bad for the kid. I have seen many a prospect’s career crushed due to bad decisions like this.

          Then you have the other side of coin. Franchises like RED WINGS keep their players down for a long time. Fans in Detroit are always yelling to bring up their prospects. Before new ownership they rarely did so.

          Then there is salary cap issues, don’t get me started on that sad sack of potatoes.

        • THE hockey GOD

          @Blitz

          “Isn’t it more of a dun-dun? Or maybe a dun-dund Is there ever a single dun? So wouldn’t it be:

          dun-dun
          dun-dun dun-dun
          etc”

          Dang it you had me going back to sound track. U R right. There is a single dun, followed by another single dun. It goes something like:
          dun
          dun a
          dun a a
          dun dun
          dun dun dun dun dun,
          then it starts going crazy from there.

          So I will keep going
          dun
          dun dun
          dun dun dun, etc. because I have short term memory hot flashes. Sort of like that character Taravangian in Brendan Sanderson’s latest series of never ending novel. One day Taravangian wakes up and he’s a genius, then next day he wakes up and he’s got brain fog, and other days some place in between. Has to write everything down.

          • Blitz

            @God,

            I think the important take away here is that we all need to work on our sound effects and the skill of translating them to text. 🙂

            I have not read any of that, but what you are saying reminds me of the movie Memento w/ Guy Pearce. He has memory issues and tattoos (as well as notes) himself. That movie was so different than other movies, how it was sequenced etc, but really excellent IMO.

      • What street is that?

        • Howard

          The one in his replica Mr. Rogers neighborhood scale model.

          • THE hockey GOD

            @howard, I list my references.

            BTW I liked Tom Hanks in Movie Mr. Rogers. Didn’t you ?

            I don ‘t see why anyone with their head squared on straight would mock Mr. Rogers, or his neighborhood !

            Too bad all of America didn’t share those values, then we wouldn’t have this messed up “woke” BS and BLM and “cop hate’ and gangsta’s not obeying the law. Everything would be like it should be.

        • THE hockey GOD

          it was rotoworld twitter feed, they used the word “season” which I think they may mean up to the last game of season, which is ? Saturday ??

        • THE hockey GOD

          more like rumor>>>
          Erik Kirschner
          @Ekcom1
          ·
          3h
          Replying to
          @JesseGranger_
          Any word on Patches? Hearing he is done for the season.

      • Howard

        Word is u are full of something the color of brown.

        • THE hockey GOD

          @ howard
          “Word is u are full of something the color of brown.” I had left over chicken with mashed potatoes and brown gravy for lunch. I followed that up with a nice brownie. Washed it down with a brown root beer. Oh yeah, for breakfast I had one of those pop tarts, I believe the brown sugar cinaminaminaminon ones.

          What ‘s in your wallet? I mean what did you have today ?

          BTW how’s larry fine and your brother Moe Howard doing ?

  2. DOC (Am so excited for tonight)

    (like “Dexter” said) TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT !

    Tonight, all the season’s work, comes to fruition!

    Tonight, sets up the playoffs!

    Tonight will be our KNIGHT!

  3. THE hockey GOD

    “Tonight will be our KNIGHT!”
    hope you are right!!

    but
    it’s not over until the fat lady sings !!

  4. Tim

    Well I’m off to the game again tonight hope were up to it. Would be nice to win the Presidents Trophy for point leader in the NHL. Not having a full team always hurts let’s hope our depth prevails.

  5. Julie

    Is MacKinnon out tonight? I see he had a lower body injury on 5/7.

    Enjoy the game, Tim! I am watching Edmonton now as I need to keep peace at home until 7 tonight.

    • Daryl

      I heard it was a game time decision and that they might keep him out as a precautionary. I think they have 3 other starters out as well. It seems as though COL isn’t taking this game as seriously as VGK is for some reason.

  6. THE hockey GOD

    another short cap situation ?? 17 of 20 dressing ?

    if I owned this team I would be extremely ticked off right now if this is the case.

    HEADS WILL ROLL – Col. Hoffsteadler, Hochstetter, that is. Hogan’s nemesis in Hogan’s Hero’s. Col Klink’s also.

    • THE hockey GOD

      Frank Seravalli
      @frank_seravalli
      Interesting situation brewing in Vegas. Hearing #VGK may be forced to dress just 10 forwards + 5 defencemen tonight due to cap constraints – with President’s Trophy on the line.

      Sounds like Martinez (foot) and Krebs (facial inj.) are out.

      Let’s see how it shakes out by 10pm EST

      • Howard

        Putting Lehner in there to boot, Cool, I knew this front office puts their pride, arrogance, and the appearance of being WOKE over winning.

        They made this situation, now they can sleep in it. Arrogant Woke assholes.

        • Julie

          I have to admit, I am worried about tonight. I pulled out all my autographed stuff, said a prayer and checked Lehner’s horoscope even. Fingers are crossed ⚔️

  7. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    Go get em’ PANDA !

    Short one or two skaters again, tonight!

  8. Howard

    Tough chance for Lehner there on 1st goal.. That’s NOT a SOFTIE. Better shot there by Avs.

    • Howard

      2nd goal – is why Lehner isn’t elite – soft goal, poor positioning. It’s game after game with him – that’s not Cup level goaltending.

  9. Howard

    2nd goal is why Lehner isn’t elite – soft goal, poor positioning. It’s game after game with him – that’s not Cup level goaltending.

  10. Howard

    Yet I’ll still see people here defend Lehner and his continuance of giving up soft goals, U CANNOT HAVE A GOALIE who gives up a goal like that, especially in playoffs. If they’re worried about Lehner’s mental fragility, why they sign him? These teams are the best of the best, it’s absolute arrogance to say ” oh, we will go with the shit goalie because he’s in rotation.”

    Not personal against Lehner, but MAF deserved to start this game, not Lehner and the one bad goal was the difference as it was last year against Dallas and it will not change with Lehner.

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