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Added Emphasis On Penalty Kill Paying Off Early

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights have picked up right where they left off in many areas as they start their title defense, none more though than on the penalty kill.

After finishing the season with a perfect penalty kill series against the Panthers in the Stanley Cup Final, the Golden Knights have killed nine straight penalties to open the 2023-24 season including a five-minute major in the opener against Seattle.

Vegas has now killed 25 straight penalties and haven’t allowed a power play goal since May 25th in Game 4 against the Stars.

It’s not a coincidence either.

We have put more emphasis on the PK this year. It’s not so much on the ice work, it’s reminders and maybe separate meetings and more time devoted to that as opposed to 5-on-5. -Bruce Cassidy

Cassidy says the key to the penalty kill is “appropriate pressure.” He wants his penalty killers to apply pressure at the right times, not all the time. Examples of appropriate times to pressure the puck are when players have their back to the play, when the puck is bouncing, pucks in skates, and directly upon entry before the opposition sets up.

We’re doing a better job of being in sync. There’s always going to be chances and some tough bounces and we haven’t had to deal with those bounces yet. Those days will come but right now we’re in sync with our pressure. It’s not one guy going, it’s all three and the safety valve guy is in a good spot. -Cassidy

It’s taken a while for the penalty kill to sort itself out for a few reasons. The first is because of a system overhaul from Pete DeBoer’s PK system to that of current assistant coach John Stevens.

You’ve got some guys that had familiarity with each other but maybe less with what Johnny (Stevens) wanted to do. I think it just takes a while to get out of some of those habits. -Cassidy

The other challenge is the difference between VGK’s standard defensive system and that of the penalty kill.

Our 5-on-5 system is not aggressive by nature so now all of a sudden switch that to the penalty kill I think you want to marry those two as much as you can. -Cassidy

As the players and coaches grow more and more comfortable with the fit of the system to the personnel, we’ve seen improved results across the board.

Having a dominant PK is just as valuable as a stellar power play. So far, the Golden Knights have it, and there aren’t many signs it’s going to change any time soon.



Next Podcast #299: Three Wins And Todd


  1. THE hockey GOD

    pK more important than PP

  2. knights fan in minny

    and doing it with out th dynamic duo wild bill smitty

  3. Jailbird

    Going good right now and I think they ca continue the success on pk. Competition gets better Tuesday with Stars coming to town. They will be looking for a little pay back. We have to be ready. Petro and Howie back will help!

  4. Satan

    This is Satan

    Alex Pietrangelo did not take part in practice today William Carrier will be a game time decision.

    Satan has spoken.

  5. THE hockey GOD

    I didn’t hear anything.

    BTW other than AVS, the VGK haven’t played anybody.

    Meanwhile in the american hockey league the mini knights are off to a two and zero start.

    PS and branden is worst president in last fifty years.

    • Richie-Rich

      The Rookie Squires looked like shit. They got their asses handed to them. Hard to judge them on just a few games. Brisson looked so much better in preseason.

  6. Richie-Rich

    I was skeptical at first about putting Jack on the PK. It’s paying off. I really think Dorofeyev is going to eventually fill Smith’s shoes on that line.

    Looking forward to the battle tomorrow night!

    • THE hockey GOD

      barby has filled Smith’s shoes, move on.

      Doro needs to fill Nolan Patrick shoes.

  7. Mike Paine

    He’s right about one thing concerning the Knights taking up where they left off last season – their PP still sucks and appears to be absolutely inept. Just my opinion, that’s all.

  8. TS

    Sidenote: power ranking for VGK is #1– ANYONE surprised? The injuries we have weren’t mentioned– Hockey Writers must not deem them an issue…

  9. Tim

    Here’s an interesting thought Brayden Pachal who has been playing some good hockey and at 23 will only get better. Here’s the problem he can’t return to the Silver Knights he’s out of options so he stays on the Golden Knights or we have to put him on wavers and we all know that’s not going to happen. So from what I’ve read when Whitecloud and Martinez return someone has to go. My logic says it will be Hutton or Martinez. Now Hutton is making peanuts and Martinez is 5 million plus so I’m betting they trade him. The truth is he’s a good player but was hurt last year and now again this year. He can only be traded back east so he doesn’t haunt us. Now once again were getting younger with Pachal 23, Whitecloud 25, Hague 24, Theadore 28, McNabb31, and Petro 33. Now we get a draft pick and also pick up over 5 million in cap space looks like a deal to me. Anyone have any thoughts on this senecio?

  10. Richie-Rich

    The alternative option is to “use” the LTIR and keep Pachal on the roster. Either trade Martinez at the deadline or he walks after the season. The last few years have been really hard on Martinez.

    Bottom line?

    Pachal is a keeper.

  11. THE hockey GOD

    Comtois signed a minor-league contract with AHL Chicago on Sunday, Tony Androckitis of Inside AHL Hockey reports.

    Comtois will get a chance to play with the unaffiliated Wolves while he waits for an NHL option. It’s believed if Comtois receives an NHL deal, the Wolves would release him to allow him to pursue the opportunity. He was on a professional tryout at Vegas’ camp but didn’t make the roster.

    PS when , if, Biden gets to Israel will he a) fall down the stairs existing the plane b) ramble incoherently in front of Isreali leaders c) embarrass himself to no end by farting once again loudly in an official proceeding. Those who voted for this mentally disable clown should be ashamed of themselves.

    • knights fan in minny

      or d you will stop annoying people with your constant babbling about politics

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